Huffpost Politics

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Max Bergmann Headshot

McCain Doesn't Understand Iraq War History, Says "We Were Greeted as Liberators"

Posted: Updated:

On ABC's This Week, McCain when pressed by George Stephanopoulos whether Obama was right about invading Iraq, scoffed saying, "we were greeted as liberators." This just adds to the evidence of last week that John McCain doesn't understand the history of what's happened in Iraq.

So McCain now thinks that everything went as expected during the invasion that in fact American troops were greeted as liberators. One has to wonder if McCain's memory is really that bad. If McCain really believes that U.S. forces were greeted as liberators, as he and Cheney, predicted, then he clearly has no understanding of what actually happened in Iraq.  

In fact, during the initial phase of the war U.S. forces encountered tougher resistance than expected and the cheering crowds failed to materialize. Max Boot, McCain's own military adviser, said at the time that the idea we would be greeted as liberators "might have been wishful thinking." [Boston Globe, 3/28/03] The Philly Inquirer said that one top administration official "almost every assumption the plan's based on looks to be wrong." The administration was expecting a WWII type toppling, but instead Saddam's forces blended in with the population providing unexpected resistance that laid the ground work for the coming insurgency.While the battle for Baghdad did not materialize and the city fell quickly the result was chaos, not parades of liberation. While McCain was praising Bush and Rumsfeld, the Boston Globe noted on April 20, 2003 that,

More than a week into "Phase 4" - the reconstruction of Iraq, the centerpiece of the military's effort to be seen as liberators and not conquerors -- life in Baghdad has decidedly not returned to normal. In
all levels of society, from those who openly embrace American military
rule to fundamentalist Shi'ites who seek to replace Saddam Hussein with
an Islamic government, people here are expressing swelling suspicion of
America's motives.
At night, the capital's
residents listen to a cacophony of gunfire in total darkness, unless
they have generators. People beg journalists for phones, because they
have had none since US forces started bombing Baghdad. Government
buildings still smolder and hospitals turn away patients, even though
by the end of last week, US troops belatedly began guarding crucial
public buildings -- most of which already had been looted.