McCain renews call for U.S. action in Syria, calling Obama strategy 'shameful'
July 22nd, 2012
11:02 AM ET
10 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."


Israel re-enters focus ahead of Romney trip

Romney trip to highlight foreign policy flashpoints

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

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

    And what, exactly, is Saudi Arabia willing to put up, John? THEY want us to invade? Really?

    July 22, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. dot

    Well now we know just what the GOP is gona done if Mitt win. He will dance to every tune they play. just as like GW an GHW. look at the people he have around him. And now John .Stop votting for these old fools they are the ones holdding us back. Young People tell them you wont go kill another person just for their oil.

    July 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Steve

    We need to stay out! There are ample resources flowing to the opposition frm us and other, sympathetic (middle eastern countries) countries. We just got out of Iraq. We are trying to get out of Afghanistan. We need a physical, psychological and financial vacation from these stupid, knee jerk decisions to go to war. McCain needs to shut up.
    The US spends 40% of world wide spending for defense. We spend more than the next seventeen largest western economies, far more than the next two largest countries (Russia and China).

    July 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. CaliforniaBC

    And if Obama DID send or lend assistance the GOP would jump all over him for starting another war.

    July 22, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Name silver

    war is not the solution

    July 22, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. AgeofInsanity

    Apparently the Republicans with McCain always in the lead believe America must be in a war somewhere 24X7X365. The world community has declared this a civil war. Have we not learned anything from Viet Nam? That was also a civil war. We chose a side. The only problem was we chose the wrong side. Over 58,000 Americans died in that war with the result being the North Vietnamese eventually won.

    Are we to make another huge mistake in Syria. Civil wars are horrible events. Many on both sides will die and eventually one side will win. Best to leave it to the Syrians to sort it out for themselves. Picking sides in a civil war is a tricky business.

    t is way past time for America to begin addressing our own problems which there are plenty. Everywhere one one looks cities, infrastructure, institutions are crumbling; the economy is struggling to recover. Our adversaries are gaining advantage while we take our eyes of the ball here at home.

    July 22, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    He whined and complained that we weren't taking action in Libya and then when Obama did take action, he complained that we shouldn't be intervening. McCain is still POed that he got clobbered in the last election.

    July 22, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Wyobob

    Who should we support? The government or the rebels that are backed by al queda and the taliban.
    Mccain is saying we should go to syria, and then he and the rest of the republicans will be yelling about Obama putting troops in harms way.

    July 22, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. CAWinMD

    The shame belongs on McCain's views, not Obama's. There is one vital statistic that the media keeps forgetting to put into stories to put this into context - a plurality of Syrians still support Assad. The US cannot just go in and remove Assad in that environment. McCain knows that, but keeps running his mouth anyway because he wants to knock down Obama's advantage in handling foreign policy compared to Romney. That he would play those kinds of games with the people of Syria is what is truly shameful.

    July 22, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. GonzoinHouston

    What's different about Syria is the active support for Assad by China and Russia. The Russians have a major naval base in Syria. If we take unilateral action, they might as well. China will not sit idly by either. Then there's the matter of the condition of our own military forces. If only we hadn't invaded Iraq,,,,,

    July 22, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. drake mallard

    When the killing stops in one place, it starts in another, but that's okay... 'cause you're killing for your country. But it ain't your country who asks you, it's a few men up top who want it. Old men start it, young men fight it, nobody wins, everybody in the middle dies... and nobody tells the truth!

    July 22, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Nater

    When we do get involved members of the GOP attack the presidents actions. When we don't get involved members of the GOP attack the lack action by the president. In the end no matter what the president's decision; it will be wrong in the eyes of the GOP.

    July 22, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Andrew

    McCain, how will you pay for this new war?

    July 22, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Drew

    I can't believe a Senator of our government doesn't understand the issues, (1. Russia and China are two of the five veto nations in NATO. Their dealings with Syria will not allow the overthrow of the existing government. (2. We can not afford another war, John? Have you seen the economy lately, who's paying for this proposed intervention?(3. The rebels are muslim extremists we can not support them. (4. I can't speak for the whole country but I am not in favor of another war!!

    July 22, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Desmond , a Canadian

    From being a respected statesman, McCain is becoming increasingly disappointing with his cheap shots on behalf of GOP propaganda. VERY SAD!

    July 22, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Because of his lack of common sense he has lost the respect from most of America. He babbles now instead of thinking things out. It is a shame but its time for him to head home and stay more interviews John

    July 22, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. jake

    typical...shoot first, ask questions later. this is not an american lead situation...this is a civil war raging not because of world inaction but because of russia and china's economic profit from this. the more the fighting continues the more these two idiotic nations profit from it. you want an american lead solution to this war you'll have to wait until this election is over. then watch what happens.

    July 22, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    and if President Obama got involved in Syria like he did Libya the right wing would start whining again so what is the point? Besides the US can not police the world, especially when we have enough to deal with like wackjobs getting firearms and shooting up innocent people.

    July 22, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. The Bob

    One word concerning McCain's judgement – – – P A L I N.

    July 22, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    McCain needs to understand that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE and the Syrian people must fight and die for their own Freedom otherwise they will never be Free.

    July 22, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. drake mallard

    I'll be around. Where there's a rich white guy in need of another tax break, I'll be there. Wherever there's a brain dead woman in need of expensive life support her husband doesn't want, I'll be there. Wherever there's a country that needs invading for reasons that don't quite pan out, I'll be there. the GOP

    July 22, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. CBR

    Why is Sen. McCain calling for this intervention? We need to carefully plan any involvement in any country. President Bush got us into Iraq and Afghanistan and we are too involved to just declare victory and run. That ploy will not work. Our troops are already serving in two countries and they have to keep deploying time after time. Where will we get the troops to intervene in Syria?

    This is a civil war and we need to find other ways to intervene without using troops. We might try bringing the two sides together but they may just refuse. Both sides are determined top win.

    July 22, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Linda

    Well if Romney gets elected you can bet your sweet butt that we will be involved in Syria, Iran, North Korea and we will be deeper in debt than we are now and there will be less jobs unless you want to join the military, the poor and the middle class that provide our sons and daughters, and grandchildren, fathers, mothers, wifes and husband will be grieving over a lot more dead military personal......but the GOP the rich have always found a way out of fighting for their country and keeping their kids out of fighting for this country all they can do is complain that their constitutional rights are being taken away and how bad this President is getting this country into so much debt....all the while they call themselves Patriotic......

    July 22, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    WARS ARE MCCAIN'S "PROXY FIGHT" AGAINST OBAMA because he ain't got nothing else to fight with.

    July 22, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Phil Thomas

    The truth is we have two wars were dealing with, Mcain is an idiot we can't afford more conflict and our country and millatary families have endured enough. There are several super powers who can step in and are not, there's a reason. Look I wish we could help but the two wars George Dubs started kind of make it so we can't

    July 22, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7