In 2004, McCain Admitted We'd Leave Iraq if the Iraqi's Wanted Us To
Posted by Adam Blickstein
With news coming from Nouri al-Maliki that he is leaning towards a security pact with the U.S. that would include language describing the "departure of [American] forces or a memorandum of understanding to put a timetable on their withdrawal," one wonders how this would affect John McCain's plan for perpetual troop presence in Iraq. Well, at the Council of Foreign Relations, the John McCain of 2004 gave us a pretty clear answer:
Question: "What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there?"
McCain's Answer: "Well, if that scenario evolves than I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq, and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."
Does the John McCain of 2008 agree with this assessment?
UPDATE: According to Mouwaffak al-Rubaie, seems like a timetable will be part of any security pact:
"Our stance in the negotiations underway with the American side will be strong ... We will not accept any memorandum of understanding that doesn't have specific dates to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq," al-Rubaie said.
Again, is McCain's position the same today as it was in 2004 if Iraq's democratically elected government demands a timetable for withdrawing foreign forces from Iraq?