McCain Bashes Cheney Over Iraq Policy
With his presidential hopes tied to an administration whose Iraq policy he supports but cannot control, John McCain for the first time blamed Vice President Cheney for what McCain calls the "witch's brew" of a "terribly mishandled" war in which U.S. forces are on the verge of defeat.That's right, it's all Cheney and Rummy's fault. The fact that McCain was part of the Republican majority that offered no oversight and the fact that McCain himself has spent the last six years kissing Bush and Cheney's bottom side had nothing to do with it. McCain showed some bitterness and there is some truth to this.
McCain also for the first time opened the door to the possibility of a U.S. troop pullback to the borders of Iraq should the president's planned troop surge fail.
Although McCain had once lavished praise on the vice president, he said in an interview in his Senate office: "The president listened too much to the Vice President . . . Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense."
McCain added: "Rumsfeld will go down in history, along with McNamara, as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history." Donald Rumsfeld served as President Bush's secretary of defense from January 2001 to December 2006. Robert McNamara was Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War.
Without naming names, McCain said, "It is ironic that many of my colleagues who are now wavering were those who were down the line in support (of the war) and would come back from Iraq saying that everything is fine and the troops are wonderful and it's the media (that is the problem). And I came back from my first trip saying, 'You better get more boots on the ground! You better change this.' Now I am (ital) hung (unital) with it. It's fascinating!"