McCain: Yeah, I guess we have to explore this Russia/Syria settlement

posted at 9:21 am on September 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The quick CNN interview of Sen. John McCain after Syrian acceptance of the Putin peace plan is notable for a couple of points. First, McCain almost grits his teeth when reluctantly admitting that the US has no choice but to shift gears and follow the Russians now, and he’s not wrong for being chagrined at that turn of events. As McCain points out, Russia is hardly an uninterested power in this transaction, and they may have been one of Bashar al-Assad’s suppliers for the weapons they propose to secure.

However, the big question comes at the 2:40 mark, when Chris Cuomo (!) points out the disarray in American foreign policy, the mixed messages, and the confusion, and then asks, “Does this give you the feel of amateur hour coming out of this administration?”

McCain starts off by asserting that he’s trying to work with Barack Obama’s team, but that “there is a degree of incoherence the likes of which I have never seen.” He rips his old friend John Kerry for arguing that an American strike would be “unbelievably small,” saying, “What does that mean? Is it worth it, then? We still haven’t determined what the goals of these military strikes are.” That’s probably why polling on the idea continues to tank.

CNN highlights McCain’s skepticism of Russian leadership on the issue:

“I take it seriously to the degree that it has to be explored. It must be examined, and I think we could have a very good initial test, Chris, and that would be an immediate dispatch of… international monitors to these chemical weapons sites, which we know where most of them are and secure them so that they can’t be used by Bashar al-Assad. And then we work out the procedures for keeping them under international control and the removal. We could do that immediately. Know I am skeptical, very, very skeptical, but the fact is that you can’t pass up this opportunity, if it is one, but you’ve gotta right away determine whether it’s real or not…. There are a group of us who are working on, Senators, who are working on an amendment or a change to the resolution that allows for this kind of action and requires guidelines, reporting process and benchmarks that have to be met….”

On credibility of the offer by Russians, Senator McCain said, “When you see the plane loads of Russian arms flying into Damascus on a daily basis, tons and tons. When you see the Russian veto, time after time, of any resolution in the Security Council, I think it’s ample reason to be skeptical.”

Too bad Russian leadership is the only leadership we could find.


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Not to worry, Biden is currently drawing up plans to attack the Congo, I mean SOMEONE has to pay the price to make Dog Eater look strong and tough.

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Take McCain to Denny’s for the early bird special and leave him there.

rbj on September 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM

The Russians are looking out for Russia.

myiq2xu on September 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Too bad Russian leadership is the only leadership we could find.

This!

davidk on September 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Steady McCain . . . your defense industry buddies will do ok.

rplat on September 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Zero has finally been fully exposed as a bumbling oaf…

PatriotRider on September 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Not even an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny attack???

:(

Shy Guy on September 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Take McCain to Denny’s for the early bird special and leave him there.

rbj on September 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM

The wacko bird special?

davidk on September 10, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Too bad Russian leadership is the only leadership we could find.

And therein lies Putin’s signature tour de’ force….Putin is more believable as Statesman then our feckless narcissistic President or any of his spokesmen.

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Maybe Zero will address the nation tonight with a Kool in his mouth and both feet perched on the Resolute desk while leaning back in his chair…

Better yet maybe it will just be Eastwood’s empty chair giving the address tonight and we will be treated to 20 minutes of silence…

PatriotRider on September 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Was McCain’s lapdog pal, Lindsey standing next to him nodding his head during the interview? They both make me stabby these days.

BettyRuth on September 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM

This gives me the feel of amateur hour coming out of McCain as usual. I have an idea. Since we want to bomb Syria because a few children have been allegedly killed by WMD, (about 1400 people in all) why don’t we bomb planned parenthood. it will be easier and cheaper, and PP kills thousands of American babies every month. I bet hollywood would come out and protest then! This would awesomely increase the number of black voters in the future. I guess the people that don’t want to do this are raaaccissts!

Old Country Boy on September 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM

It’s only a matter of days before we find out Russia’s bid to corral Syria’s weapons is a massive joke.

Just watch, Putin’s got something up his sleeve. Obama played right into this one. So pass the popcorn.

The interesting part of this comedy is coming up soon. It involves eggs, face and amateur.

patman77 on September 10, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Too bad Russian leadership is the only leadership we could find.

What difference, at this point, does it make? The United States is no longer leader of the free world.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 9:32 AM

“The report in Bild am Sonntag, which is a widely read and influential national Sunday newspaper, reported that the head of the German Foreign Intelligence agency, Gerhard Schindler, last week told a select group of German lawmakers that intercepted communications had convinced German intelligence officials that Assad did not order or approve what is believed to be a sarin gas attack on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people in Damascus’ eastern suburbs….”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/09/201515/intercepts-caught-assad-rejecting.html#storylink=cpy

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Putin will press his advantage now. Unlike Barry, he’s not a clueless nitwit. Vlad has a new little puppet, a historic! one, and he’ll want to pull his strings and see him dance.

