By Patrick J. Buchanan
October 7, 2016
Denouncing Russian air strikes on Aleppo as “barbaric,” Mike Pence declared in Tuesday’s debate:
“The