Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) tore into Barack Obama for his indecision in attacking Syria on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday.
McCain accused the President has not presented a coherent strategy to respond to Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians:
I think Senator Lindsay Graham and I and others will be wanting a strategy, a plan, rather than just “are we going to launch some cruise missiles and that’s it.” We worry more when the president’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said, “Well, it doesn’t matter when we strike.” That’s not a military action; that’s a symbolic action… In our view, the best way to eliminate the threat of Bashar Assad’s continued use of chemical weapons, and by the way, we know he’s used them a number of times before, would be the threat of his removal from power. And that, I believe, has to be part of what we tell the American people.
The Senator asserted that Congress finds itself in a tough spot now between voting its conscience or further embarrassing Obama and thus the United States:
The consequences of the Congress of the United States overriding a decision of the President of the United States of this magnitude are really very, very serious. Already we’re sending a bad signal to Iran, to North Korea, to Bashar Assad. But if we overrode the president’s decision and did nothing… I am also aware of the failure of Congress to endorse this plan, that the signal that it sends to the world in a very dangerous world, where we’ve also lost enormous credibility.
He continued, arguing that America’s allies were demoralized and America’s enemies emboldened by the President’s failure to follow up on his rhetoric about the “red line” of a chemical weapons attack.
You mentioned the Free Syrian Army. I can tell you that their morale has been devastated. Bashar and his people are euphoric; the Iranians are happy. When the President of the United states said that it was a red line, he didn’t say, “It’s a red line, and by the way, I’m going to have to seek the approval of Congress.” He said it was a red line and the United States of America would act… At the eleventh hour, when the strikes–leaks have been massive, unprecedented–the strikes are already planned, we know what ships are there, we know how many missiles, I mean, unprecedented, leaking, then, a reversal at this point I think has serious consequences as far as the steadfastness and purpose of this Administration.
When asked whether Obama has a plan, McCain responded:
Of course not. When the only thing we’ve given these brave people dying by the droves, MRE’s about to expire? That’s the kind of assistance while the arms shipments are flown in every single day from Iran and Russia? The people who are doing the fighting and are the major force are moderates, and anybody who tells you anything different, come with me to Syria and I’ll introduce you to them