Rubio: If I were in charge, we would have armed the Syrian rebels much sooner

posted at 4:15 pm on June 17, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Washington Free Beacon, a reminder that if you’re down on Rubio for being too much like McCain on immigration, you can take comfort in the fact that he’s … a lot like McCain on foreign policy too.

I think he’s right that our chances of “success” in Syria would have been better if we’d acted sooner, but that’s like saying a five-percent chance is worth acting on because it’s better than zero percent. And to my surprise, he’s not taking the easy opportunity to say now that it’s flatly too late to intervene thanks to Obama’s dithering. He says we should continue to look for moderates there who’ll respect human rights and work with them. Is that what the public wants? According to a new Pew poll out today, fully 70 percent are opposed to arming the rebels. Note the partisan split:


I think most Republicans on balance remain hawkish, which is why Rand Paul’s going to run into problems in 2016. But if it comes down to Paul versus an opponent who’s never quite willing to rule out intervention? I don’t know. I’d prefer a candidate who’s judiciously hawkish, but if you gave me a straight-up choice right now between Paul’s foreign policy, warts and all, and McCain’s foreign policy, I know which one I’d choose. The real problem with the Rubio “early intervention” approach is this: What’s its limiting principle? How soon after an insurrection breaks out against some enemy regime should we move to identify “moderates” internally and start arming them, even if the likely successor regime is as radical as (or more radical than) the regime in power? Should we, in the name of democracy, also support insurrections against friendly regimes like the Saudis? (Our new “ally” in Egypt signaled his support for Syrian jihadis just yesterday.) It’s an odd criticism after Iraq, Libya, and now Syria to say that America’s big strategic problem is that we’re not intervening in the Arab world quickly enough. And it’s especially odd coming from a guy who’s working day and night right now on immigration in order to help rebrand his party. We’re going to rebrand as amnesty-friendly, but not as slightly less super-hawkish than Bush and Obama have been? Huh.

Then again, maybe this is Rubio’s way of saying it’s flatly too late for intervention. He doesn’t seem optimistic that there’s any real pro-American, pro-human rights constituency on the ground there. (For good reason.) He’s also quite right that the jihadis are the best-armed rebel force: According to an analyst who spoke to CNN, Al Qaeda’s adherents in Syria are now the best-equipped AQ outfit in the world. The sound reason to keep looking for and working with “moderates” there isn’t because they’ll have any real power in a post-Assad Syria but because they might have information on where to find the leaders of the jihadi militias who inevitably take power. We’re going to be droning the hell out of people in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, etc, if the rebels take over. Might as well start building a target list now.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Rubio: If I were in charge, we would have armed the granted amnesty to the Syrian rebels much sooner.

FIFY Marco.

LetsBfrank on June 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

…and given them visas, driver’s licenses, and voter registration cards.

Another Drew on June 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Also I will add that Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, The gulf countries, all these nations we have not fought with them in decades. Does that mean we are friends no it doesn’t. Better to side with them, than with Iran, with whom we are in open warfare and with Assad with whom through Iran we have been in proxy warfare now for years.

saus on June 18, 2013 at 8:01 AM

The one clear way of getting Sunnis and Shite Muslims together is to give them a common enemy. Let’s stay out and hope nobody wins.

I agree Assad is a monster and not the reformer the far left said he was a few years ago. However, whatever comes after him may very well be far worse. Look at Egypt, we got involved Mubarak was toppled and the Nation was taken over by the Islamists. Or we could look at Libya, KaDaffy is gone and now chaos rules. Libyan terrorists are now causing trouble throughout Africa.

jpmn on June 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Alawites are not regarded as Muslims by many Sunni’s so no that is not really accurate. How the Sunni’s see Assad matters a great deal.

sharrukin on June 18, 2013 at 3:59 AM

BTW, total BS what you said about Alawites – They are Shia Muslims. You are loose with the facts.

saus on June 18, 2013 at 8:01 AM

They are seen as heretics by many if not most Sunni’s.

splits the country along a minority-majority gulf made deeper by the fact many Sunnis call Alawites heretics and apostates.

From the book Orthodoxy The Story Of Alawi Origins

Most often, one hears echoes of mainstream Sunni and Shi’i sources that Alawis represent a heretical or, at best, syncretic deviation from Muslim orthodoxy.

