CAUGHT ON TAPE: McCain Supported ‘Precipitous Withdrawal’ From Somalia, Haiti

This morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), gave several television interviews in which he vigorously advocated staying the course in Iraq. He told the CBS Early Show, “[T]here is progress being made…we’ve got to at least give this new strategy a chance to succeed.”

McCain further claimed, “I don’t recall a time in history while men and women are fighting and sacrificing that one of our major leaders has said that the conflict is lost.” On two separate occasions during the Clinton administration, however, he argued for the approval of legislation guaranteeing the removal of U.S. forces from foreign engagements, regardless of the consequences:

October 1994 — McCain argued for the precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Haiti: “In my view that does not mean as soon as order is restored to Haiti. It does not mean as soon as democracy is flourishing in Haiti. It does not mean as soon as we have established a viable nation in Haiti. As soon as possible means as soon we can get out of Haiti without losing any American lives.” [Senate Floor, 10/6/94]

October 1993 — McCain argued against giving any strategy the chance to succeed in Somalia: “Mr. President, can anyone seriously argue that another 6 months of United States forces in harm’s way means the difference between peace and prosperity in Somalia and war and starvation there? Is that very dim prospect worth one more American life? No, it is not.” [Senate Floor, 10/14/93]

Watch his statements:

McCain has conveniently forgotten his previous statements. He now calls the position he took in ’93 and ’94 “precipitous withdrawal” and “surrender.”

Ryan Powers

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