For many years, John McCain has been one of the major war hawks in the Senate, but he was not that way for more than a decade after he was first elected to Congress. When he entered the House of Representatives in 1983, he was a cautious realist, holding the position that U.S. military power should only be used to protect vital national interests. He developed this view as a result of his experience in the Vietnam War and his post-Vietnam studying of the origins of that war at the National War College.John B. Judis, “Neo-McCain,” New Republic, October 16, 2006, https://newrepublic.com/article/60839/neo-mccain That view loomed large among military leaders at this time and was exemplified by General Colin Powell.
In his first year in Congress, McCain, although a strong supporter of then President Reagan, voted against the latter’s decision to continue the deployment of troops in Lebanon during that country’s civil war. The measure would pass in both Houses of Congress, with substantial support from Democrats, and with only a small minority of Republicans daring to oppose Reagan. In his floor speech on this issue, McCain stated:
“The fundamental question is: What is the United States’ interest in Lebanon? It is said we are there to keep the peace. I ask, what peace? It is said we are there to aid the government. I ask, what government? It is said we are there to stabilize the region. I ask, how can the U.S. presence stabilize the region? . . . . The longer we stay in Lebanon, the harder it will be for us to leave. We will be trapped by the case we make for having our troops there in the first place.
“What can we expect if we withdraw from Lebanon? The same as will happen if we stay. I acknowledge that the level of fighting will increase if we leave. I regretfully acknowledge that many innocent civilians will be hurt. But I firmly believe this will happen in any event.”Quoted in Justin Raimondo, “The Madness of John McCain,” February 11, 2008, The American Conservative, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the...ccain/
[3} Quoted in Norman Kempster, “Vietnam War Leaves Legacy of Anguish,” Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1985, http://articles.latimes.com/1985-04-28/news/mn-2129...-war/2
After a truck filled with explosives rammed into the Marine compound in Beirut, killing 241 service members, Reagan opted to remove the remaining troops a few months later. McCain was vindicated and he gained considerable attention from the mainstream media for his prescience and courage to take such a stand against a popular President from his party. This helped to develop his reputation as a “maverick.”
“The American people and Congress now appreciate that we are neither omniscient nor omnipotent,” McCain would later tell the Los Angeles Times, “and they are not prepared to commit U.S. troops to combat unless there is a clear U.S. national security interest involved. If we do become involved in combat, that involvement must be of relatively short duration and must be readily explained to the man in the street in one or two sentences.”
In 1987, during the Iran-Iraq War, in which the United States was supporting Iraq, McCain, now a Senator, opposed President Reagan’s move to put American flags on Kuwaiti oil tankers and have the U.S. Navy protect them against possible Iranian attacks. In the Arizona Republic, he described Reagan’s action as a “dangerous overreaction in perhaps the most violent and unpredictable region in the world.” He continued: “American citizens are again being asked to place themselves between warring Middle East factions, with no tangible allied support and no real plan on how to respond if the situation escalates.”Quoted in Matt Welch, McCain, The Myth of a Maverick (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 157.
McCain did support the Gulf War in 1991, but even here he was something of a moderate. McCain biographer Matt Welch writes: “When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990, McCain oscillated between hawkishness and reluctance, denouncing the Iraqi dictator and then the U.S. government for having cozied up too closely to Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, but at the same time warning against a protracted land battle.”Welch, p. 158. McCain stated: “If you get involved in a major ground war in the Saudi desert, I think support will erode significantly. Nor should it be supported. We cannot even contemplate, in my view, trading American blood for Iraqi blood.”Quoted in Michael Wines, “Confrontation in the Gulf,” New York Times, August 19, 1990, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/19/world/confrontati...cubz=0
Under Republican Presidents Reagan and the elder Bush, it must be acknowledged that McCain was not an actual non-interventionist since he supported the American opposition to the Soviet Union, and what he considered to be pro-Soviet forces in Central America. Moreover, he supported the removal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega by the U.S. military in 1989. But this was still a far cry from the global interventionist that McCain would become.
