THE BLOG
01/04/2008 12:09 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

"A Million Years in Iraq" - President McCain's Dangerous Recruiting Poster for Insurgents

I can't believe it. John McCain admitted that under his administration, the US could be in Iraq for 100 years.

Now, yes, he was talking about a smaller scale strategic presence in Iraq, a la Germany. I get that. And while that's something to be considered, if Iraq ever got to the point where it was stable (a prospect that looks unlikely anytime soon), you simply do not say that. You don't muse out loud about it. Not now. Not with Iraq being the powder keg that it is. Not with insurgent elements laying low and trying to rebuild their ranks.

Maybe you could chalk it up to him being tired, which wouldn't make it better, but would at least give an explanation. But, later on, when asked about it by David Corn of Mother Jones, McCain said he could see us being there "a thousand years or a million years." Rather than realize that what he said was incredibly stupid in terms of helping the troops, he showed absolutely no understanding of the ramifications of his words, and upped the ante!

Thank God it was just Senator McCain who said that. If it had been President McCain, those words - the U.S. wants to be in Iraq for "100 years, 1000 years, or 1,000,000 years" - would be manna from heaven for the insurgent cause. If it had been President McCain, there is no way that a statement like that would help the troops over there. It would just make an already dangerous presence there even more dangerous.

This, of course, isn't the first time that McCain has made comments that, if he was President, would have slapped a target on the backs of our troops. Some months ago, he thought it would be funny to sing "Bomb Iran". Can we really afford a President that jokes about bombing one of the largest Muslim countries in the world? Not any more than we can afford a President who tells Iraqis that we're going to be there for million years.

John McCain is a true war hero, and we all respect his service. I don't doubt for a second that he cares for our troops. But, every time he opens his mouth, I'm less and less convinced that he realizes how dangerous his off the cuff words would imperil our men and women in harm's way, and our national security, if he said them as President.