McCain: ‘There Will Be Other Wars’
John McCain wants Florida voters to know that national security policy, not the economy, is the most important issue in this presidential election because we’re in a war and will inevitably be in others. Sam Stein is worried:
Sen. John McCain told a crowd of supporters on Sunday, “It’s a tough war we’re in. It’s not going to be over right away. There’s going to be other wars.” Offering more of his increasingly bleak “straight talk,” he repeated the claim: “I’m sorry to tell you, there’s going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars.”
McCain did not elaborate who the United States would be fighting. But he did warn the crowd to be ready for the ramifications of current and future battles.
“And right now – we’re gonna have a lot of PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] to treat, my friends,” he said. “We’re gonna have a lot of combat wounds that have to do with these terrible explosive IEDs that inflict such severe wounds. And my friends, it’s gonna be tough, we’re gonna have a lot to do.”
I don’t know the context of these remarks. They’re rather strange and depressing if they’re part of a stump speech but just more “straight talk” if they were in response to an audience question.
There’s not much question about the underlying point. Every president in my lifetime has used military force, often many times. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had Vietnam; Gerald Ford, Mayaguez; Jimmy Carter, Desert One; Ronald Reagan: Beirut and Grenada; George H.W. Bush: Panama, Desert Storm, and Somalia; Bill Clinton: Somalia II, Haiti, and perhaps a dozen others; George W. Bush: Afghanistan and Iraq. And that’s just off the top of my head.
Some of those conflicts were unavoidable and perhaps ill advised. But, with the exception of Nixon’s inheritance of Vietnam, they all had at least one thing in common: The president wasn’t expecting them when campaigning for office.