John McCain, 100 Years, Obama, and the Democrats

By Erick Posted in Comments (42) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

The Obama campaign and lefties everywhere are still pushing the story that John McCain said he wanted to keep fighting in Iraq for 100 years or 1000 years or 10,000 years. Despite the fact that major nonpartisan organizations are saying that is a total distortion of the record, the lefties and a bunch of journalists are keeping on. What McCain actually said is, well, hear him in his own words responding to a question about keeping Americans in Iraq for 50 or 100 years:

"We've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea for 50 years, that'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintained a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Qaeda is training and recruiting and equipping people."

Contrast that with what Barack Obama is accusing McCain of, which is that McCain would be in favor of 100 more years of war.

It shows an utter lack of military knowledge on the part of the Democrats that they would equate a standing military presence in a country with war. If we follow their logic, we must still be at war in Japan and Germany and Korea. Heck, we must still be at war with the confederacy given all the standing armies in the South.


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Reading the transcripts of the dialogue between McCain and his questioner it seems that bloggers may be the distorters. The point should be that McCain isn't clear on how long or how much (in terms of lives and fortunes) he will invest to reach the point that we simply have a presence. So in terms of evaluating how McCain will handle the conflict how many years (peaceful) we are willing to have troops in Irag is a straw man - its how many years and lives are we willing to pay to get there? For Obama to say McCain wants to 'fight" for 100 years is reasonable as McCain hasn't said for how long he will fight - and if it is to achieve the point of peaceful military presence then it would seem he is willing to fight for 100 or 1000 or 10,000 years to get there - of course until he says otherwise.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

That's some heavy rationalization.

So, McCain hasn't said how long he'd stay to fight therefore saying he would fight 100 years is okay.

I call B.S.

Fight On!

You see we really have no way to tell when we are hitting something vital, except the screams from your side. It's kind of like chucking rocks into a canyon filled with small animals.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

I suppose that since you haven't told us your favorite color, it must be blue. And your favorite artists are Celine Dion and Michael Jackson, of course.

Iraq is not Korea. We were not invited there to help protectd the country. In Iraq, we are viewed as occupiers. We may not be fighting for 100 years, but if our troops are there 100 years, it's going to remain tense and bloody for a long time. Again, if you say flippant and reckless things in public, as McCain does, you can't squeal when they're thrown back at you.

You may need coffee to get with it this morning. You write:

if our troops are there 100 years, it's going to remain tense and bloody for a long time.

McCain says:

that'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.

That seems to me to preclude 100 years of fighting under McCain.

You guys need to get some basic reading comprehension.

Fight On!

It's Obama's NatSec Ignorance Field. It seems to be quasi-radioactive in nature; [his supporters] apparently acquire one of their own, over time.

Very sad.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2008/01/a-hundred...

" Tiffany: What if U.S. soldiers are being killed at the same rate, one per day, four years from now?

McCain: I can't tell you what the ratio is. But I can tell you, I understand American public opinion, sir. I understand American public opinion will not sustain a conflict where Americans continue to be sacrificed without showing them that we can succeed.

Tiffany: I hear an open-ended commitment, then.

McCain: I have an open-ended commitment in Asia. I have an open-ended commitment in South Korea. I have an open-ended commitment in Bosnia. I have an open-ended commitment in in Europe…"

As long as we show we CAN succeed, the fighting will continue.

The analysis of someone actually in the room when the words were spoken:

"But what the context shows, I think, is that yanking that sound bite out of context isn’t really all that unfair. McCain's wants to stay in Iraq until no more Americans are getting killed, no matter how long it takes and how many Americans get killed achieving that goal—that is, the goal of not getting any more Americans killed. And once that goal is achieved, we'll stay."

We will have war until we have peace.

Re Korea, you mean you don't subscribe to the belief that the North Koreans were liberating the occupied southern part of their country? That's encouraging.

His Veep, no matter who that is can only be POTUS for 8 years. That is a pretty tall order. A little math for you 16<100. Senator McCain was making a point of his conviction to see this through. He'd be 172 years old if he could in fact see the war through for another 100 years. There are figures of speech in our American English language as there are in every other language out there.
Tim Schieferecke

jkern quoting from Erick
McCain says:

that'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.

