It seems that Senator McCain is being very critical of Donald Rumsfeld's handling of the war planning effort and the president for making a stump
August 11, 2004

It seems that Senator McCain is being very critical of Donald Rumsfeld's handling of the war planning effort and the president for making a stump speech on board of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

TSP Exclusive: Senator John McCain said "We are paying a price for mistakes that were made." On the Imus show.

McCain responded to talk show host Imus this morning, when Imus asked Senator McCain:

Imus:"What's going on in Najaf? Is that going door to door, is that the way to do it?

McCain: "I think we have to now, but we are paying a heavy price for a number of mistakes we made early on after the quote "Mission was Accomplished". We also should never have let these people take over Fallujah, which is has become a basic sanctuary for them. We are paying a heavy, heavy price for not having a lot more troops over there of the right kind. Particularly right after the conflict was over. But we have to win this. God bless these brave, young people. They are incredible, they are the most courageous people that I have ever...

What is errie about President Bush making his "Mission Accomplished" speech abourd the USS Abraham Lincoln is the views that Abraham Lincoln expressed in a letter that he wrote in 1848 to his law partner William Herndon. If you take out the word "neighboring" in the first sentence, it could have been written at any time in the past year: "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever HE shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, WHENEVER HE MAY CHOOSE TO SAY he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure."

Lincoln then goes on to explain why the Framers gave Congress, and not the President, the power to declare war: " Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending ... that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions, and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that NO ONE MAN should hold the power of bringing this oppression on us."

The emphases that I show are Lincoln's, not mine. Lincoln was speaking of the war against Mexico, which he considered was entered into illegally, and under false pretenses. The whole letter gave me an eerie feeling - a sort of "deja vu" in reverse.

The Republicans like to say that they are "the party of Lincoln." But they certainly don't agree with Lincoln about pre-emptive war.

Fehrenbacher, Don E., ed., "Abraham Lincoln: A Documentary Portrait through his Speeches and Writings;" The New American Library of World Literature, Inc., NY, 1964; pp. 59-60.

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