McCain: I won’t vote to authorize just a few limited strikes

posted at 10:01 am on September 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

With most of Congress debating whether to authorize a very limited action against Syria and Bashar al-Assad, Senator John McCain told Today’s Savannah Guthrie that he’d vote against limited action.  The authorization for military force Congress gives President Barack Obama should give the Commander-in-Chief a wide range for strategic intervention in the Syrian civil war, to boost the Free Syrian Army and turn back Iranian influence in the region.  McCain insists that the popular notion of a terrorist-infiltrated FSA is nonsense, and “anyone telling you anything different isn’t telling you the truth”:

“I can’t support something that I’m afraid maybe doomed to failure in the long run,” McCain said.

“To do nothing would have consequences throughout the world,” McCain explained. “But to do something that really doesn’t change anything? In other words, some token strikes, and then sometime later Bashar al-Assad uses the chemical weapons again—what do we do then? Go through this same routine?”

McCain told Guthrie that “the Free Syrian Army is viable, it’s strong, and it’s moderate,” but not even the Obama administration believes that.  Neither does the New York Times, which in April reported that reality is actually the reverse, and that “nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”  McCain’s credibility on this point has been near zero since posing with kidnappers who supposedly were the good guys for whom we’d be fighting in an American intervention.

McCain told CNN that Obama is seriously considering sending weapons to the rebels:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) told “New Day” Anchor Chris Cuomo that President Obama is “seriously” considering providing weapons to Syrian rebels. Senator McCain also made it clear that he doesn’t want to wait to take action until the United Nations weighs in with its report because the credibility of the United States is on the line and “no further proof” is needed on whether or not the Syrian regime used chemical weapons.

“We discussed… about increasing the capabilities and that means providing not only weapons, but the kind of weapons they need, which are anti-armor and anti-air. AK-47s don’t do very well against tanks,” McCain said. “So, we discussed that. And that would be a course of action that the President would seriously consider.”

Instead of worrying that the authorization is too narrow, most of McCain’s Capitol Hill colleagues worry that the draft language from the White House is far too broad:

U.S. lawmakers began work on Monday on their version of an authorization of the use of military force in Syria, worrying that President Barack Obama’s draft could open the door to possible use of ground troops or eventual attacks on other countries. …

“The resolution that they are presenting right now is so open-ended, I think even people who are sympathetic to the administration might have trouble supporting it,” said Representative James McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts.

“The broad authority the president asked for creates lots of concern with me and others,” Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri told reporters after a three-hour classified briefing for lawmakers on Sunday. …

Some legal analysts said Obama’s authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF, request as written could open the door to military action not just against Syria, but against other countries if they were deemed to be connected to the use of chemical weapons within Syria.

Expect this to get narrowed considerably before a draft even makes it out of committee in either chamber.


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Over

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Schadenfreude, you ready?

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Was busy promoting your “Serenity” masterpiece.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM

This is the same guy pushing Amnesty. Go figger. Credibility zero.

DaMav on September 3, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Operation Egofark

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 12:14 PM

I’m so glad that this ignorant senile fool didn’t win 2008. Now if the GOP would turn him out, there may yet be redemption for the party. Otherwise let the GOP die before 2016. LIB.

AH_C on September 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Ed, how could you leave out his appearance on Fox & Friends? It’s a real doozy.

Naturally Curly on September 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

OMG

I lived in the middle east for 6 years (KSA), worked contracts in and out of the middle east for 17 years. Never heard a muslim say that except when quoted in the news when they are going for their 72 virgins.

Those people he met in Syria really fed him a line and he fell for it.

TerryW on September 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I’m having trouble trying to figure out if John McCain is as vapid and clueless as Meghan McCain or DWS?

Either way, what he says holds little value. He’s well past time to just retire or change parties.

Athos on September 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I’m so glad that this ignorant senile fool didn’t win 2008. Now if the GOP would turn him out, there may yet be redemption for the party. Otherwise let the GOP die before 2016. LIB.

AH_C on September 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM

I’m sorry but John McCain would be be far more preferable than Barack Obama. I don’t think we would be in the present situation had he won in 2008.

Boats48 on September 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM

McCain says he wants to provide weapons to Syrian rebels….which is what Obama has been doing for a while, as it has already been exposed that this exactly what he was doing out of Benghazi through the CIA. Obama willingly sacrificed 4 Americans in order to conduct this operation and keep it hidden when Jihadists attacked Stevens’ compound as part of the 20-Embassy Middle-East-wide attack on 9-11-13.

