McCain 2004: 'It's Obvious We Would Have To Leave'
By Jon Ponder on 7/22/2008, 2:39pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Does anything that George W. Bush and John McCain say matter? Based on this colloquy between Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow on "Countdown" last night, apparently not:

OLBERMANN: ...The Iraqi government is saying, “Get out,” and President Bush swore, you know, “Some day if they say ‘get out,‘ we‘ll get out.”

MADDOW: That‘s right. May 2007 in the Rose Garden, Bush said—and I went back and checked the quote directly so I could be sure to directly quote him — “If they were to say leave, we would leave.” Also, for what it‘s worth, in April of 2004, John McCain at the Council on Foreign Relations said, “It is obvious we would have to leave if they asked to us leave.”

I mean, they told us that the point of invading Iraq was to topple Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was toppled; they told us that the point of staying there after, was to set up a sovereign Iraqi government. Well now, the sovereign Iraqi government is standing up on its hind legs enough to tell us to leave, and we‘re left with this situation where they need another explanation of why we can‘t leave. That‘s the real headline here.

Here's the question Bush was asked in May 2007, as well as a bit of preamble to the money quote:

BUSH: Martha.

Q [Probably Martha Raddatz of ABC News] Thank you, Mr. President. You say you want nothing short of victory, that leaving Iraq would be catastrophic; you once again mentioned al Qaeda. Does that mean that you are willing to leave American troops there, no matter what the Iraqi government does? I know this is a question we've asked before, but you can begin it with a "yes" or "no."

BUSH: We are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government. This is a sovereign nation. Twelve million people went to the polls to approve a constitution. It's their government's choice. If they were to say, leave, we would leave.

McCain spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on April 22, 2004. After his remarks, he took a few questions from Peter G. Peterson, chairman of the Blackstone Group and chairman of CFR, including this one:

PETERSON: Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.

McCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because— if it was an elected government of Iraq — and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people.

This is just more evidence --- as if any were needed --- that Bush's invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with WMD, freedom for Iraqis or the rest of the bull. It was then, and is now, about controlling the oil.