100 years in Iraq

Random thinks Obama has intentionally twisted one of John McCain’s statements on Iraq.

McCain notoriously said that U.S. troops might remain in Iraq for 100 years, adding, “That’d be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being harmed.”

Politically, it was a very foolish thing to say. The Iraq war is extremely unpopular:  indeed, a new Gallup poll reports that opposition to the Iraq war is at an all-time high. Americans want U.S. troops to come home sooner rather than later.

Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to make sure that this statement sticks to McCain. As for McCain’s proviso, “as long as Americans aren’t being harmed” — Talking Points Memo gives us McCain in his own words, before pointing out how weak that escape clause is.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Random
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 06:27:23

    (Reposted as the first one appears to have been swallowed – apologies if this appears twice)

    Oh, come now. McCain wa sperfectly clear – he has no problem with American troops being in iraq for 100 years or necessarily so long as theyare not being attacked and killed and specifically cites South Korea (ca. 56 years) Japan and Germany (62 years) as the sort of relationship he has in mind, and Obama claims that this is McCain calling for “a hundred years of war”. How is that anything other than a deliberate distortion?

    It’s worth noting that the usually nonpartisan Factcheck.org has pulled no punches on this one, calling it a “rank falsehood”. Note this isn’t particularly an anti-Obama post – as the Factcheck link makes clear, all the Dems are at and he’s no worse than anybody else. It’s just the sort of thing one would hope he would avoid doing if he’s serious about the whole “new politics” thing.


  2. Stephen
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 07:15:31

    Did you watch the TPM video? You aren’t responding to the arguments Josh Marshall put forward.

    It’s a fair criticism because we’re talking about the Middle East here. Do you seriously think the USA can occupy Iraq for 100 years without American troops being attacked and killed?

    One of the clear motivations for 9/11 was resentment of the American military base in Saudi Arabia.

    Do you think Iranian extremists are going to tolerate the American military setting up shop in Iraq for 100 years? Would the USA tolerate a more-or-less permanent Iranian military base in Canada? Because McCain’s fantasy is an equivalent scenario.

    Most importantly, Americans are being killed in Iraq right now. So does McCain propose that the USA pull its troops out of Iraq? No.

    So in fact McCain is in favour of staying in Iraq while Americans are being killed. It is not a distortion for Obama and other Democrats to point that out.


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