"Winds of change" from the revolution in Egypt will carry far beyond the Middle East, Arizona Senator John McCain predicted Sunday, and the Republican senator faults the Obama administration for missing signals and opportunities that could have led to political change in the region even earlier.
"We should have seen this coming when the Egyptian government failed to move forward with a process of democratization," McCain said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday morning.
Though the senator said he thinks President Obama has handled the Egypt situation well as a whole, he finds flaws in the administration's overall strategy regarding foreign democratization.
"This administration and the liberal left in America viewed Bush's democracy efforts as a way - excuse to got war. And when President Obama refused to support the people in the streets of Tehran... that sent a very bad signal to all of these dictatorships," McCain added, referring to the bloody 2009 protests in Iran following disputed elections there.
McCain's criticism wasn't limited to the Obama administration. The senator offered a few warnings for other leaders of pseudo-democratic nations:
"I would be a little less cocky in the Kremlin with my KGB cronies today if I were Vladimir Putin. I would be a little less secure in the seaside resort [of] President Hu and a few men who govern and decide the fate of 1.3 billion people," McCain said of the Russian and Chinese leaders.
"I don't think this... is confined to the Middle East, just as we believe that human rights are universal."
Within the Middle East, McCain said he is "concerned" about developments in Lebanon and Syria in addition to Egypt, but hopeful that each will find its own way to democracy. "They don't want us to dictate," McCain said.
"This is spreading, and it's great news. And it is fraught with uncertainty. But... you've got to believe, in the long run, that countries that have free and open societies are going to be natural allies of ours over time."