Speaking at a retreat hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy over the weekend, McCain adviser Max Boot threw President Bush under the bus:
McCain’s advisers attempted to deflect comparisons between McCain and Bush. In trying to turn such comparisons against the Obama campaign, Boot noted that eight years ago he favored “another presidential candidate with not much experience in national security policy” — George W. Bush — “and we’ve seen the implications.”
For a little background on how monumentally disingenuous this is, let’s go back to October 2001, when Boot penned an article arguing that the problem with U.S. foreign policy was too little military intervention. “The problem,” Boot wrote, “has not been excessive American assertiveness but rather insufficient assertiveness. The question is whether, having now been attacked, we will act as a great power should”:
Once Afghanistan has been dealt with, America should turn its attention to Iraq. It will probably not be possible to remove Saddam quickly without a U.S. invasion and occupation — though it will hardly require half a million men, since Saddam’s army is much diminished since the Gulf War, and we will probably have plenty of help from Iraqis, once they trust that we intend to finish the job this time. Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul. With American seriousness and credibility thus restored, we will enjoy fruitful cooperation from the region’s many opportunists, who will show a newfound eagerness to be helpful in our larger task of rolling up the international terror network that threatens us.
Clearly, only someone with as little foreign policy experience as George W. Bush would actually follow such knuckleheaded advice. But what’s John McCain’s excuse?