Skip to comments.McCain Bashes Cheney Over Iraq Policy
Posted on 01/24/2007 11:45:44 AM PST by TexasCajun
With his presidential hopes tied to an administration whose Iraq policy he supports but cannot control, John McCain for the first time blamed Vice President Cheney for what McCain calls the "witch's brew" of a "terribly mishandled" war in which U.S. forces are on the verge of defeat.
McCain also for the first time opened the door to the possibility of a U.S. troop pullback to the borders of Iraq should the president's planned troop surge fail.
Although McCain had once lavished praise on the vice president, he said in an interview in his Senate office: "The president listened too much to the Vice President . . . Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense."
McCain added: "Rumsfeld will go down in history, along with McNamara, as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history." Donald Rumsfeld served as President Bush's secretary of defense from January 2001 to December 2006. Robert McNamara was Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War.
McCain has long criticized Rumsfeld, but in July 2004 at a campaign rally in Lansing, Mich., McCain said he had "known and admired" Cheney for more than 20 years and described him as "one of the most capable, experienced, intelligent and steady vice presidents this country has ever had.''
But that was then and this is now, and now McCain is making clear his frustrations with the Bush administration, the Iraqi military and "bureaucratic resistance" in the Pentagon to a troop surge.
McCain said in the interview that the success of the American mission in Iraq "will be directly related to the ability of the Iraqi military to take up responsibilities. Their record is terrible." Also, he said, "There is still enormous bureaucratic resistance (to the troop surge) in the Pentagon, and it bothers me a great deal. The bureaucrats in the military are saying this is a terrible strain on the (National) Guard and the active duty forces, and it is. There is only one thing worse than an over-stressed military, and that's a defeated military. And we are on the verge of that."
McCain said that even the planned insertion of 21,500 new U.S. troops into Iraq, which he supports, may not succeed. "I don't know if this is enough troops or not," McCain said. "I can't guarantee success by doing this."
The Arizona Republican, whose 2008 presidential campaign is well under way even though he has not yet officially announced, is keenly aware of how his support for the Iraq war is making him increasingly unpopular.
"The irony of all this for me is that I am the guy that for three years -- more than three years -- has said, 'You don't have enough troops there! And you are not running this war right! And you've (ital) got (unital) to change!' " McCain said. "And now I find myself the object of scorn because I think we can't afford to leave."
But McCain also said a withdrawal of troops to the borders of Iraq could be an option if the troop surge fails.
"If this strategy doesn't succeed, we will have to devise another strategy," McCain said. "But I have to hasten to add there are no good options." One of those options, McCain said "is to withdraw to the borders (of Iraq) to try to keep other countries from interfering. Maintaining our bases in Kuwait and other places. There are a lot of scenarios." But he also said the current troop surge strategy "has to be given time."
McCain's support for the Iraq war is unpopular with Democrats and Independents and is losing support within his own party, including among some of his fellow Republican senators. Sen. Chuck Hagel, Neb., has called the troop surge "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out."
Without naming names, McCain said, "It is ironic that many of my colleagues who are now wavering were those who were down the line in support (of the war) and would come back from Iraq saying that everything is fine and the troops are wonderful and it's the media (that is the problem). And I came back from my first trip saying, 'You better get more boots on the ground! You better change this.' Now I am (ital) hung (unital) with it. It's fascinating!"
"Life isn't fair, as Jack Kennedy said," McCain added with his typical mordancy.
McCain will almost certainly announce his presidential candidacy soon, but he said, "This whole Iraq situation has really diverted most of my attention."
In the primaries, McCain is in danger of being whipsawed between Republican conservatives who think he is not really one of them and Republican centrists who are opposed to the war.
"There are still some elements of the party that are very skeptical about me," McCain acknowledged. "I think also, even amongst Republicans, there is a real concern about my position on the war in Iraq."
He did, however, give a peek at his game plan to gain the White House. "Most people in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan, Arizona, people around the country know me rather well," he said. "It's not as if I am a blank slate out there. Most of them, I think, have confidence that I have the experience, knowledge and background that, even though they disagree with me on a specific issue, they think I will do the right thing. Or at least what I believe is right."
I still will NEVER vote for this loon!
Keyword 'loon' added.
John McInsane begins to inexorably tilt towards the edge of the cliff, with no idea of how far it is to the ground below.
If America puts THAT maniac in the White House, there is absolutely no hope left for this Republic.
Republicans had better get a leader out there for the 2008 race or the Dimocraps will take 100% of House and Senate. SOBs like McCain will never get my vote.
Maybe, instead of primaries, we should have a feat of strength to determine our noiminee.
The feat will be simple, which ever one of them can hang by Bush longest wins it.
Brownback and McCain, Paul, and Hagel are already out.
Rudy, Romney, Hunter, Huckabee, Thompson, and Newt(?) stll have a shot.
This loon is off his meds again.
Well, there went any credibility he had due to his prior military service. Was the "verge of defeat" phrase McCain's or the urinalist's?
Maybe he heard that Cheney will be running for president after all. :)
Good to see everybody pulling together. Iraq's sure to improve.
Pretty much the problem for both McCain and Clinton: if US efforts in Iraq continue without clear success they have no choice but to step up attacks on the Administration while "supporting" the war.
This pretentious 2-faced wolf in sheep's clothing...AAAAaaaarrrggghhhh!
