Senator McCain Offends Visiting Syrian Church Leaders

Harut Sassounian


Sen. John McCain is a prime example of how U.S. officials so often have misjudged overseas crises, believing that the best way to bring democracy to a country is through massive US bombing and invasion.

The Arizona Senator has been highly critical of Pres. Obama’s ‘arm the rebels strategy,’ urging a more direct US military intervention in Syria. Sen. McCain does not seem to understand that toppling Pres. Bashar Al-Assad would result in more deaths and destruction, and turn Syria into a major hub of international terrorism. Over 30,000 Islamic Jihadists from dozens of countries currently are fighting the Syrian government and each other — surely, not to bring democracy to Syria!

In fact, the former Republican presidential candidate is so obsessed with beating the drums of war that reportedly he behaved in an ill-tempered and discourteous manner with a group of high-ranking Christian Syrian leaders, just because they were not advocating violent regime change. The church delegation had come to Washington last month seeking a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict and protection for Christians numbering around two million – 10 percent of the country’s population.

The visiting Church leaders included Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Damascus, and representatives of the Presbyterian, Evangelical, Syrian Orthodox, and Greek Orthodox churches of Syria. The delegation met with members of Congress, State Department officials, U.S., NGO’s, academics, religious leaders, and members of the media.

The Syrian clergymen were gratified with their Washington visit, except for their unpleasant encounter with Sen. McCain, as described by Judicial Watch:

“Hell-bent on arming opposition forces in Syria — despite strong evidence that they’re run by Islamic terrorists — John McCain displayed behavior unbecoming of a United States Senator during a recent meeting with Syrian Christian leaders touring Capitol Hill.… Senator McCain, an Arizona Republican, evidently doesn’t want to hear negative stories about the rebels he’s working to arm. So he stormed out of a closed-door meeting with the Syrian clergy officials last week…. McCain marched into the committee room yelling, according to a high-level source that attended the meeting, and quickly stormed out. ‘He was incredibly rude,’ the source told Judicial Watch…. Following the shameful tantrum, McCain reentered the room and sat briefly, but refused to make eye contact with the participants, instead ignoring them by looking down at what appeared to be random papers.”

During their meetings in Washington, the Syrian Christian leaders informed U.S. officials about the unfolding massive human tragedy in their country and the precarious situation of Christian communities; kidnapping of Christian Bishops, priests, nuns, and parishioners; attacks on Christian villages; desecration of churches and holy sites; and violations of religious freedom by armed Islamists.

Given the escalating bloodshed in Syria, the Church leaders asked the United States to:
— End all military and financial aid to armed rebels;
— Demand from U.S allies — Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey — not to support the terrorists;
— Ask that all sides of the conflict stop the violence, including bombings and terrorism;
— Resolve the conflict through dialogue, not military action;
— Ensure the Syrian people’s security;
— Protect the Christian minorities;
— Protect the churches and mosques;
— Protect religious, historical, and cultural monuments;
— Assist in the distribution of humanitarian aid in Syria.

The website of the Syrian Armenian Committee for Urgent Relief and Rehabilitation (SACURR) reported that as of Sept. 30, 2013, the war caused serious harm to the Armenian community: 64 civilians murdered, 172 injured, 110 kidnapped, and 15 soldiers killed in action. Moreover, various Armenian institutions were damaged: seven Apostolic and three Catholic churches; 13 schools; and 10 community centers. Close to half of 65,000 Syrian-Armenians have fled to Armenia, Lebanon and elsewhere.

SACURR, composed of nine major Armenian social, religious and political organizations in Syria, reported that by the end of September it had received $1.7 million from overseas Armenian entities. Even though this is a small fraction of the amount needed, SACURR has been able to provide food, shelter, security, and medical and educational assistance to Syrian Armenians, including $500,000 in tuition aid to 6,436 students in 38 schools.

Sen. McCain and other foolhardy U.S. officials would do well to heed the wise counsel of the visiting Syrian Christian leaders. Dispatching more weapons to Syria would only exacerbate the fighting, resulting in endless bloodshed.

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  1. sam said:

    McCain which i refuse to call him a senator .is very well known for being a very rude person .he thinks he is smart but he has no clue about politic. people like him will leave a very bad image for the u.s in the globe.i just can’t understand .the americans are fighting the terrorist in afghanistan and else where ,and supporting the same jihadist terrorist in syria. what a shame

  2. Kevork said:

    And I bet this two-faced Buffoon McInsane shamelessly marches into church pretending to be “Christian”. Meanwhile he travels to Syria and takes photos with alqaida members, and cannot stop licking zionist ass back in the US, as he is owned by them in whole, pacemaker, dentures and diaper complete.

  3. Norin Radd said:

    I wonder if “Senator” McCain would be having such a temper tantrum if those Christians and Churches being bombed were instead Jewish civilians and Jewish Temples? Had this been the case, he probably would already putting on his full metal jacket to go defend the Jews of Syria in person, but Armenian civilians are expendable. I guess he knows who butters his toast in the US, but Armenian-Americans are still stuck in their naïve state of mind, just some food for thought . . .

    If it wasn’t for Russian decisive vetoes and foresighted maneuvering by President Putin, our fellow Armenians and other minorities would also have to worry about Tomahawk missiles launched from British and US coastline nuclear submarines demolishing what’s left of their homes, SARF would have to throw a heck of a lot more fundraisers for repairs.

  4. Ohannes Boghossian said:

    Mr.Sassounian please don’t talk or say anything to San.Al Qaeda
    please don’t crisause

  5. Ohannes Boghossian said:

    Mr.Sassounian please don’t talk or say anything to San.Al Qaeda
    please don’t be cruel our war hero i mean our Taliban Senator you know
    was in Honoy Hilton hes brine
    was cook by north Vietnamese

  6. Ohannes Boghossian said:

    Mr.Sassounian please don’t talk or say anything to San.Al Qaeda
    please don’t be cruel our war hero i mean our Taliban Senator you know
    was in hanoy Hilton hes brine
    was cook by north Vietnamese

  7. Tony said:

    In my view, Sen. McCain wants bloodshed in every corner of the world. He must be working for an entity that manifests destruction and famine in the world. He hates peace. What say you?

  8. GB said:

    Sen. McCain is sensitive against Russia …I wonder why, when US Ambassador to Libya, killed by Libyan terrorists, who supported by McCain earlier, never open his mouth, or criticize Libyan dysfunctional regime!

    Senator McCain living in his post-Vietnam syndrome!

  9. Hratch said:

    All this noise to protect the Assad regime? This regime has decimated Lebanon for the past 4 decades. They have killed presidents, prime ministers and parliament members in their drive to divide and conquer Lebanon and incorporate it into their scheme. So now, to simply save a few self serving minorities, we should go back to the dark ages when Syrian hegemony was supreme?

  10. Mabuballah said:

    Having fond memories of having lived in Arizona 40 years ago, I found the people there bright, intelligent, and fun to be with; so I don’t know how McCain’s duplicity, senility, and recklessness have escaped their notice for so long. Let us hope that they sweep this corrupt Soros lapdog out to pasture forthwith before he does to Syria and Armenia what he, Bush, and the Clinton connivers did to Serbia. (See Serge Trifkovic on McCain.)

  11. Adnan said:

    Don’t frequently agree with the Armenian community on other issues. But Mr Sassounian is right about having to have a negotiated settlement to the Syrian conflict and one cannot have bomb attacks against a soveirgn nation. Hatay province in Turkey is now a mess due to the prolonging Syrian conflict.