Friday, April 4, 2008

100 Years of Misrepresentation?

Whatever John McCain's past stances or principles may be, it is infinitely clear now that he intends to run for what essentially would be a continuation of the current administration, especially regarding foreign policy. On that point, I contend there is little dispute (though one side views that favorably and one not so much.)

However, confronted with a near barrage of reasons and evidence this inclination is more or less fact, McCain's opposition seems unnervingly intent on perpetuating the '100 years' comment.

Far be it from me to ride to the defense of McCain, but in this instance, the left is engaging in a little willful carelessness with the quote in question.

Maybe 100! We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 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’d be fine with you — if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al-Qaeda is training, recruiting, and equipping and motivating people every single day.

Clearly McCain is not implying that US troops should stay in Iraq under the current conditions for another century. He's referring to the fact that America has troops stationed around the globe during times of peace. End of story.

That's not to say that the environment in Iraq is in any way similar to South Korea, or that a permanent US presence would ever be feasible without promiscuous violence, but that's what he meant. Forget the feasibility of his statement.

McCain offers no shortness of ill-concieved foreign policy ideas, short-sighted and ill-informed opinions, or desperately out-of-touch assessments of conditions in Iraq. Why, then, must the left continue to use one of his more innocuous statements in perpetuity? To do so only presents the right with an easily-defensible argument centered on the obvious quote cropping before the part suggesting that soldiers weren't being harmed.

Opponents of the war would be significantly better off to stray from the bumper-sticker politics reliant upon willful illiteracy and stick to lambasting McCain for the countless other instances illustrating his disastrous stance on foreign policy.

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