McCain: We’ve given a green light to Assad to escalate the war

posted at 10:41 am on September 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

“I don’t think there’s any credibility left in the Middle East,” Sen. John McCain told Chris Cuomo this morning on CNN’s New Day after the retreat on Syria.  That was in response to a question Cuomo asked about Barack Obama’s new “red line” with Iran, but it’s the continuing theme of McCain on all points of policy following the retreat on military strikes.  McCain insists that we’ve effectively rejected regime change and given Bashar al-Assad a green light on escalating the civil war, as long as it happens with conventional weapons:

On a diplomatic deal, Senator McCain said, “I think what they are pursuing is a laudable goal, but there’s no real way to achieve it, number one. Number two is that you now give Putin a major place in this whole scenario and in the Middle East.”

“Until you reverse the momentum on the battle field, and Bashar al-Assad thinks he’s going to lose, is the only way you get a negotiated departure of Bashar al-Assad,” Senator McCain said. “As long as he thinks he’s winning, particularly with the assistance that he’s getting from the Russians and the Iranians. As we speak today, there will be a plane load of arms, conventional weapons, landing from Moscow to be used to kill Syrians. At the same time, we are dismantling the chemical weapons stocks. That’s crazy.”

Equally crazy, though, would be McCain’s strategy of arming the rebels.  While the Assad regime is certainly horrible and despotic, the effective elements of the “oppositionists” are no better, and arguably worse for American interests.  They’re primarily radical Islamist extremists with ties to al-Qaeda, including the most effective unit in the field, Jabhat al-Nusra, which openly declared its allegiance to AQ nearly a year ago.  The Nusra Front has control of a major city and its economic output, making themselves one of the best resourced armies in the field.

The best play for the US in this game would have been not to play. Now we look foolish, weak, and apparently unable to control events around our own policy.  That’s not exactly style points when it comes to global security.  McCain calls this “provocative weakness,” and he’s correct on that point, but deadly wrong on how to correct it.


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I don’t think there’s any credibility left in the Middle East,” Sen. John McCain told Chris Cuomo this morning on CNN’s New Day after the retreat on Syria.

McCain and the Middle East have something in common.

portlandon on September 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

McCain: We’ve given a green light to Assad to escalate the war

And that’s my problem how?

Oil Can on September 16, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Please someone, let these savages kill each other.

HomeoftheBrave on September 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM

What Senator Senile refuses to see is that he is as feckless and clueless as Obama when it comes to Syria.

He also has absolutely no credibility when he calls the jihadists who dominate the rebel forces ‘moderates’, ignores their efforts to cleanse Syria of non-Muslims, and equates Allah Akbar with a simple ‘Thank God’.

He’s also living proof of Mark Twain’s quote – it’s better to remain silent and have others think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Unfortunately, McCain’s ego and narcissism is nearly has bad as Obama’s.

Athos on September 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

What doesn’t McCain understand about a civil war?

Blake on September 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

John McCain Obama, when you decided to lie down with the enemy (i.e. Obama & Democrats), don’t be surprised that you woke up with that foul stench.

Now kindly go away.

22044 on September 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

“I don’t think there’s any credibility left in the Middle East”

That’s okay Johnny, because there’s NO CREDIBILITY in Washington either.

Oh, and didn’t The Chosen One say that Syria WAS NOT about “regime change”? The same guy who has spent 5 years telling us that we’re not exceptional? The same guy who said we weren’t the world’s policeman? The same guy who said we should stay out of other nation’s problems?

Remember?

GarandFan on September 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

John, when you get in bed with diseased hookers, you generally come out the worse for it. Trying to bluster your way out of your stupidity merely exacerbates it. Retire now!

Don L on September 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM

“Until you reverse the momentum on the battle field, and Bashar al-Assad thinks he’s going to lose, is the only way you get a negotiated departure of Bashar al-Assad,” Senator McCain said.

This whole thing has morphed from “punishment” for using chemical weapons into Assad must go. When it first started Obama said regime change was not the goal of any strike he just wanted to punish Assad with enough of a strike to not be mocked. Week two changed the “we will not be mocked” strike into degrading his ability to ever use chemical weapons again. Now it has changed once more saying he must go. Where was all of this chatter about him departing two years ago when he started killing?

