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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 04/ 2/2008

McCain's '100-year war'

By Michael Dobbs


Heading to Iraq, March 17, 2008

"You know, John McCain wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years."

--Sen. Barack Obama, Lancaster, PA, Town Hall meeting, March 31, 2008.

The charge that John McCain wants to wage a "100-year war" in Iraq has become a recurring theme of the Obama campaign. The candidate has made the claim several times on the campaign trail, as has Susan Rice, one of his top foreign policy advisers. McCain has never talked about wanting a 100-year war in Iraq. But he has talked about a prolonged U.S. military presence in Iraq, similar to the stationing of U.S. troops in Germany after World War II or in Korea after the Korean war.

The Facts

Take a look at what McCain actually said in Derry, N.H., back in January. Cutting off a questioner who talked about the Bush administration's willingness to keep troops in Iraq for 50 years, McCain said "Make it a hundred." He then mentioned that U.S. troops had been in Germany for 60 years and in Korea for 50 years, and added, "That's fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."

Democrats seized on McCain's remarks. At one time or another, both Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have said that the presumptive Republican nominee is willing to fight a 100-year war in Iraq. When challenged about this claim on Monday, Obama referred journalists to the YouTube version of the Derry Townhall meeting. But the YouTube clip does not back up his case.

Whether the war in Iraq is actually winnable is a separate question. But there is a difference between fighting a war and occupying a country. World War II lasted for nearly six years (3 1/2 years in the case of the U.S.), but there is still a significant U.S. troop presence in Germany.

Actually, McCain has not been entirely consistent on his thoughts about a long-term U.S. military occupation of Iraq. Interviewed on the Charlie Rose show last November, he rejected the Korea/Germany analogy.

ROSE: Do you think that this -- Korea, South Korea is an analogy of where Iraq might be, not in terms of their economic success but in terms of an American presence over the next, say, 20, 25 years, that we will have a significant amount of troops there?
MCCAIN: I don't think so.
ROSE: Even if there are no casualties?
MCCAIN: No. But I can see an American presence for a while. But eventually I think because of the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspects of it that America eventually withdraws.

UPDATE Thursday 1:15 P.M.

McCain aide Mark Salter disputes my use of the term "occupation" to describe the U.S. military presence in Korea and Germany and, by extension, what the senator has in mind for Iraq. I think he has a point. An occupation carries a connotation of rule by the occupying power, and lack of full sovereignty on the part of the occupied. The formal U.S. military occupation of Germany ended in 1949, even though U.S. troops remained in the country. (Of course, there are gradations of "occupation." The U.S. continued to exercise great influence in West Germany, even after 1949.) Meanwhile Tom O'Hare, a social studies teacher at Stone Ridge school in Bethesda, called me to point out that World War II lasted three years nine months in the case of the U.S. (December 1941 to August 1945) rather than 3 1/2 years as I wrote. I stand corrected.

The Pinocchio Test

A more honest line of attack for the Democrats against McCain would be his support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, whether or not he has a clear strategy for winning the war, and the feasibility of a long-term occupation of a Muslim country by the United States. Instead of attacking him on these grounds, they have twisted his words, by claiming that he "wants" to fight a 100-year war.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | April 2, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama, Candidate Watch, Iraq  
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Comments

why does the media keep covering up and defending McCain?

Posted by: miked | April 2, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats can't attack McCain for authorizing the invasion, only Obama can. Hillary Clinton wasn't an experienced enough senator to know that she really should have read the national intelligence estimate before voting for war, or something like that. Or maybe she was for it before she was against it?

Posted by: saladdays | April 2, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, there's currently no realistic scenario in which we have troops in Iraq and aren't at war. It's just the nature of the political situation with Iraq and the surrounding countries. As you stated, even John McCain has previously acknowledged this to at least some extent. So, the spin of 100 years may be hyperbole, but it isn't really dishonest.

Posted by: Justin | April 2, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I think it's a reasonable conclusion from McCain's statements that he would be willing to continue the war in Iraq for as long as it takes, even if that was 100 years. I know he would prefer to see US presence similar to what we've had in Korea, Germany, or Japan. But the question is, how do we get there? McCain proposes no clear path, other than continuing to do what we've been doing. And he would clearly prefer to do that than admit defeat. So, aside from wishful thinking about how Iraq will turn into a peaceful, unified, democratic society, he's really proposing an indefinite occupation, with US troops continuing to die.

Posted by: Jon Webb | April 2, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I guess the Fact Checker has expanded his role to giving political advice to Democrats.

Will we also hear from the Fact Checker on how Republicans can go after Obama? Of course not.

Posted by: Mike | April 2, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Keep defending McMaverick's nonstop BS. I also like how you have the democrats flip flops as the feature for the past two months (upper left corner). How about at least mentioning some of McCains such as the Bush tax cuts, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, judges and Roe v. Wade, ethanol, and not least of all, torture. I would also like to know what was the story behind the Keating 5.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=3&entry_id=13035

Posted by: Dobbs is a hack | April 2, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs-
Do you affiliate yourself with one of the major political parties? I think that's a fair question for someone who assumes the mantle of the final arbiter of truth.

Posted by: Jim | April 2, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Just why would the U.S. want to keep troops in Iraq if they were not going to engage those troops in activities which might bring harm or death(as required by Sen. McCain) to some of them. It would seem pretty stupid to tie up troops if they don't engage in activities for which they were trained.

Posted by: a.wells | April 2, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

When you say "Make it a hundred", it is presumed you mean it, just like Bush's famous, "Bring 'em on" pronouncement. Making these sorts of statements shows a machismo that will, in truth, lead to more war. Excusing them with lame rationalizations is just another tired example of phony "fair and balanced" reporting.

Posted by: crawfam | April 2, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

wow. look at the toadies run to defend st john, their beloved prince. how fortunate for st john that he doesn't have to worry about the press picking up and propelling out of context statements or just outright lies like has been done to obama and clinton. instead, they take pains to knock them down.

careful not to get that bbq sauce on you, bubs. it leaves a nasty stain.

Posted by: linda | April 2, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Here's a fact you can count on: McCain will be W all over again. This would be a seamless, possibly even more radical, extension of the current administration.
Hopefully the voters are not that stupid. BUT - You guys keep beating the drum for this guy.
YOU LOVE HIM and Don't try to hide it. YOU CAN ALL ROT IN NEOCON HELL.

Posted by: Tom | April 2, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hold on, folks. Let's start with the basic statement that Obama made: "You know, John McCain wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years." Then let's look at the actual quotation by McCain: "Make it a hundred [...] That's fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed." Comparing these two statements makes it pretty clear that Obama's statement is factually inaccurate. And even if the second part of McCain's answer (the "as long as Americans are not harmed or wounded or killed") is not possible it does not make Obama's statement true. That McCain wishes to continue staying in Iraq for the foreseeable future is beyond question, but to go off the hyperbolic deep-end, as both Obama and Clinton have, is incorrect and should be called out.

Posted by: whurley | April 2, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Obama's attack against McCain paints him with the same brush his detractors are accused of using against him.

Obama's politics of hope is slowly being eroded by the tirades of Rev. Wright, Rev. Moss & slanting the gist of what McCain actually said & meant.

Another gutter ball for Barack.

Posted by: dennis dz. | April 2, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

This blog shows why we cannot vote for McCain. First he says he's quite happy to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years, a la Japan or Korea, and then he says he is really not for keeping troops in Iraq a la Japan and Korea. So which is it? What does he mean? What is his plan? What is his vision?
Folks, he's the past, not the future.

Posted by: jane | April 2, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

What's the maximum number of Pinocchios? Because Obama has earned it for this distortion of McCain's remark. I'm no McCain toady and I won't vote for him, but facts are facts.

McCain was proposing a long-term US presence in Iraq because he sees it as strategically important to be in that area of the world. He clearly refuted the idea of long-term fighting by the US in Iraq. He clearly drew the comparison with Germany and Korea. Yet readers are twisting his words, saying that being in Iraq is equivalent to fighting in Iraq, due to the "situation" there. They'll twist anything to make Obama come out as truthful. Well, we're still in Kuwait. We're still in Saudi Arabia. Are we at war, or engaged in hostilities there? No.

I'm a liberal opposed to the war, and I want our troops out. I think "4 thousand, 4 what?" is an apt question. But I also cannot stand politicians outright lying when depicting their opponents. Shame on Obama. Repeat a lie enough and it becomes truth, eh, Barrack?

Posted by: Rob | April 2, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

McCain is either a liar or he is incompetent when it comes to facts on Iraq. He has proven it over and over. He said we should be in Iraq for 100 years. Why defend that? Why try to cover for him? I award you the max number of Pinocchios for trying to defend him on the indefensable.

Posted by: Greg in LA | April 2, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Sure looks like a four-noser to me. Since when does mis-construing a military presence in a country for fighting a war there equal an "exaggeration"?

Posted by: mf tillman | April 2, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Ooooo, after reading a few of the comments it looks like it is time to kill the messenger. Some people hate having their conclusions challenged and debunked. Rather than rethink their approach and find a more valid method of attack they prefer to hang onto a weak, but favored, idea. To quote the Bard out of context, "Lord, what fools these mortals be."

Posted by: Grognard | April 2, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Do the American people want a 100 year war in Iraq, yet alone another 10 years? It does not appear so. Plus. McCain is losing big-time on the Internet against either Hillary or Barack;

Obama vs Clinton vs McCain -
a Web Comparison:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=76

Posted by: Dave | April 2, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Just Wow. GOP, for as much pure BS as you have dished out over the last 8 years, you sure squeal when the tables are turned. Republicans spent much of 2000-2004 flinging pure poo at democrats. Al Gore invented the internet-John Kerry swiftboated-Max Cleeland lost 3 limbs in Vietnam-linked to Saddam and Osama. Now, When McCain is held to his OWN WORDS you all scream UNFAIR! That's delicious. How does it feel GOP?!?! You will be obesolete by nov. 4th, and I wont feel a bit sad!!! Shut up and TAKE IT!

Posted by: paulmer9 | April 2, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The "fact checker" has its facts wrong on this one. Iraq is not Japan or Korea, and we all know it. It's more like the French occupation of Algeria, and we all know how that went. If we're going to be in Iraq for 100 years, which is exactly what McCain said, then we ought to know that it's going to be 100 years of occupation.

Posted by: detroitred | April 2, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

What I meant was that I would keep troops in Iraq for 100 years, after the first 100 years it will take for the fighting and dying stops. I am only willing to spend a $trillion a year (the hell with our economy - "let them eat cake").

I remember Pearl Harbor like it was yesterday - those damn Islomofacistas, or something like that ........ We need to party like it was 1941.

I love war sooooo much! I love it like I love Joe Lieberman, soooo much.

Posted by: Johnny Mac | April 2, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Dave Said:

"Plus. McCain is losing big-time on the Internet against either Hillary or Barack;"

Well, on the Internet, Ron Paul can spank all of them. That's a pretty poor method of polling.

My only problem with the 2 Pinocchio rating is that Obama and Clinton have had this pointed out to them, yet Obama continues to misrepresent McCain's position. While politically expedient, that does rise to the level of deliberate distortion.

Posted by: Phil | April 2, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The "100 year war" confusion was created by Republicans. They're trying to justify their utter lack of control over events on the ground, and are also trying to dodge their accountability for getting the U.S. mired in an endless war. They want it both ways: A nebulous goal of "victory" coupled with a lack of any exit strategy. They deserve to have the "100 year war" claim placed upon them.

Posted by: CT | April 2, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with your analysis. McCain demonstrated a dangerous hubris. Without thought to the cost of 100 years of occupation of a country where a large part of the population is hostile to their country being occupied (note the Ottoman and British experience in Mesopotamia), McCain cavalierly cut off an honest question about the length of occupation with "make it a hundred." Occupying Iraq means perpetual war- there has not been a day when young Iraqi men have been willing to attack American solders- whom most see as foreign occupiers of their country. Once again the Post fails the test of reality and not asking McCain the hard questions. McCain spoke in contradictions (once again demonstrating his ignorance of Iraqi history)- foreign occupation without violence is an impossibility. Why is it hard for McCain and those at the Post to understand that Iraqis are patriotic also? That they will resist occupation with their lives if required. McCain deserves the criticism that he is getting for his dangerous arrogant "make it a hundred years."

Posted by: andrew | April 2, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I wish Ron Paul could somehow pull it all off, to be fair. We would likely be out of Iraq the day he took office.

