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MoveOn Promotes McCain "100 Years" Myth

By Brendan Nyhan

MoveOn.org is running an ad that reinforces the myth that John McCain wants to continue the Iraq war for 100 years:

Hi, John McCain; this is Alex. He's my first. So far, his talents include trying any new food and chasing after our dog -- that, and making my heart pound every time I look at him. So, John McCain, when you said you would stay in Iraq for 100 years, were you counting on Alex? Because, if you were, you can't have him.

As I've written before, McCain didn't say what the ad suggests. Here's the New York Times fact-check:

In several forums last January, Mr. McCain said he could envision a United States troop presence in Iraq for 100 years or more. But he did not mean to advocate a prolonged war, and he was clearly speaking in terms of a peace-keeping presence. The quotation Democrats most commonly refer to was from a town-hall-style meeting on Jan. 3 in Derry, N.H., when a voter mentioned that President Bush had spoken of "staying in Iraq for 50 years." Mr. McCain interrupted to say, "Maybe 100." But his comment came in the context of a broader lecture equating such a decades-long mission to American troop deployments in South Korea and Japan. He had also included a pretty big "if," saying that such an enduring presence in Iraq, "would be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."

Brendan blogs regularly at Brendan-Nyhan.com