July 13th, 2014
11:07 AM ET
7 years ago

McCain: Mideast violence ‘might be more dangerous than any time in the past’

Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain said Sunday the violence roiling the Middle East has likely never been worse, as rockets fall in Israel and Gaza, residents flee, warning sirens blare and the death toll rises.

"I would argue that given conditions in the Middle East, this might be more dangerous than any time in the past," the Arizona Republican told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union." "Not only conditions domestically, within Israel, but also the fact that Egypt is really not playing the role they traditionally have, countries like Qatar and others that could play a role."

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McCain, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked what the U.S. role should be, amid renewed tensions between Israel and Palestinian militants.

"We obviously want to do what we can to bring an end to this conflict," he said. Yet, he added, "It's very important to understand: There's no moral equivalency here. Israel is being attacked by hundreds of rockets. Their people, a third of their population, has got about a 60-second warning."

"Picture the United States of America with a country contiguous to ours, that we're being subjected to rocket attacks. So the restraint of the Israelis, in my view, is admirable."

Israeli forces crossed into Gaza overnight, raiding a missile launching site, an Israeli military source said. It's Israel's first public acknowledgment of entering Gaza during the current conflict.

And on Sunday, Israel warned residents of Northern Gaza to leave their homes, signaling that more strikes are imminent. According to Israel, its forces have struck 1,320 "terror targets" across Gaza, including 735 concealed rocket launchers. The Gaza Health Ministry said the death toll in Gaza reached 168, with over 1,100 injured.

McCain noted the breakdown of Israeli and Palestinian talks and the lack of an effective broker for peace and added, "The United States’ influence has never been less than it is today. And we're seeing the results of that."

–CNN's Michael Schwartz, Salma Abdelaziz and Josh Levs contributed to this story


Filed under: Gaza • Israel • John McCain • Palestine • State of the Union
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Gary

    And when asked about Perry and Paul. McCain started bashing President Obama.
    Now try and focus John, can you ever give a straight answer to anything other than bashing President Obama?
    The worst VA's in America are in your state and you don't know??
    It's Sunday, John McCain is on Candy's show while the rest of America is in church thanking God we didn't elect this looser.

    July 13, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. kool aid man

    So he wants to get us involved, I'm shocked! Just another war monger, nothing to see here folks, move along

    July 13, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. vikingwoman

    Yes it's terrible, sickening, horrid, but these nations have lived in a war zone, off & on as long as I can remember! This dude & Guvnah Goodhair are simply trying to drum up interest for the US to go back to war! Scare tactics- check, sympathy vote- check! In the meantime our soldiers,who made it back alive are languishing on waiting lists, because Congress has cut the budget for the VA! Case for war made-I think Not!!

    July 13, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. kool aid man

    He gave the standard gop response, its Obama's fault. How frigging stupid do you have to be to believe their BS at this point? Today on fox news, they were talking about the keystone, the had a "fox facts" fact, the keystone will reduce our oil dependency, absolute lie, and its a fox fact, I'm still amazed people watch this, and believe them. Explain to me how Canadian oil, 100% of which goes onto tankers, and shipped overseas, ALL of it how does that help us, we get the environmental risks, they get the profits, why does the gop push this with lies, because you believe it and of course the Koch brothers making $100,000,000,000 off the land they bought, why else would we have 4 or 5 surveys telling the same lie, its completely safe, yeah right, I know better, the small spill in Kalamazoo rivet was devastating, over five years later, and there are large stretches that are still dead, no wildlife, no nothing, that's nothing compared to what we will be stuck with. They lie to you about this because the truth is, this offers us nothing but disaster, not if, but when, look at the number of spills we have with the much less toxic materials, wake up, the Koch brothers are paying to have the gop spread these lies, just like obamacare, total horse hockey.

    July 13, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. luke, AZ

    I wonder if the invasion of Iraq had anything to do with the increased tensions in the middle east. Thank the Republican party for the dysfunction of our foreign policies.

    July 13, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. an Iowan

    Mideast violence at an all time high? All the more reason to stay out of it, right Senator?

    July 13, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. kool aid man

    Let's just invade, Iraq, again, Iran, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, yup, that's the ticket, don't worry about the costs, deficits don't matter, and more of the tax cuts they just gave to the rich, dejavu, I'm sure it will work this time. Sad truth is, it did work the way they wanted it, just not for you and me, George, Cheney and company did just fine, no wonder they both said they'd do it again, even after they know many figured it out, they're not in jail, and some programs are actually bold enough to ask dick his opinion on it now, you have to be completely naive, or just dumb to want them in power, just crazy.

    July 13, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Chris..E.al

    Democrats dont care or seem to have forgot the importance of America on the world stage throughout history . They think its not as important now as it has been in the past . Hush little baby dont say a word nanny gona buy you a mocking bird .

    July 13, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Lizzie

    And when asked about Perry and Paul. McCain started bashing President Obama.
    - when is President Obama quit bashing the republicans.