AZCoyote on September 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM

You just know that Dog Eater is staring at himself in the bathroom mirror right now, shaving cream still in his armpits, ladies Close Curves razor buzzing quietly in his hand, and saying “Yeah. Yep. I took it to Putin AGAIN. Damn, I am incredible.”

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Obama is nothing but a wannabe.

kingsjester on September 10, 2013 at 9:38 AM

However, the big question comes at the 2:40 mark, when Chris Cuomo (!) points out the disarray in American foreign policy, the mixed messages, and the confusion, and then asks, “Does this give you the feel of amateur hour coming out of this administration?”

Like the Russians and Assad, Chris Cuomo is not a disinterested party in this, when it comes to reporting on this administration’s Middle East bumbling. Remember, Chris’ brother up in Albany is still considering a run for president in 2016, which would require taking the former Secretary of State down a peg or two (i.e. — CNN and its morning show might actually rediscover Benghazi about this time two years from now, while marking the third anniversary of the attack and reminding people who was covering up the story of what really happened to Ambassador Stevens and the others at the compound).

jon1979 on September 10, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Better yet maybe it will just be Eastwood’s empty chair giving the address tonight and we will be treated to 20 minutes of silence…

PatriotRider on September 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM

That would be just delightful. Silence from this man would be heavenly.

No more demonizing, demagoging, and damaging words.

esr1951 on September 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I suppose AZ will let McCain die in office instead of retiring him. So sick of him…

OmahaConservative on September 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM

McCain: Yeah, I guess we have to explore this Russia/Syria settlement

Guess???

Mr. McCain, how about you “guess” we find out now who ordered the stand-down and left Americans to die in Benghazi?

How about you “guess” why Team Obama is arming jihadis?

How about you guess why Obama is still insistent that the Moslem Brotherhood is the legitimate government of Egypt?

How about you guess you are way way past your retirement?

Choose one…prove yourself useful.

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Putin for President-usa. can’t be any worse than now.

gerrym51 on September 10, 2013 at 9:42 AM

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I must say the latest developments in the Syrian “dog & pony” show is getting quite interesting.

I have written many posts since this fiasco first reared it’s ugly head, and in each post, I predicted that no military strike would take place on behalf of the U.S. Early on, daily revelations just weren’t making any sense. The gassing of the Syrian civilians certainly took place, but no one from the U.S. could clearly lay the blame on Bashar al-Assad. Kerry insisted the evidence at hand clearly pointed to the al-Assad regime, but the nuts and bolts of that evidence was “too classified and secret” to share outside of privileged Washington insiders, congressmen and women, and others. At the same time, some from other countries were making claims of rebel involvement in the chemical attack.

What harm could possibly come from sharing the details of the “classified and secret” information with those that have the most to lose in this matter? That would be the American public. Considering all the headlines regarding the NSA and Snowden, who would be surprised if telephone conversations within the Syrian government were intercepted? I feel certain Obama and Kerry could have shared stronger evidence of al-Assad involvement without compromising “national security interests.” Merely stating that conversations intercepted and a video clearly showing a chemical attack took place was enough evidence to implicate al-Assad was a weak case from the beginning.

Obama stepped on his package when he declared a red line a year ago…no doubt about it. This red line was crossed by someone, either by al-Assad or one of the many rebel factions. Obama was boxed in and he and his entire circle of thugs knew it. And never let a crisis go to waste. They saw an opportunity to prop up the standing of Obama among his base of supporters and so it goes. Yes, there have been some missteps along the way since this began, but it clearly looks as if Obama and the Democrats are going to come out of this entire “crisis” smelling like courageous heroes. Because they appeal to and depend upon a base of low-information voters, Obama and Kerry will be seen as the pair that put the pressure upon the al-Assad regime from the beginning, the pair that preferred a negotiated settlement of the issue over a military strike, and ultimately the pair that prevented another long, enduring war in a Middle Eastern country.

I can’t be certain how the administration and the media will spin all of this in the end, but I am sure of one thing that will play out in the future. The entire matter will be turned into a huge plus for the Democrats during the midterm elections in 2014. No votes were ever taken in Congress, so no one can point fingers at any Dems for beating the drums of war (no wonder the Black Caucus was silent on the entire issue). Republicans and conservatives may try to point towards Obama, Kerry and a few others, but they won’t be running for anything in 2014. The Democrats will not let this “crisis” go to waste.

metroryder on September 10, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Checkmate against a naive imbecile.

Obama’s entire rationale for pushing the attack was that the use of heinous chemical weapons must be punished or others will feel free to use them with impunity.

