Senator John McCain
A few days ago September 11 was considered to be the big day when the U.S. Congress was about to hold a long-awaited vote on the operation in Syria. However, lawmakers decided to postpone a decision on the matter indefinitely. For now, no expert is safe to say whether Congress will vote at all. Politicians often change their minds several times a day.
A lot of media are giving forecasts still in a pursuit of ratings. To believe CNN, 25 of 100 senators support the strike on Syria, 20 are opposed and 55 are undecided. The situation in the lower house of American parliament is even more complex - of 435 members of the House of Representatives only half expressed its position. Of these, 30 people agreed with the arguments of Obama administration, the rest are going to vote against the plans for a three-day operation in Syria.
It is expected that in the coming days a real political bloodbath for the votes of congressmen is going to unleash. The same politicians are expressing diametrically opposing views on the Syrian military campaign in interviews to various TV channels. Many of them are under pressure by the results of numerous public opinion polls or party colleagues.
For example, a U.S. Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain was originally one of the most ardent supporters of military intervention in the internal affairs of Syria. Recently, however, the politician is becoming less categorical and often refuses to express a particular stance on the issue saying that he is still "undecided".
So, back on September 3, McCain said that the refusal of the U.S. Congress to support President Obama's initiative to hold a military operation in Syria would be a disaster.
"If Congress rejected a similar resolution [on strike on Syria] after the president of the United States has already expressed a willingness to act, the consequences would be catastrophic," said the senator after a meeting with Barack Obama at the White House.
But the next day, at the hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs discussing the strike on Syria McCain spent his time playing poker on his phone.
"Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing - worst of all I lost," the politician tried to laugh it off on his Twitter page.
McCain's meeting with the residents of Phoenix in Arizona gave him a few uncomfortable moments. When the microphone was given to a woman sitting in the front row, the senator had to hear the opinion of his voter about Syria. Joumana Hadeed said that it is not the Syrians who are fighting against the army of Bashar al-Assad, but mercenaries from all over the world.
"I am also well aware of Syria, and I understand that this is a modern society. This is not the nation that would have adopted foreign militants," said McCain to the woman.
Obviously, as one of the most prominent Republicans, he is under tremendous pressure by his party colleagues, in whose ranks there is also no certainty. Against this background, the politician's phone poker game at the important hearings in the Senate is hardly accidental. Then the media called this act "manifestation of indifference" or "manifestation of uncertainty" on the Syrian issue.
However, the White House still has time to get its political opponents round to its way of thinking. Perhaps, on Monday the U.S. President made his last attempt to change the public opinion in his favor. In an interview with six TV channels Obama tried to defend his position on Syria and convince the public of the wisdom of the military operation, although about 60% of American citizens are against military intervention.
There's still one big question remaining - whether the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama was able to convince his people to the feasibility of the operation or not. The results of a possible Congress vote depend on the answer to that question, if such vote is going to happen at all. Many congressmen, unlike President Obama, have yet to be re-elected to the U.S. Congress, and the public opinion may be crucial in such matters.