Editor's Note: This column was written by Justice Gilpin-Green, a Townhall Editorial Intern.
It seems that President Bill Clinton’s previous helpful comments for the Republican presidential campaign have finally been reciprocated with Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) own nostalgia for his administration.
At Monday’s American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conference on Syria, McCain said that he wished President Obama would mirror Clinton’s actions with Kosovo. Quoting the former president a few times throughout his speech, McCain praised him for being willing to be active and present in calming foreign violence. In contrast, he referred to today’s lack of American leadership in Syria as the first issue we must overcome to see peace in Syria.
“What the President does not seem to realize is what President Bill Clinton came to realize in Bosnia,” McCain said. “That the diplomatic resolution in conflicts like these is not possible until the military balance of power changes on the ground.”
Although McCain prefaced his speech by saying that he had “seen a lot of death”, he admitted that nothing compared with the horrific accounts of violence that he had heard about from Syrians. For the past 15 months, Syria has experienced an escalating “onslaught of violence…with no end in sight” and an estimated 12,000 lives lost. Like Kosovo, Syria’s conflicts are deeply rooted in pursuits of ethic cleansing. While the Clinton administration dealt with Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic’s cleansing of the Albanians from the Kosovo region, the Obama administration apparently fails to deal with the purging of Sunnis from various regions across Syria.
“Syrian army defectors told us killing and rape and torture is what they were instructed to do as a tactic of terror and intimidation. So, if I get a little emotional when I talk about Syria, that’s why.”