John McCain made that rather clever/strange speech today looking back on the first four years of his Presidency from the perspective of 2013. One of the things that McCain suggested was that we will have WON in Iraq by then, and that Iraq will then be a functioning democracy (with most of our troops having come home). The left immediately tried to twist McCain's words into dometing other than what he was clearly saying. For that matter, he was not suggesting anything other than the obvious: We HAVE to show substantial progress toward victory in Iraq well before 2013, or NO President is going to have a choice of continuing the present policy. Things may change on the ground such that we have to GO BACK in with major force (even Barack Obama acknowledged that), but it is absurd to suggest that we can just continue the present status quo until 2013. That did not stop leftists from trying to distort McCain's words, as described by the despicable Associated Press (one of the leftist entities perfectly willing to distort words):
"Republican John McCain declared for the first time Thursday he believes the Iraq war can be won by 2013, although he rejected suggestions that his talk of a timetable put him on the same side as Democrats clamoring for full-scale troop withdrawals."
Leftists lie. They lie routinely. They lie often. They wile without guilt (in a "higher" cause than "truth"). They lie for a perceived political advantage.
How intellectualy dishonest do you have to be to suggest that it is a "timetable" to say that we can and should "win" the war in Iraq by 2013? Pretty darn (fill in correct word) dishonest. But these are LEFTISTS suggesting that McCain meant something other than he said, and that setting a goal for your first term is the same as a "timetable" of the disastrous sort demanded by leftist Democrats for IRaq.
Can we go on the same way in Iraq for five more years? No politician is that stupid, and McCain has never suggested any such thing (the "100 year" comment was taken out of context, as McCain was saying that it was "fine with him" if we maintained a presence in Iraq 100 years AFTER WE HAD WON and after no Americans were being killed or injured--as we have in Germany sixty years after World War II). The "100 years" smear of McCain is actually another leftist lie in which Obama has directly participated.
If we have NOT substantially won in Iraq in five years (meaning Iraqis have taken over their own security), then we have to be doing somethinng DIFFERENTLY by then (whether withdrawal or something else). McCain is not saying we have to be autmaticlly out. He is just saying what is obvious: we CAN win by then, and we NEED to win by then. Otherwise, things will have gone badly wrong (as they did before General Petraeus and the recent troop surge set us back on what appears to be the right track).
Notice that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton BOTH refused to commit to having all Aermican troops out of Iraq when they were asked (in a debate) whether they would make that commitment. Ironic, isn't it, that McCain has not said anything so very different than them, except for refusing to tell the enemy that he will IMMEDIATELY start withdrawing troops no matter what the enmey is doing.
P.S. Do I like McCain (politically) more after this speech than before it? Nope. See previous entry, and numberous entries before that. But I have told you before that I will often seem to be defending McCain in this blog, because he will be the subject of unfair leftist attacks. One of my goals in this blog is not to let leftists get away with dishonesty, such as the misrepresentation of what McCain said about it being "fine with him" if we were still in Iraq 100 years from now, and I will continue to expose such dishonesty--even if it appears to defend McCain.