Also I will add that Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, The gulf countries, all these nations we have not fought with them in decades. Does that mean we are friends no it doesn’t. Better to side with them, than with Iran, with whom we are in open warfare and with Assad with whom through Iran we have been in proxy warfare now for years.

saus on June 18, 2013 at 8:01 AM

The world moves on and Saudi Arabia is in fact as much of a terrorist supporter as Iran. Hamas gets a lot of its funding from the Gulf States and the radical mosques the Saudis fund are spreading the old style Islam far and wide. Turkey has threatened war with Israel and is drifting back to Islam. Egypt…well, what’s the point? If you cannot see what is right in front of you…

In a video published online, a rebel fighter, filmed against the backdrop of the Golan Heights, said “we are in the occupied Golan Heights, which the traitor Hafez Assad sold to Israel 40 years ago. These lands are blessed and the despicable Assad family promised to liberate them, but for 40 years the Syrian army did not fire a single bullet. We will open a military campaign against Israel. We will fire the bullets that Assad did not and we will liberate the Golan.”

The Israel-Syria border has been mostly quiet since 1974.

sharrukin on June 18, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Rubio is a lightweight who shows his ignorance the more he opens his mouth

HAGGS99 on June 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM

anything that helps mooslims kill each other should be encouraged

tuttle from tacoma on June 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Rubio had become quite the moronic douche.

MPan on June 18, 2013 at 5:57 PM

McRubio neocon.

nottakingsides on June 18, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Just goes to prove delusional insanity knows no political boundries.

LCT688 on June 18, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Your dumb! Maybe you should just sit there and look pretty.

mmcnamer1 on June 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

What you have in Syria is a war between the Bloods and the Crypts. One side dealing heroin and the other selling crack. Which side should you support??? Really????

Pole-Cat on June 18, 2013 at 11:52 PM

Sorry but I really no longer care what Rubio says about anything.

bertielou on June 19, 2013 at 3:21 AM

Rubio is the poster child of a grassroots candidate who decides to go establishment.

He ceased to exist for me as an alleged conservative when he yolked himself to Schumer, Grahamnesty et al, and this disastrous, utterly destructive immigration bill. Now of course he brags he’d have supported Al Qaeda in Syria even faster than “lead from his behind” Obama.

Why do we vote? It’s pointless as long as “the establishment” sits above our electoral system. And this of course is the point of the two party system: To neuter the Constitutional safeguards against majority faction, to ensure that there is always a majority faction, and whichever it is, the same agenda gets promoted — just more or less rapidly depending on which majority faction is in charge with the blessing of said establishment.

bobcalco on June 19, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Bragging about how YOU would have armed Al Qaeda-backed rebels already/by now isn’t really a GOOD thing, Marco!

easyt65 on June 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Then you’re an even worse fool that Obama.

mojo on June 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Look, Bush was right one Iraq… at least they had a chance. Sadly, Obama wanting Bush to fail so bad pretty much messed it up.

Afghanistan was a mistake. The value, they never had a chance. That was Bushs mistake. Obamamamaa carries it on.

Now Syria… Ya nothing but fail there. This is the worst out of the 3. Of course the idiots in DC are all for it.

watertown on June 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

This guy doesn’t get it. The radicals, the Islamists will always tend to intimidate & dominate the rest even when the Islamists are a minority – in Syria they look like the majority.

Arm the “moderates” and the Islamists will eventually take their weapons.
If anything, Assad looks like the lesser evil. IMO he just wants to survive, not spread sharia over the world. There was a fairly prosperous state hosting many religious groups in Syria before this revolt. I suspect the Russians have better sense than Rubio. I give credit to Obama for being as cautious on Syria as he has.

If the rebels were to win, btw, there would be a great retribution blood bath on Assad’s supporters. This is blood bath territory we should stay completely out of.

Chessplayer on June 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM

And just who are the so called rebels?
Just let them all kill each other!
I don’t give a fig about any of them!
Now Obama wants to “talk” to the f’n Taliban!
Are you kidding me? They just killed more Americans two days ago in Afghanistan and they will keep on killing. Obama never met a Muslim he didn’t want to give help to. He is single handedly giving the entire middle east over to radical killers and Obama is directly responsible for the deaths of American Military serving in the hell holes of Afghanistan and Iraq!
I can’t say what I really feel.

Delsa on June 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM