McCain: Blame Obama for Syria's Chemical Attack

Meanwhile, Obama talks with Stephen Harper

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 27, 2013 1:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – So much for the supposedly blossoming Barack Obama/John McCain bromance. McCain, who's currently visiting South Korea, today laid partial blame for Syria's apparent chemical weapons massacre at Obama's feet, saying the White House hadn't reacted forcefully enough to past reports of chemical attacks. "Assad was able to use chemical weapons before and there was no response, and so why not do it again?" McCain told the Daily Beast. "They viewed that not as a red line, but as a green light, and they acted accordingly."

McCain also blamed Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, criticizing the general's Aug. 19 statement warning of the dangers of military engagement in Syria. "Dempsey made an incredible illogical statement and then a few days later we saw a massive use of chemical weapons," McCain said, adding that he "has to be embarrassed." "I’m sure that Bashar al-Assad paid attention to the top military man in America’s words that we were not going to get involved." It's not the first time McCain has criticized Obama's Syria response, and he's not alone. Bill Clinton has echoed his sentiments. Over at CNN, Newt Gingrich makes the case for staying out of Syria.

US Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., answers to questions from students of the Japan-America Student Conference at the Tokyo American Center in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Franck Robichon, Pool)
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