John McCain was one of the few politicians I admired and respected. His positions on campaign finance years ago were exceptional for a main stream politician. He was notable for his sympathy to some environmental causes in contrast to his Republican brethren who are most typically on some kind of slash and burn agenda (hey look guys, the Native Americans have been subjugated by removing their access to food when we killed off the buffalo. psst... you won!). And, he used to maintain a reluctance to engage the US military unless needed and with clear popular support so another Vietnam type of engagement didn't replay itself.
Something definitely changed in Mr. McCain after 911 and it seems to have overwhelmed the clear reasoning he previously maintained. Or, maybe it just allowed us voting public to understand better what was there all along.
John McCain comes from a family of warriors. It is seemingly in their blood. Every generation of McCains back to 1776 has sent a son to war for the US. You can view that in many ways: 1) a family of American patriots from the start of our country until now 2) a family with lots of blood on its' hands 3) a family that knows duty and exercises it consistently. However you see it, one thing is clear - John McCain's family history has war as a central theme.
John McCain's father, Adm. John S. McCain Jr., believed in the exercise of military strength and used to lecture his family on The Four Ocean Navy, the Soviet threat, and his favorite symbol of US power - a soldier walking through a rice paddy with a gun on his shoulder. So, we have a man here who has grown up believing in the inevitable use of US military power on foreign soil.
Regarding the country's ill-fated Iraq War, it is also clear that McCain was out in front of the Bush administration naming Iraq as a possible conspirator on 9/12 and advocating an Iraq invasion six months before the Bush White House. If you are a conspiracy theorist, it is easy to say McCain was in on the whole enchilada from 9/11 to Iraq and gave W the political cover in the beginning and a certain level of legitimacy with the public and other Senate and Congressional members.
If you believe that Iraq was based on good people making bad decisions on faulty intelligence then McCain was one of the easiest to convince with bad data. He made gut level decisions not based on evidence. He made decisions based on who he thought was the good guys and bad guys. The Axis of Evil was W's way of putting black hats on who the administration didn't like and make it easy to sell a gullible public on who they should fear and hate. McCain was with the program all the way and was really right out front leading the parade.
This leads me to my conclusion why I will not vote for the man I thought in 2000 was the best candidate. He would be the next War President. If we somehow get out of Iraq, he will get us into another war. It is in his blood, his psyche, and is part of the man. There is no separating him from finding places and reasons to exercise the US military (remember his 100 year Iraq War comment). The US has huge problems here at home and if we don't reign in military spending and rebuild our infrastructure and get our financial house in order, we will end up like all other previous empires.
Important link with many of the facts sighted above......