January 31, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Iraq War Hawks (John McCain), Have Reason To Whitewash History
I can’t say that I know what makes Senator John McCain tick, but it seems clear that many Iraq war hawks have nothing to lose in their attempts to rewrite history.
On Thursday night’s Rachel Maddow Show, a YouGov survey was cited that showed 55% of Americans believe the Iraq War was not worth fighting. But there is a contingent in America that will never admit that the Iraq war was a bad idea. To them, admitting that we were wrong to go to war in Iraq is seen as weakness. The question I ponder is what percentage of these Iraq war hawks truly believe the war was justified? You have to imagine that at least a few of them know in hindsight that it was wrong, yet they still feel owning up to this mistake is weakness.
The reason I say they have nothing to lose is because history will not judge them kindly unless they can successfully rewrite it. So when John McCain, during the Secretary of Defense confirmation hearing, insisted that Chuck Hagel admit whether he was right or wrong about the “surge” in Iraq, you were witnessing an Iraq war hawk attempting to affirm his hawkishness.
Hagel chose not to play McCain’s game. He refused to answer whether he was right or wrong. And to that I say good! Because McCain’s question was simply a trap. If Hagel says he was right that the surge was a mistake, he looks silly because even though the Iraq war was a mistake, the surge did technically work. If Hagel says he was wrong, well, there’s your indictment, at least according to McCain — he was wrong on a big national security issue and he admitted it. So confirmation over, right? Of course life has a funny way of being a bit more complex than McCain’s silly black or white question.