McCain: Iraq timetable 'not too important': The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Campaign: McCain was 'straight-talking.' Democrats: McCain 'out of touch.'

Posted June 11, 2008 1:45 PM

The Swamp

See John McCain on the economy and gas prices, and on Iraq, toward the end of the interview above aired by NBC Today.


by Mark Silva

Sen. John McCain's campaign and allies rallied to the defense of McCain's televised comment today that an estimate for American troop withdrawals from Iraq is "not too important,'' and Democrats pounced on the Republican for displaying what they want to portray as little concern for the forces serving there.

"Appearing on NBC's Today show, McCain was asked if he has an estimate for when U.S. troops might leave Iraq.

"No, but that's not too important," McCain replied. "What's important is casualties in Iraq... Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany. That's all fine. American casualties, and the ability to withdraw. We will be able to withdraw. ... But the key to it is we don't want any more Americans in harm's way."

Among the first to seize on the comment: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who said: "McCain's statement today that withdrawing troops doesn't matter is a crystal-clear indicator that he just doesn't get the grave national-security consequences of staying the course.... We need a smart change in strategy to make America more secure, not a commitment to indefinitely keep our troops in an intractable civil war."

Sen Joseph Biden (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said: "Senator McCain's comment is evidence that he is totally out of touch with the needs of our troops and the national security needs of our nation. It think many of our brave soldiers and their families would disagree that it's not too important when they come home.''

The McCain campaign enlisted two senators of its own - Sens. Joseph Lieberman, (I-Conn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) for rapid response.

"To put it mildly, I'm disappointed by these reflexive attacks on what Sen. McCain said this morning on the Today show,'' Lieberman said in a campaign conference call with reporters. "It's very obvious what John McCain is saying, and it's consistent with what he's said along the way.''

Lieberman called attacks on McCain from Sen. Barack Obama's allies "another partisan attempt to distort John McCain's words, to distract the American people from the fact that John McCain has been... right about the surge in Iraq and Barack Obama has been consistently wrong.

"Sen. McCain is saying, answering a question of what his estimate is, based on the success of the surge,'' Lieberman said. "He says he doesn't have the estimate because he's expecting it from Gen. Petraeus in July, but the most important thing to him is that because of the success of the surge American casualties are down... Most important to him is that American troops will come home with honor, which is what they want.

"The obvious fact is that, more than any American, Sen. McCain knows the sacrifices that our men and women make in uniform... from his own service and incarceration, from his eight visits to Iraq... and of course the fact that his son was deployed in Iraq,'' Lieberman said. "John McCain has always said that he wants to see our troops succeed in Iraq'' and come home based on the advice of commanders of the ground, not "some artificial timeline'' invented by politicians in Washington.

Thune called the criticism of McCain "a deliberate distortion... The Democrats are trying to blow this up as an issue because they don't want to talk about the successes of the surge... It's been 885 days since Sen. Obama has visited Iraq and he hasn't had a meeting with Gen. Petraeus....'' And to suggest that McCain doesn't understand the sacrifices our troops are making, Thune said, "is just absurd.''

"To put it in a basketball term,'' Thune said, "this is a head-fake and I think what people need to do is keep their eyes on the ball.''

Randy Scheunemann, director of foreign policy for the McCain campaign, turned the criticism on the Obama campaign: "Clearly, the Obama campaign is playing the cynical politics of the past, and they want to divert attention from the success of the strategy in Iraq and that they are so wedded to defeat.

"The question was, do you now have a better estimate of when American troops can come home, and he said no, that's not too important,'' Scheunemann said. "The key is that we don't want any more Americans in harm's way... The problem is, if you start constructing your remarks to defend against people who will distort them, you will not be the straight talker that John McCain is... He was straight-talking here.''
....''

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Comments

John McBush just doesn't get it when it comes to economics.


If you spend money, then you don't have it any more. If you spend money that you don't have, then you are in debt. John McBush is just the same as W, a pampered, coddled son of a well-connected father, who apparently indulged him and helped him along no matter what his qualifications are or aren't, and now we are being asked to do the same.


Been there, done that, found it a really horrible experience, thanks anyhow, McBush.


What is the uproar? We have been in Korea for nearly 60 years now. We've been in Europe for nearly 70 years now.
More hysteria from the media, Democrats and the Left.


Tell that, to the heroes, that will be brought home in a casket or on a stretcher, that the Ridiculous Republicans try to hide from our nation !! Senator " Questionable Conduct " McCain , being a former POW, should have shown more respect for our nation and our troops, especially those in harm's way. This race to the White House is making him look extremely bad !! He's giving the Ridiculous Republicans a worse name, than they already have !!
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME, ALIVE AND WHOLE. NOW.


what was the point of this post? to regurgitate the McCain Campaign's talking points? Seems kind of lazy to just print their press release as news.


