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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 27th, 2013
06:38 PM ET

Analysis: Obama 'leading from behind' again?

Republicans have criticized President Barack Obama before for what they call "leading from behind." But Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Tuesday that Obama is somewhat culpable for last week's horrific attacks in Syria.

McCain told The Daily Beast/Newsweek that Syrian President Bashir al-Assad "was able to use chemical weapons before and there was no response, so why not do it again? This should surprise no one. ... They viewed that not as a red line, but as a green light and they acted accordingly."

"I want to commend the president for finally following through on our red line threats. That's important for our credibility," said co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" S.E. Cupp.

But, she adds, "we're going in with limited air strikes for what purpose? Our own State Department and Pentagon have said it's not to change the course of the war. We've done this. We've done this in Libya. We went in, rattled around for a few days to urge Gadhafi's ouster, and then what? Libya was neither more safe, the region was not more stable, al Qaeda had not been eradicated, and we were the victims of terror attacks a short time later."

"How many wars do these people want us to get into in the Middle East? They're attacking him for not being more aggressive in Syria, and Iran, and Yemen," said co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" Van Jones.

If it were up to Obama's critics, "we would be in land wars in four or five different countries right now," said Jones.

For more analysis, check out the video above.

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