March 26, 2008



"In remembrance of the 4,000 brave men and women who sacrificed everything for us -and the two men who would continue this great tragedy, despite the cost to our soldiers, our military, and our nation. "

- Nico Pitney at Huffington Post

Senator John McCain looks to be the Republican Party's nominee for president, so in the interest of helping undecided voters who may be considering a pull for the GOP this November, let’s examine some facts* about the Senator’s record on the Iraq war. While McCain has presented himself as a maverick and a critic of the war, a close read shows that his position has consistently matched that of the Bush administration.

Before The War:

McCain said that a policy of containing Iraq to blunt its weapons of mass destruction program is “unsustainable, ineffective, unworkable and dangerous.”

“I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]

McCain co-sponsored the Use of Force Authorization that gave President George W. Bush the green light - and a blank check - for going to war with Iraq. [SJ Res 46, 10/3/02]

McCain has constantly moved the goal posts of progress for the war—repeatedly saying it would be over soon. “But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]

McCain argued Saddam was “a threat of the first order, and only a change of regime will make Iraq a state that does not threaten us and others, and where liberated people assume the rights and responsibilities of freedom.” [Speech to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2/13/03]

McCain echoed Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld’s rationale for going to war. McCain: “It’s going to send the message throughout the Middle East that democracy can take hold in the Middle East.” [Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, 2/21/03]

During The War:

McCain echoed Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld’s talking points that the U.S. would only be in Iraq for a short time. “I believe that this conflict is still going to be relatively short.” [NBC, Meet the Press, 3/30/03] “It’s clear that the end is very much in sight. ... It won’t be’ll be a fairly short period of time.” [ABC News, 4/9/03]

McCain praised Bush’s leadership on the war. McCain: “I think the president has led with great clarity and I think he’s done a great job leading the country...” [MSNBC, Hardball, 4/23/03]

McCain voted against holding Bush accountable for his actions in the war. McCain opposed the creation of an independent commission to investigate the development and use of intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq. [Vote # 284, 7/16/03]

McCain defended Bush’s rationale for war. Asked if he thought the president exaggerated the case for war, McCain said, “I don’t think so.” [Fox News, 7/31/03]

McCain praised Donald Rumsfeld two weeks after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke in April 2004. Asked if Rumsfeld can continue to be an effective secretary of defense, McCain: “Yes, today I do and I believe he’s done a fine job. He’s an honorable man.” [Hannity and Colmes, 5/12/04]

McCain repeatedly supported President Bush on the Iraq War - voting with him in the Senate, defending his actions and publicly praising his leadership.

At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain, focusing on the war in Iraq, said that while weapons of mass destruction were not found, Saddam once had them and “he would have acquired them again.” McCain said the mission in Iraq “gave hope to people long oppressed” and it was “necessary, achievable and noble.” McCain praised President Bush on the war “For his determination to undertake it, and for his unflagging resolve to see it through to a just end.”

“The terrorists know that this is a very critical time.” [CNN, 6/23/04]

“Overall, I think a year from now, we will have a fair amount of progress [in Iraq] if we stay the course.” [The Hill, 12/8/05]

“We’re either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months.” [NBC, Meet the Press, 11/12/06]

McCain opposed efforts to end the overextension of the military that is having a devastating impact on our troops.

McCain voted against requiring mandatory minimum downtime between tours of duty for troops serving in Iraq. [Vote #241, 7/11/07; Vote #341, 9/19/07]

McCain was one of only 13 senators to vote against adding $430 million for inpatient and outpatient care for veterans. [Vote #98, 4/26/06]

McCain has consistently opposed any plan to withdraw troops from Iraq, repeatedly voting against a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq [Vote # 322, 11/15/05; Vote #182, 6/22/06; Vote #181, 6/22/06; Vote #182, 6/22/06; Vote #182, 6/22/06; Vote #252, 7/18/07; Vote #345, 9/21/07; Vote #346, 9/21/07; Vote # 362, 10/3/07; Vote # 437, 12/18/07; Vote #438, 12/18/07]

McCain called proponents of a congressional resolution opposing the troop surge in Iraq intellectually dishonest. [Associated Press 2/4/07]

McCain has consistently demonized Americans who want to find a responsible way to remove troops from Iraq so that we can take the fight to al Qaeda.

“I believe to set a date for withdrawal is to set a date for surrender.” [Charlotte Observer, 9/16/07]

McCain continues to maintain that the occupation of Iraq is a good idea. “The war, the invasion was not a mistake.” [Meet the Press, 1/6/08]

McCain has been President Bush’s most ardent Senate supporter on Iraq. According to Michael Shank of the Foreign Policy in Focus think tank, John McCain was at times Bush’s “most solid support in the Senate” on Iraq. [Foreign Policy in Focus, 1/15/08]

Asked if the war was a good idea worth the price in blood and treasure McCain said, “It was worth getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He had used weapons of mass destruction, and it’s clear that he was hell-bent on acquiring them.” [Republican Debate, 1/24/08]

The Future:

McCain now says he sees no end to the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq.

“Make it a hundred” years in Iraq and “that would be fine with me.” [Derry, New Hampshire Town Hall meeting, 1/3/08]

“A thousand years. A million years. Ten million years. It depends on the arrangement we have with the Iraqi government.” [Associated Press, 1/04/08]

So please, fence-sitters, don't be responsible for bringing four more years of this nightmare to bear. A hat tip to Archer for the link to the mosaic.

* source:

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Great post. Hopefully, American voters have seen what Bush and people who support Bush stand for and it has put back anyone with a right wing perspective for a long, long time.
Excellent digging. Despite all of that 'maverick' bollocks, McCain is every bit as snugly in the pocket of the people making squillions out of the occupation of Iraq as Bush is. It's just that McCain is a bit smarter (he couldn't hardly not be).

But this is a good thing? That he's a more intelligent warmonger?
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