Republican Sen. John McCain told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that President Barack Obama and his White House are “playing footsie” with the Iranians, and that it was having a disastrous effect on the fight against ISIS. (VIDEO: NBC Reporter: US Failing To Stop ISIS)
MCCAIN: This goes back several years to when the president overruled his secretary of defense, secretary of state and director of CIA when they recommended arming the Free Syrian Army. But now it is really an immoral situation, and I don’t use that word lightly. They are now going to train Syrians to go in and fight against ISIS and at the same time allowing Bashar Assad to slaughter them with barrel bombs and air attacks and other attacks. Every time we strike ISIS, then Bashar Assad steps up his attacks on the Free Syrian Army.
As I say, it’s immoral, yet somehow we are playing footsie with the Iranians and hope they will somehow have an effect on ISIS. The sponsors of the 5,000 Hezbollah that came into Syria and changed the balance of power when the Free Syrian Army was succeeding a few years ago. This is not a strategy. This is sort of an ad hoc reactionary failure.
MITCHELL: Let me take you back to what you said about playing footsie with Iran. How is the White House playing footsie with Iran?
MCCAIN: Well, there are reports that one of the reasons why we are not attacking Bashar Assad is because we are trying to look at some kind of arrangements with the Iranians… And these talks, I believe, on the nuclear issue; we have already given away the store by allowing them the right to enrich and not putting in check both the development of warheads and the means to deliver them. It is this misguided effort to somehow accommodate and get better relations with a country that is spreading disorder and unrest throughout the region — including Yemen, by the way — that is our enemy.
They are not our friend. They are our enemy. Are we are treating them as somebody that we can continue to do business with. Going back to 2009, when the president refused to speak on up on behalf of those young Iranians who were demonstrating after a corrupt election. This is a foreign policy that is off the rails.