Foreign Policy John McCain Syria

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Syria

While Senator John McCain has offered rhetorical support for the president’s position on Syria, it looks like he may actually vote against the resolution to authorize a military strike.

Why? Because the resolution as it is written is not broad enough for John McCain. He wants broader involvement and for the United States to take ownership of Syria’s civil war.

According to Hunt, McCain said that he’s opposed to the resolution because it “doesn’t make any reference to changing the momentum on the ground in Syria” and it also fails to arm the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group fighting the Assad regime there. The Arizona Republican indicated that several other senators share his misgivings about the resolution.


McCain is pushing for language calling for a reversal of the situation on the ground, where the Assad regime is generally considered to be prevailing against the armed opposition. “Without that, there is no policy,” McCain told reporters after the meeting ended.

It may have been lost in the hoopla of the past several days, but this is not what the Obama Administration is asking for. In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry has enunciated quite clearly that taking ownership of Syria’s civil war is not the goal or a desire.

The Obama Administration is seeking congressional approval for a targeted strike on the infrastructure that supports Assad’s chemical weapons program.

John McCain wants more than that, and he may not be alone.

We now have congressmen who want extra war, some want no war, some are preparing to filibuster, some are still asking questions about Benghazi, and some will only vote for a resolution after its been amended to include some pork.

It’s like herding kittens, and the president didn’t have to go this route. He could have authorized action without the extra headaches or heartburn of Congress. That should tell you that he isn’t hellbent on war as some would make it seem. He knew what he was getting into by going to this Congress.

  • Zen Diesel

    Silly Grandpa McCain, US nation building has never worked in the Middle East. I think it’s time to move the doomsday clock to 10 minutes to midnight.

    • You think it should move back five minutes? I wouldn’t argue, but am curious.

      • Zen Diesel

        If we do decide to bomb, then I would have to say that it should move up to 5 minutes to midnight, due to the unforeseen reactions by Russia, Iran and China.

        • It’s at 5 minutes to midnight now.

          • Christopher Foxx

            It’s at 5 minutes to midnight now.

            Uh, that photo looks like a clock at 11:50 to me.

  • Steven Skelton

    1. Nobody should ever listen to John McCain. I’m thankful for his service to our country, but I don’t think his faculties ever fully returned after his imprisonment.
    2. The president only went to congress because he lost the support of the British. He (rightfully) concluded that he would need political cover for this.
    3. Trying to add pork to this resolution should be the end of any politicians career…but it won’t be. We routinely send 95% of those seeking reelection to the House back regardless of what they do.

  • D_C_Wilson

    McCain still buys into the neocon fantasy that the US can reshape the Middle East through military action, so it’s no surprise he wants more war! Lindsey Graham, who is Grover Dill to McCain’s Scutt Farkus, will no doubt also oppose the resolution for the same reason. Meanwhile, Randy Paul is opposing it because Christians might be killed. Apparently “libertarians” don’t care if Assad kills his fellow Muslims, but never harm a single hair on a Christian’s head!

    • McCain buys into his own fantasy that he’s a military leader. He was a pilot, and not a good one, from what I hear. He flew where he was told to fly, and attacked whatever targets he was told to attack. He did not lead, nor did he develop strategies, tactics, logistics. He’s no more an expert on war than I am.

      • “He flew where he was told to fly”

        Most of the time, he flew where he was told to fly…there were a couple of times where he crashed….His service record is abysmal and the only thing that distinguished him was the fact that he had the misfortune to be captured and tortured. For him to continue to push unnecessary wars and send other young people into harm’s way, is unconscionable to me. But the poors will carry the biggest burden and he’s obviously a-okay with other people’s sacrifices.

  • missliberties

    I am finding in this debate, I hate both sides. The President has taken a big risk here. The good news is these immoral crimes of Assad are exposed to the world. The bad news is that the world knows and now if the US does nothing, it’s goose cooked.

    It’s an escape route for McCain. But I just don’t see him voting against a strike in the long run.

    But no worries Greenwald’s hero Rand Paul is threatening the vote with his Liberty Quotient. He sez for the sake of freedom he is going to unscrew all those squiggly lightbults and replace them with real American lightbulbs. Sarin gas? Dead children. No biggie. Just git yer own gun and eveything will be fine.

    • Mike_Norris

      “I am finding in this debate, I hate both sides.”

      Yes…Thank-you. I cannot believe that we are even having this discussion. Really, who do we think we are? It is not the responsibility of the United States to police the whole fucking world. We have been at war constantly–and without interruption–since 1941. This shit has to stop! If we want to go and liberate people who are being oppressed and murdered by a bat shit crazy dictator, then why don’t we go to North Korea? That crazy bastard kills people everyday. He keeps his people living about fifty years beyond the stone age and has entire families murdered as punishment for the smallest of crimes. So if we want to start being big fucking brother to the whole world, then let’s start somewhere where we might do some good. Like you, missliberties, I have had it with this entire discussion. If McCain wants a war, then I hope his daughters are the first people on the ground when the shooting starts. And while I am loathe to say this, that goes for the president as well.