Why do John McCain and his supporters insist that he is being quoted out of context in a misleading and deceitful way whenever anyone mentions that he said that as far as he was concerned we could be in Iraq for "100 years?" See here, here and here. They claim that the "misquoters" are implying that John McCain wants 100 years of Americans fighting and dying in Iraq when, in fact, he had made it clear that he imagined the vast majority of that 100 years to be a non-fighting presence without any American casualties – as we have had for over 50 years in Korea and Germany. But John McCain and his supporters often claim that this false and deceitful implication has been made even if someone merely says "John McCain wants us in Iraq for 100 years." Where do they see in that sentence an implication of war, fighting and dying? Does it all depend on the definition of "in?"
Well, I think I have it figured out. The only way it makes any sense is if John McCain can't believe that anyone would have any objection or concern about us having a military presence in Iraq if no Americans were being killed or wounded. Therefore if an opponent says that "John McCain wants us in Iraq for 100 years" as an reason not to support John McCain and people hear it as a telling point against him then, in John McCain's eyes, they must all be thinking of 100 years of American casualties. Why else would they think that 100 years in Iraq was undesirable? The more effective an argument that turns out to be against him, the more John McCain sees a false and deceitful implication that others cannot see.
If any John McCain supporters are reading this they probably expect me to now explain why it would be bad for America to have a long-term military presence in Iraq, even if the American troops are not doing any fighting. But I don't think I will bother. Polls show that a solid majority of Americans want us out of Iraq and see any proposal for a prolonged military presence in Iraq as a bad thing. The debate is over, most Americans have made up their minds and further argument will have little effect. So if you share John McCain's beliefs about American military involvement in Iraq then you, like John McCain, will continue to see things that most Americans do not see – such as implications of war, fighting and dying hidden within the tiny word "in."