Tuesday, April 1, 2008

K-Lo Gets It Backwards

If I'm reading this right--and I know I am, but I have to say things like that from time to time--then McCain is a leader because he has exactly the wrong strategy for fighting the war in Iraq:

What the “100 years” talk refers to is something McCain rightly said in response to a question during a New Hampshire townhall meeting in January. The question regarded Bush’s statement that we could be in Iraq for 50 more years. McCain sensibly responded: “Make it 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, that’s fine with me. I hope that would 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.”

When asked to clarify, he would go on to say that it could be 1,000 years, or even a million years. These are the lines that try Democrats’ souls. But McCain was right about the long war. It was a sensible answer. And though it doesn’t sound like the most attractive answer -- who wants 100 years in Iraq? -- it was straight talk from a senator who has a better track record on Iraq than most. And it may not hurt his campaign, either.

Now, that's a bit of a stretch. The only reason we stayed in those places was because of a symbiotic relationship between us and the host country which was based on protecting them while they rebuilt their society, infusing money into their economy, and because there was no popular groundswell of the will of the people in those host countries to throw us out either by violence or by protest. We had a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that was based on law, not something concocted on the way to secretly meet with the prime minister.

Pew reports that Americans are split about whether the war is going well or not. They’re split over bringing the troops home or keeping them there. But they know that 4,000 American lives have been lost valiantly, and Americans don’t like losing something they’ve gone into with their blood.

According to Pew, 53 percent of Americans think we can win this. A CBS poll indicates 42 percent acknowledging the surge has worked -- it’s meant progress. Contrary to the way the Dems talk, a Gallup poll had a minority (18 percent) favoring withdrawing the troops immediately.

Say what you want about McCain, but he’s been right about Iraq. He was right to say “no surrender.” He was right to support the surge. By contrast, Obama has been endorsed by MoveOn.org, which had the nerve to suggest Gen. David Petraeus was betraying us with false information. Clinton refused to condemn the ad, which was no surprise given the disrespect she showed the general in congressional questioning.

Wow--if that isn't cherry picking old polls and trying to shine a turd, I don't know what is. The war has been consistently unpopular. The people support the troops but not the Administration, which has had an approval rating so low for so long it shouldn't even be brought up in polite conversation. The Commander in Chief of this war has been so unpopular for so long, K-Lo has to gloss over it and cherry pick polls from one polling outfit just to try to skate past that whole thing about the war being about as popular as New Coke, pardoning Nixon and Yahoo Serious.

Here are some poll numbers to contemplate:

Nearly half of all Americans - 46 percent - want large numbers of U.S. troops to leave Iraq within the next year. Twenty-two percent are willing to have U.S. troops remain in the country for one to two years, and 28 percent are willing to have troops remain longer than that.

Fewer than one in three Americans approve of the way Mr. Bush is handling the war in Iraq. His 30 percent approval rating on the war is unchanged from last month and closely matches the president’s overall approval rating of 29 percent.

Thirty-six percent of Americans think the U.S. did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, while 59 percent believe the U.S. should have stayed out. In March 2003, nearly seven in 10 Americans said the U.S. did the right thing.

Just 31 percent of Americans think the U.S. should have stayed to rebuild Iraq after Saddam Hussein was removed from power. Twenty-seven percent say the U.S. should have pulled out of Iraq after removing Saddam, while 41 percent say the U.S. should have never gotten involved in the first place.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans believe Saddam was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. That figure is down significantly since the spring of 2003, when more than half of those surveyed said the former Iraqi leader was involved in the attacks.

That's gotta hurt--the only way McCain can take the wingnuttery all the way to the White House is for people to be confused about the reasons for the war. Once people finally wake up, they're going to be pissed.

And, no, he's been wrong about Iraq. He can't even get straight who makes up which side and who they're aligned with without being prompted by Joe Lieberman. He fails every basic test in a Commander in Chief--you know, the test that starts of with "we are fighting (blank) because (blank). When a candidate for President can't even get that much right, we're not talking statesman. We're talking confused and cranky.

He clearly doesn't have the temperment to be President. Just ask him if he sent his staff to talk to John Kerry about running on the Democratic ticket in 2004--you'll get an earful of his leadership, wisdom and judgement.

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