Echoing the views of al-Qaeda’s No. 1, 61-year-old, Egyptian-born physician Ayman al-Zawahri, GOP presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called President Barack Obama’s foreign policy “weak” for not intervening in Syria’s civil war. With the U.S. still mired in Afghanistan and only recently out of Iraq Dec. 31, 2011, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called on the White House to start bombing Syria. When the leader of the world’s most notorious terror group seeks an end to the al-Assad regime, you know it’s not something to support. Since the Syrian revolution began Jan. 26, 2011, over 15,000 civilians have been killed. Al-Assad clings to power using his military to suppress multiple rebellions by unknown rebel forces. When McCain called for bombing Syria March 5, no one knew the composition of various Arab groups making up the Free Syria Army.
Endorsing Obama Oct. 26, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell rejected Romney’s flip-flopping foreign policy, where one-day he supports an end to the Iraq War or timetable for Afghanaistan but another day he’s ripping Barack for a “weak” foreign policy. Romney can’t make up his mind what scores him more political points, often changing key foreign policy positions. When discussing Syria, it’s also unclear whether Mitt would commit troops on the ground or endorse a targeted bombing campaign to topple al-Assad. “I think there’s some very, very strong neo-conservative view that are presented by the governor that I have some trouble with . . . “ said Powell, announcing his decision to support Obama. Colin’s endorsement prompted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to take out the dagger, ripping Powell for selling in 2003 the Iraq War to the U.N. Security Council and American Public.
McCain’s the last person who should attack Powell since the five-term Arizona senator wholeheartedly backed the Iraq War. McCain’s most recent attack on Powell relates purely to the Nov. 6 election. McCain, who was dispatched easily by Obama in 2008, would do practically anything to get Barack defeated. “Colin Powell, interestingly enough, said that Obama got us out of Iraq,” said McCain, standing outside an American Legion Hall. “But it was Colin Powell, with his testimony before the U.N. Security Council that got us into Iraq.” McCain knows he fully endorsed former President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Just yesterday, Romney advisor, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, accused Powell of endorsing Obama because he’s black. While Sununu retracted his statement, it shows the extent of the frayed nerves at the end of a long campaign.
McCain’s March 5 advice to start bombing Syria shows how easily he’s swept up in the moment, just like he was when he endorsed Bush’s Iraq invasion. McCain knows that the International Red Cross July 15 called the Syrian revolt a civil war, though it’s not clear who’s instigating the conflict. New evidence shows strong Saudi backing for jihadist groups seeking to topple the al-Assad government. Urging Muslims all over to kidnap Western targets, al-Zawahri said in a prepared video. “I urge Muslims everywhere . . . to rise up to support the brothers in Syria . . . to get rid of the cancerous criminal regime,” said Zawahri. “Syrian people have the right to defend themselves with all means,” ironically agreeing with Romney and McCain. McCain knows that Russia and China oppose toppling al-Assad precisely for the reason that a more radical Islamic regime is likely to follow.
Romney has called Obama’s foreign policy “weak” because the president refused to dig the U.S. into another war. While no one likes al-Assad’s brutality, they also know that radical Islam could replace al-Assad. Al-Assad has blamed Western powers for supporting and supplying arms to the current uprising. Zawahri sees a real opportunity for a radical Sunni regime to replace al-Assad’s small Alawite Shiite minority. In their blind need to defeat Barack, neither Romney nor McCain see the destructive forces at play in Syria. It’s no accident that Saudi Arabia backs rebel forces seeking to topple al-Assad. Al-Zawahri wants only pure Islamic Shariah law that parallels the extremist Taliban regime. For Romney and McCain to back anything supported by Bin Laden’s successor shows just how far to the extremes they’d go to win the election.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he sees Mitt as more likely to get into another war. While Republicans, like McCain or Sununu, would like to blame Obama for everything, they know Barack closed the door on Iran and will do the same with Afghanistan. All of Mitt’s tough talk about Iran or Syria induced Powell to get off the fence and endorse Obama. No one more than Powell knows what it’s like to misinterpret a weak set of facts and go to war. Powell knows the monetary and human toll of going to war: The U.S. losing 4,800 lives and $1 trillion tax dollars in Iraq. When lunatics like Zawahri endorse jihad in Syria, Romney and McCain should take a second look. Blinding ambition to defeat Obama should not lose sight over the consequences of going to war. Whatever’s wrong with today’s economy, it pales in comparison to decisions about war.
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