I call B$ on everyone involved in this mess. It will end badly and we will have US troops on the ground with no defined objectives and ever changing mission parameters before this is over.

Johnnyreb on September 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Someone has got to kill the Islamists. It might as well be Assad.

happytobehere on September 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM

The Saudis and the French have agreed few days ago to greatly escalate their help to the rebels… The Saudis will be paying for French arms to be sent to the rebels… We can just watch and see how it will end…

mnjg on September 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Asswad has been escalating for over a year now, but it took you geniuses until now to see it?

#pandering

Bishop on September 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

John McCain “Full Surge Ahead, full surge ahead, all hands full surge ahead.

fourdeucer on September 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM

McLame and Uncle Joe Biden are competing for the position of President of the Crazy Uncle of the Month Club.

chewmeister on September 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

As ever, McVain is focused on the wrong thing. Entering the Syrian civil war was always about our issue with Iran. Do nothing that erodes our ability to eliminate those nuclear weapons-to-be should have been the rule.

By that standard, this whole mess would never have started. Now we are weaker, and those bombs are closer to reality. Os then is Israeli unilateral action to eliminate them, if action is even possible, or panic if it is not. So then is Saudi Arabia arming itself with similar weapons.

The legacy of the Obama middle east diplomacy record is going to be war and strife. McVain’s record is as an active aider and abettor. Ultimately, our short-sighted actions in Syria (where he was egging on the President) could well lead to American troops fighting Iran in a land war. McVain, Obama, Power et al have led us down a dark alleyway in a terrible neighborhood perhaps only to find there is no way out.

MTF on September 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM

McCain: We’ve given a green light to Assad to escalate the war

And that’s my problem how?

Oil Can on September 16, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Syrians killing Syrians is not your problem, As an American.

Not in any way, shape or form…

JohnGalt23 on September 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM

John McCain says “…”

Who cares? I look forward to the day when we’re no longer burdened with John McCain.

Kohath on September 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Idiots and imbeciles are running our country…

albill on September 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Why is anyone even interviewing McCain anymore? This dinosaur of a RINO has absolutely nothing of substance to contribute on any subject!

The sooner this guy retires, the better!

pilamaye on September 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

McCain, the stopped clock

socalcon on September 16, 2013 at 12:11 PM

John McCain——-Muslim Brotherhood supporter.

Sickening.

PappyD61 on September 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Fascinating that this same logic escapes Captain Amnesty in his illegal immigration analysis.

Jaibones on September 16, 2013 at 1:53 PM

John, Oh John please tell us why you want to back the Al Qaeda factions fighting against the Syrian leadership. Why should we care one is bad the other is worse, why John. You say to stop the blood shed, ok fine, but what about the systematic slaughter of the Christians? Nothing but silence, does that mean you agree with the extermination of these honest G-D loving people? Answer up John! Where do you stand? Never mind we know. Get the hello out now you old traitor.

jainphx on September 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM

This whole thing has morphed from “punishment” for using chemical weapons into Assad must go.

MTF on September 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM

It always goes from WMD’s to regime change.

Obama is backed into a corner.

He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

If he attacks Syria he’s called an aggressive warmonger who is wasting vital resources on an unnecessary war that no one wants.

But if he gets Assad to allow UN weapons inspectors in to locate, catalog, and destroy his WMD’s he is called a coward for not attacking Syria to show how tough he is.

Therefore Obama is screwed.

JustTheFacts on September 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Obama was called out for not doing anything about Syria and accused of not caring about foreign policy because he was just siting by as the Syrians killed each other.

So then Obama threatend to attack Syria if WMD’s are used but if Obama attacks Syria he’s called an aggressive warmonger who is wasting vital resources on an unnecessary war that no one wants.

But if Obama gets Assad to allow UN weapons inspectors in to locate, catalog, and destroy his WMD’s Obama is called a coward for not attacking Syria to show how tough he is.

Therefore Obama is screwed because no matter what he does its going to be wrong.

JustTheFacts on September 16, 2013 at 5:20 PM