Do you remember the kernel of the original argument used against setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq? In patronizing tones filled with contempt over our lack of military sophistication, we were told that you couldn't set a date because then you would be telling the enemy how long they have to lay low before they can rise up and take over the country. What has now changed in that strategic formulation? Nothing. (except maybe McCain's magical keep-Iraq-safe-forever-Juice that he's going to sprinkle on the country).
Thankfully, General Petraeus reminds us of this in a recent interview, just to contrast with John McCain's new position that "anything is a pretty good timetable as long as it's based on conditions on the ground." McCain's new position is merely his only remaining refuge after Maliki cut his legs out on his Iraq-Forever policy.