McCain wants to arm SOME rebels, yet our own Intel reports McCain’s favored rebels are mixed in with and engaged in in-fighting with the ‘wrong’ rebels. So, can he assure the American people that weapons we provide are NOT getting into the hands of the terrorist rebels? If he says he can, he is a liar! Thousands of rocket-propelled missiles in Libya, that the military warned Obama about & urged him to let them secure when Libya fell, ended up in the hands of terrorists in Egypt, Gaza, and beyond – endangering Israel, other allies, & the US. Now McCain wants to help Jihadists take over Syria…giving them access to a pleathora of chemical and biological weapons. Ummmm…no thanks, John!

Since having…let alone USING…Chemical weapons is a UN Violation, the UN should build its own coalition to go into Syria and remove the WMD…taking it out of the hands of both Assad & rebels / terrorists. The US should not go it alone & especially NOT just to ‘save face’ after Obama moronically painted himself in th corner with his ad lib ‘red line’.

easyt65 on September 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Ed, how could you leave out his appearance on Fox & Friends? It’s a real doozy.

Naturally Curly on September 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

OMG

I lived in the middle east for 6 years (KSA), worked contracts in and out of the middle east for 17 years. Never heard a muslim say that except when quoted in the news when they are going for their 72 virgins.

Those people he met in Syria really fed him a line and he fell for it.

TerryW on September 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I must add – Or when they are dealing with infidels in the most violent way.

TerryW on September 3, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Boehner also came out earlier and proclaimed his loyalty to Obama & Obama’s desire to strike Syria. Combine this with the fact that Boehner has declared he will do nothing to oppose Obamacare, especially threaten to defund it & possibly shut down the government. Just prior to this last announcement, Boehner was called to the WH and met privately with Obama. These 2 combined tell me 1 thing:

Through Obama’s Un-Constitutional, Illegal NSA spying and data mining of EVERY American citizen, Obama HAS SOMETHING ON BOEHNER WITH WHICH HE IS BLACK MAILING BOEHNER!

Through televised investigative committee hearings before the House we already KNOW (witnessed on live TV) that Obama’s 2012 Campaign manager was given Mitt Rmney’s personal tax return information by the IRS and that his manager USED THAT INFO to attack Romney during the campaign. Harry Reid somehow also got that info and used it as well to attack Romney. (Which means these guys should be wearing jailhouse jump suits.) So the way Boehner is acting, I have no doubt he is being black mailed. That is the case or either Boehner has just come out of the Progressive closet after being bent over Obama’s Oval Office Desk to declare he is a Liberal / Democrat/ Obama-supporter.

easyt65 on September 3, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I recall the movie Dr. Strangelove and picture John McCain with a cowboy hat riding the bomb and saying “My Friends.”

bw222 on September 3, 2013 at 1:21 PM

How about this: we bomb Syria, Russia levels Washington, DC and we call it even.

bw222 on September 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM

A few limited strikes would not require Congress to do anything. They would complain about it but nothing will come of it.

Bush could have dropped some bombs or fire some cruise missiles at Saddam Hussein without going to Congress (might not be the strictly legal way to do it, but Congress would not impeach him over just that). In order to invade he got an authorization to use military force (AUMF, arguably a declaration of war, of sorts) and then he could invade.

The problem for Obama is that the implications of his declared “red line” [in the sand] is that there will be a whole lot more done than a few bombs or missiles. In addition, if he were to take some unilateral action, French participation notwithstanding, he is in the lead. He reaps the consequences, good or bad, for his actions.

I would hope that Congress does demand to know what Obama intend to do with an AUMF. They better realize that Obama wants something like an AUMF so he can spread the blame around regardless of which course of action he follows.

Russ808 on September 3, 2013 at 1:29 PM

McCain and Rubio are on the same page with obama – they want FULL BLOWN WAR, and hopefully, World War III.

Pork-Chop on September 3, 2013 at 2:11 PM

McCain insists that the popular notion of a terrorist-infiltrated FSA is nonsense, and “anyone telling you anything different isn’t telling you the truth”:

He’s just as big of a liar as Obama is and I can’t stand him as much as I can’t stand Obama.. these angelic rebels are beheading people, taking a bite out of hearts and livers, enforcing sharia law on christians …you know, stuff Mohammed would like..

sadsushi on September 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

How about this: we bomb Syria, Russia levels Washington, DC and we call it even.

bw222 on September 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Just let me know when. I’ll not go to work that day. Unless Russia has bombs that only take out RINOS, socialists, commies, etc. But, that is who would be spared.

