Speaking on the Senate floor a few hours later, Armed Services Committee ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) said relying on Russia to press Assad out is destined to fail, given that the Kremlin is arming the government and blaming rebels for the violence.
“I pray that President Obama will finally realize ... that when regimes are willing to commit any atrocity to stay in power, diplomacy cannot succeed until the military balance of power changes on the ground,” McCain said. “As long as Assad and his foreign supporters think they can win militarily, which they do, they will continue fighting, and more Syrians will die. In short, military intervention of some kind is a prerequisite to the political resolution of the conflict that we all want to achieve.”
In her remarks, Clinton went on to say such an agreement would revolve around three key principles:
• implementation of all six points of envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan, including a verifiable cease-fire;
• Assad's transfer of power and departure from Syria; and
• the establishment of an interim representative government established through negotiation.