McCain-Sept, 1998-Is Bin Laden a Bad Guy?October 5, 2008
In the November/December issue of Mother Jones Magazine, John McCain questioned whether going after Bin Laden was a good idea, and also questioned whether he was even a bad guy. Seriously.
Q: You not only have had combat experience in Vietnam, but you were also a prisoner of war. When you look at terrorism right now, with people like Osama bin Laden, do you have any reservations about watching strikes like that?
John McCain: You could say, Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that’s depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before. And where there is a parallel with Vietnam is: What’s plan B? What do we do next? We sent our troops into Vietnam to protect the bases. Lyndon Johnson said, Only to protect the bases. Next thing you know…. Well, we’ve declared to the terrorists that we’re going to strike them wherever they live. That’s fine. But what’s next? That’s where there might be some comparison.
Remember when President Clinton was blowing up terrorist camps with cruise missiles, and all the Republicans wanted to do was cry ‘Wag the dog! Wag the dog!’? Well, this is McCain doing the whole song and dance of the day. Give me a break. By the way, if you hadn’t heard of Bin Laden in 1998, you either were too young, or you didn’t pay enough attention to world news and politics. John McCain wasn’t too young.
Not only did he question whether or not Bin Laden was such a bad guy, but he actually compared going after him to Viet Nam — the very thing he’d decry today as unpatriotic.
John McCain, a man of principles*
*principles may change hour to hour, day to day, depending on the prevailing winds