Moreover, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, McCain would be even more non-interventionist until his radical change during the last years of Clinton’s term. In a commencement address he made to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia in June 1994, McCain emphasized that his cautious approach to war resulted from his Vietnam experience. He solemnly orated that he had not forgotten “the friends who did not return with me to the country we loved so dearly. The memory of them, of what they bore for honor and country, causes me to look in every prospective conflict for the shadow of Vietnam.”Quoted in Robert Timberg, John McCain: An American Odyssey (New York: Touchstone, 1999), pp. 149-150.
In December 1992, after losing the November election to Bill Clinton, the elder George Bush dispatched American troops to Somalia, then embroiled in a many-sided civil war, to facilitate the provision of food to the starving civilian population. This was part of a United Nations effort. By the fall of 1993, this military mission morphed into one of arresting war lords and nation-building. In October 1993, a 15-hour battle took place in Mogadishu that left 18 Americans dead and 73 injured, with many of these casualties the result of two Black Hawk helicopters being shot down.NPR Staff, “What A Downed Black Hawk In Somalia Taught America,” NPR, October 5, 2013, http://www.npr.org/2013/10/05/229561805/what-a-down...merica
Because of this loss of American lives, there was a Senate bill supported by President Clinton which planned to remove American troops from Somalia. Demanding a quicker troop exit, McCain stated: “Mr. President, can anyone seriously argue that another six months of United States forces in harm’s way means the difference between peace and prosperity in Somalia and war and starvation there? Is that very dim prospect worth one more American life? No, it is not.”
Drawing an analogy to what happened in Lebanon in 1983, McCain contended: “240 young Marines lost their lives, but we got out. Now is the time for us to get out of Somalia, as rapidly, and as promptly, and as safely as possible.”
“The longer we stay the more difficult it will be to leave,” McCain asserted. “The loss of American lives is not only tragic, it is needless.”Quoted in “Backing Clinton, Senate Rejects Bid to Speed Somalia Pullout,” Clifford Krauss, October 15, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/15/world/backing-cli...t.html His proposed amendment for a quicker departure, however, was voted down.
McCain also opposed Clinton’s intervention in Haiti to bring back President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had been elected in 1990 and then overthrown in a coup in 1991. After a UN resolution authorized the use of military force to return Aristide to power, the United States would ultimately do so on October 15, 1994. In late August 1994, McCain declared: “It is the post-invasion circumstances that I fear will bog down U.S. forces in a low-level, open-ended, ill-defined conflict which will require U.S. servicemen and women to serve as a virtual palace guard for President Aristide once he is returned to power.”“McCain Firm in Opposition to Invasion of Haiti,” August 31, 1994, https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press...c9b56d
The major international concern in the 1990s was the conflict in Yugoslavia—with the focus first on Bosnia and then Kosovo. After the downfall of Communism, Yugoslavia dissolved, with the secession, in 1992, of Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia. Bosnia also declared its independence despite the staunch opposition of Bosnian Serbs, who wanted to remain united with Serbia. Civil war broke out between the Bosnian Serbs, supported by Serbia, and the Muslim-dominated Bosnian government. Thousands of people were killed, raped, and expelled from their homes. The West generally looked upon the atrocities, real and imagined, as being primarily perpetrated by the Serbs. In the United States, this was especially the case among American liberals who would advocate “humanitarian” military intervention to protect the Muslims.
In 1992, the UN peacekeeping forces intervened for humanitarian reasons and set up several so-called safe areas for refugees, which often turned out to be not very safe. The UN forces were composed of non-American troops, while American ships and airplanes enforced an arms embargo.
