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McCain Suggests Collaborative Approach with Allies

Republican presidential candidate John McCain may support the war in Iraq, but he is disowning some of the policies that led to it.

Without directly criticizing President Bush, McCain suggested a more collaborative approach with American allies.

"We need to listen — we need to listen — to the views and respect the will of our democratic allies," he said during a speech Wednesday in Los Angeles that was shot through with questions about the current president's legacy.

That legacy includes a war that was started over the objections of numerous U.S. friends.

"When we believe international action is necessary, whether military, economic or diplomatic, we will try to persuade our friends that we are right. But we in return must be willing to be persuaded by them," he said.

Steve Inskeep talks with Juan Williams about how McCain raised questions about the president's policies — while remaining firmly in support of the Iraq war.

Williams says McCain's overall argument was that withdrawing from Iraq now would lead to a more difficult war with greater dangers down the road.

McCain said during the speech, "I hold my position because I hate war and I know very well and very personally how grievous its wages are. But I know, too, that we must sometimes pay those wages to avoid paying even higher ones later on."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Juan Williams
Juan Williams, one of America's leading journalists, is a news analyst, appearing regularly on NPR's Morning Edition. Knowledgeable and charismatic, Williams brings insight and depth — hallmarks of NPR programs — to a wide spectrum of issues and ideas.