US should arm Syrian opposition: McCain

2012-02-07 22:29

Washington - Senior Republican senator John McCain urged the United States on Tuesday to consider arming the opposition fighting the forces of Syria's President Bashar Assad.

"We should start considering all options, including arming the opposition. The blood-letting has got to stop," he told reporters.

McCain, who stopped short of calling for military intervention, made the remarks as he and other Republican senators were about to meet with visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

He also called for "a contact group, a joint coalition" on Syria but did not specify what that meant.

His comments came a day after the United States closed its embassy in Syria and pulled out all its staff, amid an escalating crackdown on the opposition by the Assad regime.

President Barack Obama shied away from talk of military intervention, however, and vowed to pursue diplomatic means.

Russia and China on Saturday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the violence, which human rights group say has claimed some 6 000 lives since the outbreak of the revolt almost a year ago.

US Senator John Kerry said the crisis in Syria was "very different" from events that led to Nato-led strikes in Libya and called for a new push to get Russia and China to back UN action.

"This is a very different playing field, very different set of players, very different set of possible prospects," he said as he met with Lieberman.

"I think we have to approach it differently. I think we have to condemn what is happening - and we have. I think we have to work very diligently with China and Russia to see if we can move them, change their positions," he said.

"I think we have to approach it as we are: thoughtfully but very clear about where our preferences lie," said Kerry.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meanwhile, held talks in Damascus on Tuesday and insisted that Assad was "fully committed" to ending the bloodshed.

  • Boer - 2012-02-07 22:35

    I Agree help the opposition to get rid of that Murdering regime.

  • Jaba - 2012-02-07 22:42

    Russia and China are both afraid of what is going on in Arab countries. Their regimes, (especially in Russia, where huge anti-Putin demonstrations has recently taken place) could be overthrown by their own people. they will support any dictatorial regime left in this world. They also constantly support Iran. Its time the West supported the Syrian civilians... eventually the civilians will win, with western support they will win faster and save many more lives. If Russia & China can play dirty, then so should western democracies.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 23:52

      Muedes, the only person being an idiot is you. How many times do you need to be proven wrong to become more attuned to what is really going on in the world? You're singing the same tune that you sung in Libya, telling us it was all made up, Gaddafi would crush the rebels, etc, etc. You're still disconnected from reality. Assad is going, removed by his own people by his own choice. Putin and his neo-Soviets are also going, the Chinese regime is goibg to be changed, and read this carefully: so is Imadinnerjacket and the corrupt Iranian regime. Maybe then you'll understand that the world is done with dictators and abusers of human rights.

  • Jaba - 2012-02-07 22:47

    "Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meanwhile, held talks in Damascus on Tuesday and insisted that Assad was "fully committed" to ending the bloodshed." Yes yes.. I'm personally sure he really meant it. According to plan, Assad will now dutifully crush the protestors as quickly and brutally as possible, and afterwards there will be no reason for violence because all his enemies will already be killed. He will really strive to end the violence as soon as possible. For that purpose it may of course be necessary to deploy some heavier weaponry.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 23:56

      The Russian regime is so out of touch. They're from another era. The Russian people will not allow this to continue. Before year's end Putin will be gone.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-08 01:43

    Isn't that what the US has been doing via its Arab League proxies. So according to the Washington hawks a negotiated settlement is not an option, because it doesn't allow for a regime change, war ,war war and more killings. No wonder these idiots have failed in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 02:44

      Arab League proxies. In one delusional phrase you've demeaned 350 million Muslims. That's how wrong you are. It's the same rubbish. When are you going to grow a pair and step into the real world, instead of playing the victim?

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-02-08 06:39

    Warmongering US, typical response but only when it suits them. Mugabwe much?

      Fred - 2012-02-08 06:55

      What does this mean? So you oppose supporting the Syrian people, who are being slaughtered daily by the brutal heartless dictator Bashar Assad?

      Hugh - 2012-02-09 09:29

      Hello, Conflict in the middle east has world wide implications, instability in WORLD oil shortages, multi international crises economically and financially. The world really doesn't swivel around this backwater.

  • Nyiko Ngobeni - 2012-02-08 06:45

    I saw this one coming! Soon the US and its sidekicks will be smuggling weapons into Syria

      Fred - 2012-02-08 06:54

      Out of ignorance and prejudice you're supporting regimes far worse than Apartheid. Do you have any idea that you're doing this?

      Fred - 2012-02-08 07:54

      USA aggression against the rest of the world? The USA is attemtping to help the people of Syria who are being mowed down by Assad's aggression. Do you even know what's going on? While you're holding onto a childish perspective of the world and hacking away at your keyboard, unarmed Syrian civilains wanting nothing more than the right to vote and be free from oppression are being killed. While you don't believe the majority of South Africans agree with this view, I can assure you they do. South Africans know what oppression means. We didn't go through Apartheid to be blind to it and support murder far worse than even the Apartheid regime committed.

