Former presidential candidate John McCain has stated in a recent interview with PBS's Charlie Rose that he sees Syrian rebel war crimes as merely, "Isolated incidents of people who have just gotten … battle-hardened and angry."
The 76-year-old Republican senator has recently begun advocating for U.S. military intervention and arms provision in the Syrian civil war. McCain has thrown his weight behind the military support of the Sunni Muslim rebel forces that are attempting to overthrow the current Shi'a Muslim government and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. McCain believes that the ascension of a Sunni government in Syria would be a huge blow to Shi'a-led Iran and its nuclear program.
In the interview Charlie Rose points out that "Syria might become a failed state and might be ruled by … a group of people who have no interest in good relationships with the United States." McCain seems to brush that notion aside. His opinion is that the loss of an ally to Iran within the Middle East is such a valuable prospect that the support of war criminals is necessary.
While McCain is likely correct that the loss of a Shi'a government would help weaken Iran's standing within the Middle East, he is also proposing that the United States support a rebellion which a United Nations panel states has committed "war crimes, including murder, sentencing and execution without due process, torture, hostage-taking and pillage."
Syrian anti-government armed groups, while "not reach[ing] the intensity and scale of [the violations and abuses] committed by Government forces," have shown a blatant disregard for the lives of the Syrian civilian population.
With another major American political representative advocating, yet again, to put weapons in the hands of known war criminals, it begs the question; when are the lawmakers who dictate U.S. foreign policy going to learn from their mistakes?
The United States has been getting itself involved in foreign wars since its inception and the results have been less than stellar. Time and time again the supply of military aid, in one form or another, to overthrow a foreign government's leader has yielded a litany of unintended negative consequences. The repeated U.S. support of foreign authoritarian leaders protecting American economic and political interests have, in many instances, spurred strong anti-American sentiments.
It is irresponsible of the American government and Senator John McCain to continue advocating U.S. intervention in foreign affairs simply to further the interests of the United States.
Such foreign policies reveal an egocentric and near-sighted thought process that has weakened the United State's moral authority and respect from the world at large.