That seems to me to preclude 100 years of fighting under McCain

Let me respond the way I so often see here -
How does that preclude fighting 100 or more years - reread the original post - how long will we go to have a "peaceful" presence - has McCain ever quantified how much money, how many dead and wounded.

Joliphant isn't worth responding too since he deigns not to actually respond.

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Master it, right after you lose the attitude.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

jkern
Sorry Mr. Lane - I have seen some fairly flippant responses along the lines of "reread" and "master reading comprehension" etc. My apologies. I still do not see what in Joliphants original post was a response and still haven't in any other. If what Mr. McCain meant was we will go into we reach that point (peaceful presence) fine say that - "even if it takes 100 years to be able to spend 100 years as a presence". Then we know clearly his position.

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\/ here as well (that's toward reading comprehension)

bases...just like everywhere else we have won our wars...we will be on-site for 100 years or more...what don't you get about that exactly.

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

kernal-brain, and every other Dem cheerleader out there, Perfectly understood McCain's comment. They are engaged in GOTCHA politics.

The KNOW what he meant, but hope that they can convince enough stoopid voters that he said something else, so their man/woman can win.

It is a complete waste of time to even engage these maroons.

They don't buy the unspoken pretext for McCain's statement, which is that you can't telegraph your moves. They are in denial about the terrorist threat, even as they crow about how horrible the war against them is.

Remove the U.S. forces, they say, and Iraq will return to the peaceful Eden between the Tigris and Euphrates that it was before we invaded (to which they usually add "illegal" somewhere in there).

--
Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

jkern
Dear Mr. Lane,
For post # 14 of mine the header should have been "Moe" not more - again apologies this time for an assumption of familiarity not (yet, if ever) earned. To Mr. Hinz, very clever, an epithet I first heard oh around kindergarten. Joliphant I am sorry I am not more versed in posting shorthand/nomenclature - I am not sure what
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\/ here as well (that's toward reading comprehension)

means.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

the obvious conclusion.

===
When small men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting on the Democrat Party

It's one of our basic intelligence tests here.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

jkern
So if I get this right this will allow this post to be seen in reference or context of reply to you regarding threading of posts, not general commentary or posting.If I am wrong apologies and I will read up some more.

... if we can indeed have an occupation in which no American troops are "injured or harmed or wounded or killed".

However, the critique against McCain is not that he wants 100 years of warfare. It is that he is describing a point B. But we are at point A, and there is no apparent progress on the present course towards point B.

Invoking the quote above actually hurts your defense of McCain because it paints him as a kind of dewey-eyed dreamer about some mythical Iraq that will someday exist. Sure, let's all sing kumbaya for 100 years around the Iraqi campfire of love. But we aren't there yet. When does that 100 years begin?

If indeed there is a strategy for getting to the McCain Century, then yesterday's testimony was the Administration's opportunity to explain it. Petraeus and Crocker failed on this task.

Phil Carter (who most deservedly, has moved his blog to the Washington Post) summarizes the testimony, concluding:

So what is our strategy in Iraq? And for that matter, what is "victory?" How does a "victory" in Iraq relate to America's larger national security interests? Petraeus and Crocker effectively punted on these grand questions, as they did last September, offering only that we needed to persevere and succeed to avoid vague Somalia-like predictions of what might happen if we don't.

That's not a good enough answer for me. I don't think that Petraeus and Crocker justified our enormous investment of blood and treasure with their testimony yesterday.

But I also think that responsibility is above their paygrade. The real answers to these grand questions must come from the White House and Pentagon -- and they must be argued convincingly enough to earn the support of the American people and their elected representatives.

Yesterday's testimony highlighted our strategic drift, and how Sisyphean our efforts in Iraq have been for the past five years. We owe something more to our men and women serving in Iraq, and to the Iraqis.

Also, Democracy Arsenal provides this executive summary of the first day's hearings, culled from their liveblogging:

1. Petraeus and Crocker refuse to tell us what our long term strategy is in Iraq, holding to the weak excuse that they can't make predictions into the future. But they have no problem making scary predictions into the future about what will happen if we withdraw. Contradiction? We think so.

2. Senator Biden made Crocker admit that the threat from Al Qaeda central along the Afghan-Pakistan border is a higher priority than Al Qaeada in Iraq.

