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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Clinton: 50 years may be enough

While many Democrats have piled on Senator John McCain for saying that it would be OK for the US to spend "maybe 100" years in Iraq, few have taken note of Senator Hillary Clinton's similar comment. Mark Kleiman has this from a "Face the Nation" transcript in February 2005:
Senator McCain made the point earlier today, which I agree with, and that is, it's not so much a question of time when it comes to American military presence for the average American; I include myself in this. But it is a question of casualties.

We don't want to see our young men and women dying and suffering these grievous injuries that so many of them have. We've been in South Korea for 50-plus years. We've been in Europe for 50-plus. We're still in Okinawa with respect to protection there coming out of World War II.

You know, we have been in places for very long periods of time. And in recent history, we've made a commitment to Bosnia and Kosovo, and I think what is different is the feeling that we're on a track that is getting better and that we can see how the Iraqi government will begin to assume greater and greater responsibility. The elections were key to that. The training, equipment, equipping and motivating of the Iraqi security forces is key to that. But so is our understanding that if we were to artificially set a deadline of some sort, that would be like a green light to the terrorists, and we can't afford to do that.
I suspect, as does Kleiman, that a Clinton candidacy would dramatically reduce Democratic options concerning Iraq against McCain in the fall campaign.

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