Proponents of military action against Syria seem to be falling back to a self-contradictory argument, which is that Barack Obama’s credibility has to be rescued to protect America’s interests — and at the same time that we should trust what he and his administration is telling us about the ground situation in Syria. Reuters already punched holes in the latter part of the equation this morning, but the news had apparently not reached Howard Dean before his appearance on Morning Joe today. Joe Scarborough blasted Dean for hypocrisy in arguing that Americans should just reflexively trust a President after basing an entire presidential campaign on just the opposite (via Andrew Johnson at The Corner):
“You sound just like Paul Wolfowitz back in 2002,” Scarborough told the former Vermont governor on Thursday. “Don’t ever trust that the president has more information than we do and that we can’t sit back and be baffled by this man trying to pretend that he’s a passive actor on the world stage, when he is the one who has framed the outlines of this debate and put us in the position that we’re in.”
Dean attempted to dodge accusations of hypocrisy by asking to “discuss the merits [of intervening in Syria] instead of playing the blame game,” and argued that his criticisms of President Bush and Iraq were different because faulty intelligence that led to intervention.
What exactly are the merits of intervening in Syria for America’s interests? In the type of intervention demanded by Obama, not much. Kerry and Obama insist that the intervention won’t drive regime change, which means either that (a) they’re telling the truth and we’ll just kill people and destroy stuff so that nothing really changes on the ground, or (b) they’re fudging and want to drive Assad out of power with this intervention just as the Libyan intervention collapsed the Moammar Qaddafi regime. How did that work out for US interests, and the West’s?
By the way … notice anything unusual about Dean in this interview?
Howard Dean emerges on Morning Joe with serious dye job. Whoa – http://t.co/RRZ8vhre7F
— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) September 5, 2013
Here’s Howard Dean from five years ago:
And from a month ago:
Looks like he’s gearing up for a presidential run … or an appearance on Dancing With The Stars.