Libya should Teach Us to Stay Out of Syria

John McCain

Since he got back from his Memorial Day trip to Syria, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has come under fire from many conservatives who are having a hard time understanding why he wants to get the United States involved in yet another perilous military engagement that would align us with al-Qaeda.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been a voice of reason when it comes to the prospect of intervention in Syria, noting that our history of arming so-called “rebels” hasn’t worked out so well. He has pointed to Libya as example of how our intervention, lead by President Barack Obama and hawkish Republicans, has caused us further problems in the region and that Syria is very likely to turn out with the same ending.

In a column at the National Review, Andrew McCarthy, — a former Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the “Blind Sheik,” Omar Abdel Rahman, on terrorism charges in 1995, explained why Republicans to ignore McCain’s call for the next war:

There is a stubborn fact Republicans may want to consider as McCain, their wayward foreign-policy guru, tries to browbeat them into Libya Act II — because, you know, Act I has worked out so well. It is this: The Obama administration’s shocking derelictions of duty in connection with the Benghazi massacre cannot erase the GOP fingerprints all over the Libyan debacle. Obama is the one who took us over the cliff, but only after McCain shoved him to the very edge.

Rand Paul: Maybe Intervention in Syria isn’t such a Good Idea

As you may have heard, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spent his Memorial Day palling around with his new al-Qaeda buddies in Syria. He wants Congress to appropriate funds to help these terrorists rebels, one of whom was responsible for kidnapping Lebanese pilgrims, as they fight Bashar al-Assad for control of the country.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) warned Americans of the dangers of intervening, in an op-ed at CNN, noting that our history of arming so-called “rebels” and hasn’t exactly worked well for the United States.

Paul recaps the history of our involvement in Iraq in the 1980s and 1990s, both in support of and opposition to Saddam Hussein, has had the effect of empowering Iran in the region. He goes to recap our more recent problems in Libya, where our support of rebels included helping elements of al-Qaeda:

In 2009, members of the U.S. Senate — Republicans Lindsey Graham and John McCain and an independent, Joe Lieberman — would travel to Libya to meet with Gadhafi to offer further aid. Sen. McCain said: “We discussed the possibility of moving ahead with the provision of nonlethal defense equipment to the government of Libya.” President Obama would eventually meet with Gadhafi to reconfirm the same relationship established during the Bush administration.

Military Intervention in Syria Seems Inevitable

It appears that politicians from both sides of the aisle in Washington are beginning to beat the drums of war against Syria. With news that Bashir Assad, the country’s dictator, has used chemical weapons against his own people, there is increasing talk of intervention by the United States military. The question is what kind of intervention we’ll see:

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Sunday said the U.S. should not rule out the use of American troops on the ground to end the violence in Syria’s civil war or secure the nation’s stockpile of chemical weapons.

“I don’t think you ever want to rule it out,” said McCaskill on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “This thing has really deteriorated and it’s not really at a tipping point, so I don’t think you ever want to say absolutely not.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) who also appeared on CBS, however, disagreed and said he would rule out American boots on the ground.

“I would say no, I think we can take affirmative action… We’ve got F-22s and B-2s that can take out the anti-aircraft missiles that they have and they are very sophisticated.

“We don’t need to put boots on the ground what we need to do is enable their neighbors, the neighbors of Syria to bring some sort of peaceful resolution to this. We can do it through a no fly zone,” added Chambliss.

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