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The Battle for Syria

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McCain says Syria's Assad 'Euphoric" and Iranians 'Happy'

September 1st 2013

Rowhani

McCain criticized Obama for setting a red line, and then not backing it up. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday said President Obama thrilled Iran and Syrian President Bashar Assad by seeking approval for Congress for a military strike on Syria. McCain argued Obama had made himself look weak by first promising tough action in response to the use of chemical weapons, and then pausing to ask Congress for approval. “[Syrian President] Bashar [Assad] 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 that it’s a red line and by the way I am going to have to seek the approval of Congress,” McCain said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

McCain did not say how he would vote on Obama's request for approval, and reiterated that he believes the administration lacks a broader, coherent plan for addressing the Syrian crisis. In a statement on Saturday, he and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) signaled they could oppose Obama's call to action. But on Sunday, he warned that the U.S. will be badly hobbled if Congress does not go along with Obama. “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,” McCain said, adding, “already we are sending a bad signal to Iran, to North Korea, to Bashar Assad.”

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