McCain, In 2003, Praised Coming War With Iraq As Adding To Our “Glorious History”

While Barack Obama was opposing the coming Iraq War, John McCain was praising the coming war as adding to the “glorious history of the United States” of liberating oppressed people.

Thanks to the wonders of You-tube, history is preserved for anyone who wants to see it. On You-tube are two clips taped in the US Senate on March 19, 2003. One clip shows Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia giving his solemn assessment of the coming Iraq War and another clip shows Senator John McCain making his reply to Senator Byrd.

McCain, in his Senate speech, barely mentions WMDs, but emphasizes that one key purpose of the war will be to liberate Iraqi citizens from oppression. McCain says, “Contrary to the assertion of the Senator from West Virginia, when the Iraqi people are liberated, we will again have written another chapter in the glorious history of the United States of America. … We will again assert the most glorious phrase ever written in the English language, that we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights…. People of Iraq for the first time will be able to realize those inalienable rights. I am proud of the United States, I am proud of the leadership of the President of the United States.”

McCain continued, “To somehow assert, as some do, that the people of Iraq and Middle East are not entitled to the same God given rights as Americans, that they do not have the same hopes, dreams and aspiration as our own citizens, is an act of condescension. … In many ways I am Wilsonian, again, America this great nation of ours, will contribute to the freedom and liberty of an oppressed people, who otherwise might never enjoy those freedoms. … History shows us that this nation has stood for freedom and democracy even at the risk and loss of American lives so that all might enjoy the same privilege or have the opportunity to some day enjoy the same privilege as we do, in this noble experiment called the United States of America.”

Senator Robert Byrd in his Senate speech denounced the rush to war. Byrd said, “What is happening to our country? When did we become a nation that ignores and berates our friends and calls them irrelevant? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinary approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy? Why can this president not seem to see that this country’s true power lies not in its will to intimidate but in our ability to inspire?”

Byrd said he prayed for “the innocent civilians, women, children, babies, old and young, the crippled and deformed, and sick in Iraq,” who would soon face war.

Byrd said, “I’ve watched events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No longer is the image of America as a strong and benevolent peacekeeper. We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance … We cannot convince the world for the necessity of this war for one reason, for one simple reason, this is not a war of necessity but it is a war of choice.”

Senator Robert Byrd’s Senate Speech, March 19, 2003 (Part 2)

Senator John McCain’s Reply to Senator Byrd, March 19, 2003

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