John McBush still doesn't get it, just because there are fewer of our soldiers dying (but still far too many) than there were 8 or 9 months ago, he thinks everything is hunky-dory. McBush is completely oblivious to the horrible effect these multiple deployments have on the soldiers and their families. He's completely oblivious to the national security implications of having the bulk of our combat troops engaged in Iraq. And he's completely oblivious to the American people's desire to be out of this pointless war. This oblivion marks his full entry into the fantasy video-game world of the Bush administration.

If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.


McBush keeps talking about less soldiers dying but last week we lost 14 young men and women. Two per day= over 700 in a year.
Iraq will never be like Korea, Germany or Japan. When McCain or other empire builders start talking like this, it is time to shut them down. That is the reason this current debate on the SOFA with the Iraqi parliament is so important. The mentality of the neocons must change or they need to be placed on trial for crimes of war.


"What is the uproar? We have been in Korea for nearly 60 years now. We've been in Europe for nearly 70 years now.
More hysteria from the media, Democrats and the Left.

Posted by: Green Trees | June 11, 2008 2:13 PM"


What's the uproar? The uproar is that our troops continue to be killed in a situation that they can't solve by military means. The uproar is that our presence in Iraq, far from making us safer from terrorism, is making us LESS safe from terrorist attack and is actually serving as a focus for recruitment of terrorists. The uproar is that our presence in Iraq is making it harder for governments in the Middle East who are relatively pro-America and pro-Democracy to lead their people along paths that favor American/"Western" interests. Simultaneously, governments that are NOT "pro-American" are gaining momentum by pointing to our "occupation" there, as well as citing (Muslim) citizens of that region who are caught in violence daily. The uproar is that our presence is tarnishing our image throughout the world. The uproar is that the people who got us into this situation never had a decent plan for what to do once we got there, AND allowed countless opportunities to make the situation more workable slip through their fingers, because they refused to look at reality or to allow reality to get in the way of their ideology. The uproar is that the argument to go to Iraq in the first place was based as much on lies as on facts, and then the facts were cherry-picked to fit the desired outcome. The uproar is that our leaders refused to listen to any opposing voice for five years, and that McCain doesn't appear to be taking any big steps to change that.



If we were seeing the level of casualties we've seen in Korea once hostilities stopped, or in Europe once hostitilites stopped, I can't imagine anyone having objection to standing a tour of duty in Iraq, or to seeing their loved ones go to serve there. Unfortunately, OUR SOLDIERS DO SEEM TO BE SUFFERING CASUALTY in that region. If you or the leaders of this country can come up with a way for a tour of duty in Iraq to be the exact equal of a tour of duty in Europe or Korea, I'd pretty much guarantee that the uproar will go away, and I'd start agreeing with you that anyone who was upset about it was a tad bit hysterical. Right now? Not so much.


Green Tree, Have you ever served overseas and been separated from your family for an extended period, even in a safe place like Germany? How many nations on earth are we going to keep unending large scale military presences in? How big is our empire going to be?

McCain thinks those questions are "No big deal" as do you.


Green tree is just a mole in a hole so dont even bother responding to him guys. We all know what moles look like and what they do right? They sneak around during the night like blind rats. Sound familiar?


If a Democrat (John Kerry) had said that the media would be in an uproar, demanding an apology. They'd hound him for weeks upon weeks until he apologized.

Let's see how fast they can move on to a new subject, like they did when McCain embarassed himself and this country by saying Iran is training Al Qaeda.


Actually ol John had predicted that the Iraqi's would welcome out troops and that the whole thing would be over in six months. He's continued to be wrong and now he says that we shouldn't "surrender" by leaving without ever saying to whom he thinks we would be surrendering. Apparently in McCain's dream world, the Iraqi's will quit shooting at and bombing our troops any day now and we will eat in their restaurants and date their women as we have in Germany and Korea. It takes an incredible dufus to not be able to see the difference between Germany and Iraq.


A fossil we can believe in!!!


Green tree is just a mole in a hole so dont even bother responding to him guys. We all know what moles look like and what they do right? They sneak around during the night like blind rats. Sound familiar?

Posted by: Scot S. Blakeley | June 11, 2008 3:35 PM

Scot- I am sure green tree can respond for himself- but I have to ask you.. why post here if you only expect to hear opinions that mirror yours? And- why do you feel like you need others ( "...so don’t even bother responding to him guys...") to help you?

Given your usual ideology based opinions, I understand why you are frustrated by opinions that typically use fact, reason, logic as a base... you really haven’t much to say for yourself do you?

