McCain Offers Support to Middle East Protesters
10:47 AM, Mar 1, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
In his opening statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning, Senator John McCain expressed his support for the protesters across the Middle East. “[T]he historic changes now reshaping the broader Middle East are a direct repudiation of al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies,” McCain said.
“The people of this dynamic and crucial region are rising up to change the character of their governments, but the revolutions they are making are largely defined not by violence, but by peaceful protests. They are inspired not by intolerant and extremist ideologies, but rather by demands for greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice.”
McCain also said that the wave of protests across the Middle East has been more destabilizing than any thing like it since “the fall of the Soviet Union.” And this, the Arizona senator suggested, is a good thing – since the protesters, writ large, seek freedom and democracy. For this reason, the U.S. should support this effort: “More than any weapon of war with which this committee must concern itself, it is these principles, and the changes they are inspiring, that will ultimately defeat our terrorist enemies, and if only for that reason alone, these universal values and those now struggling for them deserve our full support.”
Here’s the full text of McCain’s opening statement: