Sunday, December 04, 2005

John McCain on Meet the Press - Excerpts on Kosovo

MR. RUSSERT: Let me show you something that John McCain said describing a war situation: "And we have a horrific strain on the men and women in the military. We can't keep our pilots. We're lowering our recruiting standards. It's a very serious situation. And to have another one of these extended, unending burdens placed on the men and women in the military has some consequences. All I'm saying is: Let's develop a strategy overall and let's also then develop an exit strategy for this particular situation."

That was February 14, 1999, Kosovo. That's exactly what the Democrats are saying about Iraq.

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: Aren't they saying things that should be said and should be listened to?

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm. Well, I guess this is true confessions. I was wrong about Kosovo. I was right about Bosnia. We did the right thing in Kosovo by going in there and stopping ethnic cleansing. And we haven't done what we should be doing in Darfur and some other parts of the world, by the way. But I--if there's a strategy for withdrawal, it is success. It is the formula that the president described last week and the one I just described to you. I'm not for keeping troops there forever. I hope--I wish we could take them out tomorrow. It's not a question of whether we want to withdraw or not. We all want that. The question is: Will conditions on the ground dictate whether we withdraw or not and when we withdraw, or will it be some arbitrary date? I say conditions on the ground.

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