3. John McCain still seems to be confusing his Shi’a and his Sunnis. He seems to have this recurring problem and if he becomes President and does this in some international forum it will be REALLY REALLY bad.

4. Iran is the new Al Qaeda. A large portion of the questioning from Martinez, Lieberman, Graham was based on trying blame Iran from what happened in Basra. But as Senator Jack Reed pointed out the Iranians are actually supporting all of the various Shi’a groups in Iraq, including those in league with the central government.

5. Petraeus and Crocker repeatedly quoted Osama Bin Laden and his deputies that Iraq was the central fron in the war on terror. But as Senators Bayh and Feingold pointed out we shouldn't take our marching orders from Al Qaeda, as their strategy is to bleed and bankrupt the United States in Iraq.

6. Ryan Crocker continues to present a rosy picture of what happened in Basra last week, saying that it has strengthened Maliki’s hand. But news on the ground today seems to undermine this claim with Sadr actually picking up support from various religious leaders.

7. When asked by Senator John Warner whether Iraq was making us safer Petraeus kept hedging and stated that it would ultimately be up to history. Not very comforting. And for those who argue that it’s not his job to answer that question. The President has made it his job, but ignoring the advice of other more senior military leaders and going straight to Petraeus.

8. Crocker claims that there has been a "diplomatic surge" by the United States. But as Chuck Hagel pointed out these claims are "thin." A real diplomatic surge would entail Rice, Gates, or a special envoy - people from the highest levels of the government - reaching out to Iraq's neighbors and being able to talk not just about Iraq but all regional issues.

9. Petraeus and Crocker can't tell us if political reconciliation, the whole point of the surge, is actually happening.

So, in a nutshell, McCain is arguing on blind faith that we need to stay the course in Iraq even though that course has no larger strategic benefit to our self-interest. Meanwhile, Obama has a detailed plan for increasing the size of the military and refocusing our efforts on the Afghan-Pakistan border, where bin Laden remains at large, plotting the next 9-11. Which candidate has the NatSec distortion field, exactly?

(disclaimer - I do not support total withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and neither do Obama or Clinton, much to the future chagrin of some on the leftwards fringe).

--
Dean Nation is now Nation-Building: Purple politics, muscular liberalism, principled pragmatism

However, the critique against McCain is not that he wants 100 years of warfare. It is that he is describing a point B. But we are at point A, and there is no apparent progress on the present course towards point B.

You must be kidding. There is no apparent progress? Now, if you want to say that progress has been disappointingly slow, you might have an argument.

But to deny that there is any progress toward a free and stable Iraq is to simply ignore reality.

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When small men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting on the Democrat Party

but it is McCain who defined point B, not me, as an Iraq in which no troops are killed or even injured.

--
Dean Nation is now Nation-Building: Purple politics, muscular liberalism, principled pragmatism

5 minutes and you might actually say "there is progress" but it's slow...as building a democracy or the equivalent in the middle east is want to be.

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

maybe it will take a 100 years?

--
Dean Nation is now Nation-Building: Purple politics, muscular liberalism, principled pragmatism

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

after all, it has taken nearly 100 years for the US to go from a Representative Republic to Socialism...and even that will take a few more years, and the right Democrat in office, to accomplish.

Of course, we've managed that transition with a lot less violence, but still, its taken nearly 100 years.

===
When small men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting on the Democrat Party

drew combat pay until 1968. The last Americans killed in action in Korea were in 1986. So I am more than a little unclear on why that was okay but what McCain said represents some sort of gaffe or unhinging moment.

"A man does what he can and endures what he must."

You must be kidding. There is no apparent progress? Now, if you want to say that progress has been disappointingly slow, you might have an argument.

Progress toward WHAT, exactly?

If our goal is truly to reach the point that Americans can walk all around Iraq without being at risk from being harmed, as McCain said, then that goal is a fantasy--one step away from inventing a perpetual motion machine. Heck, there are neighborhoods in Detroit Michigan USA where I can't walk around without fear of being harmed. So what goal, short of that, are we attempting to achieve so we can then withdraw our troops???

There are no Middle East Muslim countries where safety is maintained by the democratic rule of civil law. They're all run as authoritarian or totalitarian states, because that's the only way to keep tribal peoples and fanatics from slaughtering each other.

Supporters of this war constantly shy away from committing to a set of specific goals that, once reached, we can declare "VICTORY" and withdraw our troops with honor and pride. They just keep scuttling away from the need to define the endpoint.

