McCain Was For Withdrawal Before He Was Against It

Thanks to the AB reader who told us about The Madness of McCain by Justin Raimondo who notes a Ron Paul style speech made by a younger John McCain:

The fundamental question is: What is the United States’ interest in Lebanon? It is said we are there to keep the peace. I ask, what peace? It is said we are there to aid the government. I ask, what government? It is said we are there to stabilize the region. I ask, how can the U.S. presence stabilize the region?… The longer we stay in Lebanon, the harder it will be for us to leave. We will be trapped by the case we make for having our troops there in the first place. What can we expect if we withdraw from Lebanon? The same as will happen if we stay. I acknowledge that the level of fighting will increase if we leave. I regretfully acknowledge that many innocent civilians will be hurt. But I firmly believe this will happen in any event.

Justin then suggests we replace “Lebanon” with “Iraq”. McCain also noted in 1990:

If you get involved in a major ground war in the Saudi desert, I think support will erode significantly. Nor should it be supported. We cannot even contemplate, in my view, trading American blood for Iraqi blood.

Justin documents how McCain’s view on intervention have evolved and offers this explanation:

But what seems to account for his evolution from realism to hopped-up interventionism is nothing more than sheer ambition. This was the case in 1983, when he defied the Reagan administration over sending U.S. soldiers to die at the hands of a Beirut suicide bomber, and in 1999, when the cry went up to take on Slobodan Milosevic. He was positioning himself against his own party, while staking out a distinctive stance independent of the Democrats. It was, in short, an instance of a presidential candidate maneuvering himself to increase his appeal to the electorate – and, most importantly, the media … McCain’s reasoning is circular: according to him, our government’s edicts must be obeyed because they are, by definition, non-negotiable—even by Americans. A certain course, once taken, must be pursued to the bitter end, even if it acts against our long-term interests. McCain’s worldview, which admits no possibility of error, is undiluted hubris.

Justin continues his discussion as to why McCain is not fit to be our commander in chief. Yes, this is published in the American Conservative but I think it is a very compelling argument.