by Jim Nintzel
U.S. Sen. John McCain issues a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham on President Barack Obama's decision to consult Congress before taking military action against Syria:
We believe President Obama is correct that the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons requires a military response by the United States and our friends and allies. Since the President is now seeking Congressional support for this action, the Congress must act as soon as possible.
However, we cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President's stated goal of Assad's removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests. Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing. And it would send the wrong signal to America's friends and allies, the Syrian opposition, the Assad regime, Iran, and the world—all of whom are watching closely what actions America will take.
UPDATED: Talking Points Memo has details of McCain's comments following today's meeting with Obama:
After meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he supports the need to intervene against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime over its alleged use of chemical weapons.
He said if Congress votes down the resolution, it would be "catastrophic because it would undermine the credibility of the United States and the president of the United States."
McCain said U.S. credibility would be "shredded" internationally if Congress thwarts a president after he has already committed to military action.