April 7th, 2008
01:24 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain: Calls for Iraq withdrawal a ‘failure of leadership’


WWatch McCain talk about veterans and Iraq.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain sharply criticized calls for withdrawal from Iraq, telling a Missouri audience of the Veterans of Foreign Wars that those statements were politically opportunistic and strategically irresponsible.

“[Withdrawal] may appear to be the easier course of action, but it is a much more reckless one, and it does them no credit even if it gives them an advantage in the next election,” the presumptive Republican nominee said in a speech at the National World War I Museum.

McCain also asserted that major redeployment of troops from Iraq was really a policy of “withdraw and re-invade” because “trouble will come immediately.” He also warned of calamity should the United States withdraw from Iraq, he defended the record of recent progress and praised General David Petraeus, who is slated to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. jeremy

    i'm sorry but, isn't it failed leadership that lied to every american's face before this invasion? isn't it failed leadership that refused to properly outfit our troops with body armor and humvees with armor? isn't it failed leadership that spends billions of $ on this war every week and has not been held accountable for it's accounting?

    so please tell me how it's failed leadership to get out of this mess?

    April 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Or the best kind of leadership

    The kind that realizes when a mistake has been made, and so gets to work fixing it.

    April 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Student for Re-Instating the Draft


    April 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Student for Re-Instating the Draft

    I guess Canada is still an option?

    April 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Dan , TX

    We need to get other nations to share the burden. If extracting US troops would cause a disaster that affects the whole world, then the rest of the world needs to step up to the plate and help out. I'm tired of paying for the welfare of the rest of the world like the republicans plan to do.

    April 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. joseph

    i love how they baried barrack saying he would leave 80,000 troops in iraq.

    April 7, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Mike

    The Iraq War is THE reason why Obama will be the next President of our United States of America. The unbelievable stupidity of the Axis of Idiots of Bush, Chenney and Rumsfeld is the cause of most of Americas current problems. If McCain is also this foolish then he most certainly must not be elected President. The brilliant General Petrais has already said that the military will never be the answer to the situation in Iraq. Our superb military heroes have defeated Saddam, have secured an election in Iraq, and have rebuilt the Iraq military. The American people have sacrificed our economy and have gone deep in debt. NOW is the time to bring our heroes home and let Iraq be Iraq.

    April 7, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Richard

    The only failure of leadership is JOHN MCCAIN !

    April 7, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Whirrled Peas

    Those that call McCain too old are as biased as any idiot who calls Obama too black. You may dislike his politics, you may dislike him, but ageism and racism are both tasteless and meaningless to the political process. We are faced with miserable leadership on both sides, and not one of them seem to have the pulse of the American people. If you look at McCain and see a war monger, you must look at the voting record and declare Clinton a socialist and Obama a communist. Communism is dead. Socialism kill free societies and War Mongering kills economies. So who do you vote for?

    April 7, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Kim

    World War Three is waiting for thee John. A good man ? Yes, I truly think so. A war hero? No doubt. The next President? Oh Hell No!

    April 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. DJ in TX

    Timothy is right – While an immediate and I stress immediate withdrawal would be bad, we can't stay the course – as a US Army veteran, I would like to know – What is our REAL mission? We have the best military in the world. You lay out a mission and believe me, it will be accomplished. McCain states nothing less than victory – Can someone please explain, what is victory defined in this context? Al Qaidia and the insurgents all dead?? not going to happen. We are fighting an idealogy with military might. Can't be done militarily. When you have people willing to blow themselves up for their cause (however wrong it might be), there will always be someone willing to die in the name of religion. They see it as an honor. As long as we are viewed as an "occupier", they will always have recruits. More pressure has to be on the Iraqi government to do their part. I don't see it as of yet.

    April 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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