Just last week, John McCain’s advisers were saying:
“John McCain has always been clear that American forces operate in Iraq only with the consent of that country’s democratically elected government,” Michael Goldfarb, a McCain spokesman, told the Huffington Post.
Now, after Maliki’s bombshell that he agrees with Barack Obama, McCain has this to say:
“His domestic politics require him to be for us getting out,” said a senior McCain campaign official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “The military says ‘conditions based’ and Maliki said ‘conditions based’ yesterday in the joint statement with Bush. Regardless, voters care about [the] military, not about Iraqi leaders.”
Leaving aside the obvious idiocy of claiming that Maliki’s statement was only for domestic political consumption (But as an aside, why would Maliki say this to a German newspaper if it were only to placate domestic politics? I have a feeling Der Spiegel isn’t all that well read in Iraq.), this is McCain’s camp saying that the American military occupation matters more as to what we do in Iraq than the supposedly sovereign government. Sure, we could continue to occupy Iraq if we really wanted to, it’s not as though the Iraqi army could kick us out. But staying there because American military generals want to, over the objections of the local government, is just imperialism. There really is no other way to put it.