      Napolita - 2012-02-08 08:08

      @Fred - If you reason that "..USA is attemtping to help the people of Syria who are being mowed down by Assad's aggression." This begs the question: should the USA be attempting to help the people of Palestine who are being mowed down by Israel's aggression? There's more to this that your assumption of some altruistic reasons behind the USA's actions. I assert; the beginning was Iraq, the detour was North Africa, the destination is Iran.

      Jaba - 2012-02-08 08:24

      Napolita let me educate you a little, for its seems you have been duped by anti-Israel propaganda. You can’t have Genocide or ethnic cleansing if the Palestinians are not dying in mass like the Holocaust, Rwanda, or Congo... or the way Qadafi or Syria were/are killing their own. If anything Israel has always wanted and voted for peace. Palestinians attacks, deaths and their use of human shields or firing of rockets from Mosque & schools is a war crime done by Hamas! Israel has a 20% Muslim population who earn a better living then any of their neighbours... who vote and live anywhere in Israel. Furthermore, the day the Palestinians choose the route of peace rather than their religious war then there will no longer be anymore deaths in this conflict. Israeli self defence is not aggression. Hamas’ leadership and brainwashing (Google their schools of hate) however is a crime against humanity – against their own people in the name of some fundamentalist religious belief that its ok and even praised to kill infidels.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 08:43

      Napolita, what has that to do with Syria? Nothing. Why connect the two? While you're playing intellectual mind games, Syrian women, children and civilians are being slaughtered.

      mogammatw - 2012-02-08 09:01

      @fred & Jaba. Let’s look at the facts here. 1)why does the us not support any any way shape or form the people of Bahrain they also wanted "democracy" why do they not support the people of Saudi they 2 want "democracy". Ask yourself why they would support the Syrian people??? Because Syria borders guess who.....

      Napolita - 2012-02-08 09:17

      Wow...what a nerve I must have touched. First off, my point and words was/were that there is NOTHING altruistic about USA supporting the anti-government people in Syria. Secondly, to you Jaba, thanks for the education albeit selectively so in facts. How about starting with the UN Resolutions 242 and 338 as part of your educating me. By the way, would you kindly provide proof that "Qadafi was killing their own. " Contrast this with the hundreds killed by Nato. Thirdly, to you Fred, pardon my repeating myself. My point was not about Syria/Palestine/Israel but USA!! I was and still am making the point that USA's actions having NOTHING to do with helping people but helping themselves! If it was about the people they are claiming to help then one would expect the same help in all similar situations; The selectivity of who to help has absolutely demonstrate the reasons of the USA's involvement in other country's affairs. Have a great day, y'all

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-08 10:49

      How is a unstable Syria good for the US or anyone? Syrian oil composed 0.5 percent of the global production in 2010. If anything according to that outlook the US would be going hammer and tongs at Nigeria or Algeria. The oil motive theory holds no water.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 16:35

      Napolita, that you think Gaddafi wasn't killing Libyans and NATO kills civilians says it all: you're living in some alternative reality where cruelty is kindness and goodness is wrong. You have a distorted, heartless, cruel view of what is going on. While you confuse yourself, thankfully those who actually care and want to stop the killing are working day and night. As to your little meaningless epithet: "I assert, the beginning was Iraq, the detour was North Africa, the destination is Iran". What does that even mean? What's happening in Syria isn't a high-school essay.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 16:43

      Patrick, so the US is destabilizing Syria. All those Syrians demonstrating by the tens of thousands these past eleven months, with thousands being killed by Assad's troops, are not real, are taking to the streets, putting their lives in danger, on instruction or by manipulation from the US. They don't have minds of their own. They're not making choices to pursue their freedom. They're mannequins. How detached from reality can you be? What do you have to see, or feel, to understand what is really going on? How numb are you?

      Fred - 2012-02-08 20:50

      Mogamm, are you saying the US should not support the Syrian people who are defenseless and being slaughtered by the baby-face and violent technocrat Bashar Assad?

      Hugh - 2012-02-09 09:43

      Amazing,all the experts on foreign relations. And if the USA didn't stand up for the "Terrorist organization" called the ANC?? What then? Would the mighty MK have (actually) taken up arms? If Palestinians Hamas, had more power to export more terrorist attacks against the infidels (USA; UK; Belgium;Netherlands;Germany etc)? What then? If Libya builds their Nuke and threatens to attack Israel? what then? Just asking since you wise and learned blogers seem to know all the answers. Just another thought, did you guys also condemn Russia for their war in Afghanistan, or was that lidgit because they are communists and your bed fellows?

  • Skia - 2012-02-08 08:39

    wait i've seen this before. anyone else remember vietnam & afghanistan

      Fred - 2012-02-08 08:45

      Ah geez, is that all you can come up with? What has that to do with the Syrian people being killed by their dictator leader attempting to hold onto power? It's dumb.

