June 20th, 2013
05:41 PM ET
8 years ago

McCain: Middle East about to 'erupt'

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, reiterated Thursday that the situation in Syria is growing more dire by the day, and he blasted the Obama administration for not doing enough to stop it.

"The Middle East is about to erupt," McCain said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "This is turning into a regional conflict."

The civil war has been spilling into Lebanon and Jordan and creating tension in other parts of the region, he added.

Last week the White House announced the U.S. would begin providing military support to Syrian rebel forces. McCain, who's long been an outspoken voice on the issue, suggested Syria needed all the help it can get. "It's an unfair fight," he said forcefully.

While the Obama administration has not detailed what military support it plans to give the rebels, Washington officials have told CNN that support includes arms, ammunition and, possibly, anti-tank weapons.

But McCain said that will hardly go far in helping the rebel forces fend off Bashar al-Assad's army.

"Light weapons do not do well against scud missiles and tanks, and it's just shameful," he told CNN's Jim Acosta.

Filed under: John McCain • Syria
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Gregory

    the united states is giving weapons to al qaeda proxie fighters. they are not rebels. america runs al qaeda.

    June 20, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    The Middle East has been erupting since the beginning of time. McCain can sell his fear in the time slot between Hannity and O'Reilly on Fox domestic terrorist network.

    June 20, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Truth Today

    The Middle East probably needs to erupt. Maybe then the Arab nations will fix their internal problems that they often internalize and convert into hatred for nations like the USA and Israel. They are their own worse enemies. This is so sad. They have so much potential for other things other than hatred and violence.

    June 20, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. Richard

    McCain may be correct on this point. If you check out the media in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and Iran there are all kinds of people calling of Jihad. However, I don't see what we can do about it. Whether we do or don't send arms it's not going to change this. There's documented shipments of weapon from the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Iran Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Iraq, and probably there are probably many others we don't know about. Most of the weapons are Russian and they include anti-air and anti-tank missiles.

    June 20, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. Brandi

    Of course it is....the US thinks it is the overreach of the world. Stir up sh*t and that's what happens.

    June 20, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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    June 20, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Evergreen

    Why can't other middle-east countries get involved to stop the violence. The US is egged on to get involved then is hated once we do.

    June 20, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Seems to be, it is better to let them kill each other, than to kill Americans.

    June 20, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. MaryM

    If the Middle East is about to erupt the Americans don't need to be anywhere near the Middle East

    June 20, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  10. dmf

    Obama administration has not rushed additional help to Syrian rebels . Rebel Gen Idris is not very credible , and caution is good strategy for Syria . What is important U. S. interest in Syria ? Why U. S. need to pick a new fight with Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon , open a new window of terrorists attacks against U. S. interests in Middle East countries . The U. S. has handful with enemies . Why add Hezbollah , and for whose sake ? Lebanon has never been U. S. enemy . President Obama should wait out Assad regime , this has become a prolonged hostage crises . How long Assad 's brutal regime would hold Syrian people without Civil amenities , Law and order and Civil society 's life , liberty and freedom under combat forces control , in communities across Syria . What victory would mean in Syria ? How there would be any peace , if the opposition is divided , have irreconcilable differences , and within themselves hostilities , and been unable to overthrow brutal Assad regime in last two years . The time will tell , the War on terrorism ( 2001 – to date ) is not over yet ! The U. S. does not have huge financial and other resources , economic growth , and expanding DOD 's war management capacity . The U. S. should stay out of r War Syria in other Middle East countries .

    June 20, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  11. America1st

    Did U just pick up a newspaper for the first time in 85 years? I spent an entire career in the Military tied to the desert. Guess what – the Middle East is ALWAYS about to erupt. Get us off oil for goodness sake, and then WHO CARES!!!

    June 20, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. daviddeandaMarine

    Aint dat da pot calling da kettle black. U political gansters started a war on terroist for there oil and now u criticize. criticize and criticize Mr. President for the mess u guys created. May God help Syria America and all the evil that exist cause when He comes it will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    June 21, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  13. cpetropo

    What's his deal? I simply can't believe he is too dense to understand that this is the continuation of a millenium old shia/sunni struggle in which the mulah-led shia are actually more aligned with our secular values than the wahabi-led sunni. He also can't possibly be doing this to protect Israel, since a wahabi-syria with sarin is far more dangerous to Israel than the rihanna-listening dictator dentist in damascus right now. So what is his issue? Why the push to join this fight in which we have no real stake? If it is not based on principle and is not based on a desire to protect israel, then I can only imagine that he must be in the pocket of the persian gulf monarchies. The organ-eating, child killing rebels must be getting his support on the basis of something.

    June 21, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  14. Anonymous

    obama needs to give the support they need . If not then everything else will be worse. Obama u need to do the right thing.

    June 21, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  15. art

    John McCain must be HEAVILY invested in Military Industries...the way he push to go to war everywhere. The guy is a tool, his time is about to run out!

    June 21, 2013 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  16. JOE B

    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, please stop complaining. If the US would stop providing aid to the Al Qaeda rebels trying to
    take over Syria, everything go back to the normal. We're the problem because we're helping the wrong people.

    June 21, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  17. Name Uche Agonsi

    McCain is now another name for trouble. That guy warped sense of judgement has become a loose cannon in US politics & we are getting much tired of watching out for what or who gets hit. I mean what does he think screeching for US involvement in Syria that can even start off a WW3. He still does get the fact that super powers war now is a no win event. Its relevant to realise that in US efforts to protect Israel & their other Middle East friends, they may end up destroying everybody there. The key word is CAUTION.

    June 21, 2013 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  18. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    If the USA sent Syria's rebels Stealth bombers and nuclear weapons, the MIC would benefit financially, and some jobs would be created for American workers. However, I'm a little concerned about what the rebels may decide to do after we help them overthrow the present government of Syria.

    June 21, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  19. dan

    We half to stop being the worlds police men !

    June 21, 2013 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  20. Barb

    I wish McCain would erupt, and then blow away.

    June 21, 2013 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  21. Alejandro hermida

    Its convinient 2 keep the middle in turmoil so that the black gold their could be exploited

    June 21, 2013 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  22. Alejandro hermida

    Its convinient 2 keep the middle in turmoil so that the black gold their could be exploited good server error my coment was checked found to be spot-on & omltted under the guise of server error

    June 21, 2013 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  23. M.A.P.

    Oh I see, the middle east is about to erupt, so we should send a whole bunch of weapons and soldiers there to fix it, right McCain? Jesus this old man must have memory loss, IRAQ ring any bells McCain!? Oh yeah sending troops and weapons in there has really cleaned up the problem, no? I mean, it's not like there are daily suicide bombers and ongoing conflict there either. No the middle east is not about to ERUPT! It is a constant slow motion eruption that the US and its huge army cannot fix.

    June 21, 2013 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  24. tellthetruth

    John, you are so far in some ones pocket you cannot see who is really getting hurt and who is making a profit selling weapons. Disclose who is paying you to take up a side.

    June 21, 2013 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  25. McShannon

    John McCain should know that at least 60% of Americans say the USA should not involve itself in Syria. We need legislation to provide initiative to work for those collecting welfare, we need to ascertain that that college student loans have a fair interest rate are you at all concerned that Congress accomplishes nothing. So much to do and Congress is doing nothing.

    June 21, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
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