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When the forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) overran Mosul and Tikrit two months ago, I laid out “10 Lessons from Bush’s Fiasco in Iraq.”  But like Spinal Tap, I should have gone to 11.  I forgot to include one additional moral from Mesopotamia: John McCain got it all horribly wrong.

But McCain himself made it necessary to reissue the catalog of his catastrophes when he told CNN’s Candy Crowley this on Sunday:

“I predicted what was going to happen in Iraq. And I'm predicting to you now that if we pull everybody out of Afghanistan, not based on conditions, you will see that same movie again in Afghanistan.”
That was a particularly galling statement for the Maverick to make.  After all, from his decade-old declaration that the U.S. prevailed in Afghanistan and his predictions of a short Iraq war in which Americans would be "greeted as liberators" to his repeated declarations of "mission accomplished," certainty about finding weapons of mass destruction and confusion over Sunni and Shiite and so much more, John McCain has been shamefully - and disastrously - wrong at almost every turn.

Visit John McCain's Iraq Hall of Shame below.

On the Run-Up to War

"Next up, Baghdad!"
John McCain, aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, January 2, 2002.

"I am very certain that this military engagement will not be very difficult."
John McCain, September 12, 2002.

"Look, we're going to send young men and women in harm's way and that's always a great danger, but I cannot believe that there is an Iraqi soldier who is going to be willing to die for Saddam Hussein, particularly since he will know that our objective is to remove Saddam Hussein from power."
John McCain, September 15, 2002.

"But the fact is, I think we could go in with much smaller numbers than we had to do in the past.  But any military man worth his salt is going to have to prepare for any contingency, but I don't believe it's going to be nearly the size and scope that it was in 1991."
John McCain, September 15, 2002.

"He's a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart."
John McCain, on Ahmed Chalabi, 2003.

On Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction

"I think we're doing fine [in Afghanistan]...I think we'll do fine. The second phase - if I could just make one, very quickly - the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may - and I emphasize may - have come from Iraq."
John McCain, on the fall 2001 anthrax attacks in the U.S., October 18, 2001.

"Proponents of containment claim that Iraq is in a "box." But it is a box with no lid, no bottom, and whose sides are falling out. Within this box are definitive footprints of germ, chemical and nuclear programs."
John McCain, February 13, 2003.

"I remain confident that we will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
John McCain, June 11, 2003.

On Being Greeted as Liberators

"I think most Iraqis would greet the removal of Saddam Hussein with relief and pleasure."
John McCain, September 24, 2002.

"Absolutely. Absolutely."
John McCain, asked by Chris Matthews, "you believe that the people of Iraq or at least a large number of them will treat us as liberators?" March 12, 2003.

"Not only that, they'll be relieved that he's not in the neighborhood because he has invaded his neighbors on several occasions."
John McCain, asked by Chris Matthews, "And you think the Arab world will come to a grudging recognition that what we did was necessary?" March 12, 2003.

"There's no doubt in my mind that we will prevail and there's no doubt in my mind, once these people are gone, that we will be welcomed as liberators."
John McCain, March 24, 2003.

On a Rapid Victory and Mission Accomplished in Iraq

"I think the victory will be rapid, within about three weeks."
John McCain, January 28, 2003.

"It's clear that the end is very much in sight...It won't be long. It, it'll be a fairly short period of time."
John McCain, April 9, 2003.

"We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives."
John McCain, May 22, 2003.

"I thought it was wrong at the time. Do I blame him for that specific banner? I can't."
John McCain, on President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, May 1, 2008.

"Well, then why was there a banner that said mission accomplished on the aircraft carrier?"
John McCain, responding to assertion by Fox News' Neil Cavuto that "many argue the conflict isn't over," June 11, 2003.

"I have said a long time that reconstruction of Iraq would be a long, long, difficult process, but the conflict -- the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished, and it's very appropriate."
John McCain, June 11, 2003.

"I'm confident we're on the right course."
John McCain, March 7, 2004.

"I was there last August. I came back after talking with many, many people, and I was convinced we didn't have enough boots on the ground."
John McCain,April 16, 2004.

"Things go wrong in war. Mistakes happen."
John McCain,April 16, 2004.

"I think we missed an opportunity during the first six months or so of our occupation of Iraq."
John McCain,April 16, 2004.

"We're either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months."
John McCain, November 12, 2006.

"My friends, the war will be over soon, the war for all intents and purposes although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years."
John McCain, February 25, 2008.

On Mission Accomplished in Afghanistan

"Nobody in Afghanistan threatens the United States of America."
John McCain, April 10, 2003.

