The discussion of the Iraq occupation may appear to have gone away as a major discussion point in the election but what is really happening in Iraq has not.
As I listen to the preliminary speeches at the GOP Convention tonight, I hear speaker after speaker talking about victory in Iraq, including the lie that Barak Obama does not acknowledge the impact of the "surge".
Well, just as these speakers to do not seem to have been briefed that Barak Obama has agreed just a few hours earlier today with Bill O’Reilly that "the surge" has made an unexpected contribution in reducing the level of hostilities, so also have they not heard Obama’s warning as a key corollary that there has not been any accompaniment of political stability.
And the White House has just confirmed that Barak Obama is right and the claims in the Convention hall are false
So fragile is the situation in Iraq that troop withdrawals now will probably not occur as planned. From Associated Press a few hours ago comes the news:
President Bush's top defense advisers have recommended he maintain 15 combat brigades in Iraq until the end of the year contrary to expectations that the improved security in Iraq would allow for quicker cuts, The Associated Press has learned.
Military leaders told the AP that the closely held plan would send a small Marine contingent to Afghanistan in November to replace one of two Marine units expected to head home then.
If Bush follows the recommendations, he would delay any additional buildup in Afghanistan until early next year, when another brigade would be deployed there instead of to Iraq.
So as McCain puffs out his chest and he and his supporters choose today to re-raise the Iraq war as an issue in the election, their claims are based on a false statement of real progress. We are being asked tio celebrate the poverty of the situation in which casualties are now currently down to two less deaths a day of American soldiers, rather than bringing them all home out of harms way.
Will the GOP Convention not recognise the truth of Obama’s statement that the battleground with Al Qaeda has now moved to Afghanistan? And will they not recognise the threat that continues to the success in that theatre of war, evidenced by the tucked away paragraph in the AP report that says anticipated movement of much needed troops there will now have to be delayed as a consequence of the lack of sustainable progress in Iraq?
Democrats should not want Iraq to drift off the agenda. Americans are still dying and troops are still not coming home. Let McCain call attention to what is happening over there. The truth will hurt him. It is still hurting many American families.
And there are a lot more truths to come out about Iraq. Today, here in the UK, a new explosive chapter in the lies that underlay our going to war is about to unfold and it will have repercussions in the States:
The Government has been ordered to release more detail relating to the 'dodgy dossier' that may have exaggerated the case for the Iraq war.
The 'dodgy' dossier was published in September 2002
The ruling by the Information Commissioner follows a three-year battle by journalist Chris Ames to obtain drafts of the dossier, as well as comments made about them by officials and spy chiefs in the run-up to its publication in September 2002.
Allegations that the dossier was "sexed up" to make a stronger case for the war on Iraq were examined by the Hutton Inquiry into the death of Government scientist Dr David Kelly in 2003. Lord Hutton's inquiry dismissed the allegation.
Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has rejected the Government's argument that publishing comments about drafts of the dossier could jeopardise national security.
Mr Thomas said there was "a strong public interest in a degree of exposure of the circumstances of the dossier's production" in order to assess whether intelligence findings were manipulated to present an exaggerated case for military action......
Liberal Democrat Foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davey has welcomed the commissioner's ruling.
Mr Davey said: "Brown and Blair have been desperate to cover up the facts relating to the creation of the dodgy dossier.
"Not only should all these emails and memos be published, but we still need to have a full scale inquiry into the Iraq war. It’s time the Government stopped hiding the truth."
These are the emails in which the UK secret service and lawmakers talk about the presentation of the truth by Washington to you, the American people.
So, please, John McCain, remind the sleepy electorate tonight in your acceptance speech about the Iraq war. Remind them it is continuing. Do what no other speaker has dared do this week. Remind them that Afghanistan is still going on, that Osama Bin Laden is still free and Al Qaeda is still strong. With luck, before these three months are fully up, we in the UK will have something new to arm the Democrats with in the debate about truth - a debate that is far from finished.