Wednesday, July 23, 2008

McCain's Afghan Strategic Blunder

By Robert Parry

"John McCain has denounced Barack Obama as being “completely wrong” on Iraq, but it was McCain who advocated what turned out to be the fundamental strategic blunder in the post-9/11 conflicts, the hasty – and premature – pivot from Afghanistan to Iraq.

Only weeks after the Taliban were routed from Kabul and the remnants of al-Qaeda had fled from bases in Tora Bora, McCain took the lead in urging the Bush administration to turn its attention toward Iraq.

In a Feb. 2, 2002, speech to the Munich Conference on Security Policy, McCain said the United States and its allies needed to concentrate on overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

The next front is apparent, and we should not shirk from acknowledging it,” McCain said. “A terrorist resides in Baghdad, with the resources of an entire state at his disposal, flush with cash from illicit oil revenues and proud of a decade-long record of defying the international community's demands that he come clean on his programs to develop weapons of mass destruction.

A day of reckoning is approaching.”......"

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