Friday, March 28, 2008

Good Foreign Policy Or The Hundred Years War?

Watching the far left in action is like watching a Piccasso painting brought to life. It is surreal and with only a tenuous relationship to reality. Such is their latest device to attack John McCain on the issue of Iraq. Krauthammer responds.


Today's Krauthammer article is doubly depressing - one, because the left is clearly being untruthfull and playing America for fools, and two, because Krauthammer felt sufficiently concerned that it might works that it justified a response. The topic is McCain's remark to the effect that he would not have a problem maintaining long term bases in Iraq. The left is playing this up as the return of the Hundred Years war and that McCain is willing to commit us to endless warfare. It is incredibly sophomoric on several levels.

One, that is clearly not what McCain meant within the context of what he said - as you will see in the full quote in the Krauthammer article below. Two, McCain has long been about committing sufficient force in Iraq to completely quell the violence and bring hostilities to an end as soon as possible - in other words, end the war by actually winning it as soon as possible. There is light at the end of the tunnel on that - assuming it is not tossed away by the partisan democrats for votes. Three, everywhere we have put long term bases after a war - Germany, Japan, Italy, Korea - there has been no further warfare by or against that nation. So whether to maintain a long term base or two in a strategically important region with predatory neighbors who threaten our interests would seem a complete no-brainer. So how the far left can think they can somehow play this to their advantage is beyond me - but they do. And today, Krauthammer responds:

Asked at a New Hampshire campaign stop about possibly staying in Iraq 50 years, John McCain interrupted -- "Make it a hundred" -- then offered a precise analogy to what he envisioned: "We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so." Lest anyone think he was talking about prolonged war-fighting rather than maintaining a presence in postwar Iraq, he explained: "That would be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."

And lest anyone persist in thinking he was talking about war-fighting, he told his questioner: "It's fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintained a presence in a very volatile part of the world."

. . . The desirability of a similar presence in Iraq was obvious as long as five years ago to retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, one of Barack Obama's leading military advisers and his campaign co-chairman. During the first week of the Iraq war, McPeak (an Iraq war critic) suggested in an interview that "we'll be there a century, hopefully. If it works right." (Meaning, if we win.)

Why is that a hopeful outcome? Because maintaining a U.S. military presence in Iraq would provide regional stability, as well as cement a long-term allied relationship with the most important Arab country in the region.

As McPeak himself said about our long stay in Europe, Japan and Korea, "This is the way great powers operate." One can argue that such a presence in Iraq might not be worth the financial expense. A legitimate point -- it might require working out the kind of relations we have with Japan, which picks up about 75 percent of the cost of U.S. forces stationed there.

Alternatively, one might advocate simply bolstering our presence in Kuwait, a choice that would minimize risk, albeit at the sacrifice of some power projection. Such a debate would be fruitful and help inform our current negotiations with Baghdad over the future status of American forces.

But a serious argument is not what Democrats are seeking. They want the killer sound bite, the silver bullet to take down McCain. According to Politico, they have found it: "Dems to hammer McCain for '100 years.' "

The device? Charge that McCain is calling for a hundred years of war. Hence:

- "He says that he is willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq" (Barack Obama, Feb. 19).

- "We are bogged down in a war that John McCain now suggests might go on for another 100 years" (Obama, Feb. 26).

- "He's willing to keep this war going for 100 years" (Hillary Clinton, March 17).

- "What date between now and the election in November will he drop this promise of a 100-year war in Iraq?" (Chris Matthews, March 4).

. . . As Lenin is said to have said, "A lie told often enough becomes truth." And as this lie passes into truth, the Democrats are ready to deploy it "as the linchpin of an effort to turn McCain's national security credentials against him," reports David Paul Kuhn of Politico.

Hence: A Howard Dean fundraising letter charging McCain with seeking "an endless war in Iraq." And a Democratic National Committee news release in which Dean asserts: "McCain's strategy is a war without end. . . . Elect John McCain and get 100 years in Iraq."

The Annenberg Political Fact Check, a nonprofit and nonpartisan project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, says: "It's a rank falsehood for the DNC to accuse McCain of wanting to wage 'endless war' based on his support for a presence in Iraq something like the U.S. role in South Korea."

The Democrats are undeterred. "It's seldom you get such a clean shot," a senior Obama adviser told Politico. It's seldom that you see such a dirty lie.

Read the entire article. It shows just how divorced from reality the far left is that they think they have stuck political gold in McCain's remarks.

1 comment:

Soccer Dad said...

First of all, you have a standing invitation to e-mail a link to your Krauthammer review before 5:30 AM, so I can link to it too.

Second of all, you might want to check out David Brooks and the WSJ.