The wars in Yugoslavia would ultimately lead to a sea change in McCain’s position on American military intervention, but this did not occur all at once. Initially, McCain was, like many Republicans, opposed to American involvement in the conflict. In fact, biographer Matt Welch describes McCain as having been “one of the Senate’s most stubborn opponents to US military intervention against Serbs.”Welch, p. 162. McCain contended that any American military “peace-keeping” effort in Bosnia would likely lead to a quagmire. “I think you can draw a parallel to the military challenge in Bosnia with what the Russians faced in Afghanistan,” McCain opined in May 1993. “Even with ground forces and with overwhelming air superiority, they were unable to defeat a motivated, very capable enemy.”Quoted in Michael Wines, “Conflict in the Balkans; Senator Who Saw War Up Close Doesn’t Want to See Another,” New York Times, May 5, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/05/world/conflict-in...r.html
In December 1994, McCain, whom the Los Angeles Times described as a “a leading opponent of greater American military involvement in the war,” stated: “I think we have a very full plate of a legislative agenda, which are the commitments we made to the American people–and Bosnia wasn’t one of those.”Quoted in Ronald Brownstein, “Leaders Clash on U.S. Role in Bosnia,” Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1994, http://articles.latimes.com/1994-12-09/news/mn-7054...h-push In May 1995, McCain held that U.S. efforts in the Balkans were “doomed to failure from the beginning, when we believed that we could keep peace in a place where there was no peace.”Quoted in Franklin Foer, Election 2008: A Voter’s Guide, p. 105. Neocon Robert Kagan bemoaned the fact that on Bosnia, Senator McCain led the Republican attack, warning that any use of military power there would result in “another failure like Vietnam or Lebanon.”Robert Kagan, “A Retreat from Power?,” Commentary, July 1, 1995, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/a-retrea...power/
Prospects for peace, however, improved in the summer of 1995 when NATO, led by the United States, launched airstrikes against Bosnian Serb targets, which combined with better-equipped Muslim and Croatian forces pressured the Bosnian Serbs into participating in peace negotiations. This led to the Dayton Accords in November 1995, which ended the war in Bosnia. NATO would provide peace-keeping troops, including 20,000 from the U.S.
After NATO’s success, McCain quickly dropped his staunch anti-interventionist position. McCain later claimed that his position had begun to change as a moral reaction to the Serbs’ massacre of thousands of unarmed Bosnian Muslims in July 1995.David D. Kirkpatrick, “Response to 9/11 Offers Outline of McCain Doctrine,” New York Times, August 16, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/us/politics/17mcc...n.html While most Republican members of Congress were opposed to sending American troops to Bosnia, McCain joined Senator Robert Dole (Republican—Kansas) in putting forth the nonbinding Dole-McCain resolution which permitted Clinton to send troops, though limiting the deployment to one year–which was Clinton’s stated time period—and requiring the United States to lead an effort to arm and train Bosnian troops. The resolution passed in the Senate but was not taken up in the House.Jonathan S. Landay, “Congress Tiptoes Into Delicate Issue Of Dispatching GIs,” Christian Science Monitor, December 13,1995, https://www.csmonitor.com/1995/1213/13013.html; Helen Dewa and Guy Gugliotta, “Senate Backs Troops to Bosnia,” Washington Post, December 14, 1995, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1995...d75dac
Showing that he had not completely dropped his previous cautious approach to intervention, McCain emphasized that the Dole-McCain resolution was not seeking support for President Clinton’s decision to deploy the troops. “It asks that you support the deployment after the decision has been made,” he said. “The decision has been made by the only American elected to make such decisions [i.e., the President].” However, McCain also expressed a firm interventionist conviction: “When we arrive at the moment when less is expected from our leadership by the rest of the world, then we will have arrived at the moment of our decline.” And he said, “We cannot withdraw from the world into our prosperity and comfort and hope to keep those blessings.”Quoted in Katherine Q. Seeleye, “Anguished, Senators Vote to Support Bosnia Mission,” New York Times, December 14, 1995, http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/14/world/balkan-acco...ed=all
While a change from his previous strong opposition to American intervention abroad, supporting this peace effort in Bosnia did not portend McCain’s radical transmutation to the global super-hawk that he would become. That final step would require the involvement of the neoconservatives. This connection began when, in 1997, McCain and his advisers read an article in the Wall Street Journal editorial page by neoconservatives Bill Kristol and David Brooks who were promoting the idea of “national greatness” conservatism, which consisted of a more activist domestic agenda and a more interventionist global role.Kirkpatrick.
While this article may have fit in with the direction that McCain’s thinking was moving, it had political implications as well: McCain had been eyeing the presidency for a number of years. According to John Weaver, a major political adviser to McCain at this time: “I wouldn’t call it a ‘eureka’ moment, but there was a sense that this is where we are headed and this is what we are trying to articulate and they [Kristol and Brooks] have already done a lot of the work. . . . And, quite frankly, from a crass political point of view, we were in the making-friends business. The Weekly Standard represented a part of the primary electorate that we could get.”Quoted in Kirkpatrick. And it should be emphasized that McCain’s change was not a gradual one but rather one that was quite radical and took place in a very short period of time.
