March 2, 2008

When truth goes chasing lies around the globe...

...It helps to have a bookmark to the facts. So keep this link on hand. (Thanks to Orrin.) Jonathan Last, in the Philly Inquirer...

A Democratic line is emerging about Sen. John McCain that is voiced daily by Sen. Obama (and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton) in the presidential campaign.

"Senator McCain said the other day that we might be mired for 100 years in Iraq," Obama says, "which is reason enough not to give him four years in the White House." Or more directly, as Obama told a Houston audience, McCain "says that he is willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq."

Obama's claims are, at best, deliberately misleading. At worst, they are the type of politics-as-usual distortion that the Illinois senator usually decries. No one, in politics or the media, who voices the "100 years" canard is being fair-minded. So let's put it to rest now, once and for all:

On Jan. 3 in Derry, N.H., a voter prefaced a question to McCain by saying, "President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years . . ." Here, McCain cut him off, interjecting, "Make it a hundred."

The voter tried to continue his question, but McCain pressed on: "We've been in . . . Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long
as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. 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-Qaeda is training, equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day."

McCain's analysis is, objectively speaking, exactly correct. Throughout history, U.S. troops have remained in the field long after the conclusion of successful wars...

He goes on to list all the many places our troops have remained long after our victories. Philippines, Japan, Germany, Italy, South Korea. Iceland, even!

And of course the really important point is, Why? Why are we still in most of those places?

A. It works. We want them to stay democratic and peaceful, so we stick around and keep our eyes on things.
B. It puts our forces close to various bad guys around the globe. Mighty handy, that's been. Mostly because it prevents wars. It is the real pacifism.
C. The whole way of picturing the US as just another nation or empire fighting this war and that is stupid. We are, actually, the cops on this planet. We are not fighting "wars" (in any classical sense of the word) at all. We are cleaning up bad neighborhoods. And if a police station is built right in the middle of gang territory, and the cops start aggressively patrolling and walking the beats--that just makes sense. It's good. It's good that we will have troops sitting right next to Iran and Syria and Saudi Arabia. That's one of the many excellent reasons we are in Iraq.
Posted by John Weidner at March 2, 2008 2:05 PM
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