Obama Gives McCain a History Lesson on Al Qaeda in Iraq

About half-way through last night's debate in Cleveland, Tim Russert asked Barack Obama if he reserved the right, as president, to "go back into Iraq, once you have withdrawn, with sizable troops in order to quell any kind of insurrection or civil war?"

After wrapping up a previous point in relation to Afghanistan, Obama responded:


"Now, I always reserve the right for the president -- as commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad. So that is true, I think, not just in Iraq, but that's true in other places. That's part of my argument with respect to Pakistan.
"I think we should always cooperate with our allies and sovereign nations in making sure that we are rooting out terrorist organizations, but if they are planning attacks on Americans, like what happened in 9/11, it is my job -- it will be my job as president to make sure that we are hunting them down."
This didn't strike me as especially controversial, but John McCain thinks he can capitalize on what sounded like a reasonable response.
Republican presidential hopeful John McCain mocked Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday for saying he would take action as president "if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq."
"When you examine that statement, it's pretty remarkable," McCain told a crowd in Tyler, Texas.
"I have some news. Al-Qaida is in Iraq. It's called 'al-Qaida in Iraq,'" McCain said, drawing laughter at Obama's expense.
Is this really the debate McCain wants to have? Because, by any reasonable measure, he's arguing from a position of extreme weakness.

Indeed, Obama, to his credit, didn't miss a beat in firing right back with "some news" for McCain.
#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.