Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

The HUGE McCain Blunder No One Knows About Yet

I was researching McCain’s past position on the war in Afghanistan, and came across this very interesting Meet The Press transcript from October 21st, 2001. This transcript reveals a very intriguing blunder by John McCain that should be discussed in the press today.

He said that he thought the war in Afghanistan should be settled first before going to war with Iraq. This simply puts to lie his arguments on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He used to think that it was important to have everything in Afghanistan settled first, Osama bin Laden caught, and the Taliban regime extinguished before going to war with Iraq. Senator Joe Lieberman also makes a cameo in this transcript.

The transcript is behind the cut–click to find out the major McCain blunder that no one knows about…..yet:

RUSSERT: Would you have any problem expanding President Bush’s orders to the CIA to go after Osama bin Laden to include Saddam Hussein?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I leave that to the president. But as a matter of principle and morality, of course not.

RUSSERT: Senator McCain?

MCCAIN: I think Joe’s right.

And I would just like to add one additional point. I believe that we will succeed. We will endure in Afghanistan. We will take out bin Laden, and we will take out the Taliban. And then we’ve got a major challenge of a stable government, but…

RUSSERT: How long will that take?

MCCAIN: I think the longer we give the impression that we’re there for, the shorter it’ll be. Because, as you quoted from articles earlier, they think they can outlast us. I don’t think they can this time.

RUSSERT: Do you believe the American people will continue to stay with that campaign?

MCCAIN: Absolutely, and I think the president is doing a great job in leading America and making us aware of the challenge we face.

But I think the real crunch is going to come after Afghanistan is settled and then we have to address the other countries, including Iraq.
That’s where the coalition may not be so strong. That’s where people like the Saudis and the French and many others may have real reservations.

And so, we’re going to have to be steadfast. And again, the president will continue and, I think, very eloquently stated, countries that harbor these terrorist organizations will be held responsible, so it’ll be their choice, not ours. It’ll be their choice.

RUSSERT: But after Afghanistan, you’d have no problem going after Saddam Hussein?

Notice that Senators McCain and Lieberman stressed that they would have to get Osama bin Laden first, and settle Afghanistan before going into Iraq. There’s more below:

RUSSERT: Senator Lieberman, should we include Iraq as a military target in this war against terrorism?

LIEBERMAN: Well, of course, I feel that so long as Saddam Hussein is in power in Iraq, the United States is in danger. And I think if you look at the words of the president’s statement to Congress, again, the war against terrorism, it says, we’re not going to be safe until we rid the world of people who have the capacity and the intention to strike at civilians to achieve political ends.

There is some evidence to suggest that Saddam Hussein may have had contact with bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network, perhaps even involved in the September 11 attack. That raises my suspicions.

But the more important point is, we know that Saddam would like to do us the worst kind of ill. We know that he has worked on chemical and biological weapons and, in fact, has used them against his own people and against the Iranians. In my opinion, therefore, Saddam is a terrorist.

And, therefore, we should–it should be a centerpiece of our policy after we finish the business in Afghanistan and bin Laden to end that regime. It begins for me by supporting the Iraqi opposition, the people within Iraq that want to get rid of him. But then, ultimately there has to be an American and, I hope, allied military component to that. Because as long as Saddam is there, our lives are threatened.

RUSSERT: Would you have any problem expanding President Bush’s orders to the CIA to go after Osama bin Laden to include Saddam Hussein?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I leave that to the president. But as a matter of principle and morality, of course not.

RUSSERT: Senator McCain?

MCCAIN: I think Joe’s right.

The problem for Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman here is that the war in Afghanistan NEVER got finished first before they went to war in Iraq. We now have two multiple wars going on. Osama bin Laden is still running around free.

The questions that should be asked are:

1. Why didn’t Senator McCain, and Lieberman push to finish the job in Afghanistan and get Osama bin Laden first before going to war with Iraq?
2. Doesn’t this make McCain look silly for following Obama’s line about the need to send more troops to Afghanistan to quell the growing rebellion there that was never put out in the first place because of the war in Iraq?
3. Why did they think it was okay to do a half-assed job in Afghanistan before going to Iraq?

And this makes Senator John McCain look so WRONG on his foreign policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Talk about a major flip-flop, indeed. I sincerely hope that this is picked up in the press today.



July 17, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Great catch Dan.

    Comment by zenbowl | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. slink, rather! sorry – no coffee yet.

    Comment by zenbowl | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. It’s Slink’s handy-work. This is what makes the netroots great, when someone uses The Google to find valuable info.

    Comment by dansac | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. […] Read More at […]

    Pingback by Afghanistan: McCain’s Biggest Flip Flop « Double Talk Express | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  5. Thank you for digging this up. I brought this story over to my new blog The Double Talk Express, of course giving you all of the credit.

    Hope it is acceptable…

    Comment by doubletalkexpress | July 17, 2008 | Reply

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