Yesterday I noted the accusation of McCarthyism against Bill Clinton by Barack Obama military adviser Gen. Tony McPeak. The former Air Force Chief of Staff has a history of interesting statements, including a couple at the beginning of the war both McPeak and Obama oppose. In an interview with the Oregonian, posted here but confirmed by me through its purchase from the archives, McPeak essentially makes the exact same argument that John McCain makes about staying in Iraq — and which Obama ridicules:
Is Iraq the last country we confront in the Middle East?
Who wants to volunteer to get cross-ways with us? We’ll be there a century, hopefully. If it works right.
Isn’t this the exact argument McCain has made repeatedly, and which Obama derides as “a hundred-years war”? Of course it is. The interview makes repeated references to American presences in Germany, Japan, and South Korea as models of the engagement McPeak envisioned in 2003, exactly as McCain has explained it in 2007 and 2008. McCain and McPeak both argue for a big footprint in the Middle East for a very long time in order to protect American interests and to overawe the other nations there into behaving themselves.
This should raise some eyebrows on the Obama campaign’s willful deception on this point. Didn’t McPeak bother to explain to Obama the exact same reasoning he had in March 2003, at the start of the war? Did Obama not bother to listen? Or did Obama just decide to demagogue on McCain’s point while gaining credibility by associating himself with a military adviser that publicly endorsed the exact policy as McCain?
Is that “new politics”? (via HA commenter BNelson)
Update: No, this isn’t sarcasm or out of context. Here’s the rest of the answer to that question:
I’ll tell you one thing we should not hope for (is) a democratic Iraq. When I hear the president talking about democracy, the last thing we should want is an election in Iraq. We’re not very popular. So I don’t think we’ll see any open elections in Iraq for a long time.
Hopefully over time they can be brought along like Japan and Germany — Japan and Germany were relatively easy, I think, and South Korea.
He meant exactly the same thing as McCain. What’s more, he underestimates democracy. He wanted the Bush administration to install a military dictator with whom we could work in order to establish our Middle East footprint.