After reading this article, McCain and staff were consulting regularly with leading neocons, including Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Randy ScheunemannScheunemann was a member of the Board of Directors of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and would later be Director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and McCain’s foreign policy adviser in his 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns., to, in the words of journalist David Kirkpatrick, “develop the senator’s foreign policy ideas and instincts into the broad themes of a presidential campaign.”Kirkpatrick. In short, McCain realized that he needed the neocons’ intellectual and political support if he were to achieve higher office. The neocons were already well-known and had played a significant role in the Reagan administration. And during the Clinton years, neocons promoted their views from a strong interlocking network of think tanks which have had a significant influence in shaping American foreign policy.
McCain would begin to support neocon positions. On January 26, 1998, the neocon-dominated Project for a New American Century (PNAC), created in 1997 and headed by Bill Kristol, sent a letter to President Clinton urging him to take unilateral military action against Iraq to overthrow Saddam and offered a plan to achieve that objective. After the Clinton administration failed to take action, another neocon-front group, the resurrected Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf, which had promoted the 1991 Gulf War, sent another letter urging war. And, because of Clinton’s continued inaction, PNAC would send another such letter in May.
While President Clinton failed to take action, McCain pushed for military action against Saddam in 1998. McCain co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act, committing the United States to support the overthrow of Saddam and funding opposition groups, most importantly the Iraqi National Congress. Headed by the notorious neocon-favorite Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi National Congress would provide much of the spurious information that generated support for the war on Iraq in 2003. The bill passed in both houses of Congress and on October 31, 1998, President Clinton signed it into law. Clinton, however, did not intend to implement this measure and George Bush made no mention of it during the 2000 campaign.Justin Vaisse, Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 248. McCain, however, remained in lock-step with the neocons on Iraq and would be made Honorary Co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq when it was created in 2002.
McCain had been in line with the neocons as a strong supporter of Israel even during the time he adhered to a cautious realist position regarding U.S. military interventionism. He was the 1999 recipient of the Defender of Jerusalem award, given by the National Council of Young Israel. In his acceptance speech, McCain in effect told his pro-Zionist audience that the United States should be prepared to make war for Israel’s sake. “Certainly, no one would argue with the proposition that our armed forces exist first and foremost for the defense of the United States and its vital interests abroad,” McCain intoned. “We choose, as a nation, however, to intervene militarily abroad in defense of the moral values that are at the center of our national conscientiousness even when vital national interests are not necessarily at stake. I raise this point because it lies at the heart of this nation’s approach to Israel. The survival of Israel is one of this country’s most important moral commitments. . . . Like the United States, Israel is more than a nation; it is an ideal.”“Remarks of Senator John McCain to the National Council of Young Israel in New York City,” John McCain Press Release, March 14, 1999, quoted in Joseph Sobran, “The Patriot Game,” Wanderer, February 24, 2000, p. 6. Note that this was diametrically opposed to his former view that American intervention abroad should only take place to protect vital American interests.
However, it was not Iraq or any of Israel’s enemies that put McCain in the national limelight but rather the U.S.-led NATO war on Serbia over Kosovo in 1999. As Washington Post staff writer Dan Balz wrote in early April 1999, “no politician has been more visible on the issue of Kosovo the past two weeks than the former Vietnam prisoner of war, and a number of political analysts say his performance has given a boost to his presidential aspirations.”Dan Balz, “Kosovo Conflict Gives McCain Prominence,” Washington Post, April 7, 1999, A4, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campa...99.htm
President Clinton orchestrated the NATO war on Serbia, because of the Serbs “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in their territory of Kosovo. Since Serbia could not possibly threaten the United States, the war was presented as being largely for humanitarian reasons. At this time, there were all types of stories of Serb mass killings of Kosovars, with figures up to 100,000 Kosovar civilians being missing and conceivably murdered.Tom Doggett, “Cohen Fears 100,000 Kosovo Men Killed by Serbs,” Washington Post, May 16, 1999, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm...99.htm Physical evidence for these extreme claims was not found and former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic was not even charged with crimes of such great magnitude at his trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). And according to German government documents no “ethnic cleansing” of Kosovar Albanians took place until after the NATO bombing.Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, “Internal Documents from Germany’s Foreign Office Regarding Pre-Bombardment Genocide in Kosovo,” CounterPunch, April 24, 1999, https://www.counterpunch.org/1999/04/24/internal-doc...osovo/
Unlike many Republicans, McCain supported Clinton’s decision for war. But while Clinton limited American actions to air strikes, McCain maintained that it was essential to win this military confrontation at all costs and called on the Clinton Administration to deploy ground troops if the reliance on air strikes alone appeared to be insufficient to achieve victory.CNN, “McCain resolution urges use of ‘all necessary force’ in Yugoslavia,” April 20, 1999, http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/04/20/k...gress/]
McCain thus sponsored a resolution that would have given President Clinton congressional authorization to use all means necessary to win the military campaign in Kosovo. The leaders of both parties opposed this resolution and it was tabled. McCain complained: “The president doesn’t want the power he possesses by law because the risks inherent in its exercise have paralyzed him.”McCain quoted in CNN, “Senate tables Kosovo resolution authorizing ‘all necessary force,’’ May 4, 1999, http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/05/04/k...gress/
McCain’s hawkish position reflected the views of the neoconservatives. And obviously, his pro-intervention stance represented a sea change from his previous emphasis on caution and support of war only if it involved a vital American interest.
