Fifty-nine percent say the U.S. should “stick to a withdrawal timetable” instead of keeping “a significant number of troops in Iraq until the situation there gets better, even if that takes many years.”
But on CBS’s Face the Nation, McCain claimed that Americans would not be “concerned” if the U.S. spends “10,000 years” in Iraq:
The point is it’s American casualties. We’ve go to get American’s off the frontlines, have the Iraqis as part of the strategy, take over more and more of the responsibilities, and then I don’t think Americans are concerned if we’re there for one hundred years or a thousand years or ten thousand years.
As Crooks and Liars notes, on NBC’s Meet the Press, McCain further expressed his desire for a permanent Iraq occupation, going as far as to suggest that he supports “permanent bases” in the country:
RUSSERT: Would you have permanent bases?
McCAIN: If that seems to be necessary in some respects. It depends on the threat.
Not long ago, McCain felt very differently about occupying Iraq. In November, he told Charlie Rose that arguing that a South Korea-like presence is not an “analogy” he would use for Iraq. On June 10, 2007, McCain told George Stephanopolous that he opposes permanent bases:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So no permanent bases?
McCAIN: No, not forever, but certainly, we would be there for a long period of time in a support role, in many ways.
But by McCain’s logic, 10,000 or even one million years is not “forever.”