- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sen. John McCain said he’s “encouraged” by a Monday meeting at the White House with President Obama on Syria but that he wants to see a robust resolution for action in the region.

“I worry a lot about a resolution that really would have no real effect — [that] in fact, would damage our credibility even more,” the Arizona Republican said Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “I have no doubt a no vote on this resolution would have [a] very damaging effect to United States credibility in the world.”

He said providing arms to Syrians rebelling against the regime of Bashar Assad is something the president “would seriously consider.” Both Mr. McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, have been pushing for engagement in the region seemingly broader than an approach such as isolated missile strikes.

“Our credibility is at stake here if this resolution is voted down, and I don’t want the resolution to be voted down, but it’s got to be a meaningful resolution that I think will have a long-term effect and ultimately that’s reversal on the battlefield,” he said. “Remember, Iran is the sponsor of all this as the centrifuges spin and they proceed toward nuclear weapons.”

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