Which Conservatives Favor/Oppose Syrian Action?

The days of a unified voice on foreign policy seem to be a thing of the past. The divide seems to be between Bush-era moderate hawks and post-2010 tea party conservatives. So, where do some of the top conservatives stand on Syrian action?

clpl_small3 Which Conservatives Favor/Oppose Syrian Action?

What Conservatives Are Saying about Syria

Hawks See Resistance from Non-interventionists

It’s a relatively new era in thinking on foreign policy as non-interventionism is seeing a serious rise to challenge historical hawkish tendencies. I previously discussed the primary reason for this sudden shift: “The enemy is no longer a standing army waiting to be defeated by American might. The enemy is now pockets of terrorists determined to kill innocents and fight at any cost and to prevent any form of democratization or westernization. This is the world we now live in. And this reality is starting to change conservative thinking.”

So, which side are some top conservatives choosing?

Sarah Palin: “Let Allah Sort it Out”

Unlike the left anti-war types who see hope in the hopeless, and “peace” and “change” possible through appeasement, apologies, or money giveaways, the conservative non-interventionist side is much different. Palin expresses popular sentiment that “we are dangerously uncertain of the outcome and are led into war by a Commander-in-chief who can’t recognize that this conflict is pitting Islamic extremists against an authoritarian regime with both sides shouting “Allah Akbar” at each other, then let Allah sort it out.”

Rand Paul: “Big Mistake”

Count likely 2016 presidential contender Rand Paul out of the President’s corner. On Fox News, Paul voiced opposition to getting into a new war, stating that “And so, I would do everything I can to stop the president and we should not engage in a war and we certainly should engage in it in an unconstitutional fashion.” Noting the problem that we seem to keep arming rebels who turn out to be Al-Qaida, Paul adds “We do have to fight on occasion, but when we fight, we should fight to win, we should fight for an American cause. I can’t see fighting to impose Sharia law in Syria. I also can’t see sending my son to fight with Islamic rebels against Christians. I also can’t see my son going to fight on the same side as Al Qaeda.”

John McCain: Arm “Freedom Fighters”

John McCain, is coming out in favor of Syrian action and, if anything, has been critical of Obama’s wavering and weak response. McCain argues for the need for getting momentum “shifted to our freedom fighters. He also seems certain that that these guys are better than Assad. “I know who they are. I’ve met with them. I’ve been in Syria with them, and anybody who tells you they’re taken over by extremists, they are not. I know for a fact that there are the right people we could get the right weapons to.”

Ted Cruz: What are American Interests

Cruz, like Paul, is demanding congressional approval before any action is taken while asking what exactly our national interests are. Cruz stated that the “United States armed forces doesn’t exist to be a policeman of the world… I certainly hope the reaction isn’t simply lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad’s murderous actions.”

Marco Rubio: Uncommitted

Rubio seems to be uncommitted on Syrian action, refusing to take a strong position either for or against the use of force. He seems both unconvinced that doing nothing is a good idea and that the Obama administration has little ability to effectively do something: ““My advice is to either lay out a comprehensive plan using all of the tools at our disposal that stands a reasonable chance of allowing the moderate opposition to remove Assad and replace him with a stable secular government. Or, at this point, simply focus our resources on helping our allies in the region protect themselves from the threat they and we will increasingly face from an unstable Syria.”

Liz Cheney, Karl Rove, et al: 2012 Flashback

In February of 2012, over 50 conservatives signed an open letter to President Obama urging action on Syria. They urged action over 1.5 years before Assad allegedly used chemical weapons on his own people. The below excerpt gives perhaps the best pro-intervention case, not even counting the recent attacks:

“Syria’s future is not purely a humanitarian concern. The Assad regime poses a grave threat to national security interests of the United States. The Syrian government, which has been on the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list since 1979, maintains a strategic partnership with the terror-sponsoring government of Iran, as well as with Hamas and Hezbollah. For years, it facilitated the entry of foreign fighters into Iraq who killed American troops. For years, it secretly pursued a nuclear program with North Korea’s assistance. And for decades, it has closely cooperated with Iran and other agents of violence and instability to menace America’s allies and partners throughout the Middle East.”