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Did McCain forget Iraq and Afghanistan when he said this?

August 14th, 2008 | by Steve O |

Or is this a campaign promise he intends to not follow through on?

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  1. 38 Responses to “Did McCain forget Iraq and Afghanistan when he said this?”

  2. By Cranky Liberal on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Hey we didnt invade…we ummm got lost on the way and decided we liked it there…yeah yeah thats it.

  3. By Steve O on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    It wasn’t an invasion, you know that back bedroom that you always walk by and say “someday!”

    Well, that’s kinda what Iraq and Afghanistan was like. Trust me, they’ll thank us in the future.

  4. By Windspike on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Hey, we didn’t invade no stinkin’ countries…we SAVED them!

  5. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Well, there is this difference: We gave Afghanistan and Iraq months of advance warning. We told them both exactly what the offences were that we had against them. We told them exactly what we expected of them if they wished to avoid invasion. All this was done publicly in the world press and the UN.

    Show of hands, now: until you read of the invasion of Georgia by Russia, how many of you had any clue that Russia was going to invade Georgia, based upon what offences and what Russia expected of Georgia if Georgia expected to avoid invasion?

    What? No hands?

    This is, it seems to me, much closer to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990(?) than to either of our invasions.

    By the way…link?

  6. By Paul Merda on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Craig, that’s because the Georgians attacked S Oesttria (or however you spell it) first. The Russians were there as peacekeepers and were attacked. I don;t understand why everyone seems to think Russia went in unprovoked…THEY GOT SHOT AT FIRST and are not to blame. Let’s blame the Georgians and then we can have a real discussion on this.

  7. By Steve O on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Gee Craig, didn’t know there were different levels of invasion and as Paul pointed out, the Georgians shot first, so who invaded who.

    Watch some BBC if you want a different perspective of who the aggressor is. What, you think Condi is the only one delivering a message?

    Seriously Craig, you’re intelligent, sometimes I think you play devils advocate.

  8. By mr bigstuff on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    here’s a hand for not fucking with things that are best left unfucked. because of what that damn fool w did in iraq, we have no moral ground on which to make a diplomatic stand and not enough force left to use against russia. afghanistan would have been over in a few short weeks had america had any thing slightly resembling competent leadership from the now desecrated white house. the georgians are now left to pay the price indirectly for that fools mindless incursion in iraq and his bumbling mismanagement of afghanistan. the russians only invaded georgia because we could not and would not do anything about it due to the fact the damn fool w shot americas wad uselessly through his inept military and foriegn policy alleged leadership so piss poor pitiful that in comparison makes mussolini look like charlemagne. raise your hand high in support of creating ones own reality like those idiotic neoconartists used to brag about when they still dared to open their fool mouths.

  9. By DoNotBeDaft on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Please do not be daft. Georgia started the war. It took Russia about 24 - 36 hours to bring their tanks in

  10. By christopher Radulich on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    So McSame’s quote should read “In the 21st nations don’t invade other nations unless threats of violence don’t work.”

  11. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Okay, Okay. I give. Whether there was provocation from So. Ossetia’s side in reaction to which Georgia responded by invading that country seems possible and although it seems possible to defend the proposition that Russia is not altogether neutral in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict, Georgia’s attack upon Russian peace keepers was monumentally stupid.

    And yes, Steve O, I do like to play devil’s advocate. If I can’t find something that I disagree with — and I almost always do — I sometimes just take a side to be provocative. It could, I suppose, be considered a character flaw. I prefer to think of it as a feature rather than a bug since I often learn the most from doing it. By the way, I still don’t see a link up to the statement that you quote from.

    Yes, Mr. Bigstuff, we are in no position to get involved in the conflict due to Bush’s mismanagement of our two wars. While Russia’s response was provoked, I think their response goes well beyond peace-keeping duties and we have little to do but posture.

  12. By Steve O on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    Craig, link provided in post. Didn’t provide one earlier because the quote seemed to be all over th internet, maybe it was just the liberal internet side it showed up on.

  13. By Ryan on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply

    Actually the Georgians were responding to particularly nasty artillery barrage from the area. They were provoked into moving into S Ossetia.