"I think Afghanistan is dicey...but I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that in the long term we may muddle through in Afghanistan."
John McCain, November 2003.

"The facts on the ground are we went to Afghanistan and we prevailed there."
John McCain, April 1, 2004.

"Could I add, it was in Afghanistan, as well, there were many people who predicted that Afghanistan would not be a success. So far, it's a remarkable success."
John McCain, March 2, 2005.

"Afghanistan, we don't read about anymore, because it's succeeded."
John McCain, October 31, 2005.

On Barack Obama's Call for Strikes Against Bin Laden, Al Qaeda in Pakistan

"We will do whatever is necessary. We will track him [Bin Laden] down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell."
John McCain, May 2007.

"My friends, I want to stand before you now and tell you that if I have to follow him to the gates of hell I will get Osama Bin Laden and I will bring him to justice. I will get him!"
John McCain, January 19, 2008.

"Will we risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate who once suggested invading our ally, Pakistan?"
John McCain, February 19, 2008.

"I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it's causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself."
John McCain, July 28, 2008.

On the Safe Streets of Baghdad

"[There] there "are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today."
John McCain, after touring a Baghdad market wearing a bulletproof vest and guarded by "100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead, April 1, 2007.

"There's problems in America with safe neighborhoods as we well know."
John McCain, March 8, 2008.

On President Bush and His Team

"We are very fortunate that our president in these challenging days can rely on the counsel of a man who has demonstrated time and again the resolve, experience, and patriotism that will be required for success and the hard-headed clear thinking necessary to prevail in this global fight between good and evil."
John McCain, on Dick Cheney, July 16, 2004.

"I think he strengthened our national defenses. I think he has a good team around him."
John McCain, on President Bush, September 3, 2004.

"I said no. My answer is still no. No confidence."
John McCain, on whether he had confidence in Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, December 15, 2004.

On the Non-Existent Alliance Between Al Qaeda and Iran

"There's not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shiahs. So I think they can probably get along."
John McCain, April 23, 2003.

"But Al Qaeda is there, they are functioning, they are supported in many times, in many ways by the Iranians."
John McCain, February 28, 2008.

"As you know, there are al Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran, given training as leaders, and they're moving back into Iraq."
John McCain, March 17, 2008.

"[Iranian operatives are] "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
John McCain, March 18, 2008.

"[It is] common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate."
John McCain, March 18, 2008.

"Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated."
McCain campaign statement, March 19, 2008.

"To think that I would have some lack of knowledge about Sunni and Shia after my eighth visit and my deep involvement in this issue is a bit ludicrous."
John McCain, March 19, 2008.

"Do you still view Al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?  Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shiites overall..."
John McCain, questioning General David Petraeus, April 8, 2008.

On the Timeline of the Surge and the Sunni Awakening

"Too often the light at the tunnel has turned out to be a train, but I really believe -- I really believe that there's a strong possibility that you may see a very substantial change in Anbar province due to this new changes in our relationships with the sheiks in the region."
John McCain, January 5, 2007 (five days before President Bush announced the surge strategy and the deployment of more U.S. forces to Iraq.)

"Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history."
John McCain, July 22, 2008.

On a Permanent American Military Presence in Iraq

"We cannot keep our forces indefinitely staged in the region. Were we to attempt again to contain Saddam, we would eventually have to withdraw them. The world is full of dangers and, more likely than not, we will need some of those brave men and women to face them down."
John McCain, February 13, 2003.

"Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because - if it was an elected government of Iraq - and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."
John McCain, April 22, 2004.

"We have had troops in South Korea for 60 years and nobody minds."
John McCain, June 7, 2007.

"Make it a hundred."
John McCain, told that President Bush had said American troops could remain in Iraq for 50 years, January 3, 2008.

"I asked McCain about his 'hundred years' comment, and he reaffirmed the remark, excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 'a thousand years' or 'a million years,' as far as he was concerned."
David Corn, January 3, 2008.

"The U.S. could have a military presence anywhere in the world for a long period of time."
John McCain, February 20, 2008.

"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom."
John McCain, May 15, 2008.

"John McCain has always been clear that American forces operate in Iraq only with the consent of that country's democratically elected government."
Michael Goldfarb, McCain adviser, July 9 2008.

"That's not too important.  What's important is the casualties in Iraq, Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That's all fine."
John McCain, on when U.S. troops should come home from Iraq, June 11, 2008.

"Last American combat troops leave Iraq. I think President Bush deserves some credit for victory."
John McCain, August 18, 2010

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