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John McCain tells Philly war-weary U.S. must press on

John McCain took questions on war and politics at the Union League Monday.
John McCain

John McCain says America needs another Harry Truman.

Truman's courageous efforts to keep the U.S. military involved in the Korean War, even as the overwhelming majority of Americans wanted to pull soldiers out of the conflict let the military reach a cease-fire.

"Now, today, Americans don't want to be involved with things that are going on over in Iraq and Afganistan, or most of the other places in the world," said McCain, the Republican US senator from Arizona and former Presidential candidate said Monday at a meeting of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia at the Union League club.

"We need a Harry Truman not that's going to start a war, but we need a Harry Truman who is steadfast in principles and belief in America's indispensable role in the world," said McCain.

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"Yes, we are war weary," said McCain, a former Navy aviator who spent five and a half years in a North Vietnamese prison after he was shot down on a combat mission. "We were war weary after World War II. ... but we're going to be a lot more war weary if we allow ISIS to expand and continue to succeed. And believe me, they are succeeding."

McCain gave attendees his thoughts on Barack Obama's presidency, Russia's leadership and how to contain the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

How best to combat the growing threat of Islamic terrorism should be a key topic in the 2016 presidential race.

"I'm almost sorry I'm not running again," said McCain, 79, "and that's the only reason."

Turning to Russia's autocratic leader, Vladimir Putin, McCain said "he will go as far as he can get away with," McCain said. "Vladimir Putin is an old KGB agent that is now trying to restore the Russian Empire. That's what he says."

McCain also paid homage to the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Democrat who died in 2012, as a colorful, magnetic, entertaining and thoughtful.

"An individual that I enjoyed enormously serving with," he said. "People come and go in the United States Senate, but Arlen left his imprint."

Obama White House

McCain was asked what Obama has done well during his Presidency.

"I believe he has selected some good people in positions of authority, for example our leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan," McCain said. "I think he has worked hard on some issues such as free trade."

ISIS in America

"When Americans watch other Americans being beheaded in the most gruesome fashion on the internet it has affected American public opinion and brought home to them the threat that ISIS and radical Islam poses to the security of the country," McCain said.

 
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