Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has made his peace with President
Barack Obama since his loss to the candidate nearly four years ago--yet the 75
year-old conservative still has some maverick left in him, and Twitter is
According to OhMyGov Analytics, nearly 3,411 references to
the senator were recorded on Twitter--many of them on earlier this week, a growth of 15.%
percent for the week.
Much of the chatter surrounded McCain's clarion calls for
military intervention in Syria, the most recent comments coming during a press
conference in Malaysia as McCain--who was joined by Senator Joe Lieberman
(I-CT)--described the clashes between Assad's military forces and the insurgent
Free Syrian Army as 'not a fair fight'.
"It is shameful that the United Nations Security
Council should again be hindered by Russia and China by their vetoes for any
significant action on Syria," McCain said, referencing the two countries'
opposition to the use of force to get rid of the Assad regime.
The reaction on social media has been almost instantaneous,
several harshly critical of Obama's reluctance to get involved in what is
rapidly becoming a regional proxy war as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states arm
the rebels while Iran and Russia are stepping up military support for the
Syrian government, including at least one aircraft carrier.
sir," @9Sixty6 congratulated the senator. "Obama is disappointing so
much, he's busy with his bumper sticker while children are dying in Syria. Wake up!"
"We need to
pressure Russia," @maxprof offered some advice. "As long as Russia
keeps supplying arms it will not end."
As with most international conflicts, the truth is the first
casualty. Because Western
journalists are barred from entering the country and some have even been killed once they get
there, facts are difficult to verify.
The best anyone can do is speculate--and everyone have their own version
of what is going on, including McCain.
According to globaldefence.net, a site analyzing military
and security policy, Russia's foray into the Syrian conflict is as much
economic as political. The country--one of the few that have a diplomatic
relationship with Syria--has an estimated $4 billion in arms contracts with
Syria's military forces, and has invested some $20 billion in civilian
infrastructure, including roads, investments in energy, and even promoting
tourism between Russia and Syria.
McCain's agitation used to be taken for chest-beating, but
the media is starting to take notice. 138 stories were written about the
senator following his May 28 comments--small in proportion to the Twitter
chatter, but hardly a drop in the bucket. The
Arizona Star was one of the newspapers to cover McCain, but they were
joined by the Dubuque Telegraph Herald,
the UK Telegraph, Australia's Perth
Now. In contrast to the
others, the Telegraph-Herald's headline was direct and to the point saying
bluntly, 'McCain blames Russians!'
The State Department inched further towards support for
military intervention May 31 following comments by Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton that a Libya-like campaign would require the unanimous support of the
United Nations Security Council--including Russia and China. In the meantime,
the Pentagon continues its support for economic and diplomatic pressure on
Syria, with acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs George
Little confirming that diplomatic officials are in contact with their counterparts
in Europe and elsewhere about what further actions could be taken to counter
the Assad regime.