McCain: You don't have the facts, Carney


Full McCain interview

CNN’s Anderson Cooper speaks with Sen. John McCain and Jay Carney [ex-President Obama’s Press Secretary) about what caused the rise of ISIS in Iraq and US residual force.

A lot of fireworks!



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on President Obama’s remarks this evening on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS):

“While we strongly disagree with President Obama that America is safer today than five years ago, his speech tonight got some key things right. He explained to the American people why we must confront ISIS. He described the correct goal – to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS. He laid out the elements of a comprehensive strategy to achieve this goal, all of which we have long championed. And he explained the need to hit ISIS wherever it is, although the need to do so in Syria is more urgent than the President conveyed. While we are eager to receive additional information on all of the President’s proposals, we believe these actions deserve bipartisan support and can degrade ISIS over time.

“However, the President’s plan will likely be insufficient to destroy ISIS, which is the world’s largest, richest terrorist army. To destroy ISIS, create conditions for enduring security in the Middle East, and protect the American people, additional steps are necessary. They include:

“U.S. special forces and advisors. ‘No boots on the ground’ sounds odd when 1,100 U.S. troops have been sent back to Iraq. And more will be necessary. Specifically, additional U.S. special forces and advisors are needed to direct precision air strikes, advise foreign partners on the ground, and possibly conduct targeted operations against ISIS leadership.
“Regional forces in Syria. No force in Syria is capable of re-taking ground from ISIS and holding it. U.S. troops will not play that role. We know that our regional partners have lost significant trust in the Administration. But partners such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, U.A.E., Egypt, and Turkey have even more at stake in this fight than we do. We hope they would contribute forces to help lead ground combat operations against ISIS in Syria.

“Assad still must go. Bashar al-Assad is not our partner. His regime has been complicit, directly and indirectly, in the growth of ISIS. We must seek to change the momentum on the battlefield to create conditions for a political transition and an end to the conflict in Syria. This will require taking out Assad’s air power, creating safe zones to protect civilians, and helping the Free Syrian Army to resist both ISIS and the Assad regime.

“Don’t abandon Iraq again. It is troubling that President Obama is unwilling to admit that his failure to leave a force behind in Iraq, as our military commanders recommended at the time, contributed to the rise of ISIS. He should not make that mistake again. He should maintain a residual presence of U.S. forces in Iraq to ensure that our gains against ISIS are enduring.

“None of the challenges that we now face in Iraq and Syria had to be this dire. The rise of ISIS did not have to happen. We have lost too much time and missed too many opportunities. But we can still defeat our terrorist enemies, protect our people and our partners, and secure our national interests in the Middle East. The President’s plan will help us achieve these vital goals, but only if he remains committed to fully implementing every aspect of that plan. Half measures against ISIS only make it stronger and will not lead to its destruction.”



Obama called for an additional 400 troops tonight; putting us over 1,300 troops on the ground in Iraq. I guess we will be at 5,000 troops on the ground in Iraq by Thanksgiving.

Interesting Atlantic article on the history Carney and McCain were debating:

Obama’s Disastrous Iraq Policy: An Autopsy
The president ignored the country and its increasingly dictatorial prime minister for years.


If McCain and Graham want a ground war then we can give them a gun and a parachute and drop them over Mosul. The Middle East is the Arab League’s problem but I’m sure they’d welcome volunteers.


Did you listen to the same tape I listened to?

He didn’t say he want a ground war. He felt a “residual group” should have been left in Iraq to keep training the Iraq military two years ago and we would not be where we are today. There were 1000 and he wanted some more left there to train only - no combat.

It appears that we will be sending 475 soldiers back to train and that is probably too small a number and their lives are at risk.


And Carney set the record straight. The date for withdrawal was set by the previous Administration, perpetual occupation was not an option for the American people, and when an extension was offered it was rejected by the Iraqi government. The Iraqis are responsible for their own defense and McCain would have a tough time proving that an additional 2 years of training would have prevented 30,000 heavily armed Iraqi soldiers from abandoning Mosul to a few hundred lightly armed terrorists. He can jet around the world and talk to all the bureaucrats he wants but the fact is even Maliki publicly acknowledged that our troops were withdrawn because they didn’t want to agree to our terms.


Give Mccain an FA/18 he would do better damage, since he was a navy fighter pilot, pow, and Vietnam war veteran.

graham has served in Iraq and Afghanistan so he would do some damage too.


The tape posted that I watch was only about 5 minutes. I just think McCain thinks that Iraq and the Middle East was more stable and if we had maintained a training presence, it would have remained as such. They weren’t cutting heads off of American reporters.


Endless argument, at the end of the day the only one who made sense was the Pope. We need the UN with everyone on board, namely Russia and China, and it should have went through Congress. Congress will need to approve the funding and its another open check Obama seeks.

Everyone wants Isis gone, but the picture here looks all to familiar imho. 3-years again.


We never, ever get the UN to do anything. A few countries might say they support it but really, it is the United Sttates that pays the bills and does everything else.

It takes a crisis where we see 2 reporters head chopped off, people get riled up and then we’re back at it spending a fortune.


Exactly, General Lloyd Austin wanted to leave as you say a “residual crew”; we should have had that commitment and this was denied by the Administration so these problems could have been likely avoided instead of just yanking the troops out and this happened.

What bad has happened is exactly what was predicted in 2007, whether one was for the war or not, once we are there as another poster said, we have a bit of a moral responsibility over our hard earned victory, not just to throw it away.


So you think the same thing about Obama? That we should give him a gun and a parachute and drop him over Mosul? Or is this different!


Russia and China will not be on board after what happened in Libya. What the UN agreed to there was humanitarian response and what happened was a military assault.


Frankly I’m disappointed in the speech last night. I don’t see much more than a political attempt to salvage a failing Presidency. Add to that he will be gone in a year and a half and this conflict will still be on-going. I don’t see any change, and while he made it a point to mention “strategy” a few times, it was self serving since he had no “strategy” last time. Isis isn’t Islamic? I don’t think that was well thought out especially when part of this is addressing the ideology which is rooted in the 7th century. It may be delusional and heretical, but its Islamic for sure.

Russia has a different view understandably since the recent issues, but China has a major interest in Iraq with its oil. They are the number one customer. You have to wonder if they even care who they buy from.

The humanitarian aid I believe was a ploy leading to this mess. The USA has never in history acted in a similar regard.

“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic,”

“No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim."

The last may be debatable but the first isn’t. Here’s the latest from China.

closed #15

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