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

    McCain thinks we should bomb Iran. Next.

    July 23, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Ronda in Houston,TX

    John McCain is a bitter old man who needs to retire and enjoy his family in AZ. He doesn't do the US any good by wanting to inject the US into everyone else's fight around the world. Thank goodness he is not the POTUS.

    July 23, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. John

    Must be losing money on his military / industrial stocks.

    July 23, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    If this old greedy crank had been elected, we'd be "smart" bombing Tehran by now and possibly invading that country, and would be heading towards 200,000 troops in Afghan quagmire. Obama is playing Syria exactly right.

    July 23, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Alex in NJ

    John McCain is a good guy but he is very misguided. America needs to stop being the world police. It is costing us lives, money and freedom. Non-interventionism is not isolationism. Unfortunately, the Neo-Conservative interventionists have a near monopoly on both parties. Luckily, non-interventionism is starting to make a comeback within certain circles of the GOP. Hopefully we will eventually employ a responsible, restrained, non-interventionist foreign policy. Free trade will all, entangling alliances with none.

    July 23, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Chuk

    Here's a plan: put McCain on a fighter jet and send him into Syria to fight. That warmonger will get enough fighting then.
    McCain has never seen a war he doesn't want to fight. It'd be nice to have it all, but that's not possible. Those who are advocating getting into every conflict also want to do so at no cost. They also want "limited government". In other words, eat you cake and have it too. Yeah, right.

    July 23, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. DougB

    Yeah, a non-allied country is once again NOT asking us to get involved in their affairs, and this idiot is criticizing our elected officials for not spending money we don't have to "straighten them out" against their will. Sounds familiar, sadly. The GOP's dogmatic rendition of being their "brother's keeper" is getting old, and I wish they'd change their tune.

    The funny thing to me is that there are so many countries out there that have issues, and for some reason, only the ones with oil are on the "lets help them out even when they don't want it" list. Well, that and the obvious un-Christian attitude represented in so many of their Christian backed philosophies. Well, okay, and their bizarre attempts to spend money on wars but deny any programs that might help our own economy. Then again, I get chuckles over their definition of "tax increase", in contrast to the "revenue increase" associated with "non-tax" programs. Now that I think about it, the whole GOP mind set is a bit funny to me. Then why am I not laughing? It must be because these are serious issues and I'm afraid that they just might convince enough people to suspend reality and vote republican on the next election – and that would *not* be funny.

    July 23, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Sarah

    So he wants to march off half-cocked into a civil war without the approval or support of the UN Security Council.

    Thank god this man didn't win in 2008!

    July 23, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. kevin

    This guy makes B1 Bob look like a pacifist.

    July 23, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. ObamaJoe

    Come on ,,,,,,,,,,,,Mc,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Send your Sara Palin to Syria to deal with it ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Be realistic,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,we don't want to waste our money in Syria for the goodness of nothing,,,,,,,,,,,,

    if we had weighed in a long time ago,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,well we kill some other people ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you can not stop killing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,dude,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    GOD had weighed in a long time ago with Noah's Ark and flood,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Come on,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you know it did not work,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    July 23, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Will

    I'm sure McCain will be telling his daughter to go to the recruiting office the day that war starts?

    July 23, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. snowdogg

    "McCain has never seen a war he doesn't want to fight."

    Yeah, that.

    July 23, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. jpmichigan

    I wish we would just pull all our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, also stop giving money to them. Afghanistan supplies 70% of all the heroin used in the United States. What happens to the money from drug sales? Iraq has it's own oil fields. What happens to the money from the sale of oil? Those two countries have been fighting within them selves for thousands of years, do you think it will stop if we are gone. Pakistan hates the western nations, but love their money. Stop suppling to nations that disrespect Americans and our democracy.

    July 23, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Me

    That is all they care about! WAR WAR WAR, meanwhile record number joblessness, homelessness, foodlessness...they don't give a rats butt about America!

    July 23, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Chuk

    Before anyone have any illusion that McCain is worried about the effect of war on "freedom fighters", why doesn't he start by challenging his party from obstructing gun control laws. A hand can't wash itself. Democrats have tried to do something about gun control only to be attacked as anti-second amendment by Republicans. So McCain start by asking your party to move on gun control and not make it a political issue by hiding under the 2nd amendment. Do that and you'd impress me instead of saying crap about Syria.

    July 23, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Pete

    McCain and his war mongering politics,so ya want intervention in Syria right, just like the Vietnam war,you're getting old retire John,Arizonas Brewer is waiting for ya there.Every time he speaks he has to move that gimp arm of his to show his injured hero limb,but if ya know the true facts he got it from the jet crash he got himself into,right John!!Just more political postering from the extreme right,it'll never end until ya throw all these republican bums out after November,won't it be sweet!!

    July 23, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. yogi

    Typical GOP solution to a problem which is extremely complex: War! The republicans have an obscene, romantic view of military force, the only solution they can come up with since they lack any sense of creative, intelligent, diplomatic ways. It is this barbaric "thinking" that led us to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans prefer to keep civilization in reverse on many levels.

    July 23, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. Time for him to go

    McCain always looks at things as a past POW, and apparently feels that any "enemy" should suffer militarily. McCain thinks killing 100,000 to get 1 out of power is a good exchange.

    July 23, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. John

    John, forget it. Just shut up. When you were running for POTUS you could not find Iran on a map, said Iraq abutted Afghanistan. On live TV you had to have Joe Liberman lean in to whisper in your ear just who were the various parties involved in Iraq. You know, that place you'd like to be for 100 years while you bom-bom-bombed Iran. Just STFU already. You are no military expert. Your rants make me think my grandkids could wipe you up from checkers to chess. I myself would happily play you for money-ANY game of strategy, your choice. Let's make it for lots of money.

    July 23, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. georgiamoney

    no matter what the president says , these people will undermine him, if he does nothing its wrong and if he does something , they will claim its wrong as well, no matter what the president does they will say the opposite, you know a close study of roman politics just before the rise of ceaser followed a very similar course, with such severe ideological divisions, and grabs for power, maybe we need a ceaser- bring some order to this chaos, i nominate myself,

    " paid for by the order out of chaos foundation and the elect me for ceaser 2012 campain"

    i endorse this message

    July 23, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Learntoread

    this foreign policy game is pretty tough, eh? do we intervene? do we bomb? do we engage with Nato? do we watch from the sidelines? do we have money for these actions? are we nation builders or humanitarians? what point do we police the entire world w/o any help from the others so called super powers? essentially the republicans want to cut taxes on the rich but get involved in every nations civil wars–they want less government but of course want to tell women and gays what to, tough job being POTUS-how can you possibly keep the hypocrites happy?

    July 23, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. rs

    And so, Mr. McCain, given the blockage of the U.N. Security Council voyes by Russia and China (muche the way the GOP blocks votes in the U.S. Senate, what do you think the U.S. should do? Would the GOP support that, or when implemented by Mr. Obam will your party flip-flop (again, and again, and...).

    get it?

    July 23, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. Rob in MO

    BY all means, let's invade Syria – that worked so well in Iraq.

    July 23, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What's ashame is John McCain once again is using what's going in Syria as a "Proxy" fight against President Obama because he has nothing left to fight with. Mr. McCain needs to get over it, he lost to Obama and Americans don't want another war.

    July 23, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Senator, please remember the last time we ventured into an ill-advised mission during a civil war. You may remember that you were hosted by the government that ended up winning for a number of years before you came home.

    July 23, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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