TerryW on September 3, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Let’s get all Christians in the middle east massacred. Even if it’s not the intent of this senile old fool, this is what he has promoted since 2002.

flawedskull on September 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Good,

You lead the charge. I’m sure we can count on you re-enlisting.

I’m sure you won’t mind having your “seperate but equal” pension and healthcare finance this war on behalf of the “moderates”.

acyl72 on September 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Guys, guys, guys… its ok. John McCain knows the Free Syrian Army and military tactics. He’s got this guys. You can trust him. He’s super syrial.

That Fox n’ Friends interview is just a classic example of delusion. He knows the Free Syrian Army, and you sirs are no John Kennedy er Free Syrian Army! So there. You silly tea party hobbits! Hobbitses! Give me my precious war!

Direct link for folks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZtquvMYHvI#t=128

oryguncon on September 3, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I’m sorry but John McCain would be be far more preferable than Barack Obama. I don’t think we would be in the present situation had he won in 2008.

Boats48

Not really. And that’s pretty sad.

xblade on September 3, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Of course not.MCain’s thirst for the shedding of American troops’ blood,their slaughter and/or maiming cannot be sated.Go over and fight for AlQuaeda youself you demented old man,and bring your flamer Lindsey with you!

redware on September 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM

McCain apparently thinks that it is 2011, not 2013.

besser tot als rot on September 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

This version of John McCain brought to you by… The house of Saud.
Crazy old coot is working for somebody on this one.

notalemon on September 3, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Dear John,

You forgot one major point . . . It’s AQ and it hates America.

Thanks for listening,

EB

EdmundBurke247 on September 3, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Breitbart site:

MCCAIN: SHOUTING ‘ALLAHU AKHBAR!’ SAME AS CHRISTIANS SHOUTING ‘THANK GOD!’

4,000 comments so far. McCain is despised like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and John Kerry. Almost as much as Obama.

Jaibones on September 3, 2013 at 8:28 PM

“The Free Syrian Army is viable, it’s strong, and it’s moderate.”..McCain

Lucky them. If they were Conservative he’d want to bomb those wacko birds back to the stone age.

chickasaw42 on September 3, 2013 at 8:37 PM

“The Free Syrian Army is viable, it’s strong, and it’s moderate.”..McCain

McCain found a new voter base. Next thing you know he’ll want to include them in the Amnesty deal.

chickasaw42 on September 3, 2013 at 8:39 PM

“The Free Syrian Army is viable, it’s strong, and it’s moderate.”…McCain

cause they have “Free” in their name.

chickasaw42 on September 3, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Why are we even considering being AQ’s arms supplier and Air Force/Navy in Syria?

Mini-14 on September 3, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Pocket jacks, Johnny boy ?

FlaMurph on September 3, 2013 at 11:12 PM

McCain: I won’t vote to authorize just a few limited strikes

There is no fool like an old John McCain fool.

How are you going to achieve the above? Legislation demanding that every four months Obama fire off at least two thousand cruise missiles, five hundred thousand pounds of bombs and two thousand air sorties?

There is no fool like an old John McCain fool.

RJL on September 4, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Since the Senate and House have made themselves irrelavant, why not have armchair warriors prognosticate while they play poker?

virgo on September 4, 2013 at 3:23 AM

Since the Senate is irrelevant to the decision, why not let an armchair warrior prognisticate as he plays poker on the government-dime?

virgo on September 4, 2013 at 3:29 AM

“I won’t vote to authorize just a few limited strikes”…

Says the man who takes human life and the taking of that life, military action, and this whole situation so seriously that he was caught playing video poker during the hearing yesterday to make the case for letting Obama ‘save face’ by ordering military action against Assad.

easyt65 on September 4, 2013 at 8:05 AM

This Syria thing has already been a success for Obama… we haven’t heard a word about Benghazi in weeks.

Professor_Chaos on September 4, 2013 at 8:17 AM

He just voted for limited action.

Patriot Vet on September 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Well, we COULD nuke the sponsors for the proxies in Syria. A good shellacking might get the attention of Saudi Arabia and Iran. That IS doing something.

I also note sitting back and watching is also doing something. And it is something constructive. You watch potential (actual) enemy factions weakening each other. Sounds good to me.

{^_^}

herself on September 4, 2013 at 5:23 PM

The loser IS a loser…

shorebird on September 5, 2013 at 12:06 AM

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