To the point of the article- not sure how anyone would expect McCain to answer differently- the question was posed with the full knowledge that McCain will not commit to any timetable for withdrawal- especially now. It was a leading question that has been answered by McCain many times- this is nothing new, not to mention really lazy journalism..


Green Tree, Have you ever served overseas and been separated from your family for an extended period, even in a safe place like Germany? How many nations on earth are we going to keep unending large scale military presences in? How big is our empire going to be?

McCain thinks those questions are "No big deal" as do you.

Posted by: JT | June 11, 2008 3:16 PM

JT- good point, I completely agree that stop being the military umbrella for the Europe and SE Asia- we need to pull our troops out of Germany, Japan and S Korea- what is the Messiahs plan for this?



Intrusion - when will our "illustrious" politicians like McCain and others (neocons) stop intruding on the business of other nations. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 - we know that, yet Bush/Cheney concocted a way to invade that country for ill-gotten gains. Who paid the price of their plan - our brave soldiers and the Iraqi people. Until McCain admits that Iraq is not to be part of the American Empire, our soldiers will be the pawns in this tragedy.

As for Lieberman - his interests are not America's interests but that of his real "motherland." Guess which one?


To the point of the article- not sure how anyone would expect McCain to answer differently- the question was posed with the full knowledge that McCain will not commit to any timetable for withdrawal- especially now. It was a leading question that has been answered by McCain many times- this is nothing new, not to mention really lazy journalism..


Posted by: heartburn | June 11, 2008 3:53 PM


Yes Psycho-boy, it's all the media's fault that poor John McBush got it so wrong again, isn't it?


As long as US troops are in Iraq, Iraqi society will be violent and unstable because the Iraqi people don't want to be occupied by a foreign army. Does McCain care anything at all for the Iraqi children, women and men killed because of our country's invasion of a country that did not threaten us in any way? I think we all know the answer to that question.


Heatburn, you,re on the other side of the mole hole. I have my opinion as does everyone else but when peopl elike you and Green tree falsify facts with right wing rhetoric what other response do you expect?
Also, I dont need anone else's opinion on anything I have free will of my own. I was just suggesting that people not bother responding to stupid rationalizations such as yours and greenTrees. So, go back to your mole hole and prepare to jump ship buddy because your Old Man McCain aint gonna win!


JT- good point, I completely agree that stop being the military umbrella for the Europe and SE Asia- we need to pull our troops out of Germany, Japan and S Korea- what is the Messiahs plan for this?
Posted by: heartburn | June 11, 2008 3:59 PM


You already know Obama's plan, quit acting like you don't.
It's wonderful to have a goal like McCain's to make our troops secure, but it still costs $3 billion per week (mostly borrowed from China and Saudi Arabia) but we (Obama) sure can spend that money domestically and it will help more people directly than the big robber barons like KBR, Halliburton and Blackwater. Those companies mostly hire non-Americans, pay them near nothing, charge exorbitant rates and pocket the profits.


This guy doesn't have a clue. He is four more years of failed Bush ploicy! Obama 2008


GoBama GoBama Go!


For McCain, evidently the lives of American troops as well as the lives of innocent civilians in Iraq are not too important to you.

John, just try to tell their families that the lives of those whom you and your predecessor are sacrificing every day are not important.

Yes, we know your name, John. We read about you often enough. But you know what, John, your comment shows that you are not very important at all. No, not important indeed.

So, people should not vote for you.

Why?

With that attitude, you are not really important enough to be President of the United States.

: - (


McCain envisions Iraq as another Korea. Now that is crazy talk, not straight talk!


I personally think that McCain shows that commercial about his grandfather and his own service to try to tell us that that's what we are SUPPOSED TO DO...after all, they did it!!! Never mind that the whole thing was AN INVASION...THAT'S ALL THE OLD FART KNOWS IS WAR!!!!!!!


"To the point of the article- not sure how anyone would expect McCain to answer differently- the question was posed with the full knowledge that McCain will not commit to any timetable for withdrawal- especially now. It was a leading question that has been answered by McCain many times- this is nothing new, not to mention really lazy journalism..


Posted by: heartburn | June 11, 2008 3:53 PM"


Not true, pre-puke. McCain could have said "I can't commit to a timetable, but I want them out as soon as possible." What he chose instead made it sound like he was confused and detached.


The "UPROAR" is that what we did to Iraq is Terrorism which is defined as "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence
against people or property to coerce or intimidate governments or
societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological
objectives"

What bush is trying to do is invoke democracy on them which is not right. It is immoral and unjust to shove OUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT down the throats of those by gunpoint. Their government wasn't perfect but who are we to invade them just to make them "like us"? We are not seen as liberators. We are seen as terrorists. Let them have a dictatorship. They dont need us interfering and taking responsibility for THEIR lives.


I think McCain's political future is "not too important" for America.


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