Posted by: Dave | April 2, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

McCain may not want 100 years of war in Iraq, but if we stay in Iraq for 100 years, that's what we'll get.

American troop presence is a lightning rod for extremists like no other. McCain is right that you can't compare Iraq to South Korea and Germany, but then he's caught between the horns of the dilemma -- He refuses to leave Iraq until 'victory' is achieved but has the savvy (unlike W) to recognize that as long as we're there, people will be trying to kill us. Take a look at Palestine if you doubt their tenacity; killing an extremist makes a extremist of at least 1 of his brothers or cousins.

So 'victory' seems to be, ironically enough, a goal that can only be achieved by the Iraqi people, *after* we've withdrawn combat troops. So why wont we let this happen? Because we've already invested so much money into the real goal, U.S. influence over the region, that we're loathe to actually put the power in the hands of the Iraqis.

Posted by: Metavosk | April 2, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Another Obama lie
He's disgusting

Posted by: newagent99 | April 2, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Look. If you are going to do some serious fact checking on McCain, thsi 100 year comment is not the one to do it on. McCain is using the same tactics of conflation, distraction and outright deceit that both Bush and Cheney have used in their Iraq commentary.

McCain insists that it would be a disaster if America "loses" in Iraq. Yet, top level military officials themselves say that there is no military victory to be had there. So why the reluyctance on your part to fact check McCain on this entire phony scenario of a military victory in Iraq?

And look. You can parse, massage, finesse a fact to the point that it becomes meaningless. McCain said that it would be fine with him if we were there 50 or 100 years as long as no troops are dying. Well, what sort of message that does that send to the world? And why do none of you ever question the wisdom of why we keep all of these military bases and our troops in all of the far flung places? Isn't that just keep all of these other regions on the globe and their own nations from taking up their own burdens on defending their countries.

Quite honestly, I don't have a lot of respect for media fact checkers. They invariably end up massaging every fact to the ends of those powerfula and wealth interests who want to maintain the status quo. Just like you are doing here. McCain represents the status quo. And you in this media spin and fact checking business love the status quo just as it is.

Posted by: Jaxas | April 2, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

One other point needs to be made: The message is that we need to keep troops there to keep the violence down. Thus, if you use that equation as a foreign policy, we are going to be all over the world at huge costs to us to act as nothing more than a global police force while other nations are free to spend their wealtyh on their own economies.

That is one fact you don't seem to be interested in. How long is the American taxpayer going to be burdened with being a police force for the rest of the world while our own economy tanks?

Posted by: Jaxas | April 2, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Fact: McCain said in response to staying in Iraq for 50 years, "Make it a hundred." This reporter suggests this does not imply that time would be spent in a war. But he fails to mention that it doesn't imply he is willing to stay in there for a 100 years.

McCain brought up how Americans are still in Germany and South Korea, but that doesn't mean that it would be the same type of peaceful occupation in Iraq.

First the US does not need to be in Germany at all, it does so for strategic reasons. It's purpose is really not to occupy rather to have a global strategy. However for 5 years the US has had to stay in Iraq, with no end in sight. Compared to it's less then a year of fighting inside the nation of Germany and strictly nominal help in a few years to follow.

Second, McCain brings up the long stay in South Korea, the reporter here again suggests that this just another example of peaceful occupation. The reporter fails to note that legally the two Koreas are still at war and without the US in South Korea tensions could easily get worse. There may be a conditional peace between the two Koreas but it is not a lasting peace and that situation is not something to be aimed for.

The Iraq war has already lasted longer then the Korean war and the US involvement in WW2.

Posted by: scott ross | April 2, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Given that presidents serve a maximum of two 4 year terms; and that McCain is 72 years-old, I don't think anyone seriously believed in his ability to actually carry out a 100 year pledge.

Anyone who listens to McCain enough knows that he likes to speak in hyperbole. Cut through the hyperbole and he still is effectivelly saying he wants to stay the course through his term. There will be no deviation between McCain's administration and 8 years of Bush. Both guys love massive deficits, tax-cutting and spending, and ideological foreign policy.

McCain after all did seek the endorsement of pastor Hagee -- a guy who longs for Armagedon and the rapture in our lifetime (and who does his part to advance that agenda in the Middle East).

Four years of McCain after 8 years of Bush and the negative effects of a bone-headed war and $15 trillion of debt probably will impact the U.S. for the next 100 years -- it will take a couple generations at least to dig out from under the stunningly incompetent, irresponsible, unaccountable, and immoral misgovernance of Bush Republicanism.

Posted by: JP2 | April 2, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

McCain is being given a total pass on his fantastically unrealistic premise.

To my knowledge, no American soldiers were ever killed in post-war Germany and Japan while hundreds are dying every year in Iraq. To blithely imagine a future so disconnected from reality is the big lie.

That's what the dems are calling McCain out on: he shouldn't be allowed to campaign on the rosiest possible scenario just because it represents the world he would like to live in.

That's how we got into this mess.

Posted by: Keith Hooker | April 2, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

McCain's position is utter nonsense. If Iraq was like South Korea we could remain there 100 years. And if the moon were made of cheese we could eat it. For a century.

But it's worse than that. What is McCain's stated reason for this 100 year occupation?

"...maintain a presence in a vital part of the world where AlQaida is training people"

Iraq is South Korea, but AlQaida is training people there. And AlQuaida is going to be there for another 100 years. But Americans are not going to be hurt or killed.

It's complete drivel. Saying he wants to continue the war for 100 years gives McCain too much credit for coherence.

Posted by: HeavyJ | April 2, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

McCain may not want 100 years of war in Iraq, but if we stay in Iraq for 100 years, that's what we'll get.
___________________________________________

Israel has occupied the West Bank for over 40 years and the Palestinians do not have easy access to weapons like the Iraqis do.

How peaceful has it been for the Israelis over the past 40 years in the West Bank?

For all his "experience" in foreign affairs, McCain has no judgment at all about the future of Iraq. He was dead wrong in 2003 when he told our NATO allies that Saddam had WMDs, missiles and a nuke program that threatened the world.

Now he makes ludicrous statements about occupying a Muslim country against the will of the people for 100 years. When Obama calls him out, Obama is the liar. Right!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

mf tillman posts:

"Sure looks like a four-noser to me. Since when does mis-construing a military presence in a country for fighting a war there equal an "exaggeration"? "

When the "defense" statement's a crock? When common sense and the last 5 years demonstrate to anyone willing to actually pay attention make it clear that there's no way for US troops to be occupying Iraq (that is what it is, an occupation) without being in the line of fire?

Tell us, how many US troops have been killed or wounded in action or in support activities in Japan and/or Korea in the last 50 years? How many would you expect to be killed/wounded in the next 5 years in Iraq? Would you be willing to make that comparison and still consider McCain's stuttering to be accurate?

Either McCain is totally clueless, deliberately downplaying reality or flat out misstating what he knows to be the facts. Rationalizing his statement doesn't change the facts that everyone knows that Iraq isn't going to become another Japan or Korea in terms of stability and non-risk to US troops for the foreseeable future - so Obama's take is a hell of a lot more accurate than the McCain defenders want to admit.

Posted by: jk5432 | April 2, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing that you debunk the democrats for holding him responsible for what he said, where were you when Bush, Karl Rove and GOP machine twisted J. Kerry when he was talking to student about "if you dont go to school you end up in Iraq" you rember that.
Or where were you in 2002/2003 before the Iraq WAR, When Bush Chenney and all GOP were claiming the WMD the alluminium tubes.

Posted by: Tony | April 2, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but you when have title like "Fact Checker", you should stick to facts. In this case, you are just putting a different spin on McCain's remarks than Obama did.

Posted by: spidey103 | April 2, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Dobbs is accepting McCain's dubious assumption that the situation in Iraq will eventually resemble that of West Germany or South Korea, where U.S. forces were stationed primarily as a deterrent to outside aggression. In Iraq, in contrast, the U.S. post-invasion occupation force is struggling to control internal ethnic-religious strife and a power struggle among several rival factions. As the experience of the past five years has demonstrated, these are deep-rooted, historical problems that a foreign occupying force cannot solve. To make matters worse, unlike West Germany or South Korea, where our ongoing presence was welcomed, a recent poll conducted by the UK's Channel 4 shows that two-thirds of the Iraqi population wants U.S. forces to leave their country. (http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iMFqEqfF3-aS5X1kohv6ulyQdQ-Q) If our troops are in Iraq for 50 or 100 years, they're going to be spending that time fighting and dying.

Posted by: Patrick, Takoma Park MD | April 2, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I think the Fact Checker got it wrong on this one.

While it may be technically correct that McCain never said he wanted to continue a shooting war in Iraq for 100 years, the cultural reality is that if the U.S. were to maintain an occupying force of American soldiers in Iraq it will be greeted with extreme hostility. Put simply, U.S. casualties will continue to mount as long as we have a military presence in the region.

This is what Obama rightly criticized McCain for and McCain and his apologists are in error to defend U.S. policy on this point. Whether we stay in Iraq one more year or 100 more years, there will continue to be loss of American lives in pursuit of a military solution that will be resolved only by diplomatic means.

Obama is right, McCain is wrong. The choice is up to America.

Posted by: dee | April 2, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Fact checking with red-tinted-glasses!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree 100% Mr Fact Checker. Nice job!

BTW, in case it isn't obvious it's super-hypocritical for the dems to attack the mac like this and then turn around and make claims that they are seeking to elevate the dialog (IOW, not politics as usual).

More like this and we'll find ourselves right back where we started... Swift-boating ourselves over the falls.

Posted by: The Truth | April 2, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

This ain't Korea or Germany. IN Iraq it is the American occupation that keeps the attacks coming. Since McCain would like to keep troops there for 100 years, that would mean 100 years of attacks on American troops. He can't have it both ways.

The "Fact-Checker" merits his four Pinocchio's today.

Posted by: LeRiverend | April 2, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"You know, John McCain wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years."

--Sen. Barack Obama, Lancaster, PA, Town Hall meeting, March 31, 2008.

The charge that John McCain wants to wage a "100-year war" in Iraq has become a recurring theme of the Obama campaign. The candidate has made the claim several times on the campaign trail, as has Susan Rice, one of his top foreign policy advisers. McCain has never talked about wanting a 100-year war in Iraq.

You say that Obama's campaign is charging McCain with "want[ing] to wage a '100-year war,'" but that's not what the quote you attributed to Obama says. I realize that nuance doesn't play well to the masses, but there is a distinction between what you quoted and how you interpreted it. If you have quotes to support your interpretation of what Obama has been saying, please provide them.

Posted by: Stewie Griffen | April 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I love that the "Fact-Checker" got his lead on today's piece by reading an excoriating article about himself.

http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh033108.shtml

Bob Somerby has been all over the "100 years" thing for a while (However, both he and Lord Dobbs have reached the wrong conclusion)

Posted by: LeRiverend | April 2, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So when confronted with misrepresentations about McCain's statements, Obama's fans resort to attacking the reporter, his supporters...and pretty much most of the country. Good luck with your hope/change principle.

Like Dobbs said, you can criticize his Iraq position without lying. Try it.

Posted by: Greg | April 2, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Fact Checker, why have you deserted us in our hour of need?

The truth is McCain deserves four Pinocchios for attempting to mislead the American people (again) about the situation in Iraq. As long as American troops occupy Iraq, American troops will die in combat. This is not post-war Germany or Japan, this is a hot war in which the U.S. military presence is an active and hated provocation to increased violence.

Either McCain realizes this truth and wants to confuse us by hiding the facts or he does not realize this and is woefully ignorant of the most fundamental issues in the region. Either way, McCain has decisively proven that he is unfit to be president.

So, Fact Checker, please remove the Pinocchio from Obama's column. He has earned our gratitude for pointing out McCain's flawed reasoning on this important subject.

And then give one Pinocchio to yourself for stumbling in the McCain/Bush fog of war.

Posted by: carol | April 2, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I understand what the "FACT CHECKER" is trying to do but let's be honest here. When the Rev. Wright snipets were playing on main stream media stations over and over again, where was the "FACT CHECKER" then?

Trying to defend McCain's "100-year war or occupation of Iraq" statement is like trying to defend Hillary's "I voted to get inspectors back into Iraq" statement concerning her 2002 vote as indicated in the title of the resolution "Authorization to the Use of Military Force in Iraq".

