Senator John McCain was once again rewriting history on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley on Sunday, blaming President Obama for not having left any residual troops in Iraq and thereby setting the stage for the current crisis with ISIS.
He began by criticizing the way the President has been dealing with the problem, utilizing selective and limited air strikes as a humanitarian measure to protect civilians in the path of ISIS forces while limiting our involvement:
“While the president has continued to say this is an Iraqi problem, this is an Iraqi problem, but it’s a United States problem and it is a threat to our national security.”
Asked by Crowley what he would do differently, McCain once again launched into his solution for everything — all out war:
“I would be launching airstrikes not only in Iraq, but in Syria against ISIS. They have erased the boundaries between Iraq and Syria. I would be providing as much training and equipment as I can to – as I said, to the Kurds, and I would do a lot of things that we can not have to wait for Maliki to leave there.
And I would be giving assistance to the Syrian – the Free Syrian Army, which is on the ropes right now because we failed to help them. And this all goes back to a number of steps the president took, including a failure to leave a residual force in Iraq.”
The true history is quite different of course. The President did want to leave a residual force in Iraq and attempted to negotiate an agreement to that effect prior to the final pullout at the end of 2011 — but could not reach an agreement with Iraq’s president al-Maliki, who was under pressure from several political blocs to not accept any modifications to the agreement negotiated at the end of 2008 with the Bush administration.
President Obama had seen the dangers involved in pulling all troops out even though he had long been opposed to the unnecessary war. To that end, he had asked that we be permitted to leave 3,000 to 5,000 troops in the country following the pullout.
McCain finished up by saying that he predicts a similar situation in Afghanistan after the President pulls all troops out of that country at the end of 2016, once again displaying an aversion to the facts. The President announce earlier this year that the plan in Afghanistan is to leave a residual force of nearly 10,ooo when the U.S. withdraws from the country in 2016.
Watch the conversation in the video below.