Obama criticized for failure to ‘shape events’ in Middle East: Can Russia take Lead?

Aug. 16, 2013


Two hawkish Republican senators have attacked the administration of US President Barack Obama for not doing enough to shape events in the Middle East.

“Whether it is Egypt, Syria, Iraq, or the wider region, the failure of the Obama administration to use our influence to shape events in this critical part of the world has only diminished our credibility, limited our influence, and constrained our policy options,” Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement on Friday.

“US influence over events in Egypt, and the Middle East more broadly, has always been limited, but it is still considerable,” they said.

The senators made the remarks after their recent trip to Egypt.

McCain and Graham also called on the US administration to suspend aid to Egypt following the Egyptian military’s deadly crackdown on people.

“We urge the Obama administration to suspend US assistance to Egypt,” the senators said.

However, they led the opposition to an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul that would have cut off $1.5 billion US aid to Egypt.

President Obama has refused to describe the military’s removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as “a coup,” a declaration that would require ending US aid to Egypt.