Friday, June 13, 2008

John McCain's Love-Hate Relationship With War

The big screaming headline at The Huffington Post and other websites earlier this week was John McCain's answer to the question on when U.S. troops can ever leave Iraq thusly... "that’s not too important." He then went on to reiterate his previous policy that we can occupy the country forever, since we will soon be in the fantasy scenario in which our troops will not be harmed or engaged in war for doing so.

But the attitude he wants to portray to the wider voting public is much less gung-ho. In his general election pitch, John McCain is a man who loathes war and understands that it's serious business with 'terrible costs'.

This scam is hardly new in American politics. Just two years ago, McCain's BFF Joe Lieberman also tried-- successfully, as we know now-- to trick voters into believing he understood the public sentiment toward the war. "No one wants to end the war in Iraq more than I do," Lieberman insisted in October 2006, adding "I have been very critical of a lot of the mistakes the Bush administration has made in Iraq." Does that last line sound familiar? Lieberman, of course, went on after securing reelection to become the most shameless apologist for war escalation (in Iraq and elsewhere) in the Senate, leading at least one Connecticut newspaper to retroactively apologize for endorsing him.

And, via blogger 'dday', here's a 1968 Nixon ad, in which he ran against the Johnson administration's Vietnam policy. In his campaign, he also played up the idea that he had a secret plan to end the war-

President Nixon went on to win and then to not only escalate the war in Vietnam, but expand it into Cambodia, briefly considering dropping nukes, all at the cost of countless lives, before finally allowing the plug to be pulled on that debacle of war near the end of his presidency (when he had other things to worry about, obviously).

Sen. McCain is right that war is serious business. And like Nixon and Lieberman, he's too dangerous to be trusted with it.

[Related reading: Iraq PM: security deal talks at dead end (AP)]


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