Remember what he said when someone asked about Bush's comments that we would be in Iraq for 50 years:
"Make it a hundred. We've been in Japan for 60 years; South Korea for 50 years or so. As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."
Notice that McCain seems to place a caveat on his plan for a 100-year presence in Iraq: as long as Americans are not being injured or killed they can stay. Yet his entire stance on Iraq for the last 5 years has been that we cannot withdraw from Iraq because our troops are being injured and killed there.
Surely McCain doesn't believe that if all of Iraq was peaceful and we were suffering zero casualties that we would need to stay there? It doesn't make any sense. In fact, he believes the exact opposite: as long as our troops are dying in significant numbers there then we have to stay. Why? One wonders if this could have anything to do with his experience in Vietnam. Does he believe that by accepting endless casualties in Iraq we can somehow recover the "honor" that he wrongly feels was lost in Vietnam? How badly is McCain's Vietnam experience distorting his judgment on Iraq?
Iraq is very different from Vietnam as we all know. Iraq never has been and it never will be a cohesive nation-state. It is deeply split along multiple sectarian fault-lines: ethnic, religious and tribal. Keeping our troops in Iraq to force Iraqis to live together in the same country is contrary to our national security interests, helps al Qaeda recruit new followers, inflames Arab public opinion against us, and denies the rights of the Iraqis themselves to determine their own future. We didn't send troops into Yugoslavia to keep that fragmented country together--why should we be doing that in Iraq?
Also, unlike Vietnam, the enemy we face in Iraq (the foreign jihadists) doesn't have the capability to take over the country. We won't see al Qaeda flags flying over the abandoned US embassy in Baghdad. The idea that a small foreign force never estimated to be over 5,000 can take over a country of 16 million people has always been utterly preposterous. The Shiites and Kurds who make up 80% of Iraq's population are implacably hostile to al Qaeda (which is entirely Sunni) and would never tolerate its presence in their areas.
We need to STOP John McCain before he becomes president and sends more of our heroes into this miserable nationbuilding fiasco in Iraq. We don't need a president who is refighting the Vietnam War in his head all over again. We need a president who has the courage to stop the bleeding in Iraq and stop using our troops to prop up an unpopular and ineffective government there that does not have the support of its people.
Stop the war and stop John McCain!
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!