  14. By Guelph Guy on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply

    Your ignorance of world affairs does not make you right.
    Just because your American media don’t cover what is happening in Russia or Georgia or South Ossetia doesn’t mean that nothing is happening there!

    Also, why would telling someone ahead of time that you are going to invade them make it then acceptable?

  15. By Cranky Liberal on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply

    Actually Craig not to sound like a know it all, but NPR did a story about 6 weeks ago or so saying that this was going to happen. Granted it’s the only reason I knew about it, but in the area there was plenty of saber rattling. Russia has been “telling” Georgia fora while just like we “told” Iraq. I’m also not sure if we should ride the mighty UN high horse here since of course the invasion and subsequent occupation had no UN backing. Then there is the part of the forged evidence. Yeah…maybe we should just all agree not to try and make what we did look the least bit good because it wasn’t.

    John McCain - Out of Touch in 2008

  16. By Cranky Liberal on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply

    Oh yeah Guelph Guy nice to meet you.I was in Guelph last weekend.

  17. By GOPnanny on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply

    Oh that’s right, we told them if they didn’t get rid of their weapons of mass destruction, we would invade them. But wait! They didn’t have any! OMG! Go figure! Just like they said!

  18. By Anonymous Joe on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply

    In short, I believe Mccain was not talking directly about “nations don’t attack other nations”, I’m sure he meant “nations SHOULD NOT attack other nations in the 21st century.”

    In my honest Opinion, I am an American Soldier and although I do not believe our endeavors in Iraq/Afghanistan were handled properly, I still support my brothers and sisters fighting over there. So often nowadays, conflicts are looked upon as “who started what”, when the real question should be “why?”. It doesn’t matter who invaded what, it matters that there is a conflict.

    Peace should always be the utmost concern, and I would only advocate war in the last resort. Talks through UN and warnings to the Middle East fell on deaf ears, mostly because a good portion of those countries do not support nor concern themselves with what the American-controlled UN has to say. One must heed the fact that Iraq and Afghanistan are controlled by the most powerful and influential, that and religion have always dominated the citizens in those countries. It is different than what most of us our used to, with freedoms and the ability to choose the outcome of things in your daily life, but these are freedoms they do not have.

    Now the Russian/Georgian conflict I won’t stick my thoughts into, for I feel I don’t know the whole story well enough. :P

    My point is of all this rubbish talk, invasion WAS the only course of action left on Afghanistan/Iraq. Bush’s way of presenting it to the american people was by throwing in “Terrorist” every other word in his speech and saying we had no other option for our safetly. This I believe was not the way to handle it, and i don’t blame the countless millions that lost faith and respect in our government as a reaction. But know this, From seeing Iraq I can tell you they needed help, and we were the only ones willing to do so.

  19. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply


    No. Actually what we said was that they must account for the weapons that we know that they had in the past — in no small part because we sold them constituent parts of such weapons. We told them that they must allow inspectors unfettered access to wherever they wish to inspect. We told them to stop firing on our planes flying over their space in accord with UN mandate. In short, we demanded that they live up to their responsibilities under numerous UN mandates.

  20. By Cranky Liberal on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply


    While I applaud your well thought out post, there is nothing in there that offers any credible rationale for invading Iraq. No one argues Afghanistan, but Iraq? That was a BS political hatchet up from the beginning. Forged evidence (of which there is ample evidence) ignored facts, purposeful lies and deception.

    Craig you normally don’t sound like a GOP propaganda machine (really you don’t)…but the bit about we demanded “they live up to their responsibilities” is bunkum. Did or PResident get on TV and say..My Fellow Americans..the Iraq government has occasional fired a crappy missle at out advanced fighter jets patrolling over their country. While they have not hit us, and pose almost no real threat (since they haven’t managed to do any damage all these years) we have decided to invade the country. Granted, the rest of the security council is against the decision, but we just want the Iraqi’s to live up to the UN mandates (which once again does not approve of our actions. What say you? Should we all go kick some Iraqi butt?

    No, of course not. We got WMD’s, Al Qaeda, terror terror terror.. In short we got propaganda. There is nothing legit about the Iraqi invasion (i am not talking about the efforts of the truly noble soldiers who were put in a bad spot by a corrupt government). There is no defense for what John McCain said. The statement was a smack in the face of reality lovers everywhere….

