People are for the war, but as the audience points out--refuse to fight in it. Glenn Greenwald wonders what the heck McCain is talking about. So do I.
McCain complained that Matthews' line of questioning meant that his "bias is starting to show." Apparently, if one demonstrates that McCain's Plan for Victory is based on absurd fantasy, that is "biased." A reporter should only sit by and heap praise on McCain as the responsible, serious Leader that he is.
So, John McCain's bold, straight-talking Plan for Victory in Iraq is to wait for Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Peter Beinert and Glenn Reynolds to realize how Western Civilization Hangs in the Balance in Iraq and that only more troops can save us. And once they realize that, they are going to stand up bravely and risk their lives in combat in Iraq -- waves and waves and waves of them -- and that will fortify our military presence there and we will win. Waiting for a big thunderbolt from the sky to strike down the Insurgents seems like a more probable and rational plan...read on
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about an area where we‘ve all been involved, you especially, in talking about Iraq and how we can win this war or deal with it. You‘ve called, just in the last couple of days, for 100,000 more troops on top of the 140,000 we have as a compliment there.
When I read that on the clips this morning, I went to General Barry McCaffrey, whom you know so well, and he said we‘ve got only a total of 19 brigades that we could actually put into combat right now. We have 17 committed, two of those brigades to Afghanistan, 15 brigades already in Iraq. He says we simply don‘t have the capability to sustain another 100,000 troops in Iraq. You disagree?
MCCAIN: I said we need 100,000 more ...
MCCAIN: ...members of the Marines and the Army. We need additional troops there, but I think we need to expand the Army and the Marine Corps by 100,000 people.
MATTHEWS: More recruitment.
MCCAIN: I didn‘t say we need 100,000 -- more recruitment. And by the way, I‘m sure that people in this audience know the members—many members of the Iowa National Guard. They have served with courage, with bravery, with sacrifice and enormously wonderful performance. But it‘s a heavy strain on the Guard.
MATTHEWS: Would they please stand up? I know we have some here. Would the people of the National Guard of Iowa please just stand up nonofficially here? Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Thank you. Thank you for your service.
MCCAIN: Some of these young people have been to Afghanistan or Iraq two or three times already. We have put an enormous strain on them. They have performed magnificently, but we can‘t keep it up. We‘ve got to expand of the Marines.
MATTHEWS: How many other people, men or women, are thinking of making a military commitment in the next couple of years in this audience? Anyone else? Stand up, please, if you‘re thinking about making a military commitment. Well, you guys are already ROTC, right? And we have the ROTC people here.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, and thank you for your future service. Let me ask you ...
MCCAIN: Could I respond to that? I think if young Americans, young people in this audience that‘ll have—at Iowa State are told—the ones at Ohio State, too, but at Iowa State are told that we need them for a worthy cause, that we will compensate them well, that we will provide for further educational benefits, that we will offer—that‘s the job of recruiters. That‘s our job to ...
MATTHEWS: But why isn‘t it working? I mean, so few people here— we‘ve got a couple of thousand of young people here, and a very, very small percentage have expressed a commitment, even by standing here. Doesn‘t that mean we might have to think of the draft again? MCCAIN: I don‘t think we need to think of the draft again because I don‘t think it makes sense in a whole variety of ways. But I guarantee you, if these young people felt that this nation was in a crisis and we asked them to serve, virtually every one of them would stand up because I have the greatest confidence in the young people of America.
MATTHEWS: But, if you were paid better and you had a greater opportunity for education in the military, would anybody else want to stand up here? See, I‘m wondering, because the military—we talked to John—
McCaffrey says we can‘t do this thing.
MCCAIN: I talk to young people all the time. I talk to them one-on-one, I talk to them in small groups. I don‘t expect a group of people to stand up. But I‘ll tell you, if I have the chance—with the ones I have a chance to talk to, they understand how wonderful this country is and they are willing to give something back to it. And that‘s what America‘s all about.
MATTHEWS: I agree. How many in this room believe in the war in Iraq from beginning to now, support the war in its full reality? The senator is one of those. Who else agrees with him? Stand up.
Stand up, stay up. Everybody now stay up who intends or would consider participating in this war. Participating in the war.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: All you people standing up are planning to participate in the war in some way? Really? Everybody here.
MCCAIN: Thank you very much, my friends.
MATTHEWS: Because I asked a minute ago how many were going to join the military. I wonder what your participation would involve.
MCCAIN: Chris, your bias is starting to show.
MATTHEWS: No, I‘m just trying to get an answer now. Wait a minute—
I want the people that are standing up. Somebody yell out why are you standing if you‘re not joining the military.
OK, you were one of those. Keep going, anybody else? Of course, look at all the people in the back. I asked before if anybody was joining the military. And now you‘re standing up in support of the war but not in terms of a plan to actually participate in a war. I don‘t get the connection. Would somebody explain it?
MATTHEWS: Guys, more?
MATTHEWS: Pardon me? Strategy, what was that?
MATTHEWS: We‘ll be right back with the audience. We‘re going to get more questions and answers from the audience when we come back with Senator John McCain.