. Members of the interventionist Balkan Action Committee, which advocated NATO ground troops for Kosovo, included such prominent neoconservative mainstays as Richard Perle, Max M. Kampelman, Morton Abramowitz, and Paul Wolfowitz. Other neoconservative proponents of a tougher war included Eliot Cohen, Elliott Abrams, John Bolton, Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Norman Podhoretz.Balkan Action Council, Press Release, “Balkan Action Council Urges NATO Intervention, Ground Forces in Kosovo,” January 25, 1999, Bosnian Institute, http://www.bosnia.org.uk/news/news/260199_6.cfm
Largely because of his bellicose position on Kosovo, McCain was the favorite presidential candidate for many leading neoconservatives in 2000. As Franklin Foer, editor of the liberal New Republic, put it: “Jewish neoconservatives have fallen hard for John McCain. It’s not just unabashed swooner William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard. McCain has also won over such leading neocon lights as David Brooks, the entire Podhoretz family, The Wall Street Journal‘s Dorothy Rabinowitz, and columnist Charles Krauthammer, who declared, in a most un-Semitic flourish, ‘He suffered for our sins.’”Francis Foer, “The neocons wake up: Arguing the GOP,” New Republic, March 20, 2000, p. 13.
McCain was especially championed by Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, and his associate David Brooks. They held that McCain would promote their idea of “national greatness,” as opposed to what they regarded as the standpatness of the conservative Republicans. The “national greatness” program would entail a greater role for the federal government and more extensive intervention throughout the world to promote American values.
Neoconservatives admired McCain for his support of the American war on Serbia, toward which many mainstream conservatives were decidedly cool. The attack on Serbia, ostensibly for humanitarian reasons, provided the intellectual groundwork for the attack on Iraq, the neocons’ fundamental target, since it set the precedent of violating international law’s prohibition against initiating offensive wars. No longer would the United States have to be attacked, or even threatened, to engage in war. As Kristol and Brooks put it: “For all his conventional political views, McCain embodies a set of virtues that today are unconventional. The issue that gave the McCain campaign its initial boost was Kosovo. He argued that America as a great champion of democracy and decency could not fail to act. And he supported his commander in chief despite grave doubts about the conduct of the war–while George W. Bush sat out the debate and Republicans on the Hill flailed at Clinton.”William Kristol and David Brooks, “The McCain Insurrection,” Weekly Standard, February 14, 2000, http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-mccain-insurrecti.../11707
But the neocons did not support McCain simply because of his defense of the Kosovars, but rather because of his broader interventionist position of “rogue state rollback,” which pointed directly at the enemies of Israel. While participating in a Republican debate moderated by CNN’s Larry King on February. 15, 2000, the candidates were asked: “What area of American international policy would you change immediately as president?” McCain replied: “I’d institute a policy that I call ‘rogue state rollback.’ I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically-elected governments.” And he added: “As long as Saddam Hussein is in power, I am convinced that he will pose a threat to our security.”Talal Al-Khatib, “McCain Rewrites History on ‘Rogue-State Rollback’,” ABC News, April 17, 2008, http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/mcc...s.html
What caused McCain’s radical shift from cautious realist to super hawk? Biographer Matt Welch sees it as essentially a return to his basic world view, largely derived from the family’s military background, after the non-interventionist effect of the Vietnam Syndrome. Welch writes: “But much less understood is the extent to which interventionist hegemony has been literally seared into McCain’s skull and then reignited late in life after the long intellectual detour of Vietnam.”Welch, p. xxv.