  21. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 15, 2008 | Reply


    I’ll have to do some digging later since I haven’t time to do at this time but I promise you I will find speeches where Bush said everything that I said he said.

  22. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 16, 2008 | Reply

    I wrote that we had warned Iraq well ahead of time what we expected if war was to be avoided and summed up those demands with these words: “In short, we demanded that they live up to their responsibilities under numerous UN mandates.”

    I was then challenged to show when and where Bush had made such a statement. The answer is: September 12, 2002 at the United Nations. To wit:

    My nation will work with the U.N. Security Council on a new resolution to meet our common challenge. If Iraq’s regime defies us again, the world must move deliberately and decisively to hold Iraq to account. The purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced — the just demands of peace and security will be met — or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power.

  23. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 16, 2008 | Reply

    To continue from above, what was this resolution and what did it say? This.

    I also wrote above:

    that they must account for the weapons that we know that they had in the past — in no small part because we sold them constituent parts of such weapons.

    We told them that they must allow inspectors unfettered access to wherever they wish to inspect.

    We told them to stop firing on our planes flying over their space in accord with UN mandate.

    These are covered in UN security council resolution 1441. To wit

    First, regarding accounting for weapons existence or destruction thereof:

    Deploring the fact that Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, and complete disclosure, as required by resolution 687 (1991), of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater than one hundred and fifty kilometres, and of all holdings of such weapons, their components and production facilities and locations, as well as all other nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to nuclear-weapons-usable material

    3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmament obligations, in addition to submitting the required biannual declarations, the Government of Iraq shall provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA, and the Council, not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclearprogrammes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material

    Second, regarding allowing inspectors unfettered access:

    Deploring further that Iraq repeatedly obstructed immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to sites designated by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), failed to cooperate fully and unconditionally with UNSCOM and IAEA weapons inspectors, as required by resolution 687 (1991), and ultimately ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA in 1998,

    Deploring the absence, since December 1998, in Iraq of international monitoring, inspection, and verification, as required by relevant resolutions, of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, in spite of the Council’s repeated demandsthat Iraq provide immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), established in resolution 1284 (1999) as the successor organization to UNSCOM, and the IAEA; and regretting the consequent prolonging of the crisis in the region and the suffering of the Iraqi people

    1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq’s failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687 (1991);

    2. Decides, while acknowledging paragraph 1 above, to afford Iraq, by this resolution, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council; and accordingly decides to set up an enhanced inspection regime with the aim of bringing to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council…

    5. Decides that Iraq shall provide UNMOVIC and the IAEA immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all, including underground, areas, facilities, buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport which they wish to inspect, as well as immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted, and private access to all officials and other persons whom UNMOVIC or the IAEA wish to interview in the mode or location of UNMOVIC’s or the IAEA’s choice pursuant to any aspect of their mandates; further decides that UNMOVIC and the IAEA may at their discretion conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq, may facilitate the travel of those interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and that, at the sole discretion of UNMOVIC and the IAEA, such interviews may occur without the presence of observers from the Iraqi government; and instructs UNMOVIC and requests the IAEA to resume inspections no later than 45 days following adoption of this resolution and to update the Council 60 days thereafter;

    Third, regarding firing upon our planes:

    8. Decides further that Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or the IAEA or of any Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution;

    Of course, both Bush’s speech to the UN and these UN resolutions require many things of Saddam Hussein, over some dozen years. Most of them either went unfulfilled or were serially broken over the years. The three that I mentioned were not intended to be an exhaustive list of the things we expected of Saddam.

    Later, as Saddam failed to comply with all of these demands, a further demand was added: that Saddam be exiled. Eventually, Saddam said he would accept exile if he were permitted to take with him $1 billion US dollars (he had amassed something in excess of $10 billion through manipulations of the Oil For Food program so it’s not like we would have had to chip these in.

    Bush refused this.

    Obviously, in retrospect, it would have been far cheeper to just let him take off with the one billion dollars but that would have left Iraq in chaos and who knows who or what would have filled the void and who knows what Saddam would have done with that billion US dollars in retribution for our humiliating him.

    Anyway, I’ll leave others to decide if I’ve met my burden that I set for myself in response to Cranky Liberal’s challenge.

