Published September 03, 2013
Editor's note: The following commentary originally appeared on RedState.com.
As bankrupt as elected Republican leadership is in Washington vis-à-vis domestic policy, they are completely clueless as it relates to foreign policy.
While America continues to become an economic and moral wasteland under this regime, Obama is attempting to spend American treasure helping one nefarious side of an Islamic civil war in Syria – one which involves Iran-allied supporters of Hezbollah (Assad regime) vs. predominantly Al Qaeda affiliated rebels.
Astoundingly, most GOP leaders are either siding with Obama or are totally insouciant to this reckless fomenting of an Islamic insurrection. Instead of fighting ObamaCare, they are allowing Obama to distract from the upheaval at home by focusing on this inane escapade in Syria.
Most media figures discuss the current foreign policy debate in broad platitudes pitting so-called neo-conservatives vs. libertarians, hawks vs. doves, or interventionists vs. isolationists. But these labels are non-sequiturs to the reality of the current debate.
Most mainstream conservatives are not Ron Paul libertarians who don’t support any war on terror. Quite the contrary, we support a robust intervention to repel Islamic terrorism when it threatens our interests. But in the case of Libya, Syria, and Egypt, we are actually intervening on behalf of our enemies.
Granted, Syria is more complicated than the other two examples. Bashar Assad is a sworn enemy of the United States, the closest ally of Iran, and a prolific exporter of terror.
In a perfect world, it would be great to overthrow him and stick it to Iran (and their Russian allies). But the reality is that the strongest elements of the insurgency are saturated with Al Qaeda affiliated extremists, backed by Pan-Islamist Turkish President Recep Erdogen, much like the insurgencies in other countries.
Why place American money and weapons in the hands of people who will be just as adversarial to our interests as the current regime? This is not a matter of opposing intervention for the sake of isolationism; it is a matter of not supporting intervention that is either superfluous or deleterious to our national interests.
A “hawkish” stance towards Assad is a dovish stance towards Al Qaeda. As Sarah Palin noted, in a battle with Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah on one side and Al-Qaeda and Turkey on the other, let Allah sort it out.
This should be a slam dunk opportunity for GOP leaders to oppose a wrongheaded and unpopular intervention, while shifting the focus back to the ObamaCare civil war at home.
Yet, House leaders are either ambivalent or downright supportive of Obama’s planned strike on behalf of Al Qaeda.
In the Senate, Mitch McConnell put out his signature mealy-mouthed parsing of words, declining to take a stand on any contentious issue:
“Today the President advised me that he will seek an authorization for the use of force from the Congress prior to initiating any combat operations against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons. The President’s role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress.”
So much for the clout and power of being “GOP Leader:”
Our only interest in Syria is ensuring that as many Islamists on both sides are killed and keep each other busy so they can’t affect our national interests or threaten Israel.
As long as the war is contained to Syria, a stalemate is the best outcome for our purposes so that neither Russia, Iran, Al Qaeda or other Islamists claim an outright victory.
Sadly, in a world of seven billion, there are innocent people killed on a daily basis due to civil wars. But we lack the resources or strategic plan to help those people in Syria without gratuitously tipping the scales to one of our arch enemies.
Some conservatives are concerned about evincing an image of weakness to our enemies by not following through with the ‘red line’ threat. Undoubtedly, they are correct about Obama’s self-contradictory policy in a wrongheaded intervention. But it is still a wrongheaded intervention, and the fact that he made the threat to begin with should not engender a need to fix that bad policy with another bad policy decision.
When Congress returns from the August recess, Republicans should vote with a unified voice against this ridiculous escapade, and summarily reconvene the fight against ObamaCare.
Our freedom and way of life should take priority over bailing out a beleaguered group of Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda fighters. It’s time Republicans realize that.