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August 17, 2008

McCain used 9/11 to plump for invasion of Iraq, NYT swoons

David Kirkpatrick has a gushy little story in the New York Times about how tough John McCain was after 9/11 when he called for the invasion of Iraq to fight terrorists that weren't there.

What did McCain do to earn Kirkpatrick's praise? Well, according to the article, after 9/11, he immediately went on TV a lot and called for war with as many countries as possible. Only sissies wait for the facts before calling for war.

Within hours, Mr. McCain, the Vietnam War hero and famed straight talker of the 2000 Republican primary, had taken on a new role: the leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan. In a marathon of television and radio appearances, Mr. McCain recited a short list of other countries said to support terrorism, invariably including Iraq, Iran and Syria. [NYT]

Taken in context, the story is a valuable reminder of something that McCain doesn't like to broadcast: That he did everything he could to drag America into Iraq.

McCain was an early and forceful advocate of the invasion of Iraq. Actually, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until after the US invaded. So, McCain's bold plan to attack Iraq in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 was either befuddled or opportunistic.

Within a month he made clear his priority. “Very obviously Iraq is the first country,” he declared on CNN. By Jan. 2, Mr. McCain was on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, yelling to a crowd of sailors and airmen: “Next up, Baghdad!”[NYT]

But McCain's a Republican. As far as Kirkpatrick is concerned, it's the thought that counts. Calling for the invasion of Iraq for no reason was gutsy. Who cares if McCain's decision was flat-out wrong?

McCain was an honorary co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. His top foreign policy adviser, lobbyist Randy Scheunemann headed up the committee and served as one of Ahmed Chalabi's top American fixers.
 

After dragging the U.S. into a ruinous war, Scheunemann used that credential to launch an international petro-influence peddling cartel. All the while, he continued to lobby for various foreign governments, including Georgia. Of course, Scheunemann continued to pressure McCain and other Republicans on his client's agendas, including the expansion of NATO.

McCain wasn't tough on Iraq, he was at best catastrophically wrong and characteristically rash. He says he has foreign policy experience, and he does--experience fucking up.   

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Comments

I'm not talking about "a guy." You gratuitously bring up Republicans to support a shallow analysis. I expect that of someone on the Democratic Party's payroll, not of someone who's supposed to think for himself. Trust me on this - the Democrats don't need you as an unpaid mouthpiece.

And anyone who thinks that the Democrats have the slightest ethical advantage over Republicans or that they have at any time held such an advantage is a fool.

You're only dealing with a different set of criminals paid by a slightly different set of paymasters.

Gratuitous?

It's gratuitous to bring up the fact that most of McCain's senior staff is part and parcel of the rampant corruption of the republican party?

Hardly ... how many republicans have been indicted in the past 8 years versus dems? Hell, how many are in jail?

Did you miss all that K Street project stuff, or are you just choosing to overlook it? When was the last time a dem the stature of Randy Cunningham was thrown in JAIL for corruption and bribery on that scale?

Want to talk about Tom Delay? Dennis Hastert? Vitter? Larry Craig? Dusty Foggo?

Of course not, because the scale and scope of republican corruption hasn't been seen since Tammany Hall, Teapot Dome or that twisted mutant Nixon. The dems haven't fucked the American people like this since, well, Tammany Hall or Teapot Dome.

And all this is beside the point on what Lindsay's post is about: That McCain is a guy that looks at war and violence as a FIRST option, not as a last.

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