McCain: Straight Talk on Iraq?


  1. He says whatever he thinks is going to be popular at the time. Just like a Democrat. This is the candidate that the media wanted the Republicans to nominate (presumably because he'll be easy to beat). Why on earth anyone voted for this man in the primaries is beyond me.

  2. Once again Olbermann got it right. Actually, I thought McCain would be the best candidate among the Republicans because he was the most moderate and because he is/was an independent thinker. I'm starting to think I was wrong about him being the best candidate. He continues to amaze me (and I don't mean that as a compliment).


  3. WHO is that guy (the commentator)? Please tell me he is not a "journalist" and has what is not entitled as a "news" show! That is one of the worst cases of defining "context" that I have ever witnessed. The only thing he said that included ANY context was the first comment (which seems entirely reasonable and honest to me). The rest was transcripted soundbites - with no sound for me to verify what he says McCain says.

    And each quote he draws from seems to say the same thing: McCain wants troops out of harm with a smaller, peaceful presence in Iraq. It is a consistent message and this reporter (or whatever he is) attempts to manipulate it as inconsistent. This is how the US has ALWAYS developed and maintained a peaceful and beneficial relationship with other former enemy countries (why he uses Germany & Japan as an example).

    I still don't like McCain, but this is make-believe. Don't let "news" men like this persuade you. Anytime a journalist presents something as factual and pans away to another camera for a dramatic aside - beware! Drama is for fiction.

  4. His name is Keith Olberman Missy and he is the other fair-and-balanced commentator out there :)

    I think that the idea was to show how McCain's straiight talk on Iraq is very time-sensitive and has changed over the years.. and likely to change in the future.

    I agree with you and generally don't watch Olberman or O'Reilly because of the points that you brought up.

    I record "Morning Joe" (on MSNBC) every morning and like to watch it because the folks on that show really do seem to be fair and balanced.. and civil to boot :)

  5. Wouldn't you be more concerned if a candidate's view DIDN'T change over time? Especially in regards to Iraq. What we know now and the situation we are dealing with now are much different than they were in the beginning. One should always reconsider their stance with every changing situation.

    But I still find consistency in the root of McCain's comments regarding Iraq.

  6. Thanks for coming back Missy. I see where you are coming from. Here is the dialog that started the ball rolling:

    "A lot of people," Matt Lauer began, "now say the surge is working."

    "Anybody who knows the facts on the ground say that," the Senator interjected.

    "If it’s now working, Senator," Lauer continued, "do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?"

    "No," answered McCain. "But that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany.

    That’s all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw. We will be able to withdraw. General Petraeus is going to tell us in July when he thinks we are. But the key to it is we don’t want any more Americans in harm’s way. And that way they will be safe, and serve our country, and come home with honor and victory — not in defeat, which is what Sen. [Barack] Obama’s proposal would have done. And I’m proud of them, and they’re doing a great job. And we are succeeding. And it’s fascinating that Sen. Obama still doesn’t realize it."

    What I think many have been focusing on is McCain's comments that it is okay to maintain the troop levels as long as only a few soldiers are dying.

    Not sure if you listened to all of Olbermann's rant but here is how (in part) he finished it:

    The surge is working and even that still tells Sen. McCain nothing about when we can ransom our soldiers?

    Wasn’t that the ultimate purpose of the surge? To get them out?

    If we cannot tell, if McCain cannot even guess, doesn’t that, by definition, mean... the surge isn’t working?

    That is my concern as well. How can everything be okay in Iraq if we don't have a way to bring our troops back home?

    The bigger concern for me is that McCain doesn't see a need to change Bush's Iraq policy.

    Sigh.. sorry for the rant..

  7. I think Olbermann got it right. McCain's POV on this war has been confusing to say the least. The American people were sold this war as getting rid of Saddam Hussein because his government was sponsoring terrorism. That mission was accomplished years ago. Now, the goal line keeps moving. After we committed our resources to this "war", we were told that we are considering an almost permanent presence a la Germany and Japan. Germany and Japan are two completely different situations and even if they were not, the American people did not sign up for a long term presence in Iraq. We are basically sitting in the middle of a civil war, trying to keep two sides apart, not protecting a nation from other nations. Meanwhile, our men and women are being killed, maimed and psychologically damaged for an Iraqi government that cannot or will not control handle its own affairs.

    McCain's definition of what constitutes "victory" and when we would achieve keeps creeping. What is victory when you're playing referee in a civil war? For someone who says he hates war, he doesn't seem to be too concerned about when and how we end this one.

    If this is a "war" which nation have we declared war against? McCain doesn't even seem to know the differences between the Sunnis, Shiites, Al Qaeda, etc. Even more scary than the fact he seems to have no plan to end this "war", he doesn't even seem concerned about when we do it as long as "acceptable" numbers of our men and women are dying there. Only in some dream world are the Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites going to stop fighting anytime soon. And, here we sit right in the middle of it with no plan as to how to get out.

  8. Bob, I guess I have the idea that a war fought effectively will end in peace. Leaving before Iraq establishes a strong government would be doom for those who desire peace and democracy - and for us as well, in the long run.

    I must be honest, however, I want all our men & women home and safe. How can we be safe and compassionate for the oppressed at the same time? It's tough.

    I get my media "opinions" from far more liberal sources, so I may be skewed. I'll listen to your guys to get some balance. :)

    Here's some of mine:

    Andrew Olmsted
    Iraq The Model

  9. Thanks for the conversation everyone.. I am enjoying it.

    Missy, I think that the answer to..

    "a war fought effectively will end in peace" in Brian's comments:

    "Only in some dream world are the Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites going to stop fighting anytime soon."

    The war against Iraqi forces was won many years ago.. the war that we are involved with now is a civil war.. one that will probably be going on for a very long time :(

  10. .. and what does Andrew Olmsted have to say about Iraq? It appears that his blog is no longer active Missy..

  11. KB, yes, I agree that we will never be able to force these groups to peace. The peace I mean is only the peace we can make between ourselves and the Iraqi's, and I suspect part of that is helping them mantain some of the freedoms we enjoy.

    Yes, that blog is no longer active, but it is available to read. Andrew Olmsted was a soldier in Iraq who blogged. The Dept of Defense shut him down in Feb 07. He picked it back up here with a newspaper so it would be "journalism."

    His last post, dated Jan 8, 2008, was post mortem at his request. He died from sniper fire in Iraq on Jan 3, 2008.


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