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The HuffingtonPost has a great article on John McCain and the Iraqi government's request for the US to set a time table for withdrawal.
For those who missed it, yesterday Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said:
The current trend is to reach an agreement on a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the forces or a memorandum of understanding to put a timetable on their withdrawal...In all cases, the basis for any agreement will be respect for the full sovereignty of Iraq.
In 2004, John McCain was asked if he would withdraw from Iraq if asked:
Question: "What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there?"
McCain's Answer: "Well, if that scenario evolves than I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq, and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."
Just moments ago the McCain campaign responded:
today, his top foreign policy adviser declined to criticize Maliki or distance McCain from him. And they sought to portray Maliki's comments as consistent with the Republican nominee's long-standing position.
"Senator McCain has always said that conditions on the ground -- including the security threats posed by extremists and terrorists, and the ability of Iraqi forces to meet those threats -- would be key determinants in U.S. force levels"
On Tuesday, McCain's campaign declined to respond directly to the question of whether he now supports the idea of setting a date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.
Speaking on MSNBC Tuesday morning, McCain said that "The fact is that we and the Iraqis will deal in what is in the national security interests of both countries. And there is no reason to assume that the Iraqis aren't going to act in what they perceive as their national interest. I believe we will enact ours and I believe we will all come home."
OOPS! Looks like a shift in position to me. They asked us to leave... his response: "well... umm... conditions on the ground are what matter most, not what they ask"
Remember: In 2004, John McCain said we would leave if asked.. now he seems to be ignoring that stance and conditions on the ground are what matter most.