McCain: US handling of Syria ‘shameful’ and disgraceful


US Sen. John McCain of Arizona on Sunday sharply criticized the United States’ handling of the ongoing crisis in Syria and called on the Obama administration to take further action.

“The United States of America, its performance so far has been shameful and disgraceful,” McCain said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

His comments came in a response to a question about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said in a Tokyo press conference Sunday that “the days are numbered” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

McCain, however, said the U.S., along with the international community, was not doing enough.

“My question to the secretary of state and the president of the United States is, how many more have to die before we take action to help these people with other nations?” he said.

The United Nations has said more than 10,000 people have been killed since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011. What started as peaceful protests against the regime spiraled into a bloody government crackdown and armed uprising.

McCain has long been lobbying for U.S. intervention in the unrest. He emphasized Sunday he was not suggesting that the United States send troops to Syria, but called instead for the issuing of arms to Syrian opposition groups, saying the current situation is “not a fair fight.”

The 2008 Republican presidential nominee also said the U.S. needs “to establish a sanctuary” so the opposition can “organize” and “resist.”

“It is shameful, the total lack of leadership that the United States has displayed for the last 14 months,” he said.