Thanks... I slipped up! ;-)
Up until now I've insisted that we promote the heck out of our favorite candidate for POTUS,and then all pull together for whoever wins the primary.
I withdraw my pledge.
Should enough imbeciles allow this fool to advance to the finals, I will refuse to cast (waste) my vote on him.
Ask yourself one question. Would you trust someone as unstable as McPain with nuclear weapon launch authority?
"This whole Iraq situation has really diverted most of my attention."Is that why you haven't thought up any new schemes recently for limiting free speech? Been busy? But you'll get back to crackdowns on free speech when you get a chance, I trust.
Nice use of hyperbole, oh Insane One.
Never say never Slayer,
What if Mrs. Clinton is the dem standard bearer and McPain is the Repb standard bearer?
Much as I too dislike McPain I just don't think I could vote for or abstain and allow Mrs. Clinton to win.
McCain is SCUM
Isn't it time for someone to drop McCain off at the dog track?
A McCain or a Lieberman may in fact believe that it's the "right thing to do"... but Clinton?
I'm just baffled by any politician with Presidential ambitions choosing to tie this can to their tail - it's proof that I don't understand how the game is played at their level.
I'll bet this cooks his goose and ends his run for president. It was his whining about opposition campaign that killed him in 2000. Now, here he is whining again, disloyally, to boot. He's done.
I hear you, but I will put the effort into working for a candidate to beat this lunatic so that we do not have to face that scenario. I will vote how I have to if I am faced with that choice... but I will not have to as I have faith that there are far better choices.
mclame is truly the Manchurian Candidate.
I think you are right about McCain, thought I don't know just when.
But the case of Ms. Clinton is even stranger, Clinton is talking about the need for a sustained US deployment in Iraq - a policy opposed by around 85% of Democratic voters.
For starters, how does this translate into success in Democratic primaries?
And, in the general election, if voters still perceive the war as going badly they are unlikely to support a canidate who wants to continue it, and if its perceived by the public as going much better in the fall of 2008 than today, that helps the Republican nominee, not the Democrat.
So for someone whos supposed to be a consummate politician, Clintons strikes me as a very strange strategy.
His name is Duncan Hunter and(guess what?) he was in Vietnam too. Unlike McCain, he remains a conservative. See, McCain doesn't own the subject. McCain is a traitor by all means. Now here he goes again.
If you ask me, this will be the year of Cuba. That is just another way of saying that a lot will happen in the next two years. Finally, Clinton probably knows that things in Iraq are a lot better than they are being made out to be.
He is right that Bushies botched the war, but blaming Cheney is just silly. It was Rumsfeld's responsibility that we were insufficiently brutal in Iraq. We should have killed perhaps 200,000 more people, mostly civilians. Our lack of ruthlessness is going to hurt us more and more in the coming years as our "empire" declines.
Ole John McKerry's got his flipflops on just in case.
It is one thing that could get Iraq off the front page. I hope we have a good plan, because I live in Florida.
It will interesting, to say the least. The extent to which we have a "good plan", I suspect, is to the extent that whoever is doing the planning is considering this primarily from the perspective of international rather than domestic politics.
Most Americans take it for granted that we will end up with a post-communist government friendly to our interests, I'm far from certain that's automatically the case.
I think there are a lot of Cuban expats ready to fight. I think it will be every bit as hard a Iraq. Substitute communists for Bathists.
Well, that's a good illustration of our dilemma: the last thing we need is a bunch of Cuban Chalabis operating a para-military force; if they (or we) end up fighting a Cuban Civil war - even a short one - it will be Prima facie evidence of US foreign policy incompetence. A portion of the exile community is interested in settling scores via "victor's justice", immediately reclaiming expropriated property and a lot of of things that would be politically destabilizing during political transition, the overiding US priority is establishing a stable transitional government that forms the basis for a durable political arrangements friendly to the US. From the standpoint of our long term strategic interests we need to keep tight control over the exile community during whatever kind of transition occurs, but there will be enormous domestic political pressure to allow then an independent role.
Hope u be right.
I'm not sure Obama is in the same league as Mrs. Clinton
Remember she use to work for the black Panthers back when they were killing folks.
Also she was the villian behind billy the pervert.
McCain can pound sand. There is no way in hell I'd ever vote for him.
Oh, you want to repress the Americans to accomodate Cubans in the name of stabiity. PU. That stinks.
McCain= McPain! Get rid of the this Jerk, Arizona!!!
Ron Brown, comes to mind. And remember Fort Marcy Park?
While both of those are pretty much assumed, the panther deal is a fact.
I agree with ya though.
I know that bitch very well. She is satan's daughter. DO NOT underestimate the evil of osama... he is a wahabi raised terrorist in a $2500.00 Italian suit!
Cuba under Castro is not a significant strategic problem for the US, the ongoing upsurge of Socialism in Central and South America is. Want to give rising tide of left-wing leaders a few tens of millions more supporters and an extra decade or two in office? Hand over the post-Communist transition in Cuba to the more radical members of the exile community.
That is even worse. Treat 11 million cubans as pawns in international geopolitics. I sure hope your state department days are past.
Just walk away, McCain
You won't see me elect you my Prez
"I still will NEVER vote for this loon!"
Have you any substantive comments about this Senator's Iraq views--the subject of the article?
No, I do not need to. The fact that this man is mentally disturbed has been well known for many years. Whenever he raises his voice, I listen. It is the prudent thing to do when such a dangerous man seeks the highest office in the world.
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