Kucinich to McCain: ‘A strike on Syria would not bring about democracy’

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
Font Size:

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Jordan on Sunday that the United States may consider military intervention in Syria akin to the NATO-led intervention that toppled Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.

McCain’s talk of possible military intervention in Syria didn’t sit well with Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who sued the Obama administration earlier this year with nine of his House colleagues to end the Libya intervention.

Kucinich spokesman Nathan White told The Daily Caller that “Congressman Kucinich will seek a meeting with his friend Senator McCain to explain to him why any military action by the U.S. against Syria would not be in the interest of the United States, Israel or Lebanon. A strike on Syria would not bring about democracy.”

In his Sunday remarks, McCain said, “More Syrians appear to be taking up arms against the regime. There are even growing calls among the opposition for some kind of foreign military intervention. We hear these pleas for assistance.”

“Now that military operations in Libya are ending, there will be renewed focus on what practical military options might be considered to protect civilian lives in Syria,” McCain said. “The Assad regime should not assume that it can get away with mass murder. Gadhafi made that mistake, and it cost him everything.”

McCain added, “Iran’s rulers would be wise to heed a similar counsel.”

Syria is in the midst a crackdown on anti-government protests that began seven months ago. United Nations estimates place the death toll from the violence at over 3,000. (RELATED: Santorum: U.S. ‘lost the war in Iraq’)

On Monday the United States recalled its ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, after what the State Department alleged was a “smear campaign of malicious and deceitful propaganda” by the Syrian government that jeopardized his safety.

Ford had been active in offering moral support to the protesters and in September told TheDC that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was evil.

In June, Kucinich traveled to Syria on a “fact-finding” trip that became controversial after the airing of an interview he gave to Syrian television, in which he recommended a gradual transition to democracy. “There is no rushing. You have to unfold democratic traditions,” he said.

McCain’s communications director was unable to clarify the senator’s comments when contacted by TheDC on Monday, as he was traveling abroad.

Follow Steven on Twitter