Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that?McCain asserts that the surge sparked the Anbar Awakening. But there's a problem with that, as Spencer Ackerman points out: the Anbar Awakening (in which a number of Iraqi forces and factions in Anbar made common cause to bring order) came first. It began in September 2006, while the surge wasn't announced until January 2007.
McCain: I don't know how you respond to something that is as-- such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane [phonetic] was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history. Thanks to General Petraeus, our leadership, and the sacrifice of brave young Americans. I mean, to deny that their sacrifice didn't make possible the success of the surge in Iraq, I think, does a great disservice to young men and women who are serving and have sacrificed.
But never mind: CBS News is always willing to cover for Darling McCain with a little judicious editing.