Posted by: AJ | April 2, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

How many noses are the Democrats going to sprout before the general? Of one thing I'm certain. The truth won't keep them from relentlessly spouting the "100 years of war" falsehood.

Posted by: Ed | April 2, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I've got an easy one for the Fact Checker. In Obama's economic speech, he indicated that we were in a recession. That word "recession" has a definite meaning. For a guy who has only words, he is playing fast and loose with the meaning, isn't he?

Posted by: Ed | April 2, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

In this particular case, McCain did not say that he wanted the war in Iraq to go on 100 years. Obviously, he would prefer that we "win" and have troops peacefully stationed in the country.

But his words do leave wide open the interpretation that Obama makes. What if there is no clear victory? What if things keep going more or less as they are? It seems a fair inference that McCain would keep American troops involved for quite some time. How long exactly? McCain himself brought up the term of 100 years.

In any event, the longest McCain could keep them there is 8 years. The really important thing is what he plans to do during that time. Obama says pretty plainly what McCain seems to have in mind. It's a genuine difference between the candidates, not just a twisting of words.


Posted by: JH | April 2, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that it actually takes two eyes to see that remaining in Iraq is tantamount to endless war.

Even the Shia can't unify amongst themselves. You have Shia-on-Shia attacks in a power play to control the country. You have Shia-on-Sunni violence for age-old reasons.

Who really thinks that our presence is going to stop that, and make it become like Korea or Japan?

Staying in Iraq, however long that is, is tantamount to endless war. So Obama is correct, and McCain is the fool. And you, fact checker, need to go wipe your noses from McCain's butt.

Posted by: duh!! | April 2, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

You take the caveat about "as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed" a little too seriously. That was clearly an afterthought for McCain to extricate himself from the consequences of this thoughtless chest thumping. If there is no potential for Americans to be injured or harmed in Iraq, how would that be different from running an embassy in any friendly country? Surely, that wasn't the context of the exchange.

Posted by: Independent | April 2, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

So now, in addition to your usual cherry picking for "facts" you want to use to further whatever insipid agenda you think you are advancing (cuz it sure as heck ISN'T fact checking), you have slipped into the twilight zone.

Are you giving John McCain 2 long noses for making up his views on the war each time he opens his mouth, rather than having an actual position on the matter, or are you suggesting those who quote him are being dishonest in doing so?

Make those noses bent ones.

Posted by: 33rdSt | April 2, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The fact checker is making a distinction without a difference. Iraq is not South Korea or Germany. A 100 year occupation of Iraq would mean a 100 year war.

Posted by: polsaa | April 2, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Can someone send a link of this blog to the Posts own Eugene Robinson?

Eugune would need more than 6 pinnochios on his scale.

Posted by: Vic | April 2, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Instead of talking about the 100 years, why not ask how long does McCain expect to have the military in Iraq with the assumption that the current level of hostilities continues unabated. That way there is no confusion either way.

Posted by: whurley | April 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

polsaa:

The Fact Checker excels at making a distinction without a difference, i.e. "law professor" is different than "Professor of Law".

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/04/professor_obama.html

Posted by: JakeD | April 2, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

He said what he said, but it is sure nice for McCain that he has you around to nuance for him.

Posted by: Sara B. | April 2, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Democrats are twisting words, McCain has said we could be in Iraq for a hundred years. And after last weeks civil war, we are only going to be there to keep the peace. Our money shouldn't be used in trying to educate Iraqi citzens on the art of Democracy. We haven't managed to perfect it ourselves, after 232 years.

Posted by: Terry | April 2, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The Fact Checker is right here. It would be accurate for Obama and Clinton to say that McCain doesn't see anything wrong with being in Iraq for 100 years. But for them to claim that he'd accept a 100-year war isn't in line with what he said.

Posted by: davestickler | April 2, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

If Americans aren't injured, harmed, wounded or killed, then how is there possibly a need for our military to occupy a foreign country? Yes we have troops in other countries...but they WANT US THERE. Iraqis can settle their problems on their own.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I think this deserves three Pinocchios, not two. Obama knows that's not what McCain said, but continues to twist the facts. It makes for a good sound bite but bad politics.

However, it also shows the queen is not the only deliberate liar.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | April 2, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Three pinocchios for the "Fact (??) Checker":
- you misrepresented Obama's comment, as highlighted by Stewie Griffin.
- McCain did indeed say "make that a hundred" (quote unquote)...Obama's comment was neither factually inaccurate nor hyperbole in any way.
- If you think Iraq bears any similarities to Germany and South Korea, you need to get out more. Talk about "factually inaccurate."

Posted by: Rigged | April 2, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Is Barack Obama's charge that John McCain wants to wage a 100 year war in Iraq disingenuous?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=2017

.

Posted by: f.fox1212 | April 2, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Such a promising idea, fact checking the candidates, unfortunately these poorly written & researched articles tend to insult the readers intelligence. I'd like to believe that the claims of impartiality are accurate, and that they are simply compiled by lazy researchers and uncreative thinkers. The articles I've checked out, including this one, don't enlighten, but actually blur the issues more than the various candidate quotes they analyse.

Posted by: Buddy Grant | April 2, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

As so often happens, we've latched onto a quote-quibble and we're ignoring the fundamental questions: When would McCain bring home the troops? How does he define success? He says he wants to achieve a victory and that Obama is willing to surrender, but what would victory look like? If you accept the Fact Checker's version, McCain's only willing to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years once we've reduced the level of violence to zero Americans getting killed or injured. But how long will it take to get to that point? Two years? Ten? Twenty? I might be willing to grant McCain the argument that he doesn't really want to keep the current level of fighting going for another 100 years, but ONLY if he'll give me some of his straight-talk about what it would take to bring the troops home. And I'd be willing to bet that any such honest answer would point to an active (i.e., engaged in fighting) presence for at least another decade. Or until the U.S. government goes belly-up from bankruptcy.

Posted by: Keith in Arlington | April 2, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

For information on Hillary's termination from the Watergate committee because of her inability to follow constitutional safeguards for defendents, check this web site. Seems Hillary developed a pattern of skirting the truth at an early age.

http://www.northstarwriters.com/dc163.htm

Posted by: rvloser | April 2, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse


why does the media keep covering up and defending McCain?

Posted by: miked Get use to it baby.
----------------------------------------

Obama may have been the MSM's darling in the primary, but McCain will be the darling in the general. Just wait until you feel all the frustation like us Clinton supporters do now.

Posted by: Chief | April 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I might be willing to grant McCain the argument that he doesn't really want to keep the current level of fighting going for another 100 years, but ONLY if he'll give me some of his straight-talk about what it would take to bring the troops home -Keith
___________________________________________

Don't hold your breath waiting for Mac to "straight-talk" what it would take to bring the troops home. That is the LAST question he wants to answer and he never will answer it.

McCain simply wants to "stay the course" or even increase troop strength to "manage" the level of violence until Iraqi troops themselves can take over.

But we have been waiting 5 years for the Iraqis to be "trained" to fight and they still are clearly no match for the various militias.

So no end in sight for McCain and the bleeding of lives and money just continues indefinitely to save America's "honor." 100 years war is just "fine" with McCain.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Chief --

I agree completely.

I also suspect that once the press starts doing its homework and discovers that Obama's "played them" they'll be extremely motivated to dig for the truth about him and to publish what they find out.

I did, and what I found out about him isn't very pretty.


Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

When Michelle said" for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country" You Obamanites said she didn't mean she was not proud of her country. Now McCain says '100 years of war" which you, I and even the sheep knows he didn't mean 100 years of war. You say he means it. Which is it. If McCain means 100 years of war Michelle means she has not been proud of her country until Obama became the leading contender.

You Obamanites keep telling us Obama is a man of words. Then examples like these keep popping up and you skew them for your purposes. What does Hope and Change really mean. Is there a wink there somewhere?

Posted by: Chief | April 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker, my fat @ss.

More like Opinion Rehasher.

Posted by: Mobedda | April 2, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"But he has talked about a prolonged U.S. military presence in Iraq, similar to the stationing of U.S. troops in Germany after World War II or in Korea after the Korean war.
"

You do realize that the Korean War hasn't formally ended, right? Maybe you should finish up history class before attempting to analyze present politics.

Posted by: Troll | April 2, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

After Senator Obama wins the nomination, the Hillary fans will be no different than all political leeches and parasites.

Hillary fans want jobs, federal contracts, free tickets to ball games, dinner invitations, tickets to tour the White House, photographs of them with the President, invites when the President comes to town, and all those little Christmas cards, etc., etc., etc.

The only question is will any of the Hillary fans get hurt in the stampede to kiss Obama's backside. That's politics folks.

Posted by: What a Joke | April 2, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

WhatAJoke --

1. Chicago Barry Obama isn't going to get elected to anything.

2. Unlike Obama-nuts, Clinton supporters don't kiss people's backsides.

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Even I knew McCain meant bases as elsewhere. But even more disturbing is the video going around of McCain dancing around to the tune of "Barbara Ann" singing Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran, Bomb Iran.

What explanation can the RNC give us for this?

Posted by: Gaias Child | April 2, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Hillary supporters are in denial about her chances.

Hillary's lies and inaction don't match her words.

Hillary can't get people to like her so she sends husband Bill and daughter Chelsea out to tell voters what they want to hear.

Hillary no longer has an image that the people will accept.

Hillary needs to create an image which is why she lies about Bosnia, her name, her so called 35 years of experience and anything else that crosses her mind.

Hillary does not exist; she is a figment of her imagination.

Hillary can only tell lies about Senator Barry Obama and try to destroy him.

Hillary can't afford to have the voters realize that her failed health care promises have left millions without health care and the result has been at least 30,000 deaths per year since 1993.

How does Hillary sleep at night with all those deaths on her conscience? But it does not matter to Hillary. What are a few thousanbd deaths when she is after power.

But the voters are remembering and they are voting agasinst Hillary and Bill.

Truth is winning and Hillary and Bill are on their way to the trash pile of History.

Soon we will finally be free of Hillary and Bill and their sick fans.

What a joyous day that will be.

Posted by: Huma Huma | April 2, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama, like his rival and his rival's husband, is a liar. He knows perfectly well what John McCain meant when he said the United States will be in Iraq for 100 years. Obama is an arrogant, self-rightous opportunist. The very last person who thought he'd get the nomination was Obama himself. He was running for VP, not the top slot. Now, even though he knows very well he is totally unqualified for the job, he wants it. He comes with absolutely nothing to offer. All he brings is an empty suit.

Posted by: P | April 2, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Hillary does not exist; she is a figment of her imagination"????

Posted by: JakeD | April 2, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So would it be more accurate to be saying he's conditionally willing to stay there 100 years? If Americans are being injured, what's his schedule? 1 year, 5 years 25? The South Koreans and West Germans became our allies against the USSR and the North. Is this his plan? Become allies with Iran's new best friends? Pinocchio's for Obama or not, what McCain seems to have said is that he would continue the Bush policy. Otherwise it's not quite the same thing as saying he'd be willing to stay in...um...Australia for 100 years, which is how the Krauthammers of the class seem to be spinning it.

Posted by: mmfleming1 | April 2, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Humma Humma --

Don't twist my words.

Like Obama you don't have any ideas of your own, you just steal other people's words and ideas, swap names, and call them your own.

Obama supporters will do anything to supress the truth about him.

Its not going to work.

Obama's guaranteed to lose the national electon.

It would be nuts for Democrats to nominate him, regardless of what the current vote totals are.

The more we find out about Obama, the more we find that his "accomplishments" aren't his at all, but that he was given credit for the work done by others to make him look far more impressive than he actually is.

Obama is like a "Potemkin Village"

He looks good on the surface, but there's nothing behind it.

He's spent his entire political career running for office, and strong-arming people into putting his name on bills he never even did any work on.

The WP says so themselves in their recent article.

The NYT says "big image, little results"

All this will come out before the general election.

As will the truth about how his negligence led to people who voted for him freezing in slums in his district that Rezko, and in the rest of Chicago, that Rezko got $100M to repair, but never touched.

He can't win the general election.

But he can cause Democrats to lose it.

Everyone interested in the Presidential election should read the article that there's a link to at the bottom of this message.

Its from a Chicago reporter who's known Obama since the beginning of his career and has followed Obama's career ever since then.

The take-home message is that Obama is a total fraud, a manufactured product of the chicago politicial machine.

It tells about him stealing credit for bills he never worked when he was in Chicago, just like he did in Washington.

