Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Did John McCain Just Say What I Think He Said About Iraq?

It's been over five years, 4000 dead U.S. troops and $600 billion since we invaded Iraq. But Sen. John McCain thinks it doesn't matter how long we end up staying in that war-ravaged country. The GOP's presumptive nominee appeared Wednesday morning on NBC's Today show in an interview with co-host Matt Lauer, who asked the Republican candidate about President Bush's troop surge last year which McCain has vehemently supported:

Lauer: If it's working, Senator, do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?

McCain: No, but that's not too important. What's important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany. That's all fine.

So the crusty old Senator from Arizona thinks it's "not too important" when, if ever, our troops return home, huh? That an overwhelming majority of Americans want an imminent end to the war apparently doesn't faze McCain. As he's said in the past, we could be in Iraq for another 100+ years and that would be just peachy with him.

McCain's new boneheaded remark ranks among the other colossal Bushevik blunders pertaining to Iraq such as "Mission Accomplished" and "We'll be greeted as liberators." It only serves to demonstrate just how out out of touch he is with mainstream America.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presumptive nominee, would be wise to aggressively hammer home this new example of McCain's consistently cavalier attitude towards the war and our foreign policy in general. It's just more of the same shoot first, ask questions later reckless cowboy mentality that has gotten us mired in the Iraq debacle in the first place. And we certainly don't need four more years of Bush 3 in the form of McCain.

Americans have a very clear choice this November. A vote for McCain is a vote for more war, more militarism, more death. And that's just Iraq. Imagine the surprises this war-monger has in store for us with Iran. As Yogi Berra said, it'll be "deja vu all over again."

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Anonymous said...


Just 7 months ago, on the Charlie Rose program, John McCain said the situation in Iraq was not analagous with South Korea or Germany... "I think because the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspect of it that America eventually withdraws."

Apparently John McCain is not only interested in perpetual conflict in the Middle East - he's at war with himself in his own head.

I wonder if anyone has alerted him to the fact that Vladimir Putin is not the President of Germany?

Anonymous said...

I was for Edwards, then Obama and finally Hillary, and now Obama, so I'm not a Repug. mole. I do think that we've gotten off to a bad start by jumping to meanings that serve our purpose which may not accurately reflect what was said. That's what the Republicans did to Gore (I inevented the Internet) and Kerry ( I was for ... before I was against). And, now I've heard again Obama's "57 states." Obviously he knows how many states there are

I heard the interview and what I thought at the time, and what McCain's defenders have now said, is that he meant "bringing them home" (because that's what everybody wants) was not the important "yardstick" or condition to judge strategy. THe condition that was important and the determining factor was that there were less casualties which meant the "surge" was working and the US could accomplish its goal of peace there and victory. The 100 year comment has already been cleared up when - yeah - that old "context" thing -- he said, and I heard this, that a hundred years wouldn't matter if our soldiers were not being harmed. He then cited the occupation of oher countries now where there is no violence.

We Dems don't have to agree with him but we can, for the sake of our own candidate, insist on accuracy of reporting and interpreting.

I really hope we stop this twisting of words and really stick to the facts of what these two say

I was shocked Kerry was attacking McCain after he had suffered the same kind of misguided attack himself.

Remember Dukakis lost because of his silly tank ride but more importantly because of his comments about punishing a criminal who raped his wife Of course he cared about that but the "twist" made him look - well - not fully human. His comments were twisted beyond reconition and it cost him/us the election.

Anonymous said...


Your high-mindedness is appreciated but I see two problems here:

1. Matt Lauer essentially asked McCain if we assume the surge is working does this allow for an estimate of when the troops can return? A reasonable question and an expectation approved by the vast majority of American citizens.

The response was, very inartfully, "no, but that's not too important."

While it's entirely possible that McCain did not mean what he said, he said it and should clarify his response himself.

2. John McCain spent the day in Pennsylvania using the out of context "bitter" remark by Obama and a Republican 527 group is out with a video rehashing the Obama is a Muslim lie.

McCain cannot expect that he's going to freely be able to twist the words of his opponent, have surrogates (affiliated or not) sling their shit and not be slapped right back with his own words and actions.

Anonymous said...

11:03 You are wrong. I just played the tape I made of the program for my wife.

"Essentially asked" is not an exact quote; McCain did not say "no, but that's not too important"

So you just continue to "sling your shit" and corrupt any integrity we might hope for in our very serious, and what should be, mature campaign. You see, there are at least three of us, my wife and I, and the other blogger, who want some sanity brought back to our elections. The last two were horrific and you see what we got in return for our lack of caution.

Unknown said...

The Hundred Year's War, the Sequel.'_War

Nice feature on HuffingtonPost Andy.

Anonymous said...


You are correct, it's not an exact quote, hence the lack of quotation marks seen bracketing the actual quote from McCain. Further, that's why the term "essentially asked" was used.

The video of the conversation is readily available at any number of sites. It's quite clear what the literal or implied meaning of McCain's comment is and it's not what his handlers have spun so furiously throughout the day. The only person whose "integrity" is in question at this point is that of Mr. McCain.