  24. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 16, 2008 | Reply

    Anyway, I spent a lot of time looking for the speech that I was sure that I remembered reading some years ago wherein Bush mentioned the things I wrote in my comment to GOPnanny. One of three things is true:

    1. The speech to the UN that I linked to above is the speech that I had read and I misremembered the specific things Bush mentioned that Iraq would need to do in order to avoid war. Indeed that speech DOES identify like five things that were expected of Saddam but, except for the general demand that he live up to the 12 years worth of UN security council resolutions, none of the specific demands that I identified in my response to GOPnanny was on that list.

    2. I was remembering some OTHER speech that exists but which, in the billions of web pages on the internets, I failed to turn it up.

    3. I’m going crazy. I hallucinated having read a speech where Bush mentioned those specific things as requirements to be done if Saddam wished to avoid war.

    While I cannot absolutely rule out #3, I suspect that #1 is what has happened. That is, I read the speech to the UN that I linked above AND I mis-remembered what specific things Bush mentioned in that speech. The things I remembered, I may well have gotten from elsewhere (or my faulty memory supplied them to replace what I had forgotten that I had read).

    That seems most plausible to me.

    In any case, Bush DID demand that Saddam live up to his responsibilities under the many UN resolutions and all of the things I mentioned in my response to GOPnanny were included in resolution 1441.

    Anyway, I’m through looking for what, after all, might not exist. I admit that what I came up with is not really what I thought I remembered having read so in that sense, I failed. Yet, I feel vindicated in the sense that resolution 1441, drafted and approved before the invasion and which Bush included in his speech to the UN included each of the three specific demands that I mentioned.

    That’s all I got. Make of it what you will.

  25. By Christian on Aug 19, 2008 | Reply

    We sent the UN inspectors out of Iraq before we announced that Saddam had a time limit to comply with the UN inspectors or face invasion. He also offered to accept exile in return for a payoff of some millions of dollars. Also, the Downing Street Memo reveals that Bush had no real (legal) reason to invade Iraq: if he did believe there was a real concern about weapons of mass destruction then he wouldn’t have any cause to wonder how he could provoke Saddam into performing the act of war that Bush and Blair were discussing in the DSM. Besides, to get back on topic, John McCain of course means that, in the 21st century, Russia can’t invade Georgia.

  26. By Nismpriest on Aug 19, 2008 | Reply


    I understand that you believe we had a right to enter Iraq, but what if Saddam Hussein had demanded that we let their inspectors access our high sensitivity storage areas, or to hand over President Bush. Certainly Saddam had a hostile regime, but we were a hostile regime to them. We oppose everything they stand for, and they us. The actions we took were that of a schoolyard bully, saying give me your lunch money or I’m going to kick your ass. We had no reason to enter, and what we did was aggressive and uncalled for. It does not matter if we gave them advance warning of it. If I were to say to you, “I’m coming to your house to kick your ass in a week unless you do exactly as I tell you” would it make it better than if I just came to your house and kicked you ass?

  27. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 19, 2008 | Reply


    Yes, it would be better. I would be prepared for you. I would have witnesses to the asskicking so that, in court, when I sued you for breaking and entering into my home and assaulting me, I would have no problem getting a judgment against you. Your warning would probably land you in jail on criminal charges. So then, yes. It would definitely be better if you gave me advance warning.

    Besides, it wasn’t just us telling them what to do. It was the entire world telling him what to do. UN Security Council resolution 1441 and all.

    I mean, I get that you think we had no reason to enter Iraq and all. I just disagree.


    Actually the deal was for $1 billion Saddam would accept exile. As I said above, when I mentioned exactly this fact, I believe I said that accepting this deal would have been a whole lot cheaper, at least in the short term. The problem was what would fill in the void left by Saddam? What filled in the void might have been worse than Saddam and certainly would have been worse than what appears will be left behind when we do exit the country. And what death and destruction against America, Americans and American interests might Saddam have done with that $1 billion?

    Certainly Saddam could have demanded that we let his inspectors into our sensitive areas but we actually had a dozen years of noncompliance to UN resolutions by Iraq in our hand and a dozen years of Saddam’s duplicity that was obvious to all when we made our demands. What on earth might Saddam have had?

