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."


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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. Ex-GOP Con

    We had our civil war and our stronger because of it. What do you think the outcome would have been for us if foreign nations came in and took sides.The Syrians need to win this on their own in order to appreciate the democracy they are fighting for.

    July 22, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Thomas

    What we did in Vietnam was shamfull !

    John , take some Geritol and go watch a movie.

    July 23, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. Nietodarwin

    McCain is the last decent republican left in the whole nut job mess of them. Still, I'll stick with this president. (I wish McCain were running against Obama again, Romney winning will be worse for this country than Bush.) Syria is a sad situation, but not every nation in the "Arab spring" can get it all done in one year.

    July 23, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Anne P

    There goes old McCain wanting to pick another war? Hey, we're still trying to pay for the unfunded two wars that you got us into 10 yrs. ago! Is that the only GOP solution? Start wars and have no way to pay for them and then blame the Dems for the economy? Priceless! Not only that, if Obama did take action, they'd nail him for starting another war. Is this transparent enough all you GOPers? No wars without a war tax going forward!

    July 23, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. paulcat

    McCain take one step forward and two steps backward. Shame on you.

    July 23, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. ohio voter

    i used to think McCain was almost legendary. I even went door to door for him in 2000. I still admire
    him for some things, but oh what a few years can change. One one hand i thought it was great how
    he called Bachman out last week and on the other hand I think it is shameful of him to pounce on Obama
    for every little thing he does or does not do. Obama cannot do anything to make this extreme(and yes
    they are extreme today!) GOP happy. If he goes into syria they say shameful, if he stays out they say shameful,
    -he puts a job bill together and they say shameful, they refuse to pass it and they say it's all Obama's fault.
    I say from what i've seen since their glorious election in 2010 they have been absolutely shameful. There are many
    things they should call shameful within their own country, much of it of which they are the creators.
    I really do like a few things about you McCain but your party is the one that is shameful. Talk to Ryan,
    Bachmann, Boehner, and a few others-that's where your attention is needed today.

    July 23, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. GwynniesPapa

    Sarah Palin is the last example of Sen John McCains judgement that I recall. I'm sure willard would be listening to ya Sir and starting yet another war. I will never disrespect your history as a war hero I am a little worried about how clearly you are thinking since the sarah thing. Please no more war hearos for us right now.

    July 23, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. DocHollywood

    Oh yes. Two unfunded wars just aren't enough for those republicans. After all, most likely it won't be any politician's son or daughter going over there. So what if we lose a few more soldiers in a land that has no love or respect for us and our values? At least it will help out those mega corporations that live off of death and destruction. Perhaps we can even "lose" another 8 billion in funds over there.

    July 23, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. snowdogg

    "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."

    I once respected this old WAR HAWK but now... give it a rest John... you're too eager to involve US forces in everything!

    July 23, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    McCain is wrong. President Obama is trying to keep America out of a needless war. President Bush was duped by neoconservatives, many whom now advise Romney, into the war against Iraq. Shameless are the neoconservatives who hope to shape a new world order with the blood of American soldiers.

    July 23, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. MrRickinNH

    Wonder who's money this gas bag is planning on spending... we have no business meddling in the workings of another sovereign nation. U would think our leaders would have learned that lesson!

    July 23, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Paula K

    Again, how are we going to pay for this war? The GOP is saying they want to cut the debt, but if we go and get involved in another war, the debt will just get bigger and bigger and it will be Obama's fault. Think before you shoot!

    July 23, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I thought that we were broke and needed to stop spending?

    July 23, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. TheTraveler

    Bah. If McCain and some of the other hawks had their way, we'd be right back in the thick of it. Criminy, Iraq still hasn't recovered from the mess Bush started and what do you think the "result" would be in Syria?

    If we need to intervene in Syria, use the Libya model and be a participant, not an instigator.

    July 23, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. AZ Editor

    So it is Obama's fault Syria is in civil war.... John McCain

    July 23, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. SCOTO

    No John, picking an nincompoop for your VP after 20 minutes of interview who could have become President of this country......... thats shameful.

    July 23, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Fritz

    He'd be in front leading the lynch mob if Obama rushed in there guns ablaze. Go retire already old man, your own party doesn't even respect you.
    Aren't you another conservative bitching about the expensive budget? And then you'd like to commit us to another combat theater? Either jack up the taxes and win all the wars, or cut the budget and bring em home; you don't get both cowboy.

    July 23, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. levi

    There is no one stopping Mr McCain from donating some of his millions to the rebels. Just don't send my tax money. This is their fight, Not ours!

    July 23, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. ART

    I think its shameful that you would want to endanger more American lives for that god forsaken place. It is not our place to get involved in every conflict. It was and still is shameful that you released that blight that is Sarash Palin apon the American people.

    July 23, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Alfuc

    Mr.McCain, you are done! Please keep your mouth shut and go away. We don't another war!

    July 23, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Larry

    It is understandable why Mr. McCain finished fifth from the bottom of his class at Navy, probably due to math. He can't seem to figure out the answer to this problem:

    If we send no Americans to syria, how many of those Americans will die? Hint: don't ask george bush for help on this problem.

    July 23, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. saldunn

    War monger always worrying about war in other countries. Maybe he should worry about what going on in the USA and his district instead looking to create a war that we can not pay for again. He's "shamful"

    July 23, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. mike

    he wants another war...AGAIN! Give it up John!

    July 23, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Erik in Houston, TX

    Not another war, McCain. Look what the stupid wars over the last decade have done to our economy as well as the needless deaths. Please retire and play with toy soldiers.

    July 23, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Sacmar

    Whose money is McCain going to use to pay for this? His? Last time I checked, we as a nation are broke. We need to stay out of everyone else's business and deal with our own.

    July 23, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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