It talks about "Obama's Slums" and fact that Barry didn't care one bit about the people who elected him.

Its about the fact that Chicago Barry Obama is the one of the most clever con-men in the world and the biggest fraud that's been put over on the American public since Bush.

Its filled with facts about Obama from someone who has known him for years.

The title's cute. Obama isn't. He's a fraud.

http://news.houstonpress.com/2008-02-28/news/barack-obama-screamed-at-me/

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo (and the rest of the MSM) are in the pocket of McCain.

The person speaking to McCain says how Bush is talking about our troops staying in Iraq for 50 years and McCain burst right out "Maybe 100".

Which of those words doesn't the WaPo understand? Sure sounds like he would have NO Problem keeping our troops over there for 100 years, if thats what it would take.

And it really sounds like McCain forgot his 1993 Somalia Speech on the Senate Floor, where he wanted us out of there right away, not in a few days, but right away. Oh, and he was very much against Nation Building in Somalia.

But, as usual, the MSM forgets all about these things and cheers on Johnny Boy.

http://www.americablog.com/2007/04/mccain-goes-to-senate-floor-and-demands.html


Posted by: Tom Wieliczka | April 2, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Somalia is hardly as important to the United States as Iraq. Second, as between Barack HUSSEIN Obama and Hillary DIANE Clinton, I don't think there's any doubt that the WaPo (and most of the MSM) is in the tank for him. Haven't you seen those hilarious SNL skits pointing out that truth?

Posted by: JakeD | April 2, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Governor of Wyoming endorses Obama. Another super delegate vote for Obama.

Mississippi certifies primary vote. Clinton loses one pledged delegate from her total. Vote goes to Obama.

Like Chinese water torture. Drip, drip, drip. One vote at a time. The end for Hillary slowly approaches.

This is fun.

Praise be to Allah!

Posted by: Huma Huma | April 2, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Troll posts:

"You do realize that the Korean War hasn't formally ended, right? Maybe you should finish up history class before attempting to analyze present politics."

Actually, there never was a formal declaration of war; Korea was considered a Police Action. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War

So, the person requiring a history refresher, is you.

Posted by: jk5432 | April 2, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

He said "MAKE IT A HUNDRED" so how clear is that - - doesn't seem like they are twisting his words to me.

Posted by: Dee | April 2, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

jk5432:

The Constitution does not require any "magic words" for a declaration of war -- officially, however, the Korean War was retroactively declared a war (50 years to the day, after the fact) by a ceremonial Act of Congress -- I fought in the Korean WAR, and I don't take kindly to youngsters downplaying its significance.

Dee:

He, indeed, said "Make it a hundred." He then mentioned that U.S. troops had been in Germany for 60 years and in Korea for 50 years, and added, "That's fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed." So, tell us, are you upset with U.S. troops in Germany and/or Korea?

Posted by: JakeD | April 2, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

At a press conference a reporter asked him " If you knew then about Iraq that you know, what would you have done differently than George Bush." McCain he would have done exactly as Bush has done. This seems to me to confirm that McCain will continue in Bushes shoes not only on the Iraq war but on the economy and on the assult on our constitution.

Posted by: clark crocker | April 2, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The 100 year line made by McCain has to be heard to understand that it was made in jest. There's a formula when your presented with an outrageous question because if you know your history, you wouldn't be asking the question. Thats how the 100 year line was made in jest. In other words McCain was trying to make light of a dumb question to save face of the person asking the question. McCain should be thank instead of criticized.

Posted by: houstonian | April 2, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

jk5432 Wrote: "Actually, there never was a formal declaration of war; Korea was considered a Police Action. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War

So, the person requiring a history refresher, is you."

As was the Vietnam War, are you going to say that wasn't a war either? I'm sure many vets and the families of the Fallen would disagree with you.

Posted by: Troll | April 2, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

You do realize that the Korean War hasn't formally ended, right? Maybe you should finish up history class before attempting to analyze present politics.

Posted by: Troll | April 2, 2008 02:58 PM

Neither has the first Iraq war, but that doesn't keep some folks from pretending it's a new one.

A number of responders seem to believe that a hundred years in Iraq means a hundred years of war. I question this. If Iraq was a kite-flying paradise under Saddam, why can it not be with U.S. partnership and support?

Oh, right. America = Bad. Iraqi's = Incapable of working in their own best interests.

It's almost like some folks are kind of, well, bigoted.

Posted by: Phil | April 3, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

HOW DARE YOU question Barack Obama? He walks on water. This is a RACIST outrage! You have no right to invoke facts or reality when we are talking about the Second Coming! I and all of my Kool-Aid drinking high-school-aged buddies will cancel our subscriptions to this ... website... what is this? Where am I? Guyana! Yes. Heil Obama!

/disgusted sarcasm

Posted by: Seth | April 3, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

McCain will continue to support any effort in Iraq to justify his position that the invasion and sustained presense was in the best interest of the United States. McCain has bet his presidential aspirations on the Iraq War.

That said, the cost in lives..in money and in regional influence has resulted in horrific results. The long term legacy of Iraq will be above all else the empowerment of Iran.

McCain is the wrong guy...he is an insider in Washington who traded what any integrity he had for the political positions of power and money.

When the real battle begins..many issus McCain has failed to address will show him the weaker..much weaker candidate.

And, for his war hero scenario. Well, hundreds of airmen were lost over Vietname and Laos...58,000 plus US Soldiers and Marines were killed...they are the real heros of the Vietnam War..those who served and those who sacrificed should never be forgotten...

LTC US Army
Iraq/2005

Posted by: RH-LTC US Army | April 3, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Well now that we know that he is only committed to Iraq so long as no Americans get hurt, well hey, what is not to love?

McCain is a fool.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 3, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

how is that obama fans dont take notice of all his lies !!! he lied about his pastor, then rationalized it , he misquoted hillary, he keeps misquoting mccain

is there no end to democrats' rush to the precipice?!!

Posted by: full_of_wonder | April 3, 2008 3:44 AM | Report abuse

unbelievably unwilling to see the truth. i despise the republicans, but it is clear that he was not talking about 100 years of combat. what the hell is that?

"why does the media keep covering up and defending McCain?

Posted by: miked | April 2, 2008 06:39 AM "

Posted by: tony | April 3, 2008 3:44 AM | Report abuse

OMG -- I am reading these posts with astonishment. I am a lifetime Democrat...scratch that -- progressive. And I opposed the war...supported Dean for that reason. Went to war protests. Screamed and yelled at friends and relatives who supported it. Joined all manner of peaceful protest. Am still "shocked and awed" by the atrocity -- but I refuse to play the game you Dems are doing. It is fine to criticize the war, but to imply the McCain wants a hundred years of bloody battle is just ridiculous, given that he qualified his statement by explitly referencing analogies to peacetime occupation. But in your blind zeal to go after MCain, you embrace falsehoods. Stupid. Yet you probably spew endlessly about lies that other politicians tell. Hypocrisy is UGLY. LET IT GO...

Posted by: TONY | April 3, 2008 3:51 AM | Report abuse

How stupid is this. So I say -- "I am going to kill you"........If you attempt to stab me with that knife. But you only quote me as saying "I am going to kill you" as proof that I am a murderer....taking statements in isolation is a classic -- but flawed -- technique. It is a clear sign of a weak mind. I thought Obama was better than this.

"
He said "MAKE IT A HUNDRED" so how clear is that - - doesn't seem like they are twisting his words to me.

Posted by: Dee | April 2, 2008 06:35 PM "

Posted by: tony | April 3, 2008 3:55 AM | Report abuse

McBush ~ "As long as we are suffering casualties, we can't afford to leave Iraq".

McBush ~ "As long as we aren't suffering casualties, there's no reason we can't stay in Iraq".

Any questions?

Posted by: filmex | April 3, 2008 4:02 AM | Report abuse

THIS PINOCCHIO ARTICLE NEEDS A PINOCCHIO!

It totally omits the fact that

(1) Obama has made his purple prose about McCain's alleged 100-year war a feature of his stump speeches and continues to tell this McCain-bashing falsehood even though many news checkers have declared it false (in a much more timely manner than this column has!)

(2) Obama's descriptions aren't "twisting" of McCain's words. Obama's supporters were "twisting" Hillary Clinton's words about Martin Luther King in the run-up to South Carolina, so as to wring some kind of race-baiting intent from them. But what Obama is doing with McCain's words goes well beyond "twisting" to falsehood: pretending McCain said something that he clearly didn't say, and then proclaiming repeatedly that McCain said it, and

(3) Trying to paint Hillary Clinton as complicit in Obama's misrepresentations. If anything, she started making comments but dropped them very quickly once it was fact checked (long before this article did) and didn't pass,

(4) In Obama's case, since he runs in part on a promise of new, not dirty and deceptive, politics, the Pinocchio test should be stricter since Obama is running on a promise to not do what he is in fact doing to McCain and that he is better than other politicians because he claims he doesn't do what he is in fact doing to McCain. This is exactly the kind of aggravating factor that the Pinocchio Test should home in on, instead of doing the opposite and minimizing Obama's misrepresentative mud-slinging with hand-waving.

This lame, half-hearted and disingenuous "Pinochhio Test" of Obama's negative misrepresentation of McCain is particularly lame. It calls to mind the Politifact.com fact check that found early this year that rumors of Obama being associated with black racists were false. Politifact.com did a lame follow up after the Rev. Wright broke later, but never really explained its hand-waving earlier article.

These pro-Obama journalists are really doing the public a disfavor. When the real Obama is elected, if he is elected, he will be revealed to have been a liar and not the man the press portrayed him in its barrage of propaganda promoting his presidency. We are, as always, being sold a fantasy man that doesn't exist in reality, by the Washington Post and Obama's other media fans.

Posted by: Annette | April 3, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Wait. Hold on....

We are talking the Middle East right? We all know damned well that Americans will continue to die if left over there.

There can never be an occupation such as japan or anywhere else in the world. The dynamics are far too different. OCCUPATION mean fighting and dying PERIOD!

Are Americans so short minded and blind to the facts?

Have we forgotten our HISTORY lessons?

Good grief, is this an Alzheimer's fest of what?

Show me a peaceful Iraq occupation and I will show you an abused woman who ACTUALLY enjoys it! NOT!

Posted by: Vance MCDaniel | April 3, 2008 5:47 AM | Report abuse

we still have troops in europe because it's easier to atack the middle east from there.nothin gin Iraq is going to change until we finally make maliki take control of his country, or get out,be we seem to fund ineffective leaders in countries we try to run

Posted by: wc moreland | April 3, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

That's typical Democrat Party campaign tactics. They think that if they repeat a lie or a distortion often enough it becomes true. I can't wait for a McCain/Hillary debate or McCain/Obama debate. McCain will kill either one of them with the facts and the truth. Not even Obama's vaunted oratorical skills will save him.

Posted by: pkatauskas | April 3, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Dude, he said it. With a period. Then he added the bs about no americans being killed. We have the vidotape. You can spin it however way you want but the words on tape will prove you to be a GOP apologist.

The jerk also said nothing about thousands of Iraquis dying. Why are you such a shill for McCain? I know the press is "his base" but shouldn't you have a modicum of shame?

And keep your political advise to yourself. God what a wanker.

A new press please, this one is too currupt and dumb to be believed.

Posted by: JD | April 3, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Dear fact checker, why don't you actually quote the question McCain was responding to instead of paraphrasing it? When you do you will see that what you wrote above is pure GOP crap.

Idiots and enablers. The Daily howl piece is priceless. A self-appointed media hack somehow is supposed to tell us what it really means? Who ya gonna believe, me or your own lyin' eyes?

Posted by: DJ John | April 3, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Germany was originally occipied as a result of the Allied victory in WW II. The military forces stayed there because of the external threat to Germany and western Europe from the USSR. The loss of American lives from actions by the (ooccupied) German citizenry, if it exists at all, is minuscle. The ongoing US presence in Germany, because of the external threat of the USSR, was welcomed, not resisted. It will take several centuries for American losses from actions of German and S. Korean citizens to reach 4,000, a figure we just reached in Iraq.

Similarly, the continued presence in S. Korea is because of the actual external threat of N. korea. The S. Koreans don't want to be ruled by the North and again, the US forces are viewed in that country as protectors from an obvious, quite real external force.

