Carol Platt Liebau: <i>Completely</i> Out of Order

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Completely Out of Order

Update: Not surprisingly, one of the members of McCain's most devoted constituency -- the MSM -- finds a McCain adviser to insist that the remark is McCain simply "telling it like it is."

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Shame on John McCain. He's arguing that the President led the American people to believe the Iraq war would be a "day at the beach."

Really? When?

In his address to Congress on September 19, 2001?

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.



On the eve of the invasion of Iraq, when he warned of the possibility of terrorist attacks?

Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail. No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country. We are a peaceful people -- yet we're not a fragile people, and we will not be intimidated by thugs and killers. If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them, will face fearful consequences.

In November of 2003, when he admitted that

Securing democracy in Iraq is the work of many hands. American and coalition forces are sacrificing for the peace of Iraq and for the security of free nations. Aid workers from many countries are facing danger to help the Iraqi people. . . . This is a massive and a difficult underaking.

On May 24, 2004?

As the Iraqi people move closer to governing themselves, the terrorists are likely to become more active and more brutal. There are difficult days ahead, and the way forward may sometimes appear chaotic.

On Veterans Day 2005?

The work ahead involves great risk for Iraqis and for American and coalition forces. . .

The terrorists are as brutal an enemy as we've ever faced, unconstrained by any notion of our common humanity or by the rules of warfare. No one should underestimate the difficulties ahead . . .


As the piece linked at the top of this entry points out, John McCain is attempting to engage in a little foreign policy triangulation. But he needs to recognize that, by doing so, he's deliberately and wilfully playing on the dishonest meme that "Bush lied" -- all for his own political benefit.

Whatever Republicans' many frustrations with George W. Bush, McCain had better recognize that they won't appreciate his attempts to make common cause with liberals by trashing the President. He'd better realize that he still has some Republican primaries to worry about before adopting a general election strategy -- and that this type of strategy isn't going to do much to lower his relatively high negatives among the party faithful.

And unless he can unearth some of his own quotes from pre-March '03 to warn that Iraq was going to be infinitely more difficult than anyone was predicting, he'd best tone down the sanctimonious finger-pointing.

6 Comments:

Blogger Editor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Someone needs to put a sock in it.

As Prez, he is responsible for what his administration says. And we know Rove is very careful about what is said.

* On the March 16, 2003, broadcast of CBS' Face the Nation, Cheney stated: "I think [the war will] go relatively quickly." When host Bob Schieffer pressed the vice president to offer a more precise estimate of how long the war would take, Cheney replied: "Weeks rather than months." On NBC's Meet the Press the same day, Cheney stated, "my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators [by the Iraqi people]."

* In a February 7, 2003, appearance at Aviano Air Base in Italy, Rumsfeld projected that the Iraq war "could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

* In a February 13, 2002, Washington Post op-ed, Ken Adelman, at the time a member of the Defense Policy Board, stated: "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps."

9:57 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

McCain is our Howard Dean, give him enough time and he'll let slip what an opportunist he is. Principles, hah!

10:02 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

Furthermore, I want someone to cite the "mistakes." alleged to have been made. Saying, mistakes were made, without detailing them is simply cheapshotism.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

eddy said,

"Someone needs to put a sock in it."

That would be you, nimrod. Of those quotes you listed, which one is POTUS? Bush has been consistent in his assessments since day one. He's never spoken of the war being anything more than it has been. As Prez, he's entitled to run his admin as he sees fit. If he chooses to let his top people speak their minds, particularly when their minds see our country in such glowing terms, where's the problem? Your a loser, eddy, backing a losing side.
All the best to ya.

10:10 PM  
Blogger ELC said...

Actually, McCain made an excellent case for the president's position in a widely ignored speech, Feb. 13, 2003, by arguing that a policy of containment was bound to fail: "The threat posed by Saddam Hussein will not diminish until he is removed from power. Disarmament by regime change must be our goal. After one war, twelve years, seventeen Security Council resolutions, various bombing campaigns, the threat of a new war, and the continuing expansion of Saddam’s stockpile of devastating weaponry, placing hope in containment as a means to diminish Iraq’s threat to its neighbors and the world flies in the face of history and ignores the obvious consequences of abdicating to his allies now. Rather than keeping Saddam in a box, an anachronistic attachment to a once effective doctrine actually constrains the United States."

9:10 AM  

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