Republican presidential candidate John McCain said today in Iowa that he remains a staunch supporter of the U.S. war effort in Iraq. During a morning news conference on the steps of the state capitol, .the Arizona senator said the Iraqi situation is the defining issue in the 2008 race for president.
McCain says he’s still convinced that withdrawal "means chaos." He says if people think things are bad there now, "if we withdraw, you ain’t seen nothing yet." There would be chaos and genocide, he predicts, and Iraq would be "a center of terrorism." McCain, a former prisoner of war in Viet Nam, said he sees signs of progress in Iraq, especially in Baghdad where he says portions of the city have been secured. And he says he remains guardedly optimistic that conditions will continue to improve.
"The transcendent issue of this campaign will be this conflict we are in between good and evil, between the forces of radical Islamic extremism that are trying to destroy America and everything we believe in. I’m qualified. I know the face of war. I know the face of evil. I will win. We will win. And we will never surrender." He also praised the improved performance of the Iraqi military.