- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sen. John McCain said Monday that President Obama is suffering from a “delusion” as to how the U.S. can defeat the Islamic State group.

The Arizona Republican told radio host Hugh Hewitt that Mr. Obama’s assertion that “ideologies are not defeated with guns” ignores the reality on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

“Ideologies are not defeated with guns. They’re defeated by better ideas and a more attractive and compelling vision. So the United States will continue to do our part by working with partners to counter ISIL’s hateful propaganda, especially online. We’ll constantly affirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam,” the president said Thursday.

Mr. McCain told Mr. Hewitt that having Islamic clerics condemn the actions of the Sunni radical terror group “would be good,” but securing victories on the battlefield is what is most important at the moment.

“First you have to defeat them on the battlefield. All the rest of that follows. There’s no doubt there’s ideological struggle here. There’s now there’s an economic problem in those places in the world where they have gigantic youth unemployment. But as Bismarck said, ‘The issue will be decided by blood and steel,’ ” Mr. McCain said, Mediaite reported Thursday.

The radio host then asked the senator if he wanted to stick by his assertion that Mr. Obama was delusional.

“Here’s the delusion. The delusion is going on right now in these negotiations with Iran. That somehow they will consummate a nuclear deal no matter how bad with Iran,” Mr. McCain said, Mediaite reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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