Thursday, February 14, 2008

McCain: "Insulting to One's Intelligence" to ask How Long U.S. Will be in Iraq

Okay, this is one for the books: John McCain said that it is "insulting" to a person's intelligence to ask him how long he is prepared for American troops to stay in Iraq. Here's the quote from a Faux News Report:

Delivering a harsh rebuke to war critics, Sen. John McCain said Monday that it “almost insulting to one’s intelligence” to question how long the U.S. will keep troops in Iraq.

“Anyone who worries about how long we’re in Iraq does not understand the military and does not understand war. The question is not how long we stay in Iraq, the question is whether we are able to reduce casualties, eliminate them, have the Iraqi military-as they are today-take over more and more of our responsibilities,” McCain said after a rally at the Virginia Aviation Museum.

The surge proponent ratcheted up his rhetoric today, accusing his Democratic rivals’ of having a fundamental misunderstanding of what it takes to fight a war.

“The argument is really almost insulting to one’s intelligence to say how long we’re in Iraq,” McCain said, noting that the U.S. has maintained thousands of troops in Germany, South Korea and Japan for decades. “The question is, will we be able to succeed with this strategy, which is succeeding, and withdraw American troops to bases out of harms way, eliminate the casualties, and have this counter-insurgency succeed—which we are on the path to doing.”

The reason why he has to use such rhetoric towards those who question his decisions on Iraq is that he has absolutely no idea how long he would keep American troops in Iraq. The reason why he doesn't know is that he is willing to cede control over whether American troops stay in Iraq and for how long to Iraqis. The reason why we say that he is ceding such control is that his plan would allow Iraqis to take as long as they want in establishing a political solution for Iraq because they wouldn't have to worry about our troops leaving. Basically, his approach is to enable the Iraqis to continue in their dynsfunction as long as they want.

We don't think that any American president should base the use of American troops on decisions that Americans don't control. We think that American troops should only be put in harm's way as a result of American decisions, not decisions by foreigners, whether such foreigners be English, French, German or Iraqi. There was a time when American presidents agreed with such an approach, but that belief is apprently passe on the Republican side.

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