On Sunday morning’s Meet The Press, permanent cast member, Sen. John McCain, weighed in on the increasing tensions between Syria’s strongman, Bashar al-Assad, and the international community over his alleged use of chemical weapons. McCain’s recommendation? Invasion, of course.
McCain’s reasoning for starting yet another war in the Middle East is as specious as all of his other
excuses justifications for prolonging our involvement in that region:
“David, we should not be…our actions should not be dictated by whether Bashar al-Assad used these chemical weapons or not, first of all. Sooner or later he mostly likely would, in order to maintain his hold on power but what has happened here is the President drew a red line about chemical weapons, thereby giving a green light to Bashar al-Assad to do anything short of that…”
Because the public is supposed to believe that McCain is very worried about the
oil people of Syria.
He did try to bury the idea of boots on the ground by advocating smaller steps such as establishing a “no-fly” zone, using cruise missiles and drones to wipe out any grounded air power Assad has, and arming the rebels. Yet McCain lambasted Obama for his “incrementalism,” suggesting that were the United States to engage in any of McCain’s proscribed solutions, he would immediately move the goal post from “No boots on the ground” to “We’re not doing enough.”
Of course, no beating of the war drums could be complete without a little fearmongering and McCain delivered:
“As you know, a flood of weapons is coming in from Russia and Iran. Iranians are on the ground in Syria.”
Just in case that wasn’t enough, McCain made sure to throw in the J-word:
“…there is every risk of a stalemate that could go on for months and months, while the jihadists flood in…”
David Gregory tried to bring the Senator back down to earth but suggesting that, perhaps, we might want to be a little bit more certain about the use of chemical weapons before we declare war on Syria. McCain’s reply to that:
“Well, one of the lessons, obviously, and we hear this a lot from the administration, is that we had false information about weapons of mass destruction with Iraq…”
“Hear a lot from this administration…” I hope he means the BUSH administration because they’re the ones that stated unequivocally that we knew that Iraqi WMDs existed and where they were. They’re also the ones that said, “Oops, we were wrong.” Ten years later and John McCain, still eager to whitewash the disaster of the Iraq War, will not admit that it was all based on a lie.
McCain went on to scoff at Obama’s insistence that a neutral party, the United Nations, confirm that chemical weapons have been used:
“And by the way, the administration has said, well, they want the UN to investigate. The only problem with that is Bashar won’t let the UN in so it’s a bit ludicrous.”
McCain’s denouncement of Obama’s position as ludicrous is, itself, ludicrous. Who, precisely, is going to be “allowed” in by Assad to test for chemical weapons use? The Iranians?
This is clearly a case of “I will say the opposite of whatever Obama says.” Even an erratic and ill-tempered leader such as McCain can see the necessity of having the U.N. make that determination. Not only will it remove the U.S. from any accusations of falsifying information in order to warmonger, it will allow us to build the international coalition that McCain himself is advocating. There’s a reason that Libya is not seen as “America’s War.” We were not calling the shots. We didn’t send our troops in. We provided support and guess what? It worked and Americans were pleased at how President Obama handled the situation.
This, by the way, is one of the reasons the GOP has been hyping the “Benghazi Conspiracy” for so long: they need to tarnish that accomplishment. It’s hard to justify unilaterally invading countries when a clear and superior alternative has been proven to work.
But getting back to his fearmongering, McCain also raises the specter of biological weapons and the jihadists getting their hands on them. He insists that we should go in and get them showing, again, how easy it is to call for troops to invade a country when you don’t care about what happens afterwards. Do we just go in, guns blazing, blow up a bunch of stuff and leave? Well, we could always leave that for the next administration to deal with. It worked pretty well for Bush.
Lastly, McCain gave what had to be the most circular excuse for invading a country by quoting a woman he’d allegedly spoke to:
“The Syrian people are angry and bitter at the United States. I was in a refugee camp in Jordan and there’s thousands of people and kids, and this woman who’s a school teacher said, ‘Senator McCain, you see these children here? They’re going to take revenge on those people who refused to help them.’ They’re angry and bitter and that legacy can last for a long time, too. Unless we assist them.”
So when we invade a country and try to force freedom at the end of a barrel, we teach the population to despise us and breed a whole new generation of radicals bent on attacking us. We already know this from our failed, yet still ongoing, drone campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan. BUT! If we don’tcharge into a country, we teach the population to despise us and breed a whole new generation of radicals bent on attacking us? That doesn’t seem to be a realistic way to approach foreign policy and we can only be thankful that we’re not currently wondering how many countries President McCain plans to invade this year.