Five years ago today, George W. Bush got all gussied up and landed a jet on an aircraft carrier floating off the Southern California coast, where he declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq. Roughly 97 percent of American military deaths in Iraq have come after that moment.
Less well known is the fact that John McCain also prematurely declared a win in Iraq. In the congressional record on May 22, 2003, he declared “massive victory”:
“We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives. We were able to end aggression with minimum overall loss of life, and we were even able to greatly reduce the civilian casualties of Afghani and Iraqi citizens.”