      Skia - 2012-02-08 09:05

      yes fred that's what i come up with. if i'm not mistaken the last war anyone asked the americans for help with was WW2 and they said no. so no i'm not talking about syria or it's people (or israel - they have no right to exist but that's nether here nor there) i, and i think most here, am talking about america thinking they are the world police

      Fred - 2012-02-08 16:27

      Your facts are wrong

  • Evan - 2012-02-08 09:15

    No, I don't agree, the USA helped the Mujahadeen with the Soviets in the 80's and that help came back to bite them. There are other ways they can help, without arming the opposition.

  • Shaun Robinson - 2012-02-08 09:30

    Oh yea that's brilliant!!! Stop the bloodshed by adding more weapons to the equation... Idiot American gunslinger!!!

      Fred - 2012-02-08 16:27

      What would you do then to stop the violent dictator Assad who's using Syria's military to kill civilians? Hundreds are being mowed down daily, right now.

  • Derek - 2012-02-08 10:16

    Eish. The snr US politicians are treading on dangerous ground. Are there good terrorists and bad terrorists now - or does the US decide? I think Russia and China are right, diplomatic resolutions in Syria must be pursued. US proposed solutions of arming the (disorganised) opposition may be too expedient - with major implications on sovereign principles and consistency. On that note I wonder if the US would dare to arm opposition forces challenging China's "Oppressive" regime?

      Napolita - 2012-02-08 11:58

      Derek I very much like your reasoning and so wish people like Jaba and Fred (see above posts) would at least try to give logic a chance in their thinking.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 16:25

      Diplomatic solutions? You're kidding, right? How many times must Assad hood-wink you before you understand that he has no intention of giving up power, only wants to hold onto it at any cost? For months he slaughtered thousands of peaceful demonstrators all the while promising democracy. Thankfully Syrians are not depending on you for help.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 20:54

      Patrick, regretably you're a numb person who doesn't understand what is really going on. The longer you hold to your violent victimhood, the less you'll see. You're blinding yourself. Period.

      Fred - 2012-02-10 09:01

      I'd rather cut you down with my words than allow you to support and enable the actually killing of civilians, including women and children, by a heartless tyrant. Plus there's a difference between an insult and a reflection of fact. You have to be numb to enable the slaughter of thousands of people, and undermine those trying to bring an end to the bloodshed. And from your posts it's more than obvious you're laboring under pseudo victimhood that you're blinding yourself with.

  • Hugh - 2012-02-09 09:55

    @Fred, dont think that this round will get any consensus. Seems the anti USA sentiment detracts from the facts on the ground. The impression I'm getting is let the dictators kill their citizens, that's ok. Its not in my back yard. Just imagine the same scenario being played out in the streets of JHB. Russia and China say let the Military bomb their civilians and vito UN help. I wonder if these supporters of these muslim dictatorships would sing another tune?

      Fidel - 2012-02-09 10:19

      There are no dictators in JHB so your scenario is a mute point. When citizens of any country take up arms against their OWN government, they stop being citizens but armed insurgents and as such are equally responsible for any deaths that may result from such irresponsible actions. There is no way that the insurgents can shoot their way to power and so yes, a negotiated settlement has to be the best option. They know this but have miscalculated in relying on that phony resolution that led to the bombing of Libya, which will not be forthcoming this time around. Irresponsibility is not freedom! The democracy and human rights loving west, led by the US has borne the brunt of the scorn in the Middle East for their diehard support of Israel – the US having casted more than 40 vetoes in the security council to protect its ally from further international censure and denying Palestinians their dignity.

      Fred - 2012-02-10 09:08

      Fidel, that's just more ignorant delusion. Your stupidity is shocking. You're equating the violent dictator Bashar Assad with peaceful demonstrators who for months have taken to the streets unarmed and have been picked-off by snipers on roof-tops and mowed down by tanks. More so than Libyans, Syrians have remained unarmed. It's only now after eleven months of being slaughtered that they're starting to take up arms. And good for them. A violent dictatorship is not the citizen's OWN government. The government is the insurgency. That's how they hold onto power. You really are making a big fool of yourself. You have a hugely faulty and distorted view of the world. It's almost exactly inverted to true reality. And the more the Arab Spring unfolds, the more wrong you will be.

      Derek - 2012-02-14 09:19

      Hugh, I think we can all agree that expedient US foreign policy (always to suite their own political or economical agenda) leads to unintended dire consequences outside the US. Why not listen to the Russians and the Chinese for once? These are Superpowers that will hopefully keep the US in check. I have also just learned that Al-Quada is behind these protests and they are the ones stirring the revolt. There may be another side to this story that's not being told. I guess you would happily hand Syria to them. That would really bode well for the citizens of that country.

  • Cameron - 2012-02-16 20:29 Really McCain? We armed al-Qaeda once before in the 80's. How did that turn out for us? Use your head pal.

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