Moving the Goalposts

May 15, 2008 3:00 pm posted by Jason Rosenbaum

Today, John McCain laid out his vision for America under his administration. On the most burning question occupying the minds of Americans, he said:

“By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom.  The Iraq war has been won.”

At this point, it should be clear McCain has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to Iraq. Over the last five years, McCain has said the war is almost over, the war will last 100 years, and everything in between. Here’s the timeline, in his own words:

April 9th, 2003 on ABC:

“It’s clear that the end is very much in sight…”

(putting the end of the war within months)

February 25th, 2004 on MSNBC:

“Listen, my friend, we’re going to have to be there for five or six years.”

(putting the end of the war in 2009 or 2010)

February 5th, 2005 on CBS:

“I would think that it’s going to be another year to a year and a half.”

(putting the end of the war in 2006 or 2007)

June 19th, 2005 on NBC:

“I think we should tell people it’s not going to be short - I’d rather say two or three years.”

(putting the end of the war in 2007 or 2008)

December 4th, 2005 on NBC:

“I think that it’s very possible within the next year or two…”

(putting the end of the war in 2006 or 2007)

March 13th, 2007 on NBC:

“I don’t have a date.”

(giving no ideas on when the war will end)

January 3rd, 2008 at a town hall meeting in Concord, NH:

“Make it a hundred.  We’ve been in South Korea, we’ve been in Japan for 60 years, we’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so.  That’d 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 it would be fine with you.”

(putting the end of the war in 2108)

January 26th, 2008 at a town hall meeting in Sun City, FL:

“I’ve got to tell you that we’re going to be in this struggle for the rest of the century…”

(putting the end of the war in 2100)

Clearly, John McCain has no idea when this war will end. He changes his predictions based on the headlines and the political winds at the time.

Therefore, his prediction that under his leadership America will “win” the Iraq war by 2013 should be treated with extreme skepticism. So far, McCain has been nothing but wrong on how our operations in Iraq are going and when the war will end. Why would anyone trust him now?

More importantly, John McCain says we will be out of Iraq by 2013, but that we will also have won the war by then. He predicts the Iraq of 2013 will be a “functioning democracy.” Given John McCain’s insistence on “winning” this unwinnable war (he has repeatedly said he’d “rather lose an election than lose a war), the question begs to be asked:

If 2013 comes and Iraq is not a “functioning democracy” and if the war has not been “won,” will John McCain pull out, or will he move the goalposts again?

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2 Responses to “Moving the Goalposts”

  1. Red Wind Says:

    I almost feel sorry for a man that wants to be president so bad he has to revise his positions almost daily–it’s really pathetic and embarrassing.

    I almost feel sorry–almost. McHypocrite has profited mightily from his naked ambition. . . while thousands of others have had to die for it.

  2. Steve J. Says:

    Jon Perr has a great collection of McWAR Iraq quotes:

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