John McCain blames America for Afghanistan troubles
In an interview with a Pakistan television station posted online Friday ahead of a July 4 trip to Islamabad, McCain said he believed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was a vast improvement on his predecessor, Hamid Karzai.
“I don’t blame Ashraf Ghani. I blame the United States of America for not consolidating the gains that we made,” McCain said. “And this president (Barak Obama) has this idea for the last eight years that if we pull out of conflicts, those conflicts end.”
Obama did run on a platform of ending the military conflicts begun under President George W. Bush, and achieved his goal — at least temporarily — in Iraq. There are now US troops in that country assisting efforts to contain the Islamic State militant group.
Obama announced last fall that he would keep thousands of US troops in Afghanistan until at least 2017.
McCain said the White House bore responsibility not only for Afghanistan’s troubles but for the recent airport attack in Turkey as well.
“Let me give you an example of what just happened. In Istanbul, the rise of terrorism and a base for terrorism in a place called Raka [Syria, where the Islamic State is based], and that is now, that ISIS group is now establishing a beachhead. Guess where? Afghanistan,” McCain said.
“We see abject failure of American policy and no strategy. I don’t blame Pakistan for that. I don’t blame Ashraf Ghani for that. I blame this president of the United States, who is a failed leader.”
The campaign of McCain’s opponent in this year’s Senate race, US Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), denounced the senior senator on Friday.
“Arizonans should be shocked and appalled that McCain would go to the foreign press and ‘blame the United States of America’ for Taliban gains in Afghanistan. These reckless, insulting comments have become commonplace for John McCain because he’s changed after 33 years in Washington,” Kirkpatrick said in a statement.
“McCain is all out of ‘straight talk’ because he cares more about trying to shift blame and saving his political career than focusing our efforts on keeping Americans safe.”
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