Anonymous said...

Andy, Obama will be no different--he supports war with Iran and I simply dont believe he will end this war. He and Hillary attended the Bilderberg meeting in Chantilly, VA this past weekend and Im sure they informed him to keep the war machines running. He wont change SHIT

Anonymous said...

And wanting to stay in Iraq forever isn't even McCain's biggest problem - "we started the mess, so we should clean it up" is a point that is not completely insane (but of course the McCain way of staying in Iraq -- more bombs, more depleted uranium shells, more torture -- won't clean it up, IF you want to stay, change the direction!).

What IS totally insane is starting yet another war for no reason that will go at least as wrong as Iraq, and will probably be much more destructive on both sides (hint: Iran actually CAN defend itself, and may get help from China and Russia, both of which have mutual defense contracts with Iran).

We know where McCain stands on that: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!"

Even Obama is way too much into the "Iran is evil" thing, but with him, we at least have a CHANCE to prevent another insane and unjust war.

McCain is Bush 2.0 and must be stopped even if it means putting a largely suboptimal person in the white house.

curt maynard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Michael, despite your "essentially asked" this is just bad journoblogging. It's being linked as a direct quote. And it's a bullbiscuit interpretation by a clearly biased blogger. No real problem with that - except when you have to distort the facts to make a point.

Worth noting is that what he's talking about (and what he was talking about when he made the 100 year comment) isn't a state of perpetual war, but a military presence that includes bases that add security to a country we're not quite comfortable turning the keys over to and allow their own military machine just yet. We're still at war with north Korea. Or didn't you know?

THAT'S what he's clearly talking about. Setting a date of withdrawal is like telling your wife when you'll be finished cleaning the garage. Giving her a date only leads to the inevitable lecture when you fail to hit the mark. No way is McCain gonna set a date and have to live down "Mission Accomplished" for four years.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

If we as Americans want free elections and politians free to do and say what's in the best interest of America, then we must prove to the politians they CAN do and say things in the best interest of American without worrying about AIPAC and Is-it-real. Even the vaunted "Democracy Now" is being called on the carpet from NOT speaking loudly against foreign control of the American Government. It appears that anything is game as long as you don't point out the puppet masters.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure John McCain is just peachy with our bases in Saudi Arabia. Problem is, Bin Laden was NOT too pleased with the fact that after the first gulf war, those bases became permanent ones. He cited that as one of his reasons for 9/11.

I'm sure John McCain is "not too concerned" about that either. After all, how else can you guarantee 100 years of war, than to have a global military footprint, and crush any group that fights back against your foreign bases.

We shall reap what we sow.

Anonymous said...

"I was for Edwards, then Obama and finally Hillary, and now Obama, so I'm not a Repug. mole."

Oh, ok. So if I went on freepers and said: "I was for Huckabee, then Mccain, and finally Romney, and now Mccain, so I'm not a Dino. mole." think they believe it?

You are spewing a number of reichwing damage-control talking points. You seem to know more about what Mccain means when he speaks than Mccain himself.

Mccain is dangerously delusional. He was clearly saying if and when we leave Iraq is "not that important", and then cited examples of other cases where we STILL have bases for 50+ years. To not see this for it is, you would HAVE TO take it out of context and distort it to protect perceptions of Mcinsane...kinda like what that "I'm not a repig mole" poster is doing.

Anonymous said...

I am already sick of the racist crap that I have been getting about Obama.

Is this what we are in for?

Anonymous said...


My bias on this subject is the bias of the majority of the American people and if that is "bullbiscuit" to you, fine. Seems to me that's the attitude that will ultimately cost John McCain this election.

McCain's argument and words need clarification from him, not his surrogates. If no clarification is forthcoming, the words will continue to haunt him.

I live in a massive military town and the comment did not go over well here - on local talk radio or local political blogs. You may decide to dismiss this as the rantings of ideologues, but I can also tell you that at a military hospital/recovery center I visited yesterday the TVs were all tuned in to cable news and "not too important" was the big topic of discussion among the soldiers and thier families.

Folks, including a member of my own family, who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan understand that McCain's argument is circular and, despite their commitment to their duty, the argument is starting to wear thin.

Anonymous said...


Yes it is what we are in for, and you need to fight against it with all you have.

Call them on their lies. Point out McCain's inconsistencies ad nauseum, list McCain's unsavory associations (and they are legion) and personal failings (also legion) every time you hear/read the GOP link Obama to someone who did/said something unsavory. Remember, the best defense is the truth and a good offense.

The GOP has preached personal accountability and it's time they stood accountable for their actions.

Anonymous said...

I think we should focus on the positive and huddle behind Bush and McCain in the War on Terror and Freedom. If we pull together and put aside these wee differences of opinion we could have a prayer of being as successfull as the War on Drugs.

Anonymous said...


The US is in Iraq to control the world supply of oil? Get a clue yourself. The US government doesn't control diddly when it comes to Middle East oil.

Now if you want to argue US oil company interests, sure. But their interests do not necessarily coincide with US security. See Hunt Oil and their pact with the Kurds...

Anonymous said...