Justin Raimondo sees it otherwise: “It is impossible to know what is in McCain’s heart. There may be a purely ideological explanation for his changing viewpoint. But what seems to account for his evolution from realism to hopped-up interventionism is nothing more than sheer ambition.” He goes on: “He was positioning himself against his own party, while staking out a distinctive stance independent of the Democrats. It was, in short, an instance of a presidential candidate maneuvering himself to increase his appeal to the electorate—and, most importantly, the media.”Raimondo, “Madness of John McCain.”
In an article in Rolling Stone, Tim Dickerson expresses a view similar to that of Raimondo, describing McCain as “a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather.” Dickerson continues: “Few politicians have so actively, or successfully, crafted their own myth of greatness.”Tim Dickerson, “John McCain: Make-Believe Maverick,” Rolling Stone, October 16, 2008, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/make-beli...081016
McCain has flip-flopped on domestic issues, sometimes supporting a conservative position and at other times a more liberal one which wins him the plaudits of the mainstream media—but once he moved into the neocon orbit regarding U.S. foreign policy, he has stayed there. It is obviously beneficial for a politician to have the broad neocon network of organizations on one’s side. And more than a few of these neocons—such as Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, David Brooks, are featured regularly in the mainstream media. Moreover, the mainstream liberal media itself has adopted many neocon interventionist positions in foreign policy in regard to Russia and the Middle East, so McCain’s positions are held in esteem there, too.
So while McCain portrays himself as a “maverick” and “straight-talker” who is above politics– and this image is largely accepted by the mainstream media—it would seem most likely that his political positions have been adopted to advance his own political interests.McCain’s marriage in 1980 to his second wife appears to have been done, at least in part, for political reasons. McCain left his first wife that same year to marry Cindy Hensley, a young Phoenix, Arizona, heiress whose worth has been estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. Cindy’s father, Jim, was the owner of the area’s Anheuser-Busch distributorship, one of the largest beer distributors in the U.S. Without the Hensley connections and, especially, great wealth, it seems highly doubtful that McCain would have been able to win a Congressional seat, which he did in 1982. While this approach did not enable him to become President, it did serve to make him something of a public icon, which is a position few politicians attain. However, the war-oriented policies he has advocated have been disastrous for the United States. It is only fortunate that John McCain has not attained the power to have his positions adopted in their entirety.
 Quoted in Justin Raimondo, “The Madness of John McCain,” February 11, 2008, The American Conservative, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-madness-of-john-mccain/
[3} Quoted in Norman Kempster, “Vietnam War Leaves Legacy of Anguish,” Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1985, http://articles.latimes.com/1985-04-28/news/mn-21292_1_vietnam-war/2
 Quoted in Matt Welch, McCain, The Myth of a Maverick (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 157.
 Welch, p. 158.
 Quoted in Michael Wines, “Confrontation in the Gulf,” New York Times, August 19, 1990, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/19/world/confrontation-in-the-gulf-largest-force-since-vietnam-committed-in-15-day-flurry.html?mcubz=0
 Quoted in Robert Timberg, John McCain: An American Odyssey (New York: Touchstone, 1999), pp. 149-150.
 NPR Staff, “What A Downed Black Hawk In Somalia Taught America,” NPR, October 5, 2013, http://www.npr.org/2013/10/05/229561805/what-a-downed-black-hawk-in-somalia-taught-america
 Quoted in “Backing Clinton, Senate Rejects Bid to Speed Somalia Pullout,” Clifford Krauss, October 15, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/15/world/backing-clinton-senate-rejects-bid-to-speed-somalia-pullout.html
 “McCain Firm in Opposition to Invasion of Haiti,” August 31, 1994, https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=bae7665f-1ee5-4646-aaa2-d4aee2c9b56d
 Welch, p. 162.
