Angry opponents of a possible Syrian strike confronted Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in a town hall meeting on Thursday as public opposition to military action mounts.
“You don’t respect our views,” one man said after McCain called on a different questioner, CNN’s PoliticalTicker reports. “We didn’t send you to make war for us. We sent you to stop the war.”
“This is what I think of Congress,” another voter said, holding aloft a bag of marshmallows. “They are a bunch of marshmallows. That’s what they are. That’s what they’ve become. Why are you not listening to the people and staying out of Syria? It’s not our fight.”
One woman of Syrian descent who has family living in the war-torn country subjected the senator to an emotional tirade condemning U.S. involvement in the conflict.
“No one’s denying that there is a lot of atrocities being committed in Syria, whether it be on the rebel side or on the other side as well,” she said, explaining that the Syrian rebels killed her 18-year-old cousin 10 days earlier.
McCain could “force” Saudi Arabia and Iran to negotiate with Syria and cease the conflict, she said. “You could do it. You can do it. By diplomacy and negotiation. Not bombs, Sen. McCain. We cannot afford more Syrian blood. … We cannot afford to turn Syria into another Iraq or Afghanistan.”
As a man told McCain he did not see a “good rationale” for an attack on Syria, another voter stepped out of the aisle to stand beside the senator with a sign reading “DON’T BOMB SYRIA!!!” to applause.
McCain staunchly supports President Barack Obama’s plan to launch a strike against Syria, along with Democratic and Republican leaders in the House. Polls, however, show that a majority of Americans oppose military action against the Syrian regime.