What is similar to either of those fact situations in Iraq? Iran may be a threat to our world view of geopolitics in the Middle East, but it is not at all clear that Iraqis feel that way. Their most popular leader, Al-Sadr, regularly visits Iran. He, at least does not fear Iran and he speaks for Millions of Iraqis.

To try and give McCain cover for his 100 year crack by saying it was conditioned on German and Korean-like situations, is so patently devoid of analysis that only a sophomoric apologist would miss it.

Posted by: ronguild56@yahoo.com | April 3, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Clearly The Prophet Obama is spinning this in a deceitful, Clintonesque way. For all his post-partisan BS, he's just another lefty radical. I, for one, am looking forward to the leftist wailing and gnashing of teeth that willaccompany a McCain victory in November.

Posted by: Clearly Right | April 3, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

what a nothing article

Posted by: rakastaa | April 3, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

What McCain has not, and can not explain about his 100-year comments, is how we progress from the current situation (1000 Americans killed per year) to a situation where there are no American casualties, yet we are still the occupying force.

That's because he has no clue.

Posted by: Swoosh | April 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

When I heard McCain's comment that he would keep troops there 100 years "as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed," I thought he was talking about Americans on mainland U.S. I believe he meant that he would keep the troops there as long as it prevented further terrorist attacks on the U.S. As Bush says "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Of course he conveniently ignores the fact that al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until we toppled their government.

Posted by: lead dog | April 3, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

A couple of more bushes and McCain's and we will not exist in 100 yrs!

Posted by: Robert Egan | April 3, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Although the characterization of "100 years" isn't precise, they were words McCain used. The connotation McCain has given may not be an Iraq war that literally lasts 100 years but:

1. McCain's position as I understand it is that he is not intent on leaving Iraq until the US is victorious. I can't think of a time in history when anyone was victorious against guerrilla warfare. And that comes after Bush promised it would all be over in six months or something like that. McCain has provided an open ended intent to continue this war because he hasn't committed to a time frame when it will be over.

2. Even if they "win" the war, if American troops are left behind, it's similar to the upset al-qaeda has had with other Arab soil under occupation by US troops. So their continued presence will continue aggravate the war on terror conflict for the next 100 years or likely as long as they are there.

Therefore, I'm not so sure the "100 years" characterization is that unfair.

Posted by: CWatson | April 3, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

WHAT'S THE MATTER PEOPLE, FACTS YOU CAN NOT TAKE? OBAMA LIES YET AGAIN!
OBAMA LAUNDRY LIST OF LIES ( 67 lies and counting as of April 02, 2008)

1.) Selma Got Me Born - LIAR, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 - Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965.

2.) Father Was A Goat Herder - LIAR, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.

3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter - LIAR, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had

4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom - LIAR, your cousin Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Kenya. It is the first widespread violence in decades.

5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian - LIAR, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn't allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.

6.) My Name is African Swahili - LIAR, your name is Arabic and 'Baraka' (from which Barack came) means 'blessed' in that language. Hussein is also Arabic and so is Obama.

7.) I Never Practiced Islam - LIAR, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years,until your wife made you change, so you could run for office.

8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian - LIAR, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book).

9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian - LIAR, not one teacher says you could speak the language.

10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia, I Have More Foreign Experience - LIAR, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn't even speak the language. What did you learn, how to study the Koran and watch cartoons.

11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs - LIAR, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.

12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion - LIAR, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify - your classmates said you were just fine.

13.)An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office - LIAR, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist.

14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life - LIAR, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist.

15.) I Won't Run On A National Ticket In '08 - LIAR, here you are, despite saying, live on TV, that you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first.

16.) Present Votes Are Common In Illinois - LIAR, they are common for YOU, but not many others have 130 NO VOTES.

17.) Oops, I Misvoted - LIAR, only when caught by church groups and democrats, did you beg to change your misvote.

18.) I Was A Professor Of Law - LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer - LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill - LIAR, you didn't write it,introduce it, change it, or create it.

21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass - LIAR, it took just 14 days from start to finish.

22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill - LIAR, your bill was rejected by your own party for its pandering and lack of all regulation - mainly because of your Nuclear Donor, Exelon, from which David Axelrod came.

23.) I Have Released My State Records - LIAR, as of March, 2008, state bills you sponsored or voted for have yet to be released, exposing all the special interests pork hidden within.

24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess - LIAR, you were part of a large group of people who remedied Altgeld Gardens. You failed to mention anyone else but yourself, in your books.

25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America - LIAR, your 111 economic policies were just combined into a proposal which lost 99-0, and even YOU voted against your own bill.

26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois - LIAR, even your own supporters claim to have not seen BOLD action on your part.

27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year - LIAR, they were not YOUR bills, but rather handed to you, after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist you in a future bid for higher office.

28.) No One Contacted Canada About NAFTA - LIAR, the Canadian Government issued the names and a memo of the conversation your campaign had with them.

29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism - LIAR, you missed the Iran Resolution vote on terrorism and your good friend Ali Abunimah supports the destruction of Israel.

30.) I Am Not Acting As President Yet - LIAR, after the NAFTA Memo, a dead terrorist in the FARC, in Colombia, was found with a letter stating how you and he were working together on getting FARC recognized officially.

31.) I Didn't Run Ads In Florida - LIAR, you allowed national ads to run 8-12 times per day for two weeks - and you still lost.

32.) I Won Michigan - LIAR, no you didn't.

33.) I won Nevada - LIAR, no you did not.

34.) I Want All Votes To Count - LIAR, you said let the delegates decide.

35.) I Want Americans To Decide - LIAR, you prefer caucuses that limit the vote, confuse the voters, force a public vote, and only operate during small windows of time.

36.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate - LIAR, you passed 26, most of which you didn't write yourself.

37.) My Campaign Was Extorted By A Friend - LIAR, that friend is threatening to sue if you do not stop saying this. Obama has stopped saying this.

38.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics - LIAR, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you.

39.) I Don't Take PAC Money - LIAR, you take loads of it.

40.) I don't Have Lobbyists - LIAR, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting.

41.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad - LIAR, your own campaign worker made the ad on his Apple in one afternoon.

42.) My Campaign Never Took Over MySpace - LIAR, Tom, who started MySpace issued a warning about this advertising to MySpace clients.

43.) I Inspire People With My Words - LIAR, you inspire people with other people's words.

44.) I Have Passed Bills In The U.S. Senate - LIAR, you have passed A BILL in the U.S. Senate - for Africa, which shows YOUR priorities.

45.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq - LIAR, you weren't in office to vote against it AND you have voted to fund it every single time, unlike Kucinich, who seems to be out gutting you Obama. You also seem to be stepping back from your departure date - AGAIN.

46.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care - LIAR, your plan leaves us all to pay the 15,000,000 who don't have to buy it.

47.) I Only Found Out About My Investment Conflicts Via Mail - LIAR, both companies you site as having sent you letters about this conflict have no record of any such letter ever being created or sent.

48.) I Am As Patriotic As Anyone - LIAR, you won't wear a flag pin and you don't put your hand over your heart during the Anthem.

49.) My Wife Didn't Mean What She Said About Pride In Country - LIAR, your wife's words follow lock-step in the vein of Wright and Farrakhan, in relation to their contempt and hatred of America.

50.) Wal-Mart Is A Company I Wouldn't Support - LIAR, your wife has received nearly a quarter of a million dollars through Treehouse, which is connected to Wal-Mart.

51.) Treehouse Is A Small Company - LIAR, the CEO of Treehouse last year, made more than the CEO of Wal-Mart, according to public records.

52.) University Of Chicago Hospital Pay Is Fair - LIAR, your wife's pay raise was nearly 150% her already bloated rate and the hospital is a Non-Profit Hospital, which made $100,000,000 in the last 3 years. They overcharge blacks VS whites for services, and overcharge everyone in general by 538%!

53.)I Barely Know Rezko - Only 5 Billed Hours - LIAR, you have known him for 17 years, and decided to do a real estate deal with him during a time when he was proven to be under investigation. Despite this, you divided your property and had them take off $300K before the mortgage problems started. Then Rezko's wife buys the lot beside it that you can't afford, saving you $625,000.

54.) My Donations Have Been Checked Thoroughly - LIAR, you only gave back Hsu ($72K) and Rezko (first $66K, then when caught lying $86K, then when caught lying again $150K and now caught lying YET AGAIN OBAMA, it's $250k) their money when publically called on their involvement in your campaigns.

55.) My Church Is Like Any Other Christian Church - LIAR, your church is so extreme, the pastor who married you, Rev. Wright, just got done blaming the US for 9/11 and named Louis Farrahkan their person of the year.

56.) I Disagree With My Church All The Time - LIAR, you still have yet to repudiate Wright, who married you and your wife, and you still donate large sums of money to assist the church in furthering its message - hatred and revenge. You donated in 2006 alone, $22,500 to the church that you so terribly disagree with. That is nearly $500 PER WEEK - that sure is disagreement, Senator Obama.

57.) I Have Clean Connections Despite Rezko - LIAR, you are not only connected to Exelon and Rezko, you are also connected to Hillary PAC supporter Mr. Hsu, AND an Iraqi Billionaire of ill repute, Nadhmi Auchi, who ripped off people in the Food For Oil, Iraqi deal. Seems Mr. Auchi may have helped Obama buy his million dollar property long before Obama had millions of dollars. Wonder what favors Mr. Auchi expects, when Obama leaves Iraq free to be taken over by special interests such as him.

58.) I never heard sermons like Rev. Wright's, that have been in videos all day, You Tube - LIAR! 3 days later during your Mea Culpa BS speech you said "Did I hear controversial statements while I sat in that church? Yes I did."

59.) The Passport Invasion is a conspiracy to find dirt on me! - LIAR. Your own Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor is the CEO of the company that looked into your records. PS - You had them look into yours to hide the fact you looked into Clinton's and McCain's more than a year before!

60.) Rev. Meeks has nothing to do with my campaigning - LIAR. Rev. Meeks appeared in ads for your Senate Campaign, donated to you, and helped raise money, then AND NOW. PS - He also seems to despise America.

61.) My wife didn't mean America is ignorant, she was just using a phrase - LIAR. Again, Michelle's comments perfectly sync with Wright's, Meeks', and Farrakhans, both in language, anger, and direction.

62.) I am very Anti-Terror - LIAR. [03/30/2008] One of your good pals is long time radical and terrorist William Ayers, with whom you have been seen in the last 12 months and who has helped the now jailed khalidi, Professor at Columbia who invited Ahmadinejad to the University, to raise money for Palestinian terrorism attacks against Israel. PS - Your church published a pro Hamas Manifesto - guess you weren't there on THAT Sunday either? How lucky for you.

63.) I have the best plan to cure the Mortgage Crisis - LIAR. [03/30/2008] You and your campaign buddy Penny SubPrime Bank Collapse Prizker have had your little fingers full of subprime cash - Obama has taken $1,180,103 from the top issuers of subprime loans: Obama received $266,907 from Lehman, $5395 from GMAC, $150,850 from Credit Suisse First Boston, $11,250 from Countrywide, $9052 from Washington Mutual, $161,850 from Citigroup, $4600 from CBASS, $170,050 from Morgan Stanley, $1150 from Centex, and last but certainly NOT LEAST - Obama received $351,900 from Goldman Sachs. I am sure that cash all came from folks who knew the subprime loan they had was a dream, eh?

64) I played greater role in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion - LIAR - [03/31/2008] It was found that Obama -- the day after sitting for the interview -- filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama's own handwritten notes added to one answer. Read Obama had greater role on liberal survey

65) I did NOT play the race card: - LIAR - [03/31/2008] Obama was the first to play the race card. According to Philadelphia Inquirer, Quietly, the storm over the hateful views expressed by Sen. Barack Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has blown away the most insidious myth of the Democratic primary campaign. Obama and his surrogates have charged that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has deliberately and cleverly played the race card in order to label Obama the "black" candidate. Read more here

66) I did not take money from oil companies: - LIAR - [03/31/2008]

THE FACTS: True enough, Obama does not take money from oil companies. No candidate does. It is illegal for corporations to give money to politicians. Corporations, however, do have political action committees that collect voluntary donations from employees and then donate them to candidates. Obama doesn't take money from PACs. He also doesn't take money from lobbyists.

But he does accept money from executives and other employees of oil companies and two of his fundraisers are oil company executives. As of Feb. 29, Obama's presidential campaign had received nearly $214,000 from oil and gas industry employees and their families, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Clinton had received nearly $307,000 from industry workers and their families and Republican Sen. John McCain, the likely GOP presidential nominee, received nearly $394,000, according to the center's totals.