 Quoted in Michael Wines, “Conflict in the Balkans; Senator Who Saw War Up Close Doesn’t Want to See Another,” New York Times, May 5, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/05/world/conflict-in-the-balkans-senator-who-saw-war-up-close-doesn-t-want-to-see-another.html
 Quoted in Ronald Brownstein, “Leaders Clash on U.S. Role in Bosnia,” Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1994, http://articles.latimes.com/1994-12-09/news/mn-7054_1_gingrich-push
 Quoted in Franklin Foer, Election 2008: A Voter’s Guide, p. 105.
 Robert Kagan, “A Retreat from Power?,” Commentary, July 1, 1995, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/a-retreat-from-power/
 David D. Kirkpatrick, “Response to 9/11 Offers Outline of McCain Doctrine,” New York Times, August 16, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/us/politics/17mccain.html
 Jonathan S. Landay, “Congress Tiptoes Into Delicate Issue Of Dispatching GIs,” Christian Science Monitor, December 13,1995, https://www.csmonitor.com/1995/1213/13013.html; Helen Dewa and Guy Gugliotta, “Senate Backs Troops to Bosnia,” Washington Post, December 14, 1995, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1995/12/14/senate-backs-troops-to-bosnia/31129bff-112b-4061-b0d9-c788c324252c/?utm_term=.5c5337d75dac
 Quoted in Katherine Q. Seeleye, “Anguished, Senators Vote to Support Bosnia Mission,” New York Times, December 14, 1995, http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/14/world/balkan-accord-congress-anguished-senators-vote-support-bosnia-mission-clinton.html?pagewanted=all
 Quoted in Kirkpatrick.
 Scheunemann was a member of the Board of Directors of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and would later be Director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and McCain’s foreign policy adviser in his 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns.
 Justin Vaisse, Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 248.
 “Remarks of Senator John McCain to the National Council of Young Israel in New York City,” John McCain Press Release, March 14, 1999, quoted in Joseph Sobran, “The Patriot Game,” Wanderer, February 24, 2000, p. 6.
 Dan Balz, “Kosovo Conflict Gives McCain Prominence,” Washington Post, April 7, 1999, A4, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/mccain040799.htm
 Tom Doggett, “Cohen Fears 100,000 Kosovo Men Killed by Serbs,” Washington Post, May 16, 1999, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/balkans/stories/cohen051699.htm
 Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, “Internal Documents from Germany’s Foreign Office Regarding Pre-Bombardment Genocide in Kosovo,” CounterPunch, April 24, 1999, https://www.counterpunch.org/1999/04/24/internal-documents-from-germany-s-foreign-office-regarding-pre-bombardment-genocide-in-kosovo/
 CNN, “McCain resolution urges use of ‘all necessary force’ in Yugoslavia,” April 20, 1999, http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/04/20/kosovo.congress/]
 McCain quoted in CNN, “Senate tables Kosovo resolution authorizing ‘all necessary force,’’ May 4, 1999, http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/05/04/kosovo.congress/
 Balkan Action Council, Press Release, “Balkan Action Council Urges NATO Intervention, Ground Forces in Kosovo,” January 25, 1999, Bosnian Institute, http://www.bosnia.org.uk/news/news/260199_6.cfm
 Francis Foer, “The neocons wake up: Arguing the GOP,” New Republic, March 20, 2000, p. 13.
 William Kristol and David Brooks, “The McCain Insurrection,” Weekly Standard, February 14, 2000, http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-mccain-insurrection/article/11707
 Talal Al-Khatib, “McCain Rewrites History on ‘Rogue-State Rollback’,” ABC News, April 17, 2008, http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/mccain-rewrites.html
 Welch, p. xxv.
 Raimondo, “Madness of John McCain.”
 Tim Dickerson, “John McCain: Make-Believe Maverick,” Rolling Stone, October 16, 2008, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/make-believe-maverick-20081016
 McCain’s marriage in 1980 to his second wife appears to have been done, at least in part, for political reasons. McCain left his first wife that same year to marry Cindy Hensley, a young Phoenix, Arizona, heiress whose worth has been estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. Cindy’s father, Jim, was the owner of the area’s Anheuser-Busch distributorship, one of the largest beer distributors in the U.S. Without the Hensley connections and, especially, great wealth, it seems highly doubtful that McCain would have been able to win a Congressional seat, which he did in 1982.