July 26, 2008

McCain: 16-month plan “good timetable”

Posted in Politics, War on Terrorism tagged , , , at 12:44 am by Katharine Lackey

Somewhere, right now, Barack Obama is smiling.

In an interview with CNN Friday, John McCain had interesting comments on Obama’s 16-month withdrawal plan.

“I think it’s a pretty good timetable,” Mr. McCain said Friday in an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room,’’ before adding that it should be based “on the conditions on the ground.’’

This is basically exactly what Obama has been saying lately, even as people have accused him of flip-flopping for saying he would listen to top commanders and tweak his plan if necessary.

McCain did go on to elaborate more about the 16-month withdrawal — trying to differentiate himself from his Democratic running partner.

“I think it’s a pretty good timetable, as we should — or horizons for withdrawal. But they have to be based on conditions on the ground. This success is very fragile. It’s incredibly impressive, but very fragile. So we know, those of us who have been involved in it for many years, know that if we reverse this, by setting a date for withdrawal, all of the hard-won victory can be reversed.’’

This is nearly 2 and a half years different than what McCain said in his rejected New York Times letter:

I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

Is this all a reaction to al-Maliki practically endorsing Obama’s plan?

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