STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON THE PRESIDENT’S ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY AND THE SITUATION IN SYRIA
April 23, 2012
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on the President’s announcement today and the situation in Syria:
“I appreciate the President’s announcement at the Holocaust Museum today. The changes being made to the structure of our federal government, including the convening of the Atrocities Prevention Board, will better enable this President, and future Presidents, to prevent and respond to mass atrocities, to protect human rights, and to hold the violators of human rights accountable.
“But if history teaches us anything, it is that good bureaucratic organization may be necessary to stop mass atrocities and gross human rights abuses, but it is not sufficient. Ultimately, ending violations of conscience requires the political will and moral courage of world leaders, especially the President of the United States. Unfortunately, that will and leadership are lacking in the case of Syria today.
“Despite all of the diplomatic and economic pressure that has been imposed on Bashar al-Assad, his campaign of violence against the Syrian people continues. The Annan Plan has failed. And there is no end in sight to the slaughter. Recent reports suggest that the Syrian opposition is literally running out of ammunition, while Assad’s forces are being rearmed and resupplied by Russia and Iran. The only way to stop the killing, force Assad to leave power, and create the conditions for a negotiated political transition for Syria is to change the military balance of power on the ground, including giving the Syrian people the means to defend themselves.
“This is the same lesson that President Clinton ultimately learned in Bosnia, and thankfully he rallied the world and took action to end the killing there. There is no difference in this regard between Bosnia then and Syria today, and it is time for President Obama to turn his principles and aspirations, which I share, into the resolve and leadership to do what is necessary to help end the slaughter in Syria.”