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May 15, 2008

Saying it Does Not Make it So
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

So John McCain is outlining his vision for America this morning.

John McCain, looking through a crystal ball to 2013 and the end of a prospective first term, sees "spasmodic" but reduced violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden dead or captured and government spending curbed by his ready veto pen.

But saying it does not make it so.  This is the same man who said that we would be "welcomed as liberators." The same man who said the war would be "fairly easy."  The same man who said "There's not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shias."  The same man who one year before Iraq was hitting it's worst level of violence of the war said:  "a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course." 

These are serious and complex problem and they require serious solutions.  But instead McCain has taken a page out of George Bush's playbook - naively declaring a mission accomplished moment without actually promising any way forward.

Here are some of McCain's greatest hits.

“And I believe that the success will be fairly easy” and “There's no doubt in my mind that... we will be welcomed as liberators.”  [CNN, Larry King Live, 9/24/02. MSNBC, Hardball, 3/24/03]

“I think we could go in with much smaller numbers than we had to do in the past... I don't believe it's going to be nearly the size and scope that it was in 1991.”  [Face the Nation, 9/15/02]

“There's not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shias. So I think they can probably get along.” [MSNBC Hardball, 4/23/03]

McCain was asked, “at what point will America be able to say the war was won?” He responded, “...it’s clear that the end is, is, is very much in sight.” [ABC, “Good Morning America,” 4/9/03]

Exactly one year before violence in Iraq peaked:  “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”  [The Hill, 12/8/05]

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