However, it's already been quite a long haul for the troops he and Bush have so blithely deployed to construct and perpetuate their show of aggression, and this new republican campaign by McCain is bound to ultimately represent just another wearying and tragic procrastination for those who are waiting for some definition of their mission beyond digging further into the sand behind the artificial berms they've constructed to separate themselves from the Iraqis McCain and Bush are pretending to defend.
“Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women,” McCain told CNN in 2002. Days later, he backtracked to make a self-serving assurance that American lives would not be squandered for his manipulations in Iraq.
“We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad," McCain told CNN. "We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies.”
By the next year, McCain was cocky enough to predict a 'win' behind the invasion and occupation, telling MSNBC that "we will win this conflict. We will win it easily."
John McCain's friend and primary instigator, enabler, and author of the lies used to justify the U.S. campaign for 'regime change' in Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi, began his deceptions in exile during the Clinton administration and was gifted with the leadership of the 'authority' which was constructed after the invasion to impose and lord their military dominance over the Iraqis.
Chalabi, who McCain called a "patriot," was finally driven out of the leadership by predictable charges of the same manipulative corruption which had been his moniker. Even as he was elevated by the Bush administration to lord over Iraqis behind the sacrifices of our troops, Chalabi was under indictment for embezzlement and fraud. Chalabi was paid $335,000 a month as he promoted his lies about WMDs to the administration and their enablers in Congress. It was reported in 2004 that Chalabi's group-in-exile, the 'Iraqi National Congress,' received $39 million in tax dollars over 5 years as they promoted their lies.
When confronted about the complete lack of any proof that what he'd sold his U.S. supporters in the administration and Congress, Chalabi shrugged. "As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful," Chalabi said. "That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."
"We are heroes in error," Chalabi was quoted as saying.
In the fall of 2002 the 'Committee for the Liberation of Iraq' was established in the Washington offices of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. The CLI engaged in educational and advocacy efforts to mobilize U.S. and international support for policies aimed at ending the regime of Saddam Hussein. This advocacy came at the same time that Condoleezza Rice and her then-deputy Stephen Hadley were engaged in a series of briefings with foreign policy groups, Iraq specialists and other opinion makers that was termed as a "new phase," by a White House spokesman, who described the goal as building fresh public support for Bush administration policy vs. Iraq.
Members of the CLI met in November of 2002 with President Bush's national security adviser, Rice, in an effort they described as "education and advocacy efforts to mobilize U.S. and international support freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny." Members of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq included, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, General Barry McCaffrey, and former CIA director James Woolsey. George Shultz, Amb. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, and Elliot Abrams were also involved with the group. Abrams and Bolton were founding members of the CLI.
The CLI lobbied for the installation of the so-called Iraqi National Congress to replace the Hussein dictatorship. This group was the creation of the U.S. Congress which, following testimony from Chalabi, and defense policy executive, Zalmay Khalilzad (later appointed ambassador to Iraq), and the co-sponsoring of Sen. John McCain, passed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998, and sanctioned the new U.S. policy of regime change.
Among the other participants in the CLI were, Gary Schmitt (director of the conservative foundation, Project for the New American Century) and Richard Perle, (chairman of Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board, also closely associated with PNAC. Also involved was co-founder, president and executive director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, Randy Scheunemann who served as a consultant on Iraq to Donald Rumsfeld and now serves as John McCain's top foreign policy aide.
His firm is also involved in securing U.S. reconstruction dollars in Iraq for members of the former Soviet bloc. Undoubtedly the main instigator behind John McCain's hard-line on the Russia/Georgia conflict, Scheunemann concealed the fact that he'd been a paid lobbyist for Georgia until as late as December 2007.
In fact, Schennemann was partners in his Iraq lobbying with another facilitator for the former Soviet states, Bruce Jackson, the founder and president of the 'Project on Transitional Democracies', an organization which guided ‘newly independent', former Soviet provinces through the congressional appropriations process to connect the foreign leaders with U.S. tax dollars. Their influence led to the acceptance of many of these countries into NATO compliance and membership. The introduction of these former provinces into the NATO resulted in a boon for weapon's manufacturers as the new republics were required to modernize their military forces to comply with NATO defense requirements.
U.S. ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns explained Jackson's (and Schennemann's) role to the Dallas Morning News in 2002: "In Europe, he coaches officials of candidate countries on whom to see, what to say and how to behave in Washington. He also browbeats them on what reforms they need to make and what issues they must address, such as lingering anti-Semitism, if they expect the Senate to let them into NATO."