Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | John McCain | John McCain | Martin Dempsey | Iraq | Ramadi

John McCain: Dempsey's 'Message to ISIS' on Ramadi — 'We Don't Care'

Image: John McCain: Dempsey's 'Message to ISIS' on Ramadi — 'We Don't Care'
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey. (James Lawler Duggan/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 11:28 AM

Arizona Sen. John McCain says that Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in claiming that the capture of Ramadi by the Islamic State (ISIS) wasn't symbolic sent a message to the terrorist group — "We don't care."

"He never fails to surprise me with his insensitivity and sort of willingness to knee-jerk whatever way he can to support the moral bankruptcy of this failed foreign policy of [President] Barack Obama," McCain said in an appearance on Fox News on Monday.

Dempsey made his comments during a joint press conference with Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday, in which he said that — while there is a humanitarian crisis in Ramadi because of the number of residents taking refuge in Baghdad — "the city itself is not symbolic in any way," primarily because it has "not been declared part of the [ISIS] caliphate or central to the future of Iraq."

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Debbie Lee,
who is the mother of Navy SEAL Marc Lee, the first SEAL to die in Ramadi during the Iraq War in 2006, sent a letter to Dempsey admonishing him and asking for an apology for his comments. 

"My son and many others gave their future in Ramadi. Ramadi mattered to them. Many military analysts say that as goes Ramadi so goes Iraq," Lee wrote in her letter published on the Fox News website on Monday.

McCain said that "we lost hundreds of American soldiers and Marines killed and wounded" in Ramadi.

"Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province."

There are "190,000 refugees now, according to news reports, of people driven from their homes, not to mention the rest of the slaughter," the Arizona Republican said.

"And this chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dismisses it, not only as not symbolic, but not part of the caliphate. Not part of the caliphate? Who declared it as part of the caliphate?" McCain asked.

"It's an insult to the men and women who served there, and certainly the families of those who suffered and died there," he said.

"The message to ISIS — 'We don't care. Go ahead and take the capital of Anbar province, the heartland of the Sunnis,' who they absolutely need, if they're going to beat back ISIS," McCain said.

"That's the message that they're sending to the Sunnis, that it doesn't matter," he said.

"It is so angering. It is so frustrating. And the men and women who are serving now are reflecting that," he added.

"I'm hearing from the men and women in the military, who do not believe in this leadership anymore."

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Arizona Sen. John McCain says that Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in claiming that the capture of Ramadi by the Islamic State wasn't symbolic sent a message to the terrorist group — "We don't care."
John McCain, Martin Dempsey, Iraq, Ramadi
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2015-28-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 11:28 AM
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