Senator McCain, the core of your campaign is centered around the issue of “victory” in Iraq. You have repeatedly told the American people the war in Iraq was necessary in order to ensure the security of the United States. In 2001, when American forces invaded Iraq, al-Qaeda consisted of several hundred followers and there were none in Iraq. As a result of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, there are now thousands of al-Qaeda followers in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. In 2003, there were no members of al-Qaeda in Algeria, but today, al-Qaeda, North Africa is functioning in Algeria. Al Qaeda is now fighting in Pakistan and the organization is now cooperating with the Moro Liberation Force in the Philippines. Your so-called “victory” has been a victory for the growth of terrorism.
Lies and distortion have been central to your boasts concerning victory in Iraq over terrorism. There is no question terrorism has increased tenfold since President Bush and you advocated an invasion of Iraq. If anyone can claim “victory” it is al-Qaeda which has grown from a small force into a powerful fighting organization. Al-Qaeda has become the heroes of millions of people in the Muslim world who, prior to our invasion of Iraq, had never even heard of the organization. The invasion of Iraq has become the means by which al-Qaeda has been able to recruit and grow in numbers.
Among the boasts you keep on making is support for the surge in Iraq. Well, let’s look at your record in support of the American military. In 2003, the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged President Bush to provide an army of 400,000 so they could do the job in Iraq. There was no a single word of support for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from your mouth. There was not a single word from you for more troops in 2003, in 2004, in 2005, in 2006 despite the fact 4,000 American soldiers were being killed and over 24,000 wounded. You did not utter a single word of criticism of Don Rumsfeld until late 2006 when just about everyone was blasting the Secretary of Defense. Prior to that time, you supported his military policies. Such support for the Bush administration is hardly the manner in which a maverick functions, is it?
The question to pose is: Is the Middle East today more peaceful and secure than it was in 2003 when the invasion you supported began? The answer is obvious to anyone. There is more terrorism and violence today than was apparent in the region in 2003. Hamas and Hizbullah have grown in power. Had American used its energy in 2003 to train and equip the army of Lebanon, Hizbullah never would have emerged as a powerful fighting force that now threatens the security of Israel. Had the Republican party worked with Israel and the Palestinians in 2001, a genuine peace might have been achieved. Instead, the foolish and destabilizing invasion of Iraq created terrorism, created powerful militant forces and endangered the security of Israel and other nations in the Middle East which seek peace.
Today, the United States is despised in the Muslim world. Is that what you mean by “victory?” Today, there are terrorists fighting in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Is that what you mean by “victory?” Today, al-Qaeda has spread to areas like Algeria, is that what you mean by “victory?” There are 4,000 dead American soldiers because of the Bush reckless invasion of Iraq and over 24,000 are wounded, is that what you mean by “victory?” The American armed forces are exhausted and stretched to the utter limits of their capability but a full scale war has emerged in Afghanistan, is that what you mean by “victory?”
Senator McCain, you have nonstop tried to wrap yourself around the American flag and boasted of your concern for “the troops.” But, Senator McCain you did not push through the Republican controlled Senate a single bill to increase mental health care for veterans or provide more support for families dealing with deployment of loved ones. You voted against the Webb bill which provided a new G.I. Bill of education rights on the ground its liberal provisions for financial aid would endanger recruiting efforts. Tell the American people which bills you have supported during the past seven years which aided the health and welfare of American troops. Your record is abysmal when it comes to legislation for our troops. It is a fact that until Democrats took control of Congress neither the Bush administration nor the Congress had done anything to aid and support members of the armed forces or veterans.
Senator McCain, your record in support of the Iraq invasion is hardly one that a “maverick” would possess. You supported war, you failed to provide our troops with equipment and the necessary troops, you supported those who created the chaos that is Iraq and now you claim any problems were the fault of “Washington special interest groups.” Senator McCain, you belong to the group you now criticize. You are part of the Establishment which failed the American people. Yours is the voice of the Judas goat which leads goats to slaughter. Only, in this case Americans and Iraqis died because of Bush policies in Iraq which you faithfully followed.