Rising bloodshed in Iraq has Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) convinced that failure of the American military effort there now falls on President Obama’s shoulders.
McCain went on Fox News on Tuesday morning to once again blast Obama for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq and ending U.S. involvement in the unpopular war.
“Could I just say, we could have left a residual force behind,” McCain insisted. “It could have been done.”
But the overwhelming majority of Americans didn’t want that, and it would have violated one of Obama’s central 2008 campaign pledges.
With an al Qaida-linked group seizing control of Fallujah — site of one of the Iraq war’s bloodiest battles — McCain said the U.S. should “get some people over there at a high level” to provide counsel to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The Obama administration has signaled that recent events won’t spur U.S. involvement, however. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday the strife “belongs to the Iraqis.” On Monday, the White House challenged Republicans like McCain to make it known if they want troops in Iraq.
McCain said he was offended by Kerry’s words.
“It’s really offensive to hear him say that because these Iraqis, many of them, were supporters of ours, that basically are being slaughtered now and the fact is it was a total mishandling, a gross mishandling of Iraq,” McCain said.
He indicated that the U.S. “had won with a great sacrifice,” but the Obama administration “blew the whole thing.”