During Sunday’s broadcast of CBS’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer had on Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Both men were ostensibly on to discuss the recent issues in Israel, as well as the ongoing situation in Iraq. However, both men just did what they normally do every Sunday — preen in front of the camera and criticize the current occupant of the White House. It almost seemed like this segment was tailor-made for The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. (I can almost guarantee one of them will highlight this particular segment.)
Schieffer and his producers decided just to throw in the towel on this episode. Generally, it is bad enough when one of the Sunday shows has either Graham or McCain on. Heck, both of them are political whores who jump at any opportunity to get in front of the camera. In this case, CBS just decided to give up and have both of them appear on Sunday’s broadcast and talk crap about the President and his administration. At the same time, they made sure to beat the war drums and call for the United States to not only act more forcefully in Iraq, but to also call on the US to assert itself in the current Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
SCHIEFFER: And here in Washington, we’re joined now by Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who spent a lot of time there. They are also just back from Afghanistan. Let me start with this video we just saw of this child. State Department has put out a statement condemning the beating. They’re demanding a full investigation. But is there anything the United States can do here, Senator McCain, to calm this situation?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, this is one case where I do believe that our secretary of state should go to the region.
This is a role — this is a place — many places, I don’t think we do play a role. In this case, I think that our secretary of state, Secretary Kerry, could go to the region and try to maybe do a little shuttle diplomacy.
This thing is in danger of spiraling out of control. There’s a whole lot of reasons for it, but right now this is a time where the United States could play a constructive role.
SCHIEFFER: Senator Graham?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, when you start killing children, you set yourself on a path that is hard to reverse.
And I think a good idea to try to engage and get the parties back into their corners. But one thing about Israel, they will try to investigate, I think, and bring somebody to justice. The other side is not very good at that.
That sure sounds to me like a couple of war hawks wanting the US to meddle in the affairs of Palestine and Israel.
Later in the conversation, McCain and Graham both stated that President Obama needs to send both monetary aid and troops to the Middle East to deal with ISIS. On top of that, McCain basically stated that the President should have gone against the agreement that President Bush signed with Iraq in 2008 and just left troops in Iraq, even though that was against the wishes of the Iraqi government at the time.
SCHIEFFER: Just one thing, Senator. You say we left. The Iraqis would not sign the status of forces agreement, which would have put troops under our control, legal control. Are you just saying we didn’t try hard enough to get that agreement?
MCCAIN: I’m saying that they were ready to sign. I’m saying that this administration, this president didn’t want to stay, and we were there in Baghdad and in Irbil when they agreed to do it.
Now, we were actually there. And the president of the United States would never give them a number of troops and their mission that they wanted to leave behind. In the words of General Dempsey in testimony before the Armed Services Committee, it cascaded down to 3,000 people. The president campaigned he was going to get us out. And the president is going to make the same mistake in Afghanistan, unless he reverses that decision, that he made.
You’re going to see the same result in Afghanistan. We just came back from there. They feel abandoned.
SCHIEFFER: Senator, do you agree with that?
GRAHAM: I think the big fear I have about what we’re doing in Afghanistan is that we have great capability now.
We can watch a part of the world that is a safe haven for terrorists. Thirteen years after 9/11, there are more safe havens. There are more terrorist groups with more weapons and more capabilities than before 9/11, and we’re having less capability, less presence.
If we get down to 1,000 troops by 2017, and dismantle our eyes and ears in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will haunt us far worse than Iraq. The counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan is a front-line defense against — for the homeland and it is being destroyed by this idea of leaving completely in 2017.
Mr. President, reverse your course. Keep our counterterrorism capabilities in effect to protect us here at home.
Of course, McCain and Graham want to make sure that people don’t think they actually want ’combat troops’ being left in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future or being sent to Iraq now.
MCCAIN: We’re not advocating combat troops.
OK, here’s the deal moving forward. If you consider yourself a news show, and you allow both McCain and Graham to come on together to spew their crap, you automatically lose all credibility. Sure, Schieffer may state that he ‘challenged’ those two on a number of issues. However, they still got to peddle their wares. They still were given valuable air time to push forward their particular brand of propaganda. Why? Because the Sunday show producers are a lazy bunch who stick with what they know.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).