McCain: Obama is ‘disconnected’ from reality in Mideast

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said President Obama’s State of the Union address failed to accurately portray the “reality” of situations in the Middle East.

“I have never seen a message on national security and foreign policy as disconnected from reality as the president’s speech was,” McCain said Thursday.

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On Tuesday night, Obama gave his speech, touching on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.

“What the president didn’t say is Iraq is now collapsing,” McCain said. “There is no greater example of our failure in Iraq than Fallujah today. ... Al Qaeda’s black flags are flying there.”

McCain has been critical of the administration’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq without leaving a residual force behind. But Iraqi lawmakers requested that U.S. troops leave the country. McCain added that he fears a similar situation will occur in Afghanistan as troops are drawn down.

McCain said al Qaeda’s return to parts of Iraq has also contributed to the unrest and violence in Syria, where President Bashar Assad is killing those who oppose his regime.

“It is no longer a civil war [in Syria],” McCain said. “The Iraq-Syria border is now controlled by al Qaeda. ... It has turned into a regional conflict and one that will sooner or later erupt into a major conflict which is going to affect the United States.”