Two of Obama's fundraisers are Robert Cavnar, the chairman and chief executive of Houston-based Mission Resources Corp., and George Kaiser, the president and CEO of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. Source: Associated press via Yahoo News

67) "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial," Obama said at a community meeting in Nelsonville, Ohio, earlier this month. - LIAR - But yesterday, he told a different story. "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes," he said in his speech yesterday in Philadelphia.

Posted by: PJ | April 3, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

YOU PEOPLE ARE NUTS! ITS RIGHT HERE IN BLACK AND WHITE AND YOU STILL CAN NOT TAKE IT AS FACT! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU! BRAINWASHED???????????????????????

Posted by: BOB | April 3, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Umm, PJ - the article is about John McCain and whether or not his 100 year comment (which he made - unsolicited btw) is what he meant. I don't think we wanted to see Mark Penn's 67 point list. I see that some of those 'facts' have a heavy Clintonian spin to them. You might want to apply a similar screen to your own candidate (in between the incoming sniper fire).

Posted by: bugman | April 3, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Funny Media, one thing I do not understand about the Fact Checker on this is that, Senator McCain would not withdraw troops when Americans are actually in a war situation that can be understandable, being a supporter of the war and by extension a Bush third term Canditate.
But then, if he does not withdraw, when Americans are taking casualities and insist its no problem for him for them to stay 100yrs without Casualties, then we are talking about a President who would keep American troops in the heart of the Middle East ( Iraq) for even more than 100yrs. By the way, who told the Press and McCain that Americans would not take casualties in Iraq? Americans take casualties at home, not to talk about in a Country they invaded.
The press is really a Problem in the American System of politics.

Posted by: Chrys | April 3, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was at one of the early Republican debates where he said that even if it took 100 years, he'd keep fighting the Iraq war until we won it. I remember watching him say something to that effect. Plus, let's not get it twisted--McCain IS saying he's going to try to win a war the military never trained its personnel to win and use national debt to do it so he doesn't have to raise taxes. So, the understaffed military personnell must stay in Iraq until they learn to win a Vietnam-like war, which they still haven't done in five years even after reviewing the history books on military strategy. And the morality of it doesn't matter to McCain. Drop the Pinocchios, Dude! He said "100 years" in the same sentence with "Iraq War". That's enough to get our hackles up and not vote for McCain.

Posted by: Linda | April 3, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse


Mccain is a follower, not a leader and he will let George W.RONG for America Bush tell him what to do for the next four years. The American people are to smart to let this happen.

Look for a democrat land slide victory in Nov.

Posted by: Paul Marsh | April 3, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I do wish that the Democrat candidates were not using the 100 year war quote in the manner in which they are using it, because it will come back to bite them. They do not need it to defeat McCain. The truth that comes out of the 100 year war quote is the complete lack of understanding of the overall situation in that region of the world by John McCain. Of course he does not WANT the war to extend on for 100 years, or even one hundred days. BUT wanting is one thing, and having is another. The very idea that we can continue to occupy Iraq for a month, a year, a decade, or a century and NOT have an active war on our hands is impossible. If we are there, we are providing the recruiting ad for the continued enrollment of new, expendable jihadist who will keep coming ,and keep coming, and keep coming. There is no occupation without war. That is the point that needs to be made. Frankly I do not care how pure or benevolently McCain's intentions and desires might be, the reality of his plan is in fact a guaranteed continuation of the war. The issue is not intent, it is policy, and McCain's policy is simply wrong and very ill informed. McCain is to be admired for his military duty, and for the manner of which he handled his prolonged and horrible imprisonment as a POW. However admirable, the POW status did not make him an expert on military matters, and certainly not on international relations anymore than someone imprisoned here for 6 years becomes an expert on criminal behavior, or capable of developing a plan to effectively contain criminal behavior in another culture and in another part of the world. The issue is judgment, and that is the area in which all indicators point to the fact that it is Obama who actually has the ability and temperament to make an accurate assessment of the facts, and to thus determine a plan that takes into full account as to probably results of any behavior that we initiate. He has made confidence and support.

Posted by: Wayne P | April 3, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I heard Maccain make that comment about Iraq on Meet the Press.

Posted by: Finnus Beard | April 3, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Let's not argue about semantics. Philosphers and leaders of all kinds -- including Jesus -- used parables. We do not take every word literally, nor should we. McCain could have said "200 years", and the effect would have been the same. He won't be around long enough to make the decision.

McCain believes the USA is safer with significant US military presence scattered all over the globe, and it is wise to consider that position. The Democrat candidates feel that foreign exposure of the military should be more limited, especially in areas like Iraq where the stated mission goal has long since been accomplished. This opinion too is worth considering.

You can make your own mind about which candidate offers a better policy, but it's clear that most Americans do not believe that the further expenditure of lives and dollars in Iraq is worth it. Let's discuss this instead of arguing exactly how many decades McCain thinks the US military should be stationed abroad.

Posted by: roule | April 3, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

roule:

Good points.

Linda:

I believe Barack HUSSEIN Obama has also said the words "100 years" in the same sentence with "war in Iraq" -- see quote above -- so, according to your logic, that's enough for you to not vote for Obama, right?

Posted by: JakeD | April 3, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

100 Years Ago...

*Teddy Roosevelt was President.
*The big debate was Gold vs. Silver Standard.
*William Howard Taft beat William Jennings Bryan in the 1908 Presidential Election
*Women didn't have the right to vote.
*The Chicago Cubs won their last World Series.
*The Model-T Ford was considered cutting-edge technology.
*John McCain was born.

A century is a long, long time.

Posted by: Steve Charb | April 3, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Very funny, Steve (although, I think repealing the 19th Amendment has merits ; )

Now, for a serious question:

Are you PROUD of McCain's service to his country?

Posted by: JakeD | April 3, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm in agreement with all the other posters here, who mentioned that the Repukes sure like to dish out the slime, but then scream to high heaven when the tables are turned on them. Just look at what Chimp-in-Chief's campaign did to McCain and Gore in 00', not to mention what the 527's (with Turd Blossom's blessing) did to Kerry in 04'. This is only the Presidential ones, it gets to be too many to try and count all the other ones that the Repukes (conservatives-neocons) did in the Congressional elections also. So while the Obama campaign may be taking liberties with what McBush-lite said, it isn't even near as bad as what the Repuke side has done/is doing.

Posted by: Tom C. | April 3, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter I have to agree with the Post on this one. I was just saying the same thing last night. Obama has SO MUCH more ammunition to throw at McCain. The fact that he voted for the war is good enough. Let's not forget if he is elected President our solider's won't be coming home any time soon. I also found out yesterday that the women serving are Country are more likely to be RAPED by a fellow officer then they are to be killed in Iraq. That is startling to me. Let's talk about that people!!!!!!!

Posted by: mj | April 3, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@Jake are you still using the middle name mind trick? Grow up.

Posted by: mj | April 3, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

The context of the question posed to McCain was the timing of troop withdrawal despite an ongoing civil war. This is the issue on everyone's mind and not whether we need another military base in the middle east. The analogy of germany and korea was completely inappropriate because both countries are neither volatile nor waging a war of attrition. Thus Obama's raising the issue of Mccain's 100 year word is correct. Or else McCain should answer the question posed to him? When does he expect to bring home the troops in the event of an unattainable peace?

Posted by: Jack Bini | April 3, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Obamaniacs, your guys still gets TWO Pinocchios: "A more honest line of attack for the Democrats against McCain would be his support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, whether or not he has a clear strategy for winning the war, and the feasibility of a long-term occupation of a Muslim country by the United States. Instead of attacking him on these grounds, they have twisted his words, by claiming that he "wants" to fight a 100-year war."

Posted by: JakeD | April 3, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

McCain wasn't using the best analogies for what he was getting at. A better comparison would be the Philipine Insurection aftter the Spanish American War. I have long been frustrated with the lack of historical knowledge, of about everyone in the country, when trying to compare Iraq to another war. Stop comparing Iraq to WWII or Korea or Vietnam, please. If you want to look to a war in our past that more closely resembles what is going on, the Spanish American War is it. After winning the war against Spain we were in possesion of Cuba and the Philipines and had to deal with years of insurgency. Coincidentally, we were in the Philipines for over 80 years, and have been in Cuba for over a hundred.

Posted by: ssg mathew | April 3, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter I have to agree with the Post on this one. I was just saying the same thing last night. Obama has SO MUCH more ammunition to throw at McCain. The fact that he voted for the war is good enough. Let's not forget if he is elected President our solider's won't be coming home any time soon. I also found out yesterday that the women serving are Country are more likely to be RAPED by a fellow officer then they are to be killed in Iraq. That is startling to me. Let's talk about that people!!!!!!!

Posted by: mj | April 3, 2008 04:40 PM

Hey mj, statistics can be used to make just about any point. Try this one. I am an Infantryman who has deployed twice to Iraq, but I am more likely to be killed by a firearm in Washington DC than I am in Iraq. I am also more likely to be killed in a traffic accident in America than I am to be killed by any means in Iraq. The NY Times tried something similar to what you just said a while back. They ran a story about how soldiers returning from Iraq were commiting violent crimes. The part they left out was that the percentege of Iraq veterans commiting violent crimes was about half of the national average. While I think rape is a heinous crime, I think you are making a 2 is less than 4 point.

Posted by: ssg mathew | April 3, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, McCain compared keeping our troops in Iraq with our troops in Korea, trying to make the case that this is a reasonable objective. But do you honestly thing that's a fair comparison? Do you honestly believe that the cost per soldier for Iraq is anything like the cost per soldier we have stationed in Korea. You seem to be working hard to defend McCain, unwillling to see the obvious fallacies, even if you accept his argument that 100 years are troops won't be in combat. (BTW, he gave us no reason to believe why this wouldn't be the case.)

Posted by: gw | April 3, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

WaPo is splitting hairs. The U.S. is occupying a country which had nothing to do with 9/11, which did not attack us and was never a threat. McCain supported this imperial conquest from day one and has now said that it would be a good thing if our troops remained in Iraq for the next 100 years. Since we are an occupying force with no right to remain, no right to dictate to Iraqis what form of government they should have, and since the goal all along has been to create a permanent U.S. base of military operations within the oil rich Middle East, we should have every reason to expect that so long as the U.S. occupation continues, U.S. forces will remain the target of the Iraqi resistance. Therefore, the statement that John McCain is advocating a 100 year war in Iraq is smack dead on the money. And Kudos to Obama for telling it like it is!

As usual, the corporate media is attempting to apply a coat of Teflon on another Republican. Sorry, WaPo, but the Teflon won't stick. McCain is a war monger and the preferred candidate of the military-industrial complex. He advocates a foreign policy that makes neocons look like pacifists. On the economic side, an Obama vs. McCain race is shaping up to be a rerun of the 1932 election between FDR and Herbert Hoover.

Posted by: cann4ing | April 4, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Well, if it is not a fact, and your values are truly warped, P.J., than it's not a fact, no matter how hard you yell at us.

HOWEVER...What the McCain/100 hundred years comment illustrates is what happens during a campaign when a politician makes a statement off the cuff without thinking it through first, only to hope later that the interpretation of his remarks can be magically transformed from the interrrupted question (Bush has said he expects we may be fighting for 50 years)
into a benign projection about "American presence".

The comment is here for the duration. This is an election year, nobody gets away with that kind of b.s., especially not on this subject. Especially not using magical thinking rest stops.

Posted by: Bruce | April 4, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I guess it depends on what your interpretation of as long as it takes, 100 years, and we will never surrender is, or is not is.That to me pretty much sounds like the guy wants to stay 100 years, if he could live until he's 172 and be president for 100 years.

Posted by: majorteddy | April 4, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

A "long-term presence in Iraq, a la Korea, Germany, etc." is nonsense. American armed forces were adored and warmly welcomed in Germany (as liberators from the Nazis and protectors from Russia) and in Korea (as protectors against the Commie hordes to the north.) There is no such warmth for GIs in Iraq. However much Maliki may welcome us as a buffer while he gears up for ethnic cleansing against the Sunnis (yes, we are fulfilling the role formerly performed by Saddam Hussein), in the end, Americans are despised and reviled as infidels, polluting holy Islamic soil. American soldiers "hanging around" for 50 years, playing video games and shooting hoops and eating pork BBQ in the Green Zone, is repulsive to Muslims around the globe and will not be tolerated. McCain's suggestion that we can stay in Iraq like we've "stayed" in Germany reflects an abysmal misunderstanding of the way that part of the world thinks and works and is another Bush-like recipe for macho-disaster.

