'This Week' Transcript: Secretary Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain

MCCAIN: Well, the -- well, Martha, the fact is that I was there with Senator Graham and Senator Lieberman. We talked with Barzani, Allawi, Maliki last May. They were ready to negotiate. The United States didn't -- didn't have a plan as to how many troops should remain behind. How could we expect the Iraqis to sit down and agree? Also, you don't demand, the way that our secretary of defense said, what's their plan? You sit down and negotiate, and it could have been negotiated, because I know, because I was there at the time. That's how.

RADDATZ: And the question of immunity?

MCCAIN: The -- the -- the question of immunity, obviously, could have been resolved. The question of immunity is being used -- is being used as an excuse for not reaching an agreement. The reason for not reaching an agreement is because the United States was never really very serious. And of course there's influence of Sadr. The guy that won the Iraqi elections was Allawi. We should have backed Allawi a lot more. We should have become engaged back then after their elections, which, frankly, due to our ambassador at the time and the State Department, we didn't engage.

AMANPOUR: We'll be back with you in a moment, Senator McCain.

I want to follow up with you, Rick, about this. Now there are concerns that not only is the military drawing down, but even the State Department's diplomatic reach-out is probably compromised and is going to be much less because of budgetary concerns, because of the military drawdown. There's going to be a much less American presence than they had hoped.

STENGEL: Yes. But, I mean, the reality that we're all looking at is that it's domestic concerns, rather than international concerns that are playing out here. The president made a promise. He's running for re-election. He wants to fulfill that promise. There is no appetite among the American electorate for us staying in Iraq any longer.

And I agree -- I mean, I agree with Senator McCain. There are problems with this. There are problems with this in the region. But the fact even that the Iraqi government has said you can't have the American trainers there does show that they have a certain amount of independence and that -- and that Americans look at that and think, "Well, OK, that's good."

AMANPOUR: But as Senator McCain said, there was not a full-court diplomatic press to try to negotiate in a serious way to send high-level diplomats, secretary of state, Vice President Biden, to go and do that negotiation. So I think that's interesting.

And I want to bring up what Vice President Biden has said about, for instance, perhaps the new way of going forward. This is what he said about Libya.


BIDEN: In this case, American spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life. This is more the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has been in the past. So that's an example of how the world's beginning to work together a little bit better.


AMANPOUR: Bob Kagan, is this the new way forward? Is this a new doctrine? Is it a one-size-fits-all now, no boots on the ground, war from above?

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