Pushing Back on the "100 Years" Pushback

Conservatives are stepping up the pressure on the traditional media to call Sen. Barack Obama a liar, because he is mentioning Sen. John McCain's explicit support for a 100-year military presence in Iraq.

Over on LiberalOasis, I previously laid out what I consider the best way to discuss the "100 Years" remark going forward. And it appears the Obama campaign is going in that direction, engaging in a broader foreign policy debate whether or not we should support the conservative foreign policy goal of installing permanent military bases in Iraq.

But allow me to add one more element to the mix. This is from my recent Bloggingheads.tv appearance with Conn Carroll of the Heritage Foundation. (Our "100 Years" discussion starts about 10 minutes in):

BS: Is it a lie and a distortion when John McCain says that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to "surrender" in Iraq?

CC: No.

BS: Why? Have they openly said, "I would like to surrender in Iraq today"? Is that what they say?

CC: Well, there's no one to surrender to.

BS: Exactly.

CC: But, saying you're going to -- well, we can get into the details of that in a bit -- but saying you're automatically, no matter what happens in 2009, going to start bringing a brigade home every month, definitely signals that whatever enemies we do have in Iraq have succeeded in getting us out of there on their terms.

BS: That is McCain's interpretation and characterization of what that policy would be. It is not Obama's or Clinton's interpretation.

Just as McCain would say, "I think we can have a 100-year permanent military presence that would just be hunky-dory," the Democratic, liberal interpretation of that is: that is effectively going to bring you a 100-year war.

McCain and his conservative brethren want a double standard -- where they can characterize Democratic positions in any way they choose, but whine up a storm when their policy views are held up to the light for scrutiny.

RedState is calling for its readers to complain to specific reporters and pundits about "examples of inaccurate or incomplete reporting." Funny thing is, their list only shows accurate descriptions of McCain's comments: offering a "100-year occupation," to "keep tens of thousands of United States Troops in Iraq for as long as 100 years," and "I wouldn't want to have to defend [a] 100-year occupation in Iraq, even if it was reportedly to be peaceful."

Here's the RedState reporters list. Contact them to say, you got it just right.

LA Times:

Maeve Reston: maeve.reston@latimes.com; 213-237-5000

Peter Nicholas: peter.nicholas@latimes.com; 213-237-5000

Chicago Tribune:

Mike Dorning: MDorning@tribune.com; 202-824-8223

Rick Pearson: RAP30@aol.com; 312-222-4271

Editor: George De Lama: gdelama@tribune.com; 312-222-2408

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Timothy McNulty: tmcnulty@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1581

James O'Toole: jotoole@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1562

City Desk Editor: Tom Birdsong: tbirdsong@post-gazette.com; 412-263-3068

Editorial Writer: Susan Mannella: smannella@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1448

Editorial Page Editor: Tom Waseleski: twaseleski@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1669

Boston Globe:

Op-Ed Page Editor: Renee Loth: loth@globe.com; 617-929-3035

MSNBC's Hardball:

Central feedback receptacle: letters@msnbc.com