Posted by: Clyde | April 4, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

"100 years." That's not Pinocchio. That's Senator McCain. To me the statement doesn't mean that Senator McCain is a warmonger intent on maintaining a 'shooting war' in Iraq for a century. I share concern that opponents may exaggerate a statement that needs no exaggeration to be damning. Senator McCain is committed to 'stay the course'until the last dog dies, until the cows come home, for as long as it takes to do the job right, until ultimate victory. Because of his personal (heroic and harrowing) military experience he will simply not preside over 'another Saigon.'

In my view his flippant statement is damning enough without hyperbole. We can not afford to stay the course in this misguided military adventure.

Posted by: Mark | April 4, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama's (and Clinton's) use of McCain's quote is a distortion, given how quickly McCain qualified himself, making clear what he was saying. On the other hand, McCain was involved in a little distortion himself, as the questioner was clearly not asking about how long to keep troops there if there are no US casualties.

McCain should be asked to clarify, if the level of violence, and US troop casualties, stays more or less the same as it has been over the past year--how long would he leave US troops there?

Also, does he really imagine that having troops stationed in Iraq in these circumstances is in anyway comparable to the troops stationed in Germany/Korea? He's too smart and nuanced to really think so, so what in the hell was he saying, exactly?

Posted by: Seytom | April 4, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Check the Facts! Mcain did say he doesn't care if we are in Iraq for another 100 years. Just like Cheney, don't care about the public opinion.
Obama Supporter.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

i cant stand why obama loves attacking everyone. if he did not hear mccains proposal than stop commenting something you do not know.

Posted by: lisa | April 4, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Jane: "This blog shows why we cannot vote for McCain. First he says he's quite happy to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years, a la Japan or Korea, and then he says he is really not for keeping troops in Iraq a la Japan and Korea.
So which is it? What does he mean?
What is his plan? What is his vision? Folks, he's the past, not the future."

But, she is too kind. I see in his words confusion, an inability to formulate exactly what he means.
His peak mental power of discernment is well in the past, like Jane wrote.
Is that the reason he has not released his full medical records?

To be willing to be in Iraq as long as we are not fighting and soldier dying seems to be what we did in Japan and Germany. Did he forget that WE dictated the Terms of surrender and we didn't have to enforce the Terms? Bushido did in both cases.

Does he want to fight in Iraq until we can dictate their Surrender Terms? In that case, 100 years may be optimistic.
Did he mean that the American People want to fight in Iraq until we get them to accept our Surrender Terms?
This would make all who said "he wants to fight for 100 years" seem like Masters of Logic and Language. But, there is more.

How many countries do we want to get to surrender, in our terms, with troops?
Does this sound like words of one with "reduced mental capacity", let's not call it "senility", I am older than McCain.

I think either Obama or Clinton would take McCain to "the cleaners", like they used to say when I was in Grad School, long ago.

I'll bet he is taking medications to stave off Alzheimer's and that is why he will not reveal his true medical condition.
He is simply, too old to run for President of Peru, the capital is over 12,000 ft. high, it would be too much for him.

We might elect him, we elected Bush II didn't we?
It's all a matter of money, to buy all the TV Ads to promote anyone with our Masters in Deception, from Hollywood.

[Tell no one but California has twice voted against candidates that spend many times more than the winner.]
Keep the Faith and don't give up on US of America.
It is OK if he spends his wife's money and whatever lobby money he can beg or get, it's good for the economy! The Recession started this quarter, didn't you hear? Of course you didn't!
McCain is not talking about it, he wants to talk about 100 years in Iraq, our most pressing problem. Uh?
Did we forget 4,000 heroes that didn't surrender?

Posted by: MikeSar | April 4, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Jane: "This blog shows why we cannot vote for McCain. First he says he's quite happy to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years, a la Japan or Korea, and then he says he is really not for keeping troops in Iraq a la Japan and Korea.
So which is it? What does he mean?
What is his plan? What is his vision? Folks, he's the past, not the future."

But, she is too kind. I see in his words confusion, an inability to formulate exactly what he means.
His peak mental power of discernment is well in the past, like Jane wrote.
Is that the reason he has not released his full medical records?

To be willing to be in Iraq as long as we are not fighting and soldier dying seems to be what we did in Japan and Germany. Did he forget that WE dictated the Terms of surrender and we didn't have to enforce the Terms? Bushido did in both cases.

Does he want to fight in Iraq until we can dictate their Surrender Terms? In that case, 100 years may be optimistic.
Did he mean that the American People want to fight in Iraq until we get them to accept our Surrender Terms?
This would make all who said "he wants to fight for 100 years" seem like Masters of Logic and Language. But, there is more.

How many countries do we want to get to surrender, in our terms, with troops?
Does this sound like words of one with "reduced mental capacity", let's not call it "senility", I am older than McCain.

I think either Obama or Clinton would take McCain to "the cleaners", like they used to say when I was in Grad School, long ago.

I'll bet he is taking medications to stave off Alzheimer's and that is why he will not reveal his true medical condition.
He is simply, too old to run for President of Peru, the capital is over 12,000 ft. high, it would be too much for him.

We might elect him, we elected Bush II didn't we?
It's all a matter of money, to buy all the TV Ads to promote anyone with our Masters in Deception, from Hollywood.

[Tell no one but California has twice voted against candidates that spend many times more than the winner.]
Keep the Faith and don't give up on US of America.
It is OK if he spends his wife's money and whatever lobby money he can beg or get, it's good for the economy! The Recession started this quarter, didn't you hear? Of course you didn't!
McCain is not talking about it, he wants to talk about 100 years in Iraq, our most pressing problem. Uh?
Did we forget 4,000 heroes that didn't surrender?

Posted by: MikeSar | April 4, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

As Barack Obama continues to criticize John McCain for saying he's willing to keep a 100-year troop presence in Iraq, another Obama adviser has suggested U.S. forces could stay in Iraq longer than the Democratic candidate initially thought.

Adviser Colin Kahl wrote in a policy paper for the Center for a New American Security that the United States should transition to an "over-watch" force of between 60,000 and 80,000 troops by the end of 2010, according to an article Friday in the New York Sun.

That appears to be at odds with Obama's public position of removing all combat brigades from the country within 16 months of taking office.

Kahl told the Sun his plan would still keep the U.S. "out of the lead" and mainly in a "support role." He said the plan had nothing to do with the campaign.

The Obama campaign said in a statement: "The writing of Mr. Kahl, one of hundreds of outside advisers to the campaign, is not representative of Barack Obama's consistent policy position on the Iraq war."

But Kahl's plan seems to jibe with other advisers' statements that Obama's withdrawal timetables are more a goal than a firm policy commitment.

Foreign policy adviser Susan Rice, for instance, told reporters in February that Obama's plan to end the war in 2009 is not absolute, and that he reserves the right to revisit troop levels in Iraq upon taking the oath of office.

Posted by: Terry | April 5, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

As Barack Obama continues to criticize John McCain for saying he's willing to keep a 100-year troop presence in Iraq, another Obama adviser has suggested U.S. forces could stay in Iraq longer than the Democratic candidate initially thought.

Adviser Colin Kahl wrote in a policy paper for the Center for a New American Security that the United States should transition to an "over-watch" force of between 60,000 and 80,000 troops by the end of 2010, according to an article Friday in the New York Sun.

That appears to be at odds with Obama's public position of removing all combat brigades from the country within 16 months of taking office.

Kahl told the Sun his plan would still keep the U.S. "out of the lead" and mainly in a "support role." He said the plan had nothing to do with the campaign.

The Obama campaign said in a statement: "The writing of Mr. Kahl, one of hundreds of outside advisers to the campaign, is not representative of Barack Obama's consistent policy position on the Iraq war."

But Kahl's plan seems to jibe with other advisers' statements that Obama's withdrawal timetables are more a goal than a firm policy commitment.

Foreign policy adviser Susan Rice, for instance, told reporters in February that Obama's plan to end the war in 2009 is not absolute, and that he reserves the right to revisit troop levels in Iraq upon taking the oath of office.

Posted by: lucygirl1 | April 5, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I am 72-year-old Army veteran of Korea and Vietnam. I was only 17 years old when I went to Germany in 1952. It was still occupied by US Armed Forces in the American zone. The British and French and the Russians had their own zones to. Some people today are trying to compare Iraq to the occupation of Germany and Korea which I think is utterly preposterous. In Germany in 1952 until 1954 I walked the streets drinking beer and dancing with German girls I'd never once had to carry my loaded M1 to fight off the terrorist Germans. I ate in their restaurants you can't do that in Iraq had great beer with German citizenry and I was only 17 years old. I daresay in Iraq you can even come close to doing these things after six years of all those neocon conservatives who are comparing Iraq today to the occupation of Germany need to be put on Prozac.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Now... this is HUSSEIN Obama at his best.

He COMPLAINS about race, then continues to use it to his advantage. He complains about misquites... the he leaves at the main poortion of McCains comment. HUSSEIN has no concept of War, no concept of leadership and is only a 'used car salesman'. The speeches of both he and his wife... are based more on PREACHING than a speech.

The kool-aid drinkers of his followers will be following him to the END of THE United States. He is anti-american, anti-white..

BEWARE THE BLACK WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING.

Posted by: miller51550 | April 7, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Will anyone at the Washington Post, or elsewhere in the media, ask John McCain how long he would support an American occupation of Iraq if American troops continue to be attacked?

If our troops continue to get attacked, would McCain then advocate withdrawing within the next 100 years, or not?

Posted by: Steve Nesich | April 7, 2008 2:39 AM | Report abuse

McCain says we can stay in Iraq (even though the majority of Iraqis don't want us there) for one hundred years "...as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."

Note to Senator McCain: Americans are being "injured or harmed or wounded or killed" every day in this misguided war. If that's your condition for staying, then by your own rules it's time to leave.

Posted by: bobcn | April 7, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Please remember the people that were lost on 9/ll were lost NOT by anyone in Iraq! Had we not been forced into this war there would be no need to spend 100 hours, mins. or 100 seconds, much less 100 years and destroy over 4000 familes in this un-managed war. Money allocated has been mis-managed, our government can't find millions that should have gone to repair damages to the cities, and improve the lives in a country we had no business invading. We award hundreds of millions of dollars in "non-competitive" contracts(that could have certainly improved the educational systems in the United States; paded our Social Security funds; provided for health care in this country), increased benefits for our veterans; increased pay so our soldiers don't have to rely on food stamps,just to name a few ways that those war dollars could have be used. Our troops could have been used to protect our southern and northern borders to keep us safe from those who continue to plot against our country.

So whether Senator McCain has mentioned "maintaining" a presence or fighting for a number of years is beside the point. The point is we should have never invaded, never upset the lives of our American families or the families of Iraq. We should have gone after those who caused the earth shaking, life changing events of 9/11. Anyway you look at it, wrong is wrong and our President made a mistake that he is not willing to admit. Some say if he had to send his daughters off to war we would not be having this discussion, I'm not sure about that I am just sure that we are fighting two wars and if our country continues to have floods, hurricanes, and tornado damage who will be there to help us? Our National Guard units have been on two or three tours of duty in Iraq. Unreal, just unreal!

