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article imageOp-Ed: McCain claims Iraq War would not have happened had he won in 2000

By John Presta     Jul 18, 2014 in Politics
Washington, D. C. - Senator John McCain lost to President Barack Obama in 2008, running in the shadow of former President George W. Bush's Iraq War. For the record, McCain wants American people to know if he had defeated Bush in 2000, there would have not been an Iraq War.
Senator John McCain ran for the Republican nomination in 2000, against then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas. In what was up-to-then one of the dirtiest Republican primary campaigns in American history, Bush defeated McCain and in fact demoralized him in winning the party's nomination. It was during that campaign that a "push poll" asked a question about McCain’s daughter, adopted from a Bangladesh orphanage, insinuating she was illegitimate. Also during the South Carolina primary, a whisper campaign — never traced to a particular source, but many believe tied to Karl Rove — that said McCain’s torture in Vietnam had left him unstable.
But McCain argued he had no ill feelings about the defeat against Bush or Obama.
The National Journal reported that at an event hosted by CNN and National Journal yesterday in Washington, D.C., McCain sought to correct the record, McCain said, "“You’ll find this surprising, but I think I would have been more reluctant to commit American troops.”
Ironically, McCain is one of the staunchest defenders of the Iraq War and in the 2008 election against Barack Obama, was constantly on the defensive for his defense of that war. That defense of the war contributed largely to his defeat to the then-young Illinois U.S. Senator, Barack Obama.
“I think I would have challenged the evidence with more scrutiny,” McCain said. “I hope that I would have been able to see through the evidence that was presented at the time." The remarks are seen as way of McCain saving his own legacy and as criticism of Bush and the team that surrounded him. It is not clear who specifically he was referring. “I’m not blaming President George W. Bush. It’s not for me to critique my predecessors, especially those that I lost to,” McCain added.
The Iraq War cost more than 4,400 American lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and countless numbers of Americans and Iraqis wounded from the combat.
McCain said he relied on the credibility of former Secretary of State Colin Powell for his vote in favor of the war, reported Time.
Could McCain have been referring to Powell when he criticized the people around Bush. After all, it was Powell that endorsed Obama over McCain in the 2008 presidential election and it was no secret that McCain was "angry" about the endorsement. Which may be what McCain was getting at in the interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper and National Journal’s Ron Fournier.
“In Iraq in 2003, the Secretary of State, one of the most respected men in America, went to the United Nations Security Council and alleged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” McCain said. “If I was presented with that same evidence today, I would vote the same way. I respected and trusted the Secretary of State Colin Powell. It’s obvious now that Saddam Hussein, though he had used weapons of mass destruction, did not have the inventory that we seemed to have evidence, that looking through with some hindsight was very flimsy.”
Hell hath no fury like John McCain scorned.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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