    July 13, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Lizzie

    kool aid man, an Iowan, he also said WITHOUT boots on the ground, but that would not fit into your narrative.

    July 13, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Jerry Fletcher

    Where's the wreckage? Should we have seen something by now? We have taken it, why, the new technology that the team had, passing light through solid objects? What other potential applications did we see the need to essentially take 237 lives, even if they don't kill them, they can never go home. The planes last known path, puts it heading to Diego Garcia, they used the least reputable show to dismiss the text from the American man's I phone, an exif file, which is admissible in u.s. court system? The file can be corrupted, but not without a very visible finger print . They have hacked journalist accounts, that is not hard to believe with recent revelations, and threats ( men in black). Its very scary if you ask me, they immediately dismissed a sighting over the Maldives, which is right between the real last radar tracking, and the military base. We have advanced radar there, yet it seen nothing? The real truth will likely never be known, pay attention, that's a real cover up.

    July 13, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Kingregis

    Silly old man.

    July 13, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Cory111

    I watched McCain this morning and I do believe after hearing him he has all of the answer to the Middle East situation. So we need to form a committee with him and Issa and send them over there to resolve this issue. They are to stay there until the matter is completely resolved.

    July 13, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Cory111

    I noticed John mentioned that about $85 billion dollars is made every year for the Cartel in the drug business. It's as if he was saying, "Shame on you for sells drugs to our people." My goodness John, considering our country is the Cartels best customer isn't that to be accepted?
    No one talks about the drug pandemic within our borders, it's always the Cartels that are the problem. Mexico's biggest problem is the United States.

    July 13, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. kool aid man

    Lizzie, we'll be welcomed as liberator's, we'll be done in six weeks, mission accomplished, any of that BS sound familiar.

    July 13, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. kool aid man

    Are you seriously suggesting that the gop cares about us? Then why were they more than willing yi send patriots young men and women, to die for a war, that they knowingly lied to all of Congress, to go to war, its just a coincidence that dick and George got filthy rich in the process, I can only hope they never care about me and mine.

    July 13, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Stuffitu

    He is so right, we need a person in the presidency who has more experience in life than tacking SEIU signs to phone pole and voting present in the Senate.

    July 13, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Wes

    obama is a disaster.

    July 13, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Let's see, who started all of this slippery slope to begin with. Oh yea, a republican.

    July 13, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |

    Right. Who cares?

    July 13, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    Worry about within USA illegal, visa violators, than Middle East. Deport all these India trash. Watch out I-94. Don't give green cards just like pan cakes. People are coming from ISIS from India too. Watch out.

    July 13, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. g

    Mccain does his best to fuel the fire by arming Terrorist

    July 13, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. don in albuquerque

    You apparently think that the United States image is like some old John Wayne movie; flags waving, good hearted marines, mom, apple pie, when in fact we have not ridden off into the sunset wearing a white hat in many, many, many, years. Our image to most of the world is one that used to be known as the Ugly American, to make it a little easier to swallow we now call it American Exceptionaliism. One of the older ones that comes to mind is when we needlessly dropped two atomic bombs on two Japanese cities. We proudly brought death and destruction and horror down upon the heads of women, children, and the elderly. There were no troop movements going on in either city, and Japan was months if not weeks or days from surrender. It just continues from there right up to the horrid decision to invade Iraq for no real reason. A great deal of the world does not have such a stellar view of us and have not for a very long time. Ask just about any foreign power how much they adore the CIA. If you are talking about World Powers, there really are not any right now except for WalMart. Our appearance to the world is important, but it is one we have sought to tarnish for decades, and decades, and decades. And you will not improve it by continuing to rain down death on anybody.

    July 13, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Paul asks a perfectly valid question as to what constitutes a real threat to American interests throughout the world. Its not a question that deserves to be mocked, then used as an excuse to bash the President. Neither Perry, nor McCain, or anyone else is there to articulate a real standard by which our country should get involved in an overseas crisis beyond agreeing that, whatever happens its Obama's fault. The lack of leadership McCain describes is exemplified by his own party's inability to articulate what it stands for. All the program that have landed Obama in trouble, the NSA, the drone attacks, the gathering of metadata, were programs that had the complete blessing of the GOP when they were able to call the shots. Can anyone point to any poll that suggest deploying American troops to any place that the RNC determines is a threat is a display of alternate ideas? No way. Has Obama been flawless? No, but I don't expect or demand perfection. I do expect the Opposition to offer alternatives, but to actively undermine a president simply because they won't accept the results of his reelection is a sad statement on how sick and extreme the GOP has become.

    July 13, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. rs

    Mr. McCain has clearly forgotten the Iraqi civil war Bush and the neocons set off by taking down Iraq- that essentially lead to everything we see happening in the Middle East today.
    Go back to sleep Senator, we'll wake you for your next election.

    July 13, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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