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McCain: 'Chickens coming home to roost' in Middle East

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Sen. John McCain on Monday blasted the Obama administration’s foreign policy and recent handling of the attacks in Libya, saying that conditions are “unraveling” throughout the Middle East.

“It was clear that people don’t bring mortars to spontaneous demonstrations,” Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” referring to the initial characterization of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, as a spontaneous demonstration and not a pre-planned, orchestrated effort. “The White House line is — the president said— ‘Osama bin Laden is dead; al Qaeda’s done; everything’s fine in the Middle East.’ This obviously contradicts that campaign slogan.”

“Because of this failed national security policy, the chickens are coming home to roost in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya and, of course, in Syria, which continues to cry out for our help and leadership as people continue to be massacred,” he continued.

White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday defended the administration’s response to the situation in Libya, saying it was a fluid situation in the aftermath and the administration was providing the information it could as it came in.

“We provided information that we received from the intelligence community as we got it,” Mr. Plouffe said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The intelligence community put out a lengthy document on Friday that explained the timeline here. And I think that in the days afterwards, it wasn’t clear this was a terrorist attack. As their investigation was — was conducted and as they got more information, that’s the determination they made.”

Later on Monday’s program, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, defended Mr. Obama’s Middle East policy, specifically on Afghanistan.

“I don’t see how we can succeed in Afghanistan no matter what the troops, unless we’re going to stay there forever,” Mr. Schumer said. “I’ve asked leading experts who are hawkish, ‘Can you succeed with [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai in office?’ They say no. I say, ‘What’s the alternative?’ They say there is none. So the answer is, frankly, what the president has had, which is a measured withdrawal. And yeah, maybe Senator McCain’s right — I have great respect for him — you bring in more troops, you might prolong it for another year or two, but I don’t see any endgame.”

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