Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McCain knows what is best for Iraq, rejects Maliki's timetable

Here we go again. On the July 21, 2008 Today Show program, Republican presidential candidate John McCain again rejected Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki's call for a 16-month timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Here is McCain speaking on the Today Show from YouTube:

Here is the transcript of McCain's statement:

Vieira: "Senator Obama's timetable of removing U.S. troops from Iraq within that 16-month period seemed to be getting a thumbs up by the Iraqi prime minister when he called it 'the right timeframe for a withdrawal.' He has backed off that somewhat, but the Iraqis have not stopped using the word timetable, so if the Iraqi government were to say -- if you were President -- we want a timetable for troops being to removed, would you agree with that?"

McCain: "I have been there too many times. I've met too many times with him, and I know what they want. They want it based on conditions and of course they would like to have us out, that's what happens when you win wars, you leave. We may have a residual presence there as even Senator Obama has admitted. But the fact is that it should be -- the agreement between Prime Minister Maliki, the Iraqi government and the United states is it will be based on conditions. This is a great success, but it's fragile, and could be reversed very easily. I think we should trust the word of General Petraeus who has orchestrated this dramatic turnaround. And by the way, we would have been out last march if Senator Obama's original wish would have been called for. Not 16 months from now, but last March. He was wrong on the surge, he was wrong today when he says it didn't succeed. And obviously we have challenges in Afghanistan which will require more troops and more NATO participation, but we can win. If we had lost in Iraq, we would have risked a much wider war that would have put enormous challenges and burdens on our military." [Emphasis added].

The arrogance of John McCain here is just incredible. John McCain is saying that we shouldn't listen to what either the Iraqi government, Prime Minister Maliki, or even the Iraqi people want on this war, or the withdrawal of U.S. troops, because John McCain said so. John McCain knows what the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people want--more war! Forget Maliki's withdrawal timetable. Forget that 71 percent of Iraqis want their government "to ask for US-led forces to be withdrawn from Iraq within a year or less." What is even more insane is that not only does John McCain know what the Iraqi people and government wants regarding this war, but McCain also claims that General Petraeus knows what the Iraqi government and people want from this war. So we should listen to General Petraeus. This is just absolute arrogance on John McCain's part in not just rejecting Maliki's timetable, but rejecting any say in what the Iraqi government, its leaders, and its people, in determining the outcome of this U.S. war in Iraq, and the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

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