War Party Targets Putin and Assad
By Patrick J. Buchanan
October 06, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - Having established
a base on the Syrian coast, Vladimir Putin last week began air
strikes on ISIS and other rebel forces seeking to overthrow Bashar
A longtime ally of Syria, Russia wants to preserve
its toehold on the Mediterranean, help Assad repel the threat, and
keep the Islamic terrorists out of Damascus.
Russia is also fearful that the fall of Assad
would free up the Chechen terrorists in Syria to return to Russia.
In intervening to save Assad, Putin is doing
exactly what we are doing to save our imperiled allies in Baghdad
Yet Putin's intervention has ignited an almost
John McCain has called for sending the Free Syrian
Army surface-to-air missiles to bring down Russian planes. Not only
could this lead to a U.S.-Russia clash, but U.S.-backed Syrian
rebels have a record of transferring weapons to the al-Qaida
The end result of McCain's initiative, sending
Stingers to Syria, could be airliners blown out of the sky across
the Middle East.
Hillary Clinton wants the U.S. to create a no-fly
zone. And Friday's Wall Street Journal endorsed the idea:
"Mr. Obama could make Mr. Putin pay a price. ...
In Syria the U.S. could set up a no-fly zone to create a safe haven
for refugees against ... Mr. Assad's barrel bombs. He could say U.S.
planes will fly wherever they want, and if one is attacked the U.S.
will respond in kind."
U.S.-Russian dogfights over Syria are just fine
with the Journal.
Saturday's Washington Post seconded the motion,
admonishing Obama: "Carve out safe zones. Destroy the helicopter
fleet Mr. Assad uses for his war crimes."
Has the War Party thought this through?
Establishing a no-fly zone over Syria, which means
shooting down Syrian fighter-bombers and helicopters, is an act of
war. But when did Congress authorize the president to go to war with
When last Obama requested such authority — in
2013, when chemical weapons were used — the American people arose as
one to say no to U.S. intervention. Congress backed away without
Unprovoked air strikes on Syrian government forces
would represent an unauthorized and unconstitutional American war.
Does the Party of the Constitution no longer care about the
Is a Republican Congress really willing to give
Barack Obama a blank check to take us to war with Syria, should he
choose to do so?
Is this what America voted for in 2014?
A no-fly zone means U.S.
warplanes downing Syrian planes and helicopters and
bombing antiaircraft defenses at Syrian airfields.
To Damascus this would mean the Americans have
committed to the defeat of their armed forces and downfall of their
The Syrians would fight — and not only the Syrian
army. For Russia, Hezbollah and Iran are all allied to the Damascus
regime, as all believe they have a vital interest in its survival.
How would Russia, Iran and Hezbollah respond to
U.S. air strikes on their ally? Would they pack it in and leave? Is
that our experience with these folks?
Today, the U.S. is conducting strikes on ISIS, and
the al-Qaida affiliate. But if we begin to attack the Syrian army or
air force, we will be in a new war where the entire Shiite Crescent
of Iran, Baghdad, Damascus and Hezbollah, backed by Russia, will be
on the other side.
We will have taken the Sunni side in the
Sunni-Shiite sectarian long war.
How long such a war would last, and how it would
end, no one knows.
Whatever one thinks of Putin's policy in Syria, at
least it makes sense. He is supporting an ally, the Assad regime,
against its enemies, who seek to overthrow that regime.
It is U.S. policy in Syria that makes no sense.
We train rebels at immense cost to fight Assad,
who cannot or will not fight. We attack ISIS, which also seeks to
bring down the Assad regime. And we, too, want to bring down Assad.
Who do we think will rise if Assad falls?
Do we have a "government in a box" that we think
we can fly to Damascus and put into power if the Syrian army
collapses, the regime falls and ISIS approaches the capital?
Have we forgotten the lesson of "Animal Farm"?
When the animals revolt and take over the farm, the pigs wind up in
For months, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia has called
on Congress to debate and decide before we launch any new war in the
One wishes him well. For it is obvious that the
same blockheads who told us that if the Taliban and Saddam and
Gadhafi fell, liberal democracy would arise and flourish, are now
clamoring for another American war in Syria to bring down Assad.
And who says stay out? Donald Trump and Bernie
Sanders, both of whom also opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
There is something to be said for outsiders.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new
book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to
Create the New Majority." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan
and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit
the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.
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