Sunday, April 20, 2008

John McCain's "Hundred Years In Iraq" Remark

Here is YouTube video of the GOP's Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, answering a question from the audience during the New Hampshire primary earlier this year about his position on Iraq and America's commitment there:

Here is my transcript of the exchange:

Audience Member: "President Bush has talked about staying in Iraq for fifty years..."

Sen. McCain: "...Make it a hundred..."

Audience Member: "Is that what you're saying?"

Sen. McCain: "We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."
We know of course that Hillary Clinton is for immediate, unconditional withdrawal "within 60 days" of assuming her possible presidency, and that Barack Obama has indicated he would "change the mission in Iraq" and expects ground commanders to comply.

But what does puzzle me about John McCain's statement that is being completely ignored, conveniently, it seems, by both pro- and anti-war forces during this presidential campaign is the CONDITION he explicitly lays down for staying in Iraq a hundred years or more: as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."

This is so typical of John McCain over the years and one reason he is suspect even among the GOP faithful--for wanting to have his cake and eating it too. I cannot in fact imagine how America could EVER disengage from Iraq or that part of the world, because even IF Americans are being injured or harmed or wounded or killed there, as they certainly are now, and certainly will be in the future, there is NO RATIONAL CHOICE but fix the situation. It is in America's national interest, and the rest of the world's, that the conflict be settled one way or another.

Whatever one thinks about how and why we got in there, there ought not to be any confusion that there is no NO GETTING OUT. Ever.

If I were to choose a candidate solely on this criterion of understanding the need for America's commitment in the fight against Islamist terrorism, and the consequences of past action and policy, I wouldn't vote for any of 'em!


The Nashman said...

...but what about the Iraqis, Japanese, and Koreans that Americans are harming, injuring, or wounding?


Still, McCain will be better than Barck or Hillary combined....

DJB Rizalist said...

the nashman,
I take it you think that if by some miracle hillary and barack (or barack and hillary!) were to run together, you think McCain+??? could beat them this year?

The Nashman said...

As a bystander, I love the high drama of the prolonged Democratic nomination process..I want it to go all the way to the convention...(it will certainly be good topic for Hollywood and will probably result in many phd theses...)

It's so unlike me to be Republican but what is there not to love about McCain? I'm a republican in the sense that I do not subscribe to royalty, so H. Clinton and another Bush is a no-no....and being a geek, I am wary of people who are too eloquent (Bark Obama)...

(I assume of course that US foreign policy stays the same regardless of whoever is sitting..)