George McGovern believed the Vietnam War was such an obvious blunder that the United States would never go down that road again. "I wish I had never said that," McGovern told a service club here. "This war in Iraq is a mess." A standing ovation greeted McGovern at the Missoula Kiwanis Club on Tuesday when the American political icon stepped to the lectern and gave the luncheon address. The former South Dakota senator and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee said he agreed to the speaking engagement at the request of former Montana U. S. Rep. Pat Williams. "Some years ago, I decided there was no way I could say no to Pat and Carol Williams," McGovern quipped. He added that any invitation to Montana is always welcome, particularly when one can talk about ending the war in Iraq, ending world hunger, and raising money for t h e McGove r n Fa m i l y Foundation. McGovern and his late wife, Eleanor, who died in January at the age of 85, were longtime summer residents of Montana's Bitterroot Valley with a home near Stevensville. But McGovern said Tuesday that he now spends most of his time in Mitchell, S.D. Turning to current events, McGovern said the United States should not be at war in Iraq. Although his 1972 presidential campaign was defined by his objection to the Vietnam War, McGovern said he is not a pacifist adding that there's nothing wrong with being one. He served as a World War II bomber pilot, flying 35 missions and earning medals. That war, he said, was honorable and justifiable. "There are times when you have to use military power, but Iraq is not one of those times," McGovern said. Iraq was not the source of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America, al-Qaida was, and those terrorists hailed from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, he said.