Sep 26 2016

Statement By Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain on Obama Administration's Failed Syria Policy

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John McCain (R-Arizona) released the following statement today on the Obama Administration’s failed policy in Syria:

“President Obama’s Syria policy continues to offer gruesome proof of Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The pattern is as simple as it is predictable: a ceasefire is agreed; Russian, Iranian and Syrian regime forces rest, refit, and redeploy their forces; the carnage resumes; and the ceasefire collapses. What the Obama Administration calls a quagmire, the Assad regime calls progress.

“After yet another cycle of this diplomatic masquerade, Russian and Syrian regime forces have unleashed new waves of airstrikes in Aleppo that no longer just indiscriminately target civilians, but now deliberately target humanitarian convoys, aid warehouses, and rescue workers responding to the bloodshed. But as Assad and Putin lay the ground work to starve or butcher the 250,000 Syrians in eastern Aleppo, President Obama’s policy remains shockingly unchanged. At the United Nations, he said that because ‘there’s no ultimate military victory to be won, we’re going to have to pursue the hard work of the diplomacy that aims to stop the violence and deliver aid to those in need.’

“How many hospitals, markets, schools, and playgrounds do Russian and Syrian regime aircraft have to bomb before we realize that Putin and Assad are not interested in stopping the violence? How many aid warehouses and UN humanitarian convoys do they have to destroy before we realize Putin and Assad are not interested in delivering aid to those in need? After more than 400,000 Syrian civilians killed, how many more must die before we realize Putin and Assad are not interested in diplomacy? Putin and Assad do not want to broker peace. They want to win a war. And American inaction is helping them to do it.

“Diplomacy in the absence of leverage is a recipe for failure. At best, it offers the Obama administration a fig leaf to cover the abject failure of its Syria policy and the fact that there is no Plan B. Putin and Assad will not do what we ask of them out of the goodness of their hearts, or out of concern for our interests, or the suffering of others. They must be compelled, and that requires power. Until the United States is willing to take steps to change the conditions on the ground in Syria, the war, the terror, the refugees, and the instability will all continue.”