McCain on U.S. handling of Syria: 'Shameful and disgraceful'
July 8th, 2012
02:13 PM ET
2 years ago

McCain on U.S. handling of Syria: 'Shameful and disgraceful'

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain of Arizona on Sunday sharply criticized the United States' handling of the ongoing crisis in Syria and called on the Obama administration to take further action.

"The United States of America, its performance so far has been shameful and disgraceful," McCain said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

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His comments came in a response to a question about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said in a Tokyo press conference Sunday that "the days are numbered" for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

McCain, however, said the U.S., along with the international community, was not doing enough.

"My question to the secretary of state and the president of the United States is, how many more have to die before we take action to help these people with other nations?" he said.

The United Nations has said more than 10,000 people have been killed since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011. What started as peaceful protests against the regime spiraled into a bloody government crackdown and armed uprising.

McCain has long been lobbying for U.S. intervention in the unrest. He emphasized Sunday he was not suggesting that the United States send troops to Syria, but called instead for the issuing of arms to Syrian opposition groups, saying the current situation is "not a fair fight."

The 2008 Republican presidential nominee also said the U.S. needs "to establish a sanctuary" so the opposition can "organize" and "resist."

"It is shameful, the total lack of leadership that the United States has displayed for the last 14 months," he said.

– CNN Wire Staff contributed to this report.


Filed under: John McCain • Syria
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    ........do not worry, USA is handling Syria is so well. This senile idiot needs to stay in Arizona sun room, relax. Ok, I ask does this idiot know USA is bankrupted with 2 Wars????and trickle down nonsense? Obama12. Period.

    July 8, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Independent For President Obama

    Mccain get another topic. We know you like to visit war zones when the Senate is on break. Since we left Iraq you have one less war zone to visit. McCain needs to go home and spend time with his family.

    July 8, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. maf

    Please STOP John!!! You and the GOP need to STOP wishing war upon the citizens of the United States!!
    Let the UN do what they are supposed to do. With all of the "fiscal responsibility" that you and your party claim to adhere to, the foreign policy stance of getting involved in every international skirmish is counter to the platform you are so adamantly defending!! So which is it, are you interested in spending the money or cutting programs? If you are for cutting programs, the military just happens to be one of the first to take a hit!
    For you to claim their has been no leadership in the past 14 months, you simply are spouting the Republican line!
    Stay away from the press, stay away from any form of media. You should be ashamed of yourself for bringing Sarah Palin into the public fray! You LOST! Get over it and retire. It is time!!

    July 8, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Tom

    Public doesn't seem to want another war, especially one that Russia may jump into. I thought the GOP was more interested in starting a way with Iran over Syria, are they still considering both? How will they pay for it? Do we have enough military or will we need to instate the draft? Perhaps presidential candidiate Mitt Romney can recommend a cheaper war by outsourcing our military support items to other countries like the ones he's already helped outsource.

    July 8, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Dave Harris

    If Obama had started another war in Syria, he'd be complaining about that. There's no pleasing this guy, or his wretched party.

    July 8, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. works4me

    Yea, McCain... we really need another conflict like we needed Palin. Maybe you and Romney can chip in or better yet you can go over there and be a self proclaimed hero... again.
    We have enough of our own problems here. We had our Civil War, they can have theirs.

    July 8, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. John

    John McCain and the Republican sure would like to get America In another war In the Middle East, And they should don't seem to worry about sending are Kids over there. Why do the Republican think that America has got to get there nose In everything that going on around the world. We are not the world police ! The Republican keep saying the spending got to stop, But a another war with another Country will cost more than any thing President Obama want to do. And are kid won't be dying either.

    July 8, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mc Cain time for you to retire

    Many Military leaders deflecting from Assad , even his close family friends
    Mc Cain I understand you want to defeat Obama don’t spread lies US and world just watching the situation in Syria
    Some countries are funding Free Syrian army, some countries are helping refuges

    Sen. Mc Cain Syrian crises won’t help to elect Romney

    July 8, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. CBR

    How many places can we send troops? Perhaps Sen. McCain and Governor Romney would like to call for a draft so that we can up the number of soldiers. Their children will not be signing up for military duty nor will they be doing the fighting.

    Our men and women have been deployed three and four times to Iraq and Afghanistan. Do these men even know how these deployments have made family life difficult, mental and physical consequences for the soldiers, and have been extremely difficult for the children. Take a look around and see what war has done to so many men and women in this country. We are not doing all we can for them

    July 8, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Bootstomper

    Put this clown out to pasture.

