Friday on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reacted to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, downplaying ISIS being close to capturing Ramadi, saying, “This may be one of the most bizarre and insensitive statements I have ever heard a military leader make.”
Dempsey said, “The city itself is not symbolic in any way. It hasn’t been declared the caliphate or central to iraq. The issue isn’t brick and mortar. It is about defeating ISIS. I would much rather that Ramadi not fall, but it will not be the end of a campaign. Should, it fall we have to get it back.”
McCain reacted by saying, “Sometimes I think I have grown numb from the statements made by General Dempsey in defense of this administration and its feckless foreign policy. This is truly a stunner. During the surge, we had a battle to retake Ramadi and there was a loss of many American Marines and soldiers and many wounded in the battle of Ramadi, which was one of the signal battles of the surge as we took back over of Anbar Province. And now this general says it doesn’t matter. I wonder what he would say to the families of those Marines and soldiers, those brave Americans who were killed and wounded in the battle for Ramadi.”
“When a major city is taken over by the enemy, and it doesn’t seem to matter,” McCain continued. “And what is the business about it isn’t part of the caliphate? Who declares what the caliphate is? ISIS does.”
“This may be one of the most bizarre and insensitive statements I have ever heard a military leader make. But he is also the mouth piece for a failed—not only a failed policy, but there is no strategy in Iraq and especially in Syria,” he added.
According to McCain, 187 Americans died taking Ramadi.
The mother of the first SEAL to die in Iraq feels betrayed and wrote an open letter to Dempsey:
I am shaking and tears are flowing down my cheeks as I watch the news and listen to the insensitive, pain inflicting comments made by you in regards to the fall of Ramadi.
“The city itself is not symbolic in any way”? Oh, really? Are you willing to meet with me and with the families who have lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandson, or teammate?
My son Marc Lee was the first Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in Ramadi Iraq Aug 2, 2006. His blood is still in that soil and forever will be. Remember that was when so many of our loved ones were taken from us. You said that “it’s not been declared part of the caliphate on one hand or central to the future of Iraq.” 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.
What about the troops who sacrificed their limbs and whose lives will never be the same. Our brave warriors who left a piece of themselves in Ramadi. What about the troops who struggle with PTS/TBI who watched their teammates breath their last or carried their wounded bodies to be medevac’d out of Ramadi.
I’ve traveled to Ramadi and visited Camp Marc Lee in 2007. I brought back soil from that city where Marc breathed his last. I interviewed Iraqi General Anwer in 2010 when I returned. I asked him “If you could say one thing to the American people what would you tell them? He paused and with deep emotion said “We will tell our children, our grandchildren, for generations to come we will tell them what Americans have done. There is American blood poured out on our soil.” It seems the Iraqis understand the importance more than you do sir.
You sir owe an apology to the families whose loved ones blood was shed in Ramadi. Ramadi matters to us and is very symbolic to us. You need to apologize to our troops whose bodies were blown to pieces from IEDs and bullet holes leaving parts and pieces behind, Ramadi matters to them. You need to apologize to our troops who endured the extreme temperatures and battled the terrorists in some of the worst battlefields in Iraq, Ramadi matters to them. They carry vivid memories of the battles and the teammates whose future is gone, Ramadi matters to them.
You and this administration have minimized that Ramadi could fall, now you are minimizing that it is falling, but you Sir WILL NOT minimize the sacrifice my son Marc Lee made or any of our brave warriors!
Awaiting an Apology
Ramadi was won. It should never have been in jeopardy. There isn’t anything too low for this wretched administration.