The Hot Air blog has it right:
“And so the effort by the Senate’s super-hawks to mainstream Rand Paul’s isolationism by contrast continues apace… Leave it to McCain and Graham to choose the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to call for deeper intervention into a Baathist-run country over dubious claims involving WMD.”
I don’t think Rand Paul is an “isolationist,” but it is obvious that McCain and Graham are so completely irrational about Syria that they are making his position (whatever it should be called) look good in contrast. Graham wants “boots on the ground” and McCain is pushing for further involvement even though it may have been the rebels who used the chemical weapons.
Notice the psychotically dangerous message these Republicans are sending. The attack may not have even happened, but the “rebels” are being told in public that if they want more direct support from the US then they should go ahead and carry use any chemical WMD they find. The only way to prove that McCain and Graham are not intentionally encouraging terrorists to use chemical weapons is to argue that they are too stupid to know what words mean. I’m on the fence about it.
Has our Middle East strategy shown a way to get a dictator of a Muslim country to end and destroy his biological, chemical, and/or nuclear WMD programs? Yes. In one case we had a success story, though it is arguable that this success came more from diplomacy than from the invasion of Iraq. Our success was one evil dictator in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi. When he ended his WMD programs, his action was trumpeted as a triumph of the Bush regime’s invasions. And then we gave his country over to Al Qaeda terrorists who killed him and later our own ambassador.
But people like McCain and Graham never look back. Now we have to go after Assad and put troops in harm’s way who are already committing suicide at amazing rates. It is self-evidently right to make them die and kill for no real reason at all.
If you want to know why there might be some danger that Chemical weapons fall into the hands of terrorists, listen to the words of the hawkish John Bolton. He hates Assad (and I agree there is no reason to love him). But he makes it obvious that our intervention into Syria has made the chances of terrorists using chemical weapons on us many times greater than they were before. Bolton doesn’t seem to realize what he is saying, but there would be no reason for someone in Assad’s government to sell chemical weapons in order to flee the country and go into hiding if it wasn’t for our work trying to overthrow the regime. The rebels (i.e. terrorists) wouldn’t be empowered to capture chemical weapons if we weren’t supporting them.
McCain actually had the temerity to say that, if Obama had listened to him and taken action earlier, there would never have been a chemical attack. But it was our actions that gave Assad a reason to use the weapons in the first place (assuming they were used and he was the one using them). And what incentive would Assad have to not use them again if we actively invade his country. He knows what happened to Gaddafi. He has no reason to do anything but go down fighting. Likewise, our further involvement would give Syrian official more incentive to do what John Bolton mentioned: sell chemical weapons to the terrorist/rebels in order to get money to use to go into hiding overseas.
Anyone who looks at Libya or Iraq right now should know that the best possible outcome in Syria is not worth any cost. No American soldier should be coughing up blood for Senatorial fantasies of world dominance.