TPMtv gives us the layout of John McCain’s devolving concept of American troop levels in Iraq, from liberating and leaving to maybe staying as a small force to staying ala Germany for a hundred years. It should be noted, by the way, that we have not been in Germany for a hundred years just yet – to say nothing of a thousand, or ten thousand – so whether or not that is an attainable goal remains to be seen:
In today’s episode of TPMtv, we go back to the TPM video archives to put the whole back and forth on the Korea m
odel together. Let’s go to the tape …
But in every case, John McCain consistently makes the point that, “it’s not troop levels, it’s casualties.” Because if American soldiers aren’t dying, the American people won’t mind their presence anywhere. This shortsightedly political rhetoric ignores a very basic premise of occupation: it will not be the opinions of the American public that will determine that all-important casualty rate, but the opinions of the Iraqis, whose voice is noticeably absent from McCain’s argument.
And if Iraqis do not want long-term American presence in their country – as indeed, they have voiced many times over – then no amount of political gamesmanship here at home nor tactical maneuvering in Iraq will produce anything less than consistent casualties.
But, hey! I’m not a presidential candidate with “experience,” so what the hell do I know?