I'll say this: If you're starting to become comfortable with perpetual war--the U.S. taking low-level casualties into the indefinite future--just so long as we don't suffer total defeat, FORGET IT. That's not an acceptable goal.

By your argument they should be abolished as well.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

...you have. But just because they're all, ah, "worthy oriental gentlemen" in your eyes doesn't mean that the rest of us have to follow suit.

Moe

PS: Quit while you're behind.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

1. As expressed countless times, the long term goal is to achieva an Iraq that is internally stable, able to protect itself and that does not threaten its neighbors. The surge is the strategy to get there.

2. This is only true because we are being successful in fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq. If we let that effort fail, then we will have two equally dangerous threats.

3. John McCain's speaking gaffes are irrelevant. I concede Obama makes fewer gaffes, partly because he rarely says anything of substance, and partly because he is quite articulate at self-adoration.

4. True, Iran is hedging its bets by stringing along opposing groups. This is news? This is a surprise? This verbal glop does not disguise the fundamental reality: Iran is extremely hostile to US interests in the regions, and supports violence and terror throughout the region via its proxies, and is perfectly willing to set one proxy against another when it serves their purposes.

"The surge is the strategy to get there."

no the Surge was intended specifically to relieve the chaos in Baghdad for a temporary time frame, in which to give the political process some breathing room so that the various factions within Iraq could come to diplomatic detente. Instead, Maliki used the surge to consolidate his control, and Sadr used it to entrench and fortify under aegis of "cease fire".

--
Dean Nation is now Nation-Building: Purple politics, muscular liberalism, principled pragmatism

The surge was designed to quell the violence that escalated after the mosque bombing early in 2006, which threatened to disrupt the progress towards representative, constitutional government in Iraq.

Maliki was elected and Sadr doesn't like it. Tough cookies. We have been cautious about taking out Sadr, especially because Maliki and the influential Ayatollah Sistani don't want this done. Right or wrong, their voices count.

The liberal agitprop focuses on "reconciliation" because the security effort was so successful. Sorry for your agitprop, but reconciliation is achieved if the parties consent to live in civil society without shooting at each other, not engaging in a telegenic Obamesque love fest. If you want more, then you are the nationbuilders!

It is entirely possible to have representative government with people still having hatred smolder in their breasts. Just visit Kos, Huff Po et al.

5. OBL went on national television in the late 1990's to elaborate on his plans to make war on the US. The Clinton administration dithered, shot up a few camels and the odd aspirin factory, had sex and generally achieved nothing. I would take OBL statements more seriously. And, of course, their failed effort in Iraq has greatly weakened al Qaeda and their mystique of inevitability.

6. The situation on the ground always changes. Sometimes the bad guys win one. That's when it is critical to fight back. More strategically, we must note that Basra has been a British responsibility. So much for the liberal mantra that the presence of allies means success. Of course, the mantra has already been discredited by the inept NATO effort in Afghanistan.

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

7. Nice try, but Petraeus isn't there to validate the decision by the President and Congress (including the Democratic Senate) to go to war in late 2002. He is there to explain how he is achieving his mission via implementing the surge strategy. Now you don't agree with the rationale for the war put forward then, but that's not his responsibilit. Nor is it that of any of the other generals. Unless you don't believe in a civilian CIC or the Congressional power to declare and fund war.

8. Pending the millenial advent of the ObamaMessiah, the job of diplomats is to manage relations with hostile states, hopefully avoiding war, but not engaging in self-delusion that they ARE hostile. Iran and Syria are not interested in solving the region's problems, but in expanding their power, and routinely employ violence-by-proxy to achieve that aim. Heavens, even FRANCE under CHIRAC was cooperating with the US in Lebanon to stop the influence of Syria and its Iranian enabler.

9. Reconciliation is a straw man used by liberals to divert attention from the security gains made in Iraq. (see response above to your remarks above). Yes, representative government in Iraq is a struggle to manage relationships between hostile parties and clashing economic or sectarian groups. That is frequently true everywhere in the world, as illustrated by churches where the candidate's pastor exults in God's chastisement of his fellow citizens through death and destruction. Not exactly much in the way of reconciliation at Trinity United, is there? But civil society continues.

 
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