Sunday, May 04, 2008

We'll Stay Until We Can Stay In Peace

John McCain has been complaining about Democrats making hay over his "100 years in Iraq" comment. He says that they're implying he wants the war to continue for 100 years, while he claims that he's merely saying we could stay in Iraq indefinitely once peace has been achieved. Howard Dean has responded that McCain's missing the point -- Americans oppose staying in Iraq in any capacity 100 days from now, much less 100 years, and that's what gives their ads punch. This point is buttressed by the fact that the ads never use the word "war", but I'll certainly concede that the ads are playing on the ambiguity to achieve maximum effect.

But apropos the controversy, Hendrik Hertzberg, who gave the quote its (extended) context at the time it was spoken, I think nails the real problem for McCain's protestations of innocence over "100 years":
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.

This is not a plan most Americans are comfortable with. So why shouldn't the Democrats make hay out of it?

Via Josh Marshall

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