McCain renews call for U.S. action in Syria, calling Obama strategy 'shameful'
July 22nd, 2012
11:02 AM ET
2 years ago

McCain renews call for U.S. action in Syria, calling Obama strategy 'shameful'

(CNN) - The escalation of violence in Syria can be directly tracked to the United States' unwillingness to get involved in the country, Sen. John McCain asserted Sunday.

"Because of our failure to assist, because of our failure to lead other willing nations in the region like Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and others, the situation has now deteriorated to a situation which is really, really very dangerous," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union."

The Arizona Republican's comments came as fierce clashes erupted on Sunday between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels in Aleppo, Syria's most populated city.

Opposition activists said an entire building collapsed in the city after being targeted by a tank belonging to al-Assad's regime. The latest violence comes after 16 months of bloodshed that began in March 2011, when a fierce government crackdown against protesters morphed into a nationwide uprising against the regime.

McCain, the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that the situation in Syria could be remedied but that it would be unnecessarily difficult given the lack of action by President Barack Obama's administration.

"It is retrievable, but it is far, far more difficult and complicated than if we had weighed in a long time ago," he told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

McCain said Obama and his administration have "relied on the goodwill of Russia" in their dealings with Syria, calling that approach "shameful."

"We keep pushing the reset button that Russia and China - and now we are bound by the decisions of the U.N. Security Council which are dictated by Russia and China," he said. "We need to get arms and equipment to them and establish a buffer zone."

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Filed under: John McCain • Syria • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Release those Romney tax returns John.

    July 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. beevee

    May be this old fool can foot the bill for another war, otherwise shut up and let the president handle it.

    July 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Bill

    If we had listened to this addled, old buffoon, we would be embroiled on the ground in Libya right now. Go away, John, while you still have most of your reputation intact.

    July 22, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. B.

    McCain is, and always will see War as the first solution regardless of the strategic ramifications because he is a bomber pilot that was raised in the Military mentality and cannot even imagine other long term solutions.
    Starting yet another War with NO long term understanding of the outcome beforehand is his mantra.

    Obama gets things done, like removing Bin Laden in a thoughtful but serious way that gets results without fanfare.

    McCain is all about arm waving and Saber-rattleing to start Wars without a plan!

    July 22, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Mike in Texas

    McCain would have us in untold conflicts had he been elected President. McCain Lindsay Grahmn and Liebermann have become outcasts. They are antiquated fossils of a cold war era.

    July 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. John

    Is getting America In another war Is all John McCain and the Republican think about. Than let there own Kids go there and do something about It. America Is not the World Police and John McCain what you are doing Id the one that shameful. All you Republican do Is complain that America Is broke ,that how In the hell you are plain on paying for this, after all Isnt this why American Is In Dept now. By you Republican having America fighting two wars that got us Trillion of dollar In dept and now you want to blame President Obama on. And If President would do something In Syria ,all you Republican would do Is Complain that he did and Complain on how much It Cost. No America should stay out of this one John McCain, let the Country over there In the Middle East do something If any body going to.

    July 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. rashad

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Hey McCain, you lost! STFU you bitter little twit. SHAME ONE YOU DO U EVEN KNEW ABOUT JOHN BACKGROUND GO BACK TO SCHOOL OR THE COUNTER U CAME FROM

    July 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Yah

    Gotta agree with him there. We should at least fire a few cruise missiles. It might not get the job done, but it's something.

    July 22, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. nicholas

    What is the use of un america is tired of endless wars that drain resources china is growing at the expense of american wars

    July 22, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. nicholas

    america is tired of endless wars that drain resources china is growing at the expense of american wars

    July 22, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Its a civil war in Syria, If I am not mistaken no other country got involved in our Civil War, Its something Syrians are going to have to do themselves, its very unfortunate, but I think we brcame a better country after our Civil War, hopefully they will too.

    July 22, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Brian Dodge

    McCain KNOWS global warming is real and poses enormous threats to our national security – google quadrennial defense review global warming – but he has joined forces with James Inhofe, the most prominent AGW denialist in the Senate, to block a Navy biofuel project to lessen their dependence on foreign oil. When Saudi Arabia falls to unrest from rising food prices driven by global warming, our Navy (and Air Force, Army, Marines, etc) will find themselves up the creek with only paddles instead of diesel.

    Why would anyone listen to a has been hero who would sell out the security of our country to curry favor with the right wing teapublican deniers?

    July 22, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Dave Harris

    You can be sure that if Obama had taken a more aggressive stance on this, Republicans would be denouncing him as reckless and dangerous. Nothing is too big or too small to be used as fodder for Republican partisan pandering.

    July 22, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. fofo

    Does McCain have amnesia? He lost, Obama won. Why can't he shut his mouth and go away?

    July 22, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Poor John McCain, always asked to be the spokesman on military matters because other than AWOL GW Bush, he's the only one who's served. The rest are Chickenhawks .... including Mittens, who did everything in his power to AVOID SERVICE.

    What's sad is how McCain has sold his soul for the sake of political standing in his party, sacrificing his integrity at every turn. You'd think he was made of sterner stuff, given he survived 5+ years in a North Viet Nam prison camp ...

    July 22, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. hawkny

    Bush has nearly bankrupt the United States treasury with two jingoistic wars during the last decade. McCain wants to finish the job.

    Move to Mexico, John, please.

    July 22, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Yah: "Gotta agree with him there. We should at least fire a few cruise missiles. It might not get the job done, but it's something."

    Really? When was the last time you or McCain were at a national security briefing? You do realize that Russia and China have a stake in Syria, and that directly attacking Syria would provoke a response from those two countries, both of which has huge armies and nuclear capabilities?

    No wonder you support McCain; you are a FOOL.

    July 22, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Norma Vessels

    John McCain .. leave our president alone. He knows what he's doing. We don't want to go into another war! We're
    sick of death, and killing and people starving, and absolutely no money to pay for it anyway!

    July 22, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. mm

    You want another war , then YOU pull out your pocket book and gather all your family to fight it! a man who does not even know how many houses he owns

    July 22, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Madrep1

    I always liked John McCain but he is dead wrong on this issue. We need to quit meddling in other country's affairs, bring our troops home and guard our own borders. We can't even control our own messes here let alone become involved with other Nations that could careless about us,

    July 22, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Lack of Logic!

    Everyone acknowledges the fiscal mess George W Bush left this country in by entering wars without paying for them and now McCain wants us to go further in debt and lose more Young American lives!

    July 22, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. jack johnson

    If Congress or the Republicians want to do something then they should vote on declaring war (Then it's on their head)!

    July 22, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. King

    exactly what alquida said, "we cannot defea.lt them militarily but we can do it financially ". every one knows tepubs poliies,and that is war, and spend money for it. then they shout budget deficit and point fingers at the president. I wonder how Much taxes will be be cut to fight this one.

    July 22, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. bcrunner

    Syria's geographic position makes it very different than other countries. If we try to help, all they need to do is send some missiles over to Israel and we will be in an all out war. It's very different from other middle eastern countries or North African countries. The Arab nations need to do more but even they can see this is different. Enough war. McCain is out of line here.. He has done only one thing right as far as I am concerned since 2000.. and that's condemning Michelle Bachman and her accusations of Hillary Clinton's assistant as somehow being involved with the Muslim Brotherhood.... nothing else.

    July 22, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Yawn. McCain still thinks he's relevant.

    July 22, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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