Politics

McCain: Washington Consensus On Foreign Policy Has Been Wrong For Years

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Arizona Republican Senator John McCain questioned Sunday whether President Donald Trump has a strategy in Syria on NBC’s Meet the Press, and said that the Washington consensus on foreign policy in the Middle East has been wrong for years.

“Not everybody thinks the Washington consensus on foreign policy has worked in the Middle East over the last 25 years,” host Chuck Todd pointed out to the senator.

McCain responded, “And it hasn’t. And you’re right. It hasn’t. But it wasn’t because of the people that are around him [Trump] now. For eight years, we basically did nothing in response to some of the horrendous war crimes in history.”

McCain, who also serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, also said that he thinks that the president is “growing” and praised Trump’s foreign policy team. “He is listening to some very wise intelligence people,” the senator told Todd.

“I support what he did, but we’ve got to develop a strategy,” McCain asserted. “There is still not an overall strategy that he can come to congress and his advisors and say, ok here is how we are going to handle Syria. Here is how we are going to handle the post-Mosul Iraq,” he explained, while adding that he’ll give the president more time to develop one.

McCain mentioned the countless civilians who have been reportedly killed at the hands of the Assad regime. “Those 400,000 men, women and children that were slaughtered, they weren’t slaughtered by ISIS, they were slaughtered by Bashar al-Assad,” McCain said, adding that the Russians were responsible for precision weapons that have hit hospitals in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

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“The war crimes are horrendous here and to just say we’re only after ISIS, in my view, rather than regime change is something that we have to rethink,” McCain said.

“There are some that will say the Washington establishment has sucked him [Trump] in,” Todd said to McCain, who simply replied with a grin, “I hope so.”

“America is about a moral superiority, and our willingness, not fight every fight, but at least to respond to horrendous acts on humanity and war crimes,” McCain asserted, while also warning that Al-Qaeda would spread in the region if “we don’t take care of Bashar al-Assad.”

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