Sen. John McCain Talks Libya, Arab Spring
Arizona Republican on foreign policy hotspots
- Duration 11:58
- Date May 29, 2011
Arizona Republican on foreign policy hotspots
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Joining us now to discuss the ongoing tension in the middle -- is found to talk some 2012 politics.
Is Senator John McCain and senator welcome back to FOX News Sunday thank you Chris.
Let's start with Libya President Obama this week seemed to expand his definition of that the NATO mission there let's take a look.
Meaning the UN mandate.
Of civilian protection.
Cannot be accomplished.
Where -- adopting.
Remains in Libya directing us forces.
It acts of aggression against.
Between that statement and the stepped up air strikes on triple -- argued now satisfied with the coalition's effort to topple Qaddafi.
No I'm not but they have obviously stepped it up.
I'm sure you didn't show one of the president's statement at the beginning how this is just a humanitarian effort it's all going to be NATO we're not gonna having to do -- -- I'm glad to see him gradually changing but the fact is as he is gradually changing.
People are dying on the ground in Libya and they wouldn't have to do if we were using all of US air power.
And the abilities and the unique capability set the united states military Harris and unfortunately.
We are not although we are gradually stepping it up in the attacks are stepping up there was.
Raid on -- daylight raid on Tripoli which is unusual here in the last 24 hours so.
And Qaddafi may crack he may crack.
This thing could have been over a long time ago if we have brought the full weight of American airpower.
To bear on him and it's unfortunate.
Now another aspect that -- that you call for is that you continue to say that the US should recognize the rebels.
It national council as -- legitimate government this ultimately up kind and Defense Secretary Gates continues to say that there are some extremist elements.
Among the -- opposition.
I would say to Secretary Gates one item as -- great admiration -- -- but I would say.
Secretary of the best way to get extremist elements in the lead amongst the rebels there the liberation forces.
Is a stalemate that's the way extremists come into power.
But these people are a professor.
-- the university of of Washington and -- finance minister.
Guy -- doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh are there are some people who are Muslim more.
You know I'm not not exactly who we would like in this fight of course but the few good reason why -- in the fight just because they -- Qaddafi.
Who brutalized them and mistreated them and by the way these recent reports of rapes and -- try to.
By -- forces -- it should.
Make us all angry so that the reason why we need to were recognized -- TMC let's call it that.
Is because any could free up to 33 billion dollars in assets that are frozen -- -- and a lot more.
It would de legitimize them as the voice of Libyan people she clearly Qaddafi is not the voice and I think he would have a significant.
Significant impact on the morale of those brave fighters who are.
Doing pretty good job for and disorganized and -- trained.
-- -- let me turn to the G-8 summit which this week pledged tens of billions of dollars to Egypt and Tunisia.
To help with the democratic reform and economic this developing some of your Republican colleagues in congress say at a time.
When this nation faces a debt crisis we can't be sending billions of dollars for the -- -- I think we can do things like get relief like.
Matched -- matching -- stimulation.
Businesses in job opportunity.
And -- I I understand that we have to be very careful because there is a strong anti spending sentiment out there.
But I think we also have to do a better job of convincing the American people.
That a smooth transition -- to to democracy.
In the region is -- best guarantee of us not having to spend a lot of money.
In the future -- the wrong people get in power and for and -- could just say that I think that.
Jobs and investment I'd love to see American business over there.
Telling them we will invest if you give us a transparent.
Corruption free government one that is is is is good for us to be in business in Egypt and Tunisia.
Then we'll invest I think that that's could be one of the greatest incentives rather than.
Just -- money -- Now the new authorities in Egypt this weekend have opened adopting Gaza.
-- border crossing which means that people are gonna be able to go in and out.
Of Gaza do you worry about the impact of that on Israeli security.
I worry and I worry about some of the rhetoric we're already hearing from some of the politicians in Egypt to.
Would like to gain support and votes.
I worry about a alliance between Hamas and Fatah -- -- -- One Hamas is still dedicated to extinction in the State of Israel.
But I impact do you think that.
Opening this border crossing could have I don't think it will have a huge impact.
Because I think the Israelis can defend themselves but.
I think the Palestinians.
Recognize that if if they.
Commit serious aggression that there will be -- response.
From Israel but it's time for all of them to sit down.
Went -- -- saying that the 67 borders are the basis.
And certainly not putting Israel again.
On the defensive as the president has now twice when the first time when he demanded a freeze on settlement it's.
At let's turn to another trouble spot this week the house of -- -- voted.
