I guess I should’ve known I’d have to be adding a part four. I completely left off the 100 year in Iraq thing. As is commonly now known, back in January, John McCain was at a townhall meeting, and was asked how long we were going to be in Iraq. McCain explained the matter in detail with the questioner, laying out the rationale for keeping the region stable.
No. I talked earlier about the suicide bombs and the continued threats. And then what happens is American troops withdraw and they withdraw to bases and then they eventually withdraw, or we reach an arrangement like we have in South Korea, with Japan. We still have troops in Bosnia. But the fact is it’s American casualties that the American people care about and those casualties are on the way down rather dramatically. And the option, and I’ll say this again because you’ve got to consider the option. If we had withdrawn six months ago, I’d look you in the eye and tell you Al Queda would have said we beat the United States of America. If we’d gone along with Harry Reid and said the war was lost to Al Queda, then we would be fighting that battle all over the Middle East, and I am convinced of that and so is General Petraeus as well as others. So I can tell you that it’s going to be long and hard and tough. I can tell you the option of defeat is incredible and horrendous. And I can tell you and look you in the eye and tell you that this strategy is succeeding. And what we care about is not American presence, we care about American casualties and those casualties I believe will be dramatically and continue to be reduced. Please follow up. E.H.: I do not believe that one U.S. soldier being killed almost every day is success. There were three U.S. soldiers killed today. I want to know how long are we going to be there? Are you are you … Mr. McCain: How long do you want us to be in South Korea? How long do you want to be in Bosnia? E.H. There’s no fighting going on in South Korea. Let’s not talk about South Korea. Let’s come back to Iraq. Mr. McCain: Thank you sir, and I can look you in the eye and tell you that those casualties tragically continue as I made very clear in my opening remarks. But they are much less and we will eventually eliminate them. And again the option of setting a date for withdrawal is a date for surrender and we would then have many more casualties and many more American sacrifice, if we withdraw with setting a date for surrender. Now you and I have an honest open disagreement, but I can tell you six months ago that people like you who believe like you said the surge would never succeed. And it is succeeding. And I’ve been there and I have seen it with my very own eyes. E.H.: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — Mr. McCain: Maybe a hundred. We’ve been in South Korea, we’ve been in japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That’d be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. Then it’s fine with me, I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Queda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day.
It’s completely clear, to anyone with three brain cells rubbing together, that McCain isn’t talking about being at war for one hundred years. He’s talking about a similar situation we have in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Bosnia. Those have been, and are, volatile regions, and our presence there accomplishes two things: 1) we provide stability just by our being there, just as you don’t drive over the speed limit when there’s a police officer parked on the side of the road. 2) If problems do break out, we are right there, ready to stomp on them. If your forces are out of theater, in Kuwait, or according to the great military mind and Marine slanderer John Murtha, we should redeploy our forces to Okinawa, so, you know, “we can redeploy there almost instantly.”
Okay, that’s the setup. Barack Obama jumped on that, and has the Left convinced that McCain wants us at war in Iraq for 100 years.
Obama has kept that meme going ever since he became the front runner. As part of Obama’s strategy of pushing Hillary over the cliff, he has taken the attitude that it is John McCain he’s running against instead of Hillary right now, as if the Democrat nominee has been settled. Which isn’t a bad strategy, it puts the idea in people’s minds that he is Presidential, and she’s just a mosquito harassing him.
The problem with this, as it relates to McCain, is that the 100 year meme he’s selling is bankrupt. Just two days ago, Obama insisted that he isn’t taking McCain out of context.
In a back and forth at today’s press conference, Obama insisted he was not taking out of context McCain’s comments about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years. Asked if his attack was disingenuous, Obama had the following to say:
“I don’t think it’s unfair at all,” Obama said. “John McCain, I mean, we can run the YouTube spot, has said that we will stay there as long as it takes. And if it takes another 100 years, he’s up for that commitment and that implies that there is some criteria by which we would understand how long it takes.
The press is beginning to notice this little discrepancy in Obama’s, er, interpretation. The Politico. ABC. Of course, Fox News is on it as well. The Columbia Journalism Review, one of the top J-schools in the nation. Even the New York Times and the AP.
The Freepers have an extensive roundup on all the media outlets calling Obama on his lying and misleading on this issue.
A commenter on the MSNBC story has a completely salient point:
Wait — It’s ok for us to see a 10 second clip of McCain on YouTube, but it’s not ok to see 30 second clip of Rev. Wright on YouTube?
Obama, make up your mind.
Then there’s the news yesterday. It seems Obama has been running around, bashing those eeeviille fat cats at Big Oil, stating:
“Since the gas lines of the ’70s, Democrats and Republicans have talked about energy independence, but nothing’s changed — except now Exxon’s making $40 billion a year, and we’re paying $3.50 for gas.
I’m Barack Obama. I don’t take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won’t let them block change anymore. They’ll pay a penalty on windfall profits. We’ll invest in alternative energy, create jobs and free ourselves from foreign oil. I approve this message because it’s time that Washington worked for you. Not them.”
Well, ABC reports that Obama’s claim doesn’t quite hold water, calling it Obama’s Oil Slick. Tapper reports that
Factcheck.org today takes a look at Obama’s claim to not take money from oil companies and concludes that the statement “misleading” since according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive PoliticsObama has taken more than $213,000 from individuals (and their spouses) who work for companies in the oil and gas industry — not to mention that two of Obama’s top fundraisers are top executives at oil companies”
It is literally true that Obama doesn’t take money from oil companies. No federal candidate does — corporations have been banned from direct contributions since 1907.
The Obama campaign points out that the senator doesn’t take money from PACs or from lobbyists. Factcheck.org calls that a “distinction without very much of a practical difference. Political action committee funds are pooled contributions from a company’s or an organization’s individual employees or members; corporate lobbyists often have a big say as to where a PAC’s donations go. But a PAC can give no more than $5,000 per candidate, per election. We’re not sure how a $5,000 contribution from, say, Chevron’s PAC would have more influence on a candidate than, for example, the $9,500 Obama has received from Chevron employees giving money individually.”
(Sen. Hillary Clinton has taken $306,000 in donations from people in the oil and gas industry, incidentally.)
Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air has a good evaluation of Obama:
Barack Obama has started getting some major-league vetting from the media, and so far he looks like a AAA prospect brought up a season or two too early.
Put this on top of the CJR article about which AP wrote so well earlier, and we can start sensing a shift in coverage for Obama. It started with the Saturday Night Live satire that skewered the national media’s apple-polishing coverage of Obama for the previous year, which coincided with the start of the Tony Rezko trial. Obama’s rumored distance with beat reporters may have contributed to the shift as well, but whatever prompted it, the press has started testing Obama — and so far, he has responded poorly.
Maybe that’s why he seems to be so testy, snapping at an adoring fan. Repeatedly.
More updates to come, if I were a betting man.