McCain: Future US President Will Apologize For 'Failure' in Syria

Image: McCain: Future US President Will Apologize For 'Failure' in Syria

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 09:19 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Sen. John McCain has blasted President Barack Obama for his "failure" to have done more to prevent the mass atrocities inflicted on the victims of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

The Arizona Republican said he's haunted by the 55,000 photos taken by a Syrian military policeman who was tasked with documenting the horrors that Assad's forces had committed against political prisoners in jail.

On the Senate floor on Wednesday, McCain said that the "future president" of the U.S. will have to apologize for not using "the power we possess" to help the Syrian people.

"Where is President Obama who has said he refuses to accept that brutal tyrants can slaughter their people with impunity while the most powerful nation in the history of the world looks on and stands by?" McCain said.

"Where is that President Obama today? Where is the President Obama who has spoken so movingly of the moral responsibilities that great power confers?

"Where is the recognition that 'the cold logic of mass graves' is right there in front of us, in Syria today? And yet our government is doing what we have sadly done too often in the past. We are averting our eyes."

During his speech, McCain stood next to giant photos on easels of the atrocities taken by the military cop who defected. The former presidential candidate has also posted several of the photos on his Twitter account @SenJohnMcCain, including one tweet which showed a photo of a child whose legs appeared to be badly injured.

"When the images and horrors of this conflict occasionally show up on our television screens, the impulse of many Americans is to change the channel," McCain said in the Senate. "But we must not look away. We must not avert our eyes from the suffering of the Syrian people ...

"For, if we do, we ignore…our own sense of revulsion that what is happening in Syria today is a stain on the collective conscience of moral peoples everywhere. These images of the human disaster in Syria haunt me. And they should haunt all of my colleagues and all Americans."

McCain said that "many years from now" an American president will admit to the world and to the Syrian people "that we could have done more to stop the suffering in the Middle East country."And that future president will apologize for our current failure."

His remarks came the same day that the Syrian opposition coalition unveiled a detailed transition plan to end the Syrian conflict during peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland, according to The New York Times.

The proposals marked a major shift in policy from the rebels by not insisting on Assad's ouster as part of the conditions, although they did call for greater human rights and a traditional justice process in Syria. The 24-point plan also demanded that the people who have harmed Syrians would be "held accountable" for their actions.

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