Now Obama apparently is satisfied that if chemical weapons are used once, as long as they are then taken away.

Hmmmm… what lesson shoul other bad guys learn from this weak-willed response?

LASue on September 10, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Waffles back on White House menu.

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM

metroryder on September 10, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Obama has a package????

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Put Jill Biden on a Damascus patio with a shotgun, than we will see who is laughing and who is serious…

right2bright on September 10, 2013 at 9:46 AM

No one can figure out how many rings this circus actually has, and now the ringmaster’s job has been put out on bids. My goodness! Russian bears, elephants, donkeys, clown cars, magicians, mirrors, smoke; it has it all!

Yoop on September 10, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Just watch, Putin’s got something up his sleeve. patman77 on September 10, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Mmmhmmm…

“911 reasons why 9/11 was (probably) an inside job,” -Russia TV

“In short, 9/11 represented the world’s largest crime scene of modern times, but was never treated as one. In fact, the crime scenes at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and a patch of woods in Pennsylvania were cordoned off and scrubbed clean before any forensic work could occur. The steel from the WTC towers was quickly hauled to Asia and melted down, while photographs show workers hauling away large crates from the Pentagon site, the contents of which were never revealed to the public.

“Meanwhile, US politicians assumed that by simply uttering the name ‘Osama bin Laden’ 9/11 was a shut and closed case. After all, who would dare defend such a villainous creature? Not a criminal lawyer in the entire world, that’s for sure, especially given the paranoid, code-orange mindset that gripped the United States in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, which precluded any hope for investigating other plausible explanations.”

And so on.

Akzed on September 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM

When you’ve lost CNN you’ve lost the upper east side of Manhattan. When you’ve lost the upper east side of Manhattan, can Hollywood be far behind? Oh, the humanity!

Fred 2 on September 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM

My goodness! Russian bears, elephants, donkeys, clown cars, magicians, mirrors, smoke; it has it all! Yoop on September 10, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Mmmhmm…

Akzed on September 10, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Has this been posted yet? I laughed, the wife laughed, 2 of my dogs laughed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=z-sdO6pwVHQ#t=117

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Thanks Arizona.

vityas on September 10, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Libfree has donated.

katy the mean old lady on September 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Repeating myself:

I predict a deal with Congress that gets Obama an affirmative vote. Congress will agree to consider a vote for authorization of force if Syria does not comply with certain demands within x amount of time, and the vote will be on a bill outlining this agreement.

NotCoach on September 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

NotCoach on September 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

why don’t we bomb planned parenthood. it will be easier and cheaper, and PP kills thousands of American babies every month. I bet hollywood would come out and protest then! This would awesomely increase the number of black voters in the future. I guess the people that don’t want to do this are raaaccissts!

Old Country Boy on September 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM

If they bombed a planned parenthood in Dearborn, that would be kind of like bombing Syria.

Flange on September 10, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

The scary thing is that they probably could raise a serious chunk of change on the “Because Obama” theme.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Right on time, Assad is back to killing innocent civilians now that the threat is gone:

(Reuters) – Syria accepted a Russian proposal on Tuesday to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from U.S. strikes, while its warplanes bombed rebel positions in Damascus for the first time since the West threatened military action.

Russia knew exactly what it was doing when it jumped on Kerry’s gaffe. Well played Mr. Putin, well played indeed.

Johnnyreb on September 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I must say the latest developments in the Syrian “dog & pony” show is getting quite interesting.

I have written many posts since this fiasco first reared it’s ugly head, and in each post, I predicted that no military strike would take place on behalf of the U.S. Early on, daily revelations just weren’t making any sense. The gassing of the Syrian civilians certainly took place, but no one from the U.S. could clearly lay the blame on Bashar al-Assad. Kerry insisted the evidence at hand clearly pointed to the al-Assad regime, but the nuts and bolts of that evidence was “too classified and secret” to share outside of privileged Washington insiders, congressmen and women, and others. At the same time, some from other countries were making claims of rebel involvement in the chemical attack.

What harm could possibly come from sharing the details of the “classified and secret” information with those that have the most to lose in this matter? That would be the American public. Considering all the headlines regarding the NSA and Snowden, who would be surprised if telephone conversations within the Syrian government were intercepted? I feel certain Obama and Kerry could have shared stronger evidence of al-Assad involvement without compromising “national security interests.” Merely stating that conversations intercepted and a video clearly showing a chemical attack took place was enough evidence to implicate al-Assad was a weak case from the beginning.

