McCain: Egyptian Coup Example Of Failed American Leadership
Shock of shocks... it's Sunday and Senator Sourpuss John McCain has showed up on yet another talking heads show to complain about President Obama. McCain: Egypt Coup Is An Example Of Failed American Leadership:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the Egyptian unrest that led to the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi a military coup, and cited it as an example of failed America leadership.
"It was a coup and it was the second time in two-and-a-half years that we have seen the military step in. It's a strong indicator of the lack of American leadership and influence since we've urged the military not to do that," McCain said Sunday on CBS's "Face The Nation," according to Politico. "The place is descending into chaos but so is the entire Middle East because of the total vacuum and lack of American leadership...Whether it be the massacres in Syria; Lebanon is beset by sectarian violence; Jordan is about to collapse under the weight of refugees; Iraq is unraveling; Afghanistan -- we're having grave problems organizing a follow on force in Afghanistan."
McCain also said he thinks the U.S. should cut off aid to Egypt, which follows American law stating the U.S. cannot give aid to a country that has a military coup where there was a democratic election.
"Reluctantly, I believe that we have to suspend aid until such time as there is a new constitution and a free and fair election. We can't -- Morsi was a terrible president," McCain said. "Their economy is in terrible shape thanks to their policies but the fact is the United States should not be supporting this coup and it's a tough call."
Of course, he didn't have any great answers of his own when pressed about what he thinks we should do rather than just criticizing the Obama administration. I'm pretty sure they were planning on leveraging that aid to Egypt well before McCain decided to give them his advice on national television. I think somehow they might manage to get by without any help from "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," "the surge is working" McCain when it comes to our foreign policy in the Middle East.
Full transcript below the fold.
MAJOR GARRETT: Let's talk about Egypt, Senator.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Sure.
MAJOR GARRETT: Bluntly, simply, was that a coup that we saw last week?
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: It was a coup and it was the second time in two and a half years that we have seen the military step in. It's a strong indicator of the lack of American leadership and influence since we urged the military not to do that and reluctantly I believe that we have to suspend aid until such time as there is a new constitution and a free and fair election. We can't-- Morsi was a terrible president. Their economy is-- is in terrible shape, thanks to their policies, but the fact is the United States should not be supporting this coup and it's a tough call.
MAJOR GARRETT: Let me ask you specifically about this aid question, Senator. It's already gone out for this fiscal year. Are you talking about trying to pull that back or are you talking about when the new fiscal year starts if nothing has happened on free and fair elections not providing any in the future?
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I don't think you can pull it back. It's already in the pipeline. But I hope that the pressure that it brings on the Egyptian military will make for a very rapid transition, we must make this transition. But the place is descending into chaos but so is the entire Middle East because of the total vacuum and lack of American leadership whether it be the massacres in Syria-- Lebanon is-- is beset by sectarian violence, Jordan is about to collapse under the weight of refugees, Iraq is unraveling, Afghanistan, we're having grave problems organizing a follow on force in Afghanistan. America has not led and America is not leading and when America doesn't lead, bad things happen and other people do lead and Egypt is just one segment of a failure of American leadership over the last five years and we need to start being leaders rather than-- than-- than bystanders.
MAJOR GARRETT: Two more quick questions on Egypt. Do you believe Egypt and the world will ever see President Morsi back in office and should it? Secondarily, you've criticized what the administration hasn't done. What should it be doing in your opinion?
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: We should be standing-- first of all we should be helping the-- the resistance in Syria to stop the massacre that's going on thanks to Russia, Hezbollah, Iran. We should make it clear to Iran that their progress towards a nuclear weapon has got to be stopped. We're going to have to help Jordan and Lebanon in this problem. Iraq is unraveling. I don't know what you do about Iraq. We've already lost peace there but we have to exercise leadership. And in Egypt, we have to make it very clear that American assistance will be directly related to their transition to a civilian government and we don't claim it's going to be easy but for us to continue to support coups is a-- is a lesson of history that we should have learned a long time ago.
MAJOR GARRETT: Are you alleging that the Obama administration is tacitly approving a coup?
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I think it would be a mistake and frankly it would be a contradiction.
MAJOR GARRETT: Do you think that's what's happened?
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I think they're in a dilemma. I think they're-- they're-- as usual on these issues, they're undecided and going forward with a debate while events transpire. There's no-- there's no better example of that than Syria as we continue to watch Hezbollah, thousands of fighters, we see Russian weapons pouring in and slaughter of now over a hundred thousand people and we're going to send them light weapons? Light weapons don't do well against tanks.