At a town hall meeting in Arizona on Thursday, one of Sen. John McCain’s constituents stood up to ask him not to try to solve Syria’s conflict with bombs, but rather with diplomacy. During her impassioned plea, the woman, who said her name was Jumana, noted that she could trace her family lineage to pre-Christian Syria, and explained that although the atrocities being committed by both President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels were undeniable, America joining the war was not the answer. The Raw Story describes the encounter:

“To listen to you say there is no good option in Syria, I refuse to believe that,” the woman told McCain. “The good option right now is to take Saudi Arabia and Iran and force them to stop supporting the two sides in Syria. And you could do it. You can do it by diplomacy, not bombs, Senator McCain. We cannot afford to shed more Syrian blood.”

In response, McCain cited his own trips to the region as proof of his familiarity with the conflict.

“I’ve met them, I know them, and I know who they are,” McCain said of the opposition forces. “And I know Syria well enough to know that it is a moderate nation. It is not a nation that will embrace these foreign fighters. But to say that Bashar Assad is anything but a merciless butcher, then we have a strong disagreement.”

McCain’s deflection seems inconsequential seeing as Jumana never claimed Al-Assad was harmless. Moreover, while his trips to Syria may have given him a glimpse at the nation’s needs, his constituent explained that her family lived there and were suffering the consequences of the bloody war. Just last week, she explained, her cousin had been killed at 18 years of age. Throughout her supplication, Juwana reminded the Republican senator that the U.S. government not only lacked the support of many Syrians, but also of its own citizens. “I beg you,” [she entreated] “There’s so many good Syrians. The majority of the Syrian people want to save their country. And you need to also listen to the majority of the American people, who do not want you to go there.”

To watch the woman’s powerful request, click here.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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