Syria has finally reclaimed Aleppo from rebels after four years of war, and as we reflect on the bloodshed and remember the dead, Sen. John McCain says there's one other thing at hand: "We must acknowledge the United States' complicity in this tragedy." In a Washington Post essay, the Arizona senator rips President Obama and his call to "bear witness" to the injustices that happened in the Syrian city, listing the atrocities there and noting how the president "has borne witness to all of this, and more, and done nothing to stop it." Instead, US reaction to Syria was riddled with "high-minded talk," the "illusion of action," and "red lines drawn and transgressed with no consequences." But the fight is not over in Syria, and McCain thinks we need to make hard choices now before it's too late.
Those choices include acknowledging that the US does have a role to play in the conflict, and not just because Syrians are suffering, "as moving as that is," but because of the national security implications. He also dismisses the notion that teaming up with the regimes of Syria, Russia, and Iran is wise. "To think that we can destroy the Islamic State by throwing in our lot with those who are strengthening it every day is a dangerous fantasy," he notes. He adds that while the US can't take on every battle across the globe, we also can't turn a blind eye to the "worst injustices." "If we try, the instability, terror, and destruction at the heart of that chaos will eventually make their way to our shores," he writes. Read McCain's pointed piece here. (Read more opinion stories.)