Another Sunday, another gazillionth appearance by Sen. John McCain on a Sunday show. And he's calling for more military intervention by the United States in Syria. What a shock. Can anyone think of a time this man was ever calling for restraint, instead of beating the war drums at every opportunity?
Even House Speaker John Boehner said he disagrees with McCain earlier this week: Boehner Sides With Obama Over McCain On Syria Intervention:
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner (OH) said his positions on whether or not to intervene militarily in Syria were closer to the Obama administration’s than to fellow Congressional Republicans.
While the Obama administration has reportedly given some support to regional allies’ efforts to arm rebels, as well as some other support, the U.S. has eschewed direct military involvement in the intensifying civil war. Right-wing hawks in Congress, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), have called on the administration to directly arm rebels and even carry out U.S. air strikes. [...]
Boehners position puts him in line with U.S. public opinion. A CNN poll last month found that, overall, six in ten Americans don’t want to get militarily involved in the civil war. According to those results, Boehner is also in line with adherents of his own party. 58 percent of Republicans agreed that the U.S. shouldn’t get involved.
That didn't deter McCain one iota: McCain blasts Obama handling of Syria, warns of chemical weapons threat:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted the Obama administration Sunday for failing to do more to help rebel fighters in Syria.
McCain urged the president to move swiftly to provide U.S. arms and equipment to rebels.
“We need to get some equipment to them, we need to establish a buffer zone,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union”.
He warned the Obama administration’s decision not to intervene more actively could allow Hezbollah to acquire chemical weapons or lead to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad using such weapons against his own people.
He said Israeli security officials are particularly concerned about the prospect of Hezbollah obtaining chemical weapons as a result of the conflict.
Full transcript below the fold.
CROWLEY: Let me move you first overseas and talk to you about Syria, this has obviously been a subject you have been heavily involved in, pushing for more U.S. action, more U.S. leadership, not boots on the ground, but getting some help to these rebels.
I want to play something that Leon Panetta said this week for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The violence there has only gotten worse and the loss of lives has only increased, which tells us that this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: Really? Is that it? I hate to be sarcastic, but 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.
We now have...
CROWLEY: It is irretrievable?
MCCAIN: Well, I think it is retrievable, but I think it is far, far more complicated and difficult than if we had weighed in a long time ago. More al Qaeda fighters, media reports that chemical weapons are being moved around, Israel being very concerned about some of those chemical weapons reaching Hezbollah, the -- not to mention the massacre of 17,000, 18,000 people, while this administration has relied on the goodwill of Russia -- and the United Nations Security Council, relied on Russia for a long period of time that they would take Bashar al-Assad to Russia.
It has been shameful. It is shameful. And we need to -- and now the latest reports are that they are going to help, but they are not going to provide weapons. They want other countries to do that.
These are helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery that are slaughtering people, and now there is a risk, and I'm not saying it is going to happen, a risk that in his desperation, Bashar al-Assad might use those chemical weapons, and -- but clearly the Israelis see this as a serious threat, because the situation has gone on and on and on. More extremists have come into the fight, the more difficulty there will be after this is over.
CROWLEY: But, you know, we kind of are where we are where we are. So like as of right now, we are still sort of working through the U.N. or trying to work through the U.N., and you laugh, I mean, is...
MCCAIN: How many times...
CROWLEY: Do you just consider...
MCCAIN: How many times do we have to try that? Kofi Annan's plan has been an abject failure, we keep supporting that. We keep hoping -- pushing this reset button with Russia that somehow they and China will -- we are now bound by the decisions of the U.N. Security Council which are dictated by Russia and China.
What do we need to do? We need to get arms and equipment to them. We need to establish a buffer zone and...
CROWLEY: U.S. arms, you want to get U.S. arms to them. You don't...
MCCAIN: Sure, why not? Why not? Russian arms are coming in. Iranians are on the ground. Meanwhile, the Iranians are helping Bashar al-Assad and they are committing acts of -- they are committing terrorist acts around the world -- they are planning on terrorist acts. The talks with Iran on their nuclear development have broken down and where is the United States of America?
The president has not yet in my memory in recent times spoken up for the people who are being slaughtered in the streets of Aleppo, Homs, Damascus, and others today. CROWLEY: Let me ask you quickly about another area of the world, and that is Israel. I want to play you something that President Obama was down in West Palm Beach, something that he said recently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want everybody here to know under my administration we haven't just preserved the unbreakable bond with Israel, we have strengthened it. We have stood by Israel's side in the face of criticism. Our military and intelligence cooperation has never been closer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Do you think that is true?
MCCAIN: Everybody knows that relations with Israel have never been worse, beginning with the demands for a freeze settlement back at the beginning of the Obama administration. The president sends his national security adviser and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Israel to tell them not to attack Iran, thereby weakening Israel.
The relations have never been worse. And, again, it is a lack of trust on the part of the Israelis about what the United States of America will or will not do.