McCain, Graham: Putin, Assad Leading Obama into 'Diplomatic Blind Alley'

McCain, Graham: Putin, Assad Leading Obama into 'Diplomatic Blind Alley'

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the agreement between the United States and Russia to secure Syria’s chemical weapons was a sign of American weakness. They also said that, with the agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad were leading the Obama administration into a “diplomatic blind alley.”

The senators said that “without a U.N. Security Council Resolution under Chapter 7 authority, which threatens the use of force for non-compliance by the Assad regime, this framework agreement is meaningless,” because “Assad will use the months and months afforded to him to delay and deceive the world using every trick in Saddam Hussein’s playbook.”

McCain and Graham also said the agreement “does nothing” to resolve the real problem in Syria, which is the conflict that has “killed 110,000 people, driven millions from their homes, destabilized our friends and allies in the region, emboldened Iran and its terrorist proxies, and become a safe haven for thousands of Al-Qaeda affiliated extremists.”

“Is the message of this agreement that Assad is now our negotiating partner, and that he can go on slaughtering innocent civilians and destabilizing the Middle East using every tool of warfare, so long as he does not use chemical weapons?” they asked. “That is morally and strategically indefensible.”

The senators added, “the only way this underlying conflict can be brought to a decent end” is by “significantly increasing our support to moderate opposition forces in Syria” to create “conditions for a negotiated end to the conflict.”