Keith Olbermann discussed the Iraq War with Eugene Robinson on Wednesday’s Countdown:
OLBERMANN: If John 100 Years McCain wants to claim that he would only stay that long if troops finally start getting the flowers we were promised five years ago, does that not oblige him to say how long he‘s willing to stay while they keep shooting at us?
ROBINSON: There you go again being logical, Keith. I talked to you about this in the past. You know, look, right now, American troops are being wounded, harmed, injured, and killed, OK? I think those were his four criteria. So therefore by his logic, we shouldn‘t be there, right? If we‘re only going to be in Iraq for this century, if there were just flowers being tossed at us everywhere, well, then why are we there now? There‘s just something—it‘s just completely kind of wacky about the whole thing.
OLBERMANN: It sounds as if what he wants to do or the logical extension of his idea is to pull them out now and send them back in after everything calls down. So if things in Iraq somehow magically reach the prosperousness, the stability of Japan or even the stability without prosperity in the Korean D.N.C., why would John 100 Years McCain want to stay there? What is the scenario that requires both an American military presence there and makes it safe for our people there?
ROBINSON: I have no idea exactly what John Mc-Century means by that, Keith, but look, this is a good debate to have. What is the proper role of permanent American military bases abroad? Should we have one in Iraq? Would that make the United States any safer? I would argue that, you know, the long-term presence of large visible numbers of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia did not make the United States safer demonstrably. And I can‘t imagine a scenario under which that makes our country safer if we stay in Iraq for 100 years, you know, even if somehow we manage to turn it into Switzerland.
OLBERMANN: Right. Given that al Qaeda had declared war on us because Bush senior put troops like that in Saudi Arabia. Last point here, political strategy, the G.O.P. trying to scare the Democrats into not calling him John 100 Years McCain or Mc-Century, whatever. Did he not open himself up to another interpretation of that nickname when Brit Hume defended him by saying he had a senior moment, when he himself said his choice for the vice presidency was especially important because of his own age. Is there a little something extra in this?
Eugene Robinson is truly a delight. While the age thing was a little over the top – the John McCentury quip was perfect for Senator Let’s Stay in Iraq for 100 Years McCain. And Robinson is correct – leaving US troops in a Muslim nation is exactly what Osama bin Laden is praying for. Iraq 50 years ago will not be another Korea if John McCain’s strategy of leaving our troops there for a long time is maintained.