The deal between the United States and Russia on Syria's chemical weapons is "meaningless," Sen. John McCain said Monday. It erodes America's credibility in the Middle East and will ultimately be unenforceable, he said.
"It's clear we've bought into [this] idea that Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad are serious about real dismantlement of these chemical weapons when there is no penalty in the United Nations Security Council for failure to comply," The Arizona Republican said on CNN.
"The whole agreement is meaningless . . . It's a laudable goal but there's no real way to achieve it."
The deal, McCain said, gives Putin "a major place in the Middle East," while giving the Assad regime a green light to continue to escalate attacks on the Free Syrian Army rebels fighting to overthrow him.
"Two years ago, the president said Bashar al-Assad must go. If anything, this ensures he stays in power," McCain said.
The United States, McCain said, has lost all credibility in the Middle East by saying Syria crossed the "red line" in its use of chemical weapons yet failing to retaliate with military action.
"The Iranians, Israelis, and North Koreans will take a lesson from this," he said.
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