    July 8, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. louis

    Wow another war monger that wants all our youth dying for the war machine, let some of these other countries step in they have armies to

    July 8, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Mike

    GOP-pers and their love for wars. McCain should tell alexithymic Mitt to have his 5 useless sons sign up. At least 1 out of 5 could go.

    July 8, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No, Mr. McCain, what's "shameful and disgraceful" that you stand along side Mitt Romney who dodged his military service during the Vietnam war four times while you were in a hell whole prison in Vietnam and others died, including my brother, that's what's "shameful and disgraceful".

    July 8, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. w l jones

    If some people see the after mat of a battle field where your fellow america fell they would think twice about sending more men in battle. Said enough.

    July 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Toby McDooogan

    Obama is very smart and that's what makes him dangerous to America. Obama despises the American way of life and wants all charity to be handled by the government through your tax dollars. Obama believes that he should decide what charities get money because Obama thinks you are stupid.

    July 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Donkey Party

    Shameful and disgraceful are two of the best words to describe McCain and the entire GOP.

    July 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    Meanwhile, here in the good ol' US of A, 50,000 AMERICANS die each year because they have little or no health care coverage. Where's all of McCain's phony outrage over that statistic? Also, who's going to foot the bill to intervene in Syria (a country that isn't real crazy about us)? According to the GOP, we're broke, remember?

    July 8, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. hermes96

    McCain can say what ever he wants too..He is not the one that has to make the decision about committing our military to a possible war with Russia, which has a sub base in Syria, and maybe Iran...which is testing anti-ship missiles off their coast....I am sure the fighter in McCain would volunteer to fly along on a midnight strike on Syrian Air Defenses, unlike the many Chicken Hawks in our Congress..that scream war, war, war from a safe distance..and just expect the young American Soldiers to charge in on their commands...Chicken Hawks should have to ride in the first wave..along with our soldiers...

    I respect McCain, he is a real vet, and spoke up about water boarding and torture, something he knows all to well..but I also remember his tough talk about the Russians and the oil deposits in the north pole regions..McCain if elected in 2008, was ready to go to war with Russia over the drilling rights to those oil deposits under the North Pole ice sheets...

    I for one, have little desire to restart the cold war of old...

    July 8, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Joan

    Mr. McCain, it was also shameful and disgusting when hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens were killed or maimed and their cities bombed in an illegal and unjustified war. Iraq had nothing to do with 911. It's only problem was it had oil and everyone knows that. Every day we hear reports about hundreds of people being killed in countless countries around the world. Should the US unilaterally take up every cause? How do you decide which ones to help? Ever since Mr. McCain sang "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" his motives are pretty clear. Heaven help the US and everyone else if the Republicans take control of the government again. The war hawks witll be soaring for sure. No-one wants to see people hurt but the solutions have to come from the international community not from one imperialistic appearing country. Mr. McCain's rhetoric and that of his political allies should be a wake up call for the voters this November.

    July 8, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Cheeryble

    Why oh why is anyone paying attention to this man whose limited intellect is as clear as the fact he chose Palin for VP and never made the rank his father and grandfather did.
    He's like a child who thinks a desired outcome is always possible. Like a child he is often visibly angry.
    He should follow the advice of Another prisoner, Vice Admiral Stockdale, who follows the Stoic philosophy which explains that things are not always as we would wish, and it is our reaction to life which counts.
    In the meantime he continues to own and spend far more than his share of the world's bounty.
    Cheeryble

    July 8, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. julesT

    Oh, please, the GOP would love nothing better than to get us into another war. Arming this country without oversight of the US will only end up in the enemies hands, and more atrosities will happen. You cannot just drop weapons on them; it takes clear strategic planning, which takes time. Yes more lives in the mean while will sadly be lost, but it is not wise to take action without extension planning, otherwise more harm than good will happen. Oh, but then the GOP would polnt and blame the president.

    July 8, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Two and the door for House Republicans!!!

    Ok, I am upset about how the people in Syria are having to deal with that crazy leader of theirs however, it is not the role of USA to police the world!! We have the United Nation ie...NATO for that!!! John McCain needs to sit down and shut up!! I swear I am so glad this dude did not become President!!!

    July 8, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. call ha ha

    This is how Republicans lose the arguments. When Bush kill Saddam, where were all of the republicans then. When they gave deals to Halburton where were all the Republicans. Vote out all Republicans and Tea Party People. Take the house and the senate. Shut down McChinLess dreams.

    July 8, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. SafeJourney

    McCain always wanting to go to war is shameful and disgraceful. Retire old man. You waring days are over

    July 8, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Ozzie

    Ask Sarah what she would do. Not sure if she, Rush, Trump, Hannity, or Rove shape your conscience.

    July 8, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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