"McCain on Iraq, Wrong from the Start"
Washington, DC-- Today, more McCain surrogates and a web video attacking Barack Obama which could have been produced on "Fantasy Island," will be trotted out in an effort to distract attention from John McCain's real record on Iraq--a record of being inconsistent and being wrong, just like President Bush. What you won't hear today: that Senator McCain was part of the propaganda machine that misled us into war, that he predicted that we'd be greeted as liberators, that he parroted the Bush talking points from the start, that he praised President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld's conduct of the war and that he echoed the Bush Administration's rosy rhetoric even as the reality indicated otherwise.
The McCain-Bush Iraq strategy has failed to pressure Iraqis to take responsibility for their future, stretched our military to the breaking point, sacrificed investments in critical domestic priorities here at home and has distracted us from tracking down the terrorists who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001. Because McCain and Bush insisted on launching a war that should have never been waged, and then doubling down on a failed strategy, the war in Afghanistan has been ignored and the Taliban and al-Qaeda are as strong now as any time since just after the U.S. invasion in 2001. Senator McCain has supported a strategy in Iraq that has compromised our security and made us less safe at home and abroad.
When it comes to bringing our brave troops home, McCain has also been wrong and inconsistent--offering at least 11 different answers on when he thinks the war will end. And now Senator McCain has absolutely no plan to deal with Iraq but to leave our troops there for 100 years.
After seven years of failed leadership on Iraq and Afghanistan, John McCain is the last thing our country needs. See here the ongoing DNC web series "McCain on Iraq, Wrong from the Start."
To view the DNC's videos on McCain's failed leadership on Iraq, click here:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=TTwqqfS505c and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eejYoz3Nl0
McCain: Wrong to praise the Bush Administration for their conduct of the war…
McCain Praises Bush Administration on Iraq. QUESTION: Are you proud of the work and the leadership of the Commander in Chief in this war? MCCAIN: Yes I am. I think the President has led with great clarity and I think he's done a great job leading the country [Hardball, 4/23/03] and MCCAIN: We've got to stay the course and speeches like the President's last night, I think, are important. [CBS Early Show, 6/29/05]
McCain Praises Rumsfeld. QUESTION: Is it your view that Donald 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 & Colmes, 5/12/04]
McCain: Wrong to echo Bush talking points on Iraq from the start…
May 1, 2003: Bush Declares War Over. "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." [Speech by President Bush, 5/1/03]
McCain Proclaimed "Massive Victory" in Iraq and Credited Combat-Readiness for "Our Victory" in Afghanistan and Iraq." Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom demonstrated to the world what we saw just 12 years ago. We went to war as the most combat-ready force in the world. The value of that readiness is clear. We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives. We were able to end aggression with minimum overall loss of life, and we were even able to greatly reduce the civilian casualties of Afghani and Iraqi citizens. . . . Our technology edge in Afghanistan and Iraq would have been meaningless if we did not have men and women trained to use it. Having the best weapons system platforms in the world would not have given us our victory if we had not had the right command and control facilities, maintenance capabilities, and munitions." [Congressional Record, 5/22/03]
Bush: Surge is Working, Al Qaeda on the Run. "Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt," Bush declared in his 2008 State of the Union address. "Al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated." [2008 State of the Union, 1/28/08]
McCain: Strategy Succeeding, Al Qaeda on the Run. "We are succeeding," in Iraq, McCain told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "I've said many times, Al Qaida is on the run," he continued. "This [surge] strategy is succeeding." [Fox News Sunday, 2/3/08]
White House Advocated Long Term Troops Presence in Iraq Like South Korean Model. "President Bush envisions a long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq similar to the one in South Korea where American forces have helped keep an uneasy peace for more than 50 years, the White House said Wednesday." [Associated Press, 5/31/07]
McCain Cited South Korean Model as Defense for Staying in Iraq 100 Years. When McCain was asked a question about George Bush's belief that we will stay in Iraq for fifty years McCain responded, "Make it a hundred… We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me." [McCain Town hall in Derry, NH, 1/3/2008; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf7HYoh9YMM]
McCain: part of Bush propaganda machine...
In 2003, McCain echoed Bush's rosy predictions by claiming that the end was "very much in sight" in Iraq. In 2005, McCain backed Bush, arguing that another year would prove "stay the course" was working. [The Hill, 12/8/05; ABC News, Good Morning America, 4/9/03] In 2006, McCain argued that Iraq was "on the right track" even as it slipped further toward civil war. [MSNBC, Imus in the Morning, 3/1/06]
2003: McCain: "There's no doubt in my mind that once these people are gone that we will be welcomed as liberators." [MSNBC, Hardball, 3/24/03]
McCain: wrong and inconsistent on when our troops can come home…
October 2003: McCain Said Iraq War Would Take "Four Or Five Years." During an appearance on ABC's Nightline, McCain was asked how much more money the war would cost. He replied, "Estimates I hear as much as 50 to $55 billion more." When asked, "Over a course of how many years?" McCain answered, "Four or five years." [ABC, "Nightline," 10/1/03]
February 2004: McCain Said War Would Take Five or Six Years. MCCAIN: "Listen, my friend, we're going to be there for five or six years. A little straight talk." [MSNBC, "Hardball," 2/25/04]
February 2005: McCain Said War Would Take A Year to a Year and a Half.  MCCAIN: "If I had to guess, I would think that it's going to be at least another year to a year and a half, but, hopefully before then we could have our troops out of a lot of the areas where they're vulnerable to casualties." [CBS, "The Early Show," 2/3/05]
June 2005: McCain Would Be Surprised if it Took Two or Three More Years: "And, again, I think we should tell people it's not going to be a short--I'd rather say two or three years, and be surprised a year from now, than say, 'Everything's fine,' and then be disappointed a year or two from now." [NBC, "Meet the Press," 6/19/05]
January 2008: McCain Would Be "Fine" With Our Troops Staying in Iraq 100 Years. MCCAIN: "QUESTION: President Bush is talking about our staying in Iraq for 50 year…" MCCAIN: "Make it a hundred. We've been in South Korea, we've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea for 50 years or so." [Town Hall Meeting in Concord, NH, 1/3/08]
May 2008: Most of Our Troops Will Be Home by 2013: "By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq war has been won." [Reuters, 5/15/08]
June 2008: When Troops Can Come Home is "Not Too Important." QUESTION: "Do you know have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?" MCCAIN: "No, but that's not too important." [NBC, "Today Show," 6/11/08]