McCain: Fall of Ramadi to ISIS a ‘Disgraceful Chapter in American History’
CAVUTO: "He has been fearing just this development for some time. And now those fears come to fruition. What do you think?"
MCCAIN.: "No, it’s remarkable. It’s remarkable.
"Here — here is Ramadi, the black flags of ISIS flying over. Over 400 brave young Americans, Marines and soldiers, were killed trying to free Ramadi from Al Qaeda, of which ISIS is the son of. And here the secretary of state of the United States of America, with bodies being burned in the street, hundreds killed, thousands fleeing, leaving behind a lot of equipment that we gave them in the form of Humvees and artillery and stuff, says, it was a — quote — “target of opportunity.”
"And the Pentagon saying, oh, don’t worry, we will get it back. What about the thousands that have had to flee? What about the hundreds that are being killed? Those — ISIS goes around just shooting people indiscriminately. I have seen — I’m no longer surprised, but just so deeply disappointed.
"This is a failure of a policy which is not enough of everything. In other words, we do some airstrikes, we do some rearmament."
CAVUTO: "Do you think we didn’t do enough airstrikes? Because others have argued, like your friend Lindsey Graham, that there should have been boots on the ground."
MCCAIN: "Well, there should be both. But the best way to do airstrikes is to have the forward air controllers on the ground. We don’t."
MCCAIN: "So you usually can only hit static targets. But I don’t want to get too much into that detail. But my friend Lindsey Graham predicted exactly, unfortunately, what was going to happen in Iraq when the president of the United States, against all logic, withdraw every one of our troops from Iraq and left it to the tender mercies of Maliki."
CAVUTO: So, you don’t this Defense Department and these others that they are going to — they are going to get this land back? Too late, the way they’re doing it now?"
MCCAIN: "Well, I think they may be able to take Ramadi back, but you know who they’re going to take it with? The Shia militias, which are Iranian- run, sponsored, trained and equipped, and they are going to go into a Sunni area and they’re not going liberate, my friend. The Sunnis will never reconcile with the Shia militias, which are sponsored by the Iranians."
MCCAIN: "It’s not Americans that will free, regain Ramadi, the way that this administration is handling it. It will be the Shia militias that go in. And that, of course, will mean a lot more bloodletting."
CAVUTO: "Yes. But I’m beginning to wonder whether that happens or what is the — what happens is what happened to us in Vietnam. This image I’m about to show you, Senator, I’m sure is very familiar to you. It’s the fall of Saigon in 1975, and the Americans hightailing it out of there. Do you think we will see the same in Baghdad if things go in their present trajectory."
MCCAIN: "It’s hard for me to see a scenario where they could take Baghdad. I think they can do a lot of bombings, a lot of suicide attacks and all that. But it’s hard for me to believe that.
"But what they can do is that they can keep such a state of unrest that we see the Iranians, with more and more influence and control of the Iraq and Baghdad of what there is. And, by the way, there’s still no strategy, there’s still no plan for what we do about ISIS in Syria.
"They have drawn — and there’s no line between Iraq and Syria for ISIS, but we have done some kind of artificial line. And we refuse to break the influence of Bashar Assad, who continues to kill. And the Iranians are now in four countries, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.
"And they’re in control basically in all four of those countries. This is an abject failure. It is — it is really one of the more unfortunate, in my view, disgraceful chapters in American history. When the secretary of state of the United States of America say, oh, well it was a target of opportunity? The capital of Anbar province, the heartland of the Sunnis. There’s a disconnect there from reality."