As the race for president continues, it is important to find out the facts about the candidates. If we depend on the media as our source of information we will be hit with a barrage of out of context quotes and lies. When the topic of conversation turns to John McCain, it is nearly impossible not to hear about the infamous “100 year war” quote. The Democrats have used this quote to try to paint McCain as a war-mongering Bush clone. Whenever anyone asks them in an interview about McCain, the first thing they say is something like this, “He wants to keep this war going for 100 years! Do we want that?” or something similar to that. The claim that they make is ignorant and way out of context, and they know it – The problem is that they know that casual followers of the presidential race won’t take the time to find out what McCain really said.
For a little bit of background I have posted the original video of what McCain said below. A reporter was talking about how Bush mentioned staying in Iraq for 50 years, and McCain said “make it 100…” He then went on to explain that we have been in Germany since WWII ended and in Korea since the end of the Korean War. He also made it very clear that it would only be ok to be there for that amount of time as long as US soldiers were not being killed.
John McCain never said that he wants the current war in Iraq, in its current state, to last for 100 years. It is important, though, to keep a military presence in the Middle East. The Middle East is one of the most volatile regions in the world. Many people think that if we just leave and let them take care of themselves that everything will be fine. They believe that it will not affect us. The truth of the matter is that if the rest of the world ignores the Middle East, it will put more and more people in danger. Radical Muslim extremists are being taught around the World, including in the USA, that Americans and their allies are evil and should be destroyed. They are taught that all people must convert to their religion- whether by force, manipulation, or some combination of both doesn’t matter. What Osama Bin Laden said is quite telling about the attitude of those who are fighting against our freedom. He said, “We love death. The US loves life. That is the difference between us two.”
It is obvious that the democratic candidates are using John McCain's quote out of context in order to advance their own campaigns, but in reality they both know that he is right. We will not be able to pull out of Iraq immediately, an even when active combat ends, we will have to maintain a military presence for years to come.