Posted by: eboykin | April 7, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Why McCain is wrong on Iraq-
John McCain has tended of late to compare our Iraq occupation to those of military presence of US in Europe, or Japan, after WW II or in the Korean Peninsula. It is indeed disturbing that a candidate so touted for security should be so wrong in these comparisons, or worst yet disingenuous about them. Either way he is not the right person to lead as President or claim that he has the wisdom and experience to guide this country through this phase of our history. Let us examine these cases a bit closer.
In WW II we fought against Nazi forces in Europe to literally liberate Europe. In order to finish the war no one doubted that we would have to go get Hitler, and overthrow the entire political structure, in Germany. German society in many ways was reconstructed, but Germany and other European countries were in many ways similar to American and Western culture to begin with- be it race, religion, appearance or cultural mores. American and European systems did not become an asynchronous presence during the occupation. It would be remiss, and hypocritical not to mention the role of race, where Americans with a segregated army (more so in that stage of history) would not look down upon white Europeans, as they would occupying a non-European nation. The conservatives could fume and spew at this assessment, but examination of any account of war both historical and present would confirm this. It would be a separate debate to go into some of those root causes and I will leave it to some other time.
In complete contrary to this situation in Germany, Iraq was an unnecessary war, and despite the new reasons given every quarter, to justify the war and then the occupation, it is seen by most (and now even admitted by Greenspan) as our attempt to control Iraq's oil supply, and possibly establish a presence in the Middle East. I would have more respect for someone who admitted that, rather than the politician who either insults our intelligence to claim it otherwise. However as events have proven, there would be even fallacies to this logic as we have definitely not stabilize neither the oil nor the security. However, if the war was launched to make Oil companies and suppliers, huge profits (not to mention overflowing coffers of Russia, Saudi Arabia and so on) then we did have great success. Senator McCain, there was no Oil or a natural resource in Germany we were after. We really were there to build a nation, to liberate a country, and with honesty to the American people who had Shared Sacrifice, from the President to the worker on the factory floor.
However, more critical than above mentioned reasons, any anger of US presence in Germany or Europe was soon overtaken by the threat of the Soviets and escalating tensions from the Cold War and US presence was seen as bulwark against the threat of Soviet expansionism. Iraq under Saddam, who was a brutal, corrupt dictator, but he never made it a haven for Islamic fundamentalism. It had a more secular state than any other Islamic country in Mid-east. Women enjoyed more cultural freedom than any of its neighbors, or what they do now, and perhaps, unfortunately for a long time to come. Yes, you will mention thugs like Saddam's son raping and harassing women, but the suffering by the entire female population now, bares no comparison, and is now constitutional.
Yes there is an Al Qaeda presence now, along with rise of fundamentalism in all sects, but it would be foolish to think we could root it out, where we cannot even identify a Sunni from a Shia, a nationalist from a foreign fighter. It will be Iraqis who have to root it out. We will need to provide help (now that we have done the damage!), but occupying them and strutting around in our Humvees and protecting the "leaders" in Green zone is not the help they need. That my friend (as you like to say) is recruitment fair for our enemies. If you, Senator McCain do not realize that, you do not deserve to be our President.
The presence in Korean Peninsula was also quite different than Iraq as it was a UN approved mission to fight against the North and the Chinese in a proxy war. After the bitter occupation by Japan in WW2, and the Soviet control of the North, the South was under real- threat from the Russians, Chinese and a militant North. It remained so for the entire span of cold war and to draw any parallels with Iraq is again not just irrational but lacks in insight geo-political affairs, were he really to believe what he says.
So does McCain see everything through his experience in Vietnam, where he thinks we gave up too early, where mindless brutal killing of civilians, and a de-sensitization of a whole generation, was not enough in his mind? We have accomplished more with Vietnam, during the phase of peace. We have trade, we have access to people and even though it is still a one party state, we have avoided horrors of mass killings and loss of young and innocent lives on both sides. Which part does he not like?
We had the unique opportunity to build Afghanistan after we rightly threw of the Taliban, and the Al Qaeda who they patronized and propagating the militant fundamentalist Islam. We could have concentrate in building a nation and demonstrate not just American war power, but power of our help, not our greed, but our generosity, we could have paid back what we neglected after we turned our back when eth Soviets withdrew. When Senator McCain does not realize this struggle, and was an early advocate of attacking Iraq he misses and distorts reality. There are right wing nuts who will say that these are the same people who attacked us (they are brown in color, and look same, or are all Muslims), but that would be as idiotic as holding every white, Christian person responsible for Hitler and Nazism.
In modern history, there has been no successful state where it was created by the invasion and occupation of another country, by foreign forces. I challenge the conservatives to name one. Change comes from within, it may be influenced, but needs to arise from the people. We can encourage it and inspire it, but we cannot make the change. Enough lies, enough hypocrisy we need a change in course.
Don't tell me that Saddam was a threat to the United Sates, our way of life, when all evidence suggested that he had no arsenal, and no means to be of any threat to us.
Don't tell me he disallowed Weapons Inspectors, when it was our invasion which forced them to get out.
Don't tell me we fight for we care about the Iraqi people, and then you tell me that, we do not keep a body count of how many Iraqis died? Wouldn't we value a life to at least account for them?
Don't tell me it is for their freedom, for a country which is paralyzed in fear and a significant majority wants us out of there.
Don't tell me it is for the ones who have sacrificed with their lives fighting for us, for if you had cared enough, you would have gotten the facts and had the courage to oppose military adventurism and greed.
Don't tell me we fight them there, so we do not have to fight them here. We have to fight them everywhere, but not in this manner.
Enough Lies. Enough distortion. Enough of Profiteering from this war. Enough of chauvinism and demagogues from the right who claim a singularity of being American and patriotic.
Yes you have shown Valor, but not the Sagacity or Honesty I expect in my President. Your 100 year presence is a hundred year war. No less, but it could be more.

Posted by: sid31 | April 8, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Our presence causes more violence not less. Yes, in the short term, our withdrawal will be bloody. But perpetual occupation is bloody and costly financially. Our economy is faltering and we are sending trillions to a country with the second highest oil reserves in the world. McCain and Bush are delusional in the worst way. They live in a black and white world where lines are drawn and stay that way. They fail to realize that boneheaded endeavers have turned allies into enemies and united our once distinct enemies.

Posted by: Major Jakcass | April 8, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I wish Americans understood American history better. This isn't a situation that started yesterday. It began many years ago with decisions American administrations made with regard to the Middle East. We created the bed, and now we're lying in it. We can't continue to think that we will suffer no consequences for our choices and actions. We want freedom and democracy for other peoples only when it suits our needs. If they vote for someone our government doesn't like, then we say that they aren't really free. We should let other countries and peoples live their lives... and we should focus on our own issues.

http://www.cafepress.com/wetnoodle

Posted by: radiocboy | April 11, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"When challenged about this claim on Monday, Obama referred journalists to the YouTube version of the Derry Townhall meeting. But the YouTube clip does not back up his case."

Nor does it exclude his case, which suggests that you're playing God with the public imagination. You assert an either/or arguement but you provide a yes/but definitely not maybe answer.

Posted by: Bruce | April 11, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

McCain said:

"I don't think Americans are concerned if we're there 100 years, 1000 years, or 10,000 years".

This American certainly is concerned.

Posted by: Jeff | April 15, 2008 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Jeff:

If there were no U.S. casualties for 10,000 years, what would be your concern?

Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR OPPOSING (FREEZING) the Fee Trade Agreement FTA.
FROM LEFT DEMOCRAT UNIONS IN COLOMBIA
As all democrat USA workers and you have rightly sensed Ms. Pelosi, the infamous Colombian "Free Trade Agreement" could be the only impediment to avoid our ideal and idyllic and central proletarian-workers controlled future in our country. The actual very real reason why we the Colombian and American Chavistic democrat unions oppose the FTA is not "the killings of 2.700 unionists in 20 years in Colombia" as this FTA what really affects is not the lowest and unfortunately decreasing number ever organized unions of ours, but 44 million living Colombian citizens.
As Ms Pelosi and democrat unions in America do, THE TRUTH instead is that in all honesty, we really deeply hate all three words: WE HATE FREE as it means that our next future democrat socialistic leader, alter ego of our future Gran Colombian unions unifier President Hugo Chavez will not be able to nationalize, control and direct the economy in favor of our people and against the "free" capitalistic entrepreneurs that pretend to "freely" exploit and "trade" our labor to export "agreed" goods to the Yankees. WE HATE TRADE as it corrupts the mind of our people into capitalistic consumist behaviors of American goods, and WE HATE AGREEMENT because it is the betrayal to all our goals, on behalf of our actual unconditional 110% pro American ally (puppet-server) president Uribe in "agreement" with your evil-republican president Bush.
Therefore, ANY REAL OR MADE UP EXCUSE you Ms Pelosi and USA democrat workers use to please oppose the FTA with Colombia is valid and supports greatly our ideals. Within our context, a leftist revolutionary war now 50 years old, per each 100.000 inhabitants in Colombia only 4 union workers are killed whereas 33 common civilians and 86 policemen die out of our internal revolutionary war. So, although the "2.700 unionists killed in 20 years" have never ever in the history of Colombia been so LOW like now, from 213 in 2001 before Uribe to 26 during this 100% PRO BUSH YANKEE REPUBLICAN URIBE government, and URIBE HIM SELF has made all our own victorious revolutionary terrorism-born paramilitary to demobilize, unarm and in jail, including 30 and more congressmen for the very first time in our 50 revolutionary years, this small fact can easily be media-ticaly ignored, in exactly the way American democrat workers and you Ms Pelosi are doing.
Fortunately, our Army of the People, the glorious FARC has killed and kidnapped (2.000 per year including 3 "free trader"-supporter Americans now for 6 years) and so many more hundred of thousands of civilians and "free trade" entrepreneurs and capitalistic exporters and democratic politicians. In the name of our glorious revolution we proudly count 649 kids and 6.043 adults amputated and killed just by our land mines, so that just this is well over so many more than any "killed of our union workers" in our leftist revolutionary history. So far this proportion is really very satisfactory to us. Any how, for sure our and your strength Ms Pelosi is that one union worker killing is so much more valid and noisy that 44 million "free traders" or hundreds of civilians kidnapped some now for more than ten years, you just can easily inveRt this minor truth for the purpose of disproving that evil republican unfair and forced FTA.
Actually for us workers in Colombia, like in VENEZUELA, our real goal is to diminish and eliminate all private entrepreneurial capitalistic exploitation of man by man. Its our socialistic revolutionary fight against those who "free"ly export and "trade" our labor and raw materials. Our goal is to concentrate all the economy in the hands of a good centralized social liberal democrat workers-only government parallel to that of Hugo Chavez the great democrat-workers-unions-unifier of the world. The revolution source in Venezuela is the oil that the American people suck and pays for, and in Colombia it will be the cocaine that our revolutionary Army of the People FARC protects, control and export and trade for huge revenues to arm and feed our people against any "free" what ever "trade" exporters. Yes Senator Pelosi you are SO right, we do not need any help or "trade" exports nor any "free" industry-entrepreneurs to export any other goods to any other country or market, less so we need yours, and we thank democrat party for opposing them by opposing this FTA.
Peoples approval of our actual capitalistic "democratic" president Uribe by 83% of our 83% politically wrong people is also a factual proof of the above, but don't worry. This never before seen 83% approval after 6 years in power, does not relate to us, the actual REAL FREEDOM fighters killers and kidnapers revolutionaries proud to be and do, democrat unions that oppose Bush consumistic, capitalistic and "free trade" entrepreneurial non governmental controlled FTA.
Opening you markets to our exporters exploitative "free trade" entrepreneurs can be the very worst thing you can do for our democrat ideals CHAVISTIC Unified Latin democrat Unions for centralized economy and social socialistic revolutionary justice. Please do NOT allow that evil president of yours to approve the FTA with our country and against our people and our real goals and ideals. We deeply thank you Ms Pelosi and American democrat worker-union-voters in advance for all your efforts in this regard. The less FTA you give Colombia, the bigger our revolutionary Army of the People FARC will do in agreement with our glorious Gran Colombian democrat workers-union unifier: HUGO CHAVEZ FRIAS.
PS. Admired and respected Ms. Pelosi, we also know you will please certainly succeed in eliminating all the moneys given to the "Plan Colombia" that is so badly hurting our revolutionary forces, and will please abandon as well Irak (come on, WWI and WWII "freedom American heroes" ended also cowardly during and after our glorious revolutionary victory and your humiliated defeat in Vietnam). Your continued support to our socialistic workers unions armed nationalistic anti-global revolution and independence is more than greatly appreciated by our undisputed leader of Latin America HUGO CHAVEZ, in the name of all XXI century socialistic revolution in the world.
THANK YOU ALL DEMOCRAT AMERICA!!!!
COLOMBIAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS

Posted by: Neo Retroprotectionism | April 16, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I think a good question is just why are we still in Germany? Why are we in Japan? Isn't 60+ years enough to get them on their feet? Fortunately they aren't shooting at us over there, at least not yet. But if our troops acted in Germany and Japan like they do in Iraq, you can bet bullets would be flying. I refuse to support our "Storm Troops", I refuse to pledge allegance to a country that tortures, and I refuse to sleep with both eyes closed why the Republicans run this country. I hope to God our next president holds them accountable. I know Mccain won't.

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