The Spectacle Blog

McCain and Troop Presence In Iraq

By on 6.11.08 | 4:55PM

John McCain is drawing fire from Democrats today over comments he made this morning to Matt Lauer in which McCain expressed his long-stated view that the amount of time American troops stay in Iraq is "not too important," but what matters is reducing casualties, and that as long as troops are out of harm's way, we can maintain a presence in Iraq as we do in Germany and Korea. Video here.  

Obama backers are suggesting that these comments demonstrate McCain doesn't think it's important to bring troops home, and that he doesn't understand the strain the war is placing on the military. This is absurd. Supporting a presence in

Iraq/>/> isn't the same as maintaining 130,000 to 150,000 troops indefinitely, and a Korea-like presence is different than a permanent state of combat. While it's true that McCain opposes a timetable, he still supports withdrawing troops when conditions permit.

I continue to be puzzled by Democrats' handling of McCain's position on Iraq/>/>. It seems to me that the most effective way of debating McCain, rather than taking him out of context as they also did with the "100 years" comment, is to criticize what he is actually saying. I'm sure that most Americans are not too keen on the idea of having permanent bases in Iraq/> like we do in Korea/>/>. Even I, who have been a supporter of the Iraq War from the beginning, am uncomfortable with such an arrangement, especially if Iraqis aren't on board. So why not go after him for that rather than attacking him for stuff he didn't say?

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