"It doesn't take very long to uncover national security issues that McCain is weak on," retired Air Force Gen. Merrill McPeak told The Washington Times.Right on cue, the
"For McCain to think he has a monopoly on virtue in the national security issue is going to be shown a pretty flimsy idea very quickly," he said of the probable Republican nominee.
Gen. McPeak, the Air Force chief of staff in the early 1990s and now a private investor, told The Times that both those issues will be assets for Mr. Obama.On the subject of talking to leaders of states like Iran and North Korea, McPeak predicts that Obama can turn it to an electoral advantage in November.
"[McCain is] wrong about Iraq, and he's wrong in the past and wrong about his ideas going forward," Gen. McPeak said. "And that's the biggest single national security issue on the table."
Gen. McPeak added, "[McCain] supported the intervention to begin with. Then of course he attacked the execution and he was justified in doing so. But the idea that this was a good concept, poorly executed, won't stand the test of examination.
Retired Air Force Gen. Merrill McPeak says Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama won't be conceding the national security issue to Republican Sen. John McCain.
"Now, it was poorly executed, so he was right about that. But the concept itself was fatally flawed. So he was wrong there. And his idea that all we have to do is execute better and this will turn into a big victory for us is wrong.
"So he's going to have to carry the weight, the tonnage of bad judgment on that particular issue."
"[McCain] is wrong about whether or not we ought to talk with people we don't like," the retired four-star general said.McCain has a long record that he can't run from. He will try, of course, but the record is there to point to, and to hang around his sagging old neck. So do it. If he gets so pissed off he has a full-blown meltdown, that's a scoop of ice-cream with a decadently frosted cake.
"The whole idea that we shouldn't talk to the Cubans, or the North Koreans or the Iranians because they're not nice boys. I would think by now people would have figured out that is not helpful.
"That hasn't achieved what we needed to achieve in Cuba for the last 50 years. It was a positive disaster in terms of our policy in North Korea.
"Maybe the biggest foreign policy blunder of the Bush administration was to refuse to negotiate with North Korea while they built a half-dozen nuclear weapons.
"This whole idea that diplomacy is attending cocktail parties with your best friends, that's kind of dumb. It's a national security issue that McCain is wrong on."