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McCain first took Brzezinski’s query that some of this could be pinned on the Bush administration for “churning the hate” and taking Sunnis out of leadership position in the Iraqi government.
“What about the fact that we had it won?” he said. “What about the fact that people like me said we got to fire [Donald] Rumsfeld. We’ve got to get the surge going … and what about the fact Gen. [David] Petreaus had the conflict won thanks to the surge? And if we have left the residual force behind that we could have, that we would not be facing the crisis we are today. Those are fact. Those are fundamental facts. I expect you and others to blame it on all these different events. The fact is we had the conflict won and we had a stable government.”
The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein questioned McCain on the definition of “victory” and said he was confused by what McCain was attempting to convey.
“I think you are confused because you didn’t know what happened with the surge where we basically had the country pacified. We had a stable government in Baghdad and we the conflict basically won,” McCain replied. “We’ve still got troops in Bosnia. A residual force would have stabilized the country. Military experts will tell you that. So, I’m sorry about your confusion, but the facts on the ground were that Al Qaeda had been defeated almost completely.”
(h/t Washington Free Beacon)
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