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McCain calls for US-led strikes on Syria without UN mandate

Published time: March 05, 2012 19:18
Edited time: March 06, 2012 23:32
U.S. Sen. John McCain (Pete Marovich / Getty Images / AFP)

U.S. Sen. John McCain (Pete Marovich / Getty Images / AFP)

Who needs diplomacy, or international law? Not former presidential candidate (R-AZ) John McCain, who became the first senator to publicly call for a US-led military strike on Syria in order to halt the nearly year-long conflict there.

Taking the Senate floor, McCain said there will be no UN mandate for the air strikes he deems the only way to stop the violence – but that a mandate isn’t necessary. All the Arizona senator needs, apparently, is a somewhat dubious – and violent – precedent. “NATO took military action to save Kosovo in 1999 without formal U.N. authorization. There is no reason why the Arab League, or NATO, or a leading coalition within the Friends of Syria contact group, or all of them speaking in unison, could not provide a similar international mandate for military measures to save Syria today”, he said.

He spoke at length about the Bashar Assad government, and said that the only realistic way to preserve

“innocent lives … is with foreign airpower.”

The Arizona senator pointed out that President Barack Obama characterized the prevention of mass atrocities as "a core national security interest" when speaking about Libya, and has committed the credibility of the United States to his repeated calls for Assad to step down.

“If Assad manages to cling to power – or even if he manages to sustain his slaughter for months to come, with all of the human and geopolitical costs that entails – it would be a strategic and moral defeat for the United States. We cannot, we must not, allow this to happen," McCain said.

"Some kind of intervention will happen, with us or without us," he said. "The real question for U.S. policy is whether we will participate in this next phase of the conflict in Syria, and thereby increase our ability to shape an outcome that is beneficial to the Syrian people, and to us."

McCain’s idea is a typical neo-con conservative mindset of foreign intervention which implies a regime-change operation aimed at ousting one dictator in order to install another, US-approved dictator, believes Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

According to Hornberger, the US government has no qualms about dictatorships. “It has been a long-time supporter of the military dictatorship in Egypt. We've got the dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Jordan. The problem here from the standpoint of the US government is that this is the regime that is not pro-US. That's the reason for McCain wanting to intervene and replace it with the pro-US regime,” he told RT.

Hornberger believes the Syrian people are oppressed by the Assad government, but that does not empower America to intervene in the country.

“Sure people sympathize with the Syrian people, nobody likes people suffering under a dictatorship, but the US government needs to bud out: this is the case that should be resolved only by the Syrian people.”

Hornberger is sure that at the moment the US government is struggling to decide which country to make the new official enemy of the US Empire: should it be Syria or Iran?

McCain’s calls for military action in Syria should be taken very seriously, because many believe the ideas he expresses are shared by the majority of Republicans, professor and Middle East expert, Paul Sheldon Foote, told RT.

“He is stubborn and dangerous,” Foote said. “He is a man who advocates a hundred years of military bases, no limit on spending. And the current batch of Republican candidates – other than Ron Paul – are chickenhawks. They never served in the military and they advocate war-war-war all over the world.”