Obama stepped on his package when he declared a red line a year ago…no doubt about it. This red line was crossed by someone, either by al-Assad or one of the many rebel factions. Obama was boxed in and he and his entire circle of thugs knew it. And never let a crisis go to waste. They saw an opportunity to prop up the standing of Obama among his base of supporters and so it goes. Yes, there have been some missteps along the way since this began, but it clearly looks as if Obama and the Democrats are going to come out of this entire “crisis” smelling like courageous heroes. Because they appeal to and depend upon a base of low-information voters, Obama and Kerry will be seen as the pair that put the pressure upon the al-Assad regime from the beginning, the pair that preferred a negotiated settlement of the issue over a military strike, and ultimately the pair that prevented another long, enduring war in a Middle Eastern country.

I can’t be certain how the administration and the media will spin all of this in the end, but I am sure of one thing that will play out in the future. The entire matter will be turned into a huge plus for the Democrats during the midterm elections in 2014. No votes were ever taken in Congress, so no one can point fingers at any Dems for beating the drums of war (no wonder the Black Caucus was silent on the entire issue). Republicans and conservatives may try to point towards Obama, Kerry and a few others, but they won’t be running for anything in 2014. The Democrats will not let this “crisis” go to waste.

metroryder on September 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

metroryder on September 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Obama has a package????

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Moon War!

Ben Hur on September 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Russia knew exactly what it was doing when it jumped on Kerry’s gaffe. Well played Mr. Putin, well played indeed.

Johnnyreb on September 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

That’s centuries of experience and years of statesmanship. Compared to whatever the hell we have in a lazy stupid community agitator, a fifth columnnist SecState, and a Jew-hater SecDef. Throw in the senile and incompetent Senators and it is easy to understand why this nation was one-upped by a KGB colonel.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Has this been posted yet? I laughed, the wife laughed, 2 of my dogs laughed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=z-sdO6pwVHQ#t=117

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

I laughed. The cats laughed.
My mind says it shouldn’t be funny. But oh my lord, it is. Very.
Thank you.

Jomama on September 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

John McCain hates anything that might cause us to avoid war. I am convinced that he absolutely loves war, and wants to the United States to exist in a constant state of war. He doesn’t care about who it’s with or what it’s for. He just wants us embroiled in constant military conflict.

Shump on September 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

The entire matter will be turned into a huge plus for the Democrats during the midterm elections in 2014. metroryder on September 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

If only the RINO’s would make as much noise about Benghazi, connect some dots between it and Syria, etc. But that’s in Greenbelt, and the GOP is on the Blue Line.

Akzed on September 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM

On credibility of the offer by Russians, Senator McCain said, “When you see the plane loads of Russian arms flying into Damascus on a daily basis, tons and tons. When you see the Russian veto, time after time, of any resolution in the Security Council, I think it’s ample reason to be skeptical.”

Speaking of incoherence. Why would McCain’s observation be a mark in the distrust column for the Russians. If they are bulking up conventional arms for the Syrians, a indication bordering on a guarantee they won’t let Assad fail, then the chemical weapons are superfluous. As such, they have little reason to skirt on the promise to removal of chemical weapons.

Dusty on September 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Bishop on September 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Now that was funny….really funny. :-)

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

When you’re a hammer like John McCain, every country and every conflict looks like a Viet Cong nail.

JDA!

Jeddite on September 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

metroryder on September 10, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Obama has a package????

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

No. Obama’s package is in Putin’s pocket.

ziggyville on September 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Hmmmmm….

“Following the broadcasting of the images of the massacre in Ghouta, distributed by the Free Syrian Army and relayed by US and French services, Alawite families from Latakia have filed a complaint for murder.

Some of these videos were filmed and posted on Youtube before the events they picture [1].

They show children suffocating from a chemical intoxication that can’t possibly be sarin gas (the latter provokes yellow drool, not white drool).

The children do not correspond to a sample of the population: they are all almost of the same age and have light hair. They are not accompanied by their grieving families.

They are in fact children who were abducted by jihadists two weeks before in Alawite villages in the surroundings of Latakia, 200km away from Ghouta.

Contrary to the sayings of the Free Syrian Army and the Western services, the only identified victims of the Ghouta massacre are those belonging to families that support the Syrian government. In the videos, the individuals that show outrage against the ’’crimes of Bashar el-Assad’’ are in reality their killers…”

http://www.voltairenet.org/article180130.html#nb2-1

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Obama got himself booted out of the Syrian conflict.
Game over, Barry.

albill on September 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Obama is Putin’s lap dog…sit Obama, sit!!

right2bright on September 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Best diplomatic judo move I’ve ever seen. This one is going to go down in the history books, with Obama & Co. looking like total clowns.

Socratease on September 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

It’s good that McCain is criticizing his bretheren across the aisle, because they will cut him loose and he loses the only power he has – causing trouble among Republicans by supporting the opposing team.

He calls it principle but he’s really just irrational.

It’s a good job nobody listened to him on his “battlefield momentum” nonsense.

virgo on September 11, 2013 at 12:58 AM