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CBS Helps John McCain Celebrate Memorial Day With Call For Ground Troops In Iraq

McCain never met a war or military conflict he didn't want to escalate and this Memorial Day weekend was no different.
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McCain never met a war or military conflict he didn't want to escalate and this Memorial Day weekend was no different. Here's soon to be retired Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer's last big wet kiss for Sen. McCrashy on this Sunday's show.

SCHIEFFER: And for more on this, we`re now joined by the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, John McCain.

Well, you heard what Clarissa just said. You have called this a strategy a disaster, but what can, what should we be doing about this?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think there`s a lot of things we can do.

First, have the president recognize that he was incorrect when he said we`re not losing. We had before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week two architects of the surge that won. And we did have it won, until the decision was made to withdraw all troops.

And I won`t get into that fight with you, but Senator Graham and I predicted at the time that this would happen. I`m sorry we were wrong. We need to have robust strategy. We need more troops on the ground. We need forward air controllers. But just referring to airstrikes, do you know that 75 percent of those combat missions return to base without having fired a weapon? It`s because we don`t have somebody on the ground who can identify a static -- a moving target. And we learned -- you`re going to be talking about the Vietnam War later on in this.

We found in Vietnam that if you don`t have the right strategy, airpower is minimal in its effect. But we need to have forward air controllers. We need to have special forces. We need to have more of those kind of raids that were so successful into Syria.

We need to have a strategy. There is no strategy. And anybody that says that there is, I would like to hear what it is, because it certainly isn`t apparent now, and right now we are seeing these horrible -- reports are now in Palmyra they`re executing people and leaving their bodies in the streets.


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Meanwhile, the president of the United States is saying that the biggest enemy we have is climate change.

SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, Senator, and the president called these latest setbacks, he called them technical setbacks or something to that effect.

But there`s no appetite in this country, I think it`s fair to say, for sending a lot more American troops into Iraq. But is that in the end going to be necessary? And I guess the reason I would ask you that, is this posing a threat to our national security?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, there is a larger number of Americans that believe we ought to have more American troops on the ground, not the massive 82nd Airborne, but certainly in the realm of several -- a number of thousands, so we can do the missions that I just described to you.

The beheadings had a profound effect on American public opinion, as it should have. And your second question was?

SCHIEFFER: Well, what can we do?

MCCAIN: Yes.

SCHIEFFER: Yes.

MCCAIN: We can, as I say, forward air controllers, special forces, training, equipping.

Right now, it`s Shia militia, the same ones that we fought against during the surge, that are now doing the fighting. The overall winner in this whole conflict right now is not ISIS. It`s Iran. It`s Iran who is in -- controlling four countries now and on the move.

SCHIEFFER: Well, so where does that put us in relation to this arms deal we`re trying to work out to limit nuclear power with Iran? In the end, is that a good thing or a bad thing, Senator? MCCAIN: I think it`s a good thing if it`s a good deal. But in the words of Henry Kissinger and George Shultz in an editorial in "The Wall Street Journal," it went from trying to prevent Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon to delaying it.

And, of course, we continue to hear the ayatollah and others say, there will be no inspection of military facilities, that their -- sanctions will be listed immediately. We`re hearing two different stories. And I`m glad at least the Congress of the United States is going to have a role to debate this and to make a judgment on it.

SCHIEFFER: You know, we`re hearing in this campaign, which is already well under way, the Democrats are saying this is all George Bush`s fault for going to Iraq in the first place. The -- we`re hearing the Republicans say, no, wait a minute, this is all Barack Obama`s fault for pulling out our troops too soon from Iraq.

Whose fault is it, and does that really matter any more whose fault it was?

MCCAIN: Well, obviously, we don`t want to ignore the lessons of history, but given information that was there at the time given to the American people and Congress, that vote is certainly understandable.

And there`s a lot of questions about it. Then there should be the question, should we have pulled everybody out? And anybody who says we couldn`t have stayed is not telling the truth, because Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman and I were on the ground there and know full well we could have could have left -- we could have had a residual force or a sustaining force.

And do they realize that we had it won? The surge had succeeded. I called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, my own president`s secretary of defense, because I saw we were losing. Then, George W. Bush at least had the guts to reverse and sponsor the surge, which we eventually then succeeded.

I wish, I pray that Barack Obama would do the same thing.

McCain is more than happy to ignore the lessons of history every time he opens his mouth and tries to revise it. The surge did not work. Leaving ground troops in Iraq was only going to delay the inevitable after we went in there and blew that place up and allowed a huge segment of the population in Iraq to be marginalized. And we weren't going to get a new status of forces agreement out of the Iraqis and McCain knows it. None that makes any difference to McCain though because no matter what happens, McCain and Graham's solution for everything is always more war.

He'll never stop as long as the corporate media continues to prop him up as Bob Schieffer did today.

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