Mar 3, 2008
The news media has been portraying John McCain, the leading Republican candidate for president, as something of an “independent thinker” or “maverick” within the Republican Party. Certainly, he criticized the Bush administration about the war in Iraq, though his criticism was only against the way the Bush administration was pursuing it (not enough troops, wrong tactics, etc).
McCain was a very strong advocate of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq last year. In fact, he criticized Bush for not having even more troops in Iraq for the surge. So when U.S. casualties increased dramatically, anger against the war in this country also increased, McCain’s popularity plunged, even amongst his base, and his presidential campaign almost completely tanked.
However, over the last few months, U.S. casualties in Iraq have decreased somewhat, and this has allowed U.S. officials to pretend that the surge has supposedly worked – although clearly, conditions in Iraq are even worse than they were before, and the U.S. occupation continues to be a bloody quagmire. The fact that Secretary of Defense Gates says that the U.S. cannot withdraw any more troops is a confirmation of this.
But, given the supposed “success” of the U.S. surge, the U.S. news media has almost completely stopped reporting on Iraq. And this has helped McCain’s immensely. McCain, the former military officer and POW, has actually gotten away with presenting himself as the candidate who understands the military and is on the side of the common soldier.
Of course, McCain’s complete hypocrisy and cynicism was demonstrated when he openly stated that he expects the U.S. military to keep a major force in Iraq for... 50 or 100 years. Sure McCain qualified this by saying that this would be a supposedly peaceful occupation, that “Americans” will not be harmed or killed.
But obviously, a vote for McCain is a vote for a permanent U.S. occupation of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East – a virtual guarantee of permanent war.
Even Bush wouldn’t dare admit this. McCain is Bush on steroids.