Not Too Important?

As I was getting ready for my day this morning I heard Matt Lauer of the Today show interviewing U.S. Senator John McCain. Lauer asked him many questions but one brief exchange stood out to me well beyond the rest of their discussion. Lauer asked that if the surge in Iraq is indeed working, ‘€œDo you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?’€ To my amazement, the Arizona senator said, ‘€œNo, but that’€™s not too important.’€ What? I quickly grabbed a pen and wrote down his words as if in disbelief. After confirming what I heard with another source, I just sat in amazement. How could McCain say that having a better ESTIMATE of when our troops will be able to come home is ‘€œnot too important’€?

Perhaps John McCain refused to give an estimate because he has been so terribly wrong about the War in Iraq from the very beginning.

In 2003 on NBC’€™s Meet the Press (3/30/03), McCain said that the war would be ‘€œrelatively short.’€ In 2005 McCain predicted on CBS’€™ The Early Show (2/3/05) that we would be in Iraq ‘€œat least another year to a year and a half.’€ In 2006 McCain said on Meet the Press (11/12/06), ‘€œWe’€™re either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months.’€ On the same show in 2007 (5/13/07) he admitted that ‘€œI don’€™t have a date.’€ His most popular statement on the Iraq war came in a town hall meeting in Concord, NH. After being questioned about how long we might stay in Iraq, John McCain said that the US could stay there for ‘€œmaybe a hundred years’€ and that he was ‘€œfine’€ with it.

Given all of his wrong predictions so far, I could understand why he would be hesitant to give an estimate. But to say that having one is ‘€œnot too important’€ shows that he is totally out of touch on the issue. I think that most Americans would think the exact opposite. Not to mention the families of those that so bravely serve. For them a safe and soon return is the most important thing about the war in Iraq.

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