In other words, McCain hasn’t just been wrong about Iraq. He has been stubbornly, willfully deluded about both of the biggest foreign policy blunders of the last fifty years. Like the mythology surrounding the “surge” itself, the fantasy that the U.S. had the Vietnam and Iraq wars won is what people feel compelled to believe because accepting the alternative is too unpleasant. Pretending that the U.S. “won” in Iraq or believing that the “surge” wasn’t a failure on its own terms might provide some necessary political cover for war supporters that don’t want to admit that they endorsed a disastrous policy, but we shouldn’t take it seriously as a description of what happened. Maybe Hirsh’s profile is supposed to make us think that McCain isn’t the reflexive, unthinking interventionist that we know him to be, but it just confirms that his judgment can’t be trusted.