In November 2007, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said a Korea-like presence is not an “analogy” he would use for Iraq, recognizing that the “nature of the society in Iraq” would force a withdrawal — making the South Korea model implausible.
Now, McCain is saying critics of a long-term U.S. presence are “dishonest” and engaging in “nonsense talk.” Today on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) noted McCain’s flip flop on the Korea model, saying it shows McCain is displaying a “fundamental misunderstanding” of Iraqi society.
In fact, on the hundred years war issue, John McCain is being disingenuous. Because what he said in that interview [Charlie Rose] was ‘as long as there is no violence,’ which indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of Iraq itself.
Kerry added that the intelligence shows this kind of occupation would be a 100-year cause celebre for extremists:
Our own National Intelligence people tell us it is the American presence that is attracting jihadists and creating violence. So if he’s talking about being there for 40 years, 100 years, he’s talking about attracting more and more terrorists and not paying attention to the larger challenge.
Despite abandoning the South Korea model in November, McCain now uses it as his most frequent defense for a “10,000 year” or “million” year presence in Iraq. Kerry observed that South Korea and Japan, both stable democracies, cannot be compared to Iraq’s civil war:
Let’s be clear about this hundred years, again. The model in Japan and in Korea is a model where they have adopted a full democracy and where they have none of the insurgents, al Qaeda, jihadists, religious extremism that you have in Iraq.
Kerry concluded, “So you have a different John McCain today when he talks about hundred years or million years.”