I applaud John McCain for serving his country in Vietnam. I commend his bravery and strength for enduring captivity. But just because you get shot down over Vietnam by a Soviet missile does not mean you are entitled to your own fantasy world in Iraq. He has become the Jack Nicholson character in the The Shining. What hallucinogens is this guy on?
If you missed McCain's performance on Bill Bennett's radio show and Wolf Blitzer's the Situation Room it is must hear radio and must see TV. McCain repeatedly made the following laughable, outrageous claim:
BLITZER: Here's what you told Bill Bennett on his radio show on Monday.
BLITZER: "There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today."
BLITZER: "The U.S. is beginning to succeed in Iraq."
You know, everything we hear, that if you leave the so-called green zone, the international zone, and you go outside of that secure area, relatively speaking, you're in trouble if you're an American.
MCCAIN: You know, that's why you ought to catch up on things, Wolf.
General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed Humvee. You want to — I think you ought to catch up. You see, you are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. We certainly don't get it through the filter of some of the media.
But I know for a fact of much of the success we're experiencing, including the ability of Americans in many parts — not all. We've got a long, long way to go. We've only got two of the five brigades there — to go into some neighborhoods in Baghdad in a secure fashion.
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Maybe McCain's head was submerged in the rice paddy too long after bailing out of his crippled jet in Vietnam. Maybe he flew too long at altitude with the oxygen turned off. But this is absolutely fucking nuts.
Fortunately Wolf asked the intrepid CNN combat correspondent, Michael Ware, what he thought of McCain's claim. Thank God that Crooks and Liars
put this interview up. It was priceless. Ware could barely suppress a
good old fashioned guffaw while commenting on McCain's fantastical
Off base? Yep. Credibility hanging out to dry? You betcha. And General Petraeus running around Baghdad in an unarmed Humvee? No way in hell. McCain's fantasy world is rich but has no grounding in reality. We already have one President barely in touch with reality. The last thing we need is another ideological nut job incapable of recognizing reality while it is kicking him in the balls. Maybe this is a coping strategy McCain developed while in his Vietnamese prison cell. But it has no place in politics and he certainly should not be trusted to get anywhere near the White House.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'd certainly like to bring Senator McCain up to speed, if he ever gives me the opportunity. And if I have any difficulty hearing you right now, Wolf, that's because of the helicopter circling overhead and the gun battle that is blazing just a few blocks down the road.
Is Baghdad any safer?
Sectarian violence — one particular type of violence — is down. But none of the American generals here on the ground have anything like Senator McCain's confidence.
I mean, Senator McCain's credibility now on Iraq, which has been so solid to this point, has now been left out hanging to dry.
To suggest that there's any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous. I'd love Senator McCain to tell me where that neighborhood is and he and I can go for a stroll.
And to think that General David Petraeus travels this city in an unarmed Humvee. I mean in the hour since Senator McCain has said this, I've spoken to some military sources and there was laughter down the line. I mean, certainly, the general travels in a Humvee. There's multiple Humvees around it, heavily armed. There's attack helicopters, predator drones, sniper teams, all sorts of layers of protection.
So, no, Senator McCain is way off base on this one — Wolf.
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