    Maybe you think we had no warrant at all to invade Iraq. Fine. That’s a perfectly respectable position that has been advanced by people far more knowledgeable about international law than I but honestly, can you say that Saddam had against the US even whatever legal case that we had against Iraq? I don’t think so.

  28. By Craig R. Harmon on Aug 19, 2008 | Reply

    In any case, the point of my research was not to prove that our invasion was legal or morally justified. It was, rather, to respond to Cranky’s challenge to my assertion that we had given advance warning to Iraq as to what we expected of them if they wished to avoid war and that that advance warning included the three points that I had made earlier. I think I did that, albeit in a rather round about fashion. I really have no desire to try to make a case for the legality of the Iraq war or even for the morality of it.

  29. By ramon on Aug 20, 2008 | Reply

    i saw the irony in the first few comments. yours din’t have any. are you a moron? do you really support the usa? i’m just asking.

  30. By aarzt on Aug 20, 2008 | Reply

    maybe he just kindly wants to let us know he’s a hipocrit BEFORE we vote for him.

  31. By rufus on Aug 25, 2008 | Reply

    The US did NOT set clear criteria for what Iraq “had to do” i.e. declare weapons of mass destruction. Hans blix and the UN weapons inspectors were pulled out of Iraq before they could finish their job because the US was Comin’ in, ready or not! yee-hah!

  32. By Tim on Aug 31, 2008 | Reply

    Twenty million uninvited civilians from a failed democracy “visiting” our great country destroying the basic fabric of our society and over taxing our resources wouldn’t be considered an invasion either,would it?

  33. By Steve O on Aug 31, 2008 | Reply

    Tim, invasion, by definition;

    Main Entry: in·va·sion

    Pronunciation: \in-ˈvā-zhən\

    Function: noun

    Etymology: Middle English invasioune, from Anglo-French invasion, from Late Latin invasion-, invasio, from Latin invadere to invade
    Date: 15th century

    1: an act of invading; especially : incursion of an army for conquest or plunder

    2: the incoming or spread of something usually hurtful

    I am going to safely assume that invasion also means some sort of coordinated effort.

    I highly doubt that 20 million people sat around (and kept it a secret) that they were planning on invading our country with the specific intent to destroy the fabric of our country.

    I am going to assume you are an anglo-American because you guys are the only ones that think this country is yours. IT’S NOT.

    You must be inanely paranoid to think that 20 million people are out to get you.

    If you don’t like the course America is taking then leave. Or run for office.

  34. By manapp99 on Aug 31, 2008 | Reply

    “I am going to safely assume that invasion also means some sort of coordinated effort.”

    I don’t know Steve O. Have you not heard of an invasion of locusts:

    “Locust invasion threatens summer crops in Sahel countries
    Affected countries report large number of swarms - international support urgently needed”

    I have to doubt that millions of locust got together to plan the invasion.

    Then there are the rats of New Jersey:

    And they came from the south!

    December 6, 2007

    “Giant rodents are about to take over New Jersey!

    And even if the Garden State might not look any different, it has some officials worried about the ugly, 20-pound nutria which have made their way here from points south of the Mason-Dixon line.”

    You assert this to be true:

    “You must be inanely paranoid to think that 20 million people are out to get you.”

    However I already know that it really is the paranoids that are out to get me, It must be true because I saw it on a bumper sticker.

  35. By LucyS on Aug 31, 2008 | Reply


    I saw Russia’s invasion of Georgia weeks before it happened. Don’t you, or anyone else for that matter, read the newspapers anymore?

  36. By shawn on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Actually Craig, Georgia new this was coming as they had been systematically causing issues in Osedia for some time….

  37. By McGillicuddy on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Well, Afghanistan was retaliatory for the Taliban’s support of Al Qaida, so you can’t really call that invasion in the same vein as Russia’s meddling in Georgia.

    Iraq wasn’t a sovereign nation. We reserved the right to continue kicking their asses at any point as a condition of the Desert Storm cease fire.

    I guess it’s amusing to you to make points like this but really, no one that understands politics is interested in your infantile jabs.

  38. By LucyS on Sep 7, 2008 | Reply

    Off the Russia/Georgia subject…and in reference to Sarah’s comment about Community Organizers during her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention:

    What would Rudy Guiliani have done without community organizers in NYC on 9/11?

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