Narrow -- to defeated -- 204 votes for the measure 215 again so just barely was defeated.
A measure that would require President Obama to step up the withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan.
26 Republicans voted for the measure to speed up the withdrawals.
With the takedown of Osama bin Laden are you worried that support for a US role in Afghanistan is beginning to dry out.
Yes I am worried I am greatly worried and it isn't so much.
Bin Laden and taken him out as it is Americans are war weary Americans see all this money we've spent.
And they see the president of Afghanistan appearing on gratefully -- The government of Pakistan.
You know will be in -- very aggressive fashion in many ways towards us they're continued.
Relations who would have Connie network.
But we've also got to remember.
That it was Afghanistan where the 9/11 attack attacks began if had the talent bond and -- then it.
Then al-Qaeda take over in Afghanistan.
We could see a very very serious threat to United States national security and remember the Russians who after the Russians left we got out completely.
We shouldn't ignore the lessons of history but but probably argument and militarily there is -- -- significant success on the ground it's tough and it's hard.
This General Petraeus predicted.
But I've seen this movie before he was in 2007.
That the same.
Movement to get out of Iraq and we managed to push that back and the surge succeed.
But but how about the -- the president has already -- he's gonna begin drawing down US troops in July how about the argument when most of the people who would directly.
For instance al-Qaeda the more of them are in Pakistan and they are and Afghanistan.
What if we were to shrink the mission from counterinsurgency.
To focus on the ones -- are a direct threat to the US home.
I believe the only way you're able to arrive at that situation is when you get a stable situation in control of the country that's why.
Negotiations with the touted by and I think we'll be fruitless until the -- bond thank.
They can't succeed they are now fighting ferociously because they're trying to take back -- hold ground.
That they've held for a a long period of time.
So what would you say to about the president in the July withdrawal -- I never thought that was a good idea I've always thought that -- that conditions on the ground should dictate withdrawals.
But the president is also emphasize 2014.
And I believe that by 2014 we will have succeeded.
In Afghanistan as we have largely in Iraq -- we've got a problem.
With the remarks keeping some forces there I think for a period of time to help the Iraqis.
Complete the job.
Really and we only got a couple of minutes left let's to a lightning round 120 trial politics you know something about presidential politics.
Quick questions quick -- Sarah Palin announced that she's doing a bus tour and starting today in Washington set off a media frenzy question.
-- she wins the Republican presidential nomination and can she beat Barack Obama.
Of course she can she can -- whether she will not -- -- -- run or not I don't know.
But you know a lot of things happen in campaigns -- you remember I was written off a couple of times and we -- able to come back so.
There's going to be a roller coaster ride for all of them before they finally arrived -- and our nominee but she certainly is a major factor.
And I believe that she can be very competitive and and what about her high negatives among.
Especially among independents I I think that the that again that's what campaigns are all about I've never seen anyone as mercilessly and relentlessly attacked.
As I have seen Sarah Palin whose last.
Couple years and but.
She also inspires great passion particularly among Republican faithful okay lightning round rules how big a problem is Romney care for Mitt Romney.
I think it's a problem and I think he realizes that and I think he's trying to address it and whether he will successfully or not.
I don't know but he certainly has a good grassroots campaign in places like New Hampshire and others where he -- really.
You know it's it's there you haven't been around the block -- is always have a benefit for you next time.
-- after the bin Laden right you said enhanced interrogation.
Contribute significantly to the successful takedown of bin -- former senator Rick Santorum.
Said -- We understand -- of interrogation works I mean.
He breaks somebody that finger broken -- become cooperative.
Question you have never responded to Santorum.
Well what are your thoughts about what he said well I think he should look at the record including that director Leon Panetta.
Dianne Feinstein who both said that.
Not only did we not get good information from the from KSM and others but we've got bad information and -- information that was primarily responsible for.
Bringing bin Laden to justice had to do with standard methodology and intelligence gathering.
And when you say that by the way.
It does a bit of a disservice to the thousands of people in our intelligence.
Agency who labored night and day putting this puzzle together which we've become.
Very aware his.
Said I remember memorably during the 2008 campaign you were tied up during the than 1968.
What stock things like that.
What do you think of -- saying you don't understand enhanced -- -- -- Think Rick realizes he made a mistake there and so.
Give -- just that didn't.
Major object here is that understand what torture does to the image of the United States in the world but most importantly.
It's about us.
Senator McCain -- want to thank you as always for coming in is always a pleasure to talk to -- have man.