Obama's surrogate told Canada that OBama's talk about NAFTA was just campaign rhetoric. So, we really have no idea what Obama thinks or will do about anything.

But that's all moot, anyway, because before the election this administration will have us involved in a crisis situation with Iran and the country will be afraid to "change horses."

Anonymous said...

Unless our Congress, McCain and Obama quit sucking up to AIPAC, it won't make a difference who gets elected

Anonymous said...

Before Obama was the nominee, the NY TIMES did a front page article about him. It was pointed out that his MO is, as he claims, to bring two opposing sides together The unfortunate part about that is that he often "caves" to the side opposing him point of view, in order to get agreement.

He is spineless as are most Dems.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is the one!

Anonymous said...


Unsubstantiated attacks don't carry much weight.

Ask the Illinois state and local police unions if they think Obama is spineless. They and Republican elected officials in Illinois were adamantly opposed to videotaping homicide interrogations and legislation calling for such videotaping went down to defeat the first time it was introduced. But through negotiation and force of his argument, Obama won not only the support of the police unions but the legislation eventually passed the Illinois Senate unanimously. Illinois was the first state to do this kind of videotaping and the legislation is being copied and approved by other states.

He also earned unanimous bipartisan support for legislation he sponsored related to racial profiling.

Other issues he led the charge on and got bipartisan support for: ethics reform, health care legislation, welfare reform, tax credits for low income families, predatory mortgage loan lending, payday loan regulations and death penalty reforms.

A. Magnus Publius said...

Obama is NOT a viable alternative to McCain. Both are members of the global socialist aristocracy known as the Council on Foreign Relations. Both have stated their willingness to go to war to stop Iran's nuclear power program. And both put the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the United States.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who stands behind the AIPAC podium is a traitor to the U.S. Constitution, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Obama will change nothing. Republicrat, Demopublican, it doesn't matter, they're all globalists that are bent on bringing the once great United States of America to her knees so that she can be absorbed into the New World Order.

Anonymous said...

Troops are coming home with Obama or McCain. There will be no significant US presence in Iraq by 2014. Post WWII/Korea type permanent US bases are not sustainable (financially, militarily, or politically) in Iraq or MiddleEast. Iraq & Iran have many more areas of common interest and plans for a cooperative sphere than Iraq has with U.S. Our base in MiddleEast is Israel.

Anonymous said...

Weeks ago a contributor to this blog said that the media supported Obama and bashed Hillary so he would be the nominee and so McCain would win. I didn't go to work today and watched MSNBC almost all lday. I was shocked when almost to an "anchor" or "pundit" they were "knocking" Obama. Matthews made a guest appearance on Nora O'Donnel's segment and said that Obama should be higher in the polls than he is. But Matthews doesn't think the Bradley Effect has kicked in YET. Obama has to win the suburban women who have now gone to McCain, but -- get this -- if Hillary were running she would have those winning votes and would be beating McCain by a big margin. (Suddenly Hillary has the suburb women and not the working women)Then he went on about all the hard work Obama has to do and they both wondered if he could do it.

Then later Rep. Kay Bailey Hutchinson came on defending McCain's "not too important" about the troops. and explained McCain was right and the Americanpeople would realize that. Nora said as the interview ended, "I agree."

The press destroyed Gore's and Kerry's chances and now are they starting on Obama? What are the forces behind this treachery? Is it a danger that large powerful corporations run the news media?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you're still going to get more wars. There's no difference between McCain and Obama. Both are insane, and neither has a plan. Obama talks a better game and likes to talk about change, but never says what those changes are. McInsane lives in an alternate universe. There's certainly no difference between the parties. They only exist to point the finger at the other. What Clinton did in office caught up with Bush and what Bush is doing will catch up with whoever's next. Congress are the ones in control, the president is just a figure and can chose to veto things, which congress can still over ride. If you want to blame someone, blame congress. Thank Pelosi for freezing Kucinich's 35 articles of impeachment against Bush. That's how much change you can expect from a different political party. They all want the same things.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the immaturity of 90% of the commentors to this article is amazing... Okay, Obama is no progressive saint, but to say that there's no difference between he or McCain is F-ing ludicrous. Democrats and everyone else who gives a shit about this country need to unite to defeat McCain and change the course we've been on, which is to say the path to endless war. Plus, with bigger majorities in both chambers our domestic policy (taxes, health care, education, social services) will actually begin to HELP people, we will get more judges who base their opinions on things like the LAW and the CONSTITUTION (we're only one Supreme Court Justice away from a Reich-wing majority, and thus goodbye, America- forever), we can put people in charge of federal agencies who have the capacity to do their jobs, scientists can be free to write their papers without oil-company hacks editing them to death, and then there's the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT! Oh, I could go on, but really- how can you say there's NO DIFFERENCE?! McCain equals more war, more torture, more tax-cuts for the rich, more domestic spying, more corruption, waste, fraud, abuse...Blackburton, USA!

Anonymous said...

surely you all know what the male sexists have said for years:

"Put a bag over their heads and there's no difference."

Isn't that "cute" and "funny" when said about male presidential candidates? How does it make you feel?