While 100 years sounds like a long time, McCain implied a 100 year commitment to the Iraqi people rather than a permanent Iraqi protectorate. The comment's the focus of a liberal veterans' group attack advertisement, via YouTube:
Allahpundit puts McCain's comments in context:
As McCain has explained numerous times now, the “100 years” comment isn’t a call for another century of hot war; it’s a projection of a token presence in a stable country along the lines of our “occupation” of Okinawa, one that certainly wouldn’t require the trillions of dollars being disingenuously tossed around here. The left knows a good talking point when it sees it, though — and so does Maverick, who’s decided to run away from what he said as fast as his feet will carry him. Let me know when the left makes its stand about getting U.S. troops out of Germany and I’ll start caring about nonsense like this.Marc Ambinder puts Allah's "run away" statements in context himself:
Today, some new language from Sen. John McCain on the length of the United States's military commitment to Iraq.See also my earlier post on our strategic commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq, which will likely be threatened by a Democratic victory in November.
Listen to it, here.
The Iraq War, Mr. McCain said, will be over "soon."
He continued: "...the war for all intents and purposes, although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years, but it will be handled by the Iraqis, not by us, and then we decide what kind of security arrangement we want to have with the Iraqis. ... "
The full context:“And by the way, that reminds me of this hundred year thing. I was asked in a town hall meeting back in Florida, how long would we have a presence in Iraq? My friends, the war will be over soon, the war for all intents and purposes although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years, but it will be handled by the Iraqis, not by us, and then we decide what kind of security arrangement we want to have with the Iraqis. ... "