There is a giant disconnect in the political discussion of the war in Iraq, especially over how long we stay. John McCain says we have an open-ended commitment. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both say we should get out now.
They're all three lying.
Senator McCain says we could have troops based in Iraq the same as in Germany, Japan or Korea. But that doesn't mean those troops stationed on bases in some future peaceful Iraq won't be in any danger. Just as the troops in Germany were for decades the target Russian missiles, and there is still hostility between North and South Korea, any troops stationed overseas are under threat, and all the more so in the historically unstable Middle East.
So why is Senator McCain saying we will be there if they want us? The primary reason is that we must deny our enemies hope. It is naive lunacy to say that we're leaving until we actually do. And we won't leave until Iraq is self-sufficient, unless some naive lunatic gets elected and pulls troops out before the job is done, leaving a power vacuum in Iraq.
We've seen power vacuums before, such as when the British pulled out of Basra, and when the United States pulled out of Viet Nam. When political weakness dictates military strategy, no good results.
I don't think Hillary Clinton, if elected, would pull troops out right away. She would say she was doing that, but would do so slowly, and with much fanfare, while continuing with normal troop rotations.
Senator Obama says that if elected he would try to defy the lessons of history and the laws of human nature, allowing a mess we created to turn into a victory for our foes. I don't think he means it. He'd start pulling troops out, whereupon lo and behold, Al Qaeda would suddenly appear, forcing him to redeploy. And it would be a giant mess, because he has no clue about the world outside the South Side of Chicago.
So I really don't believe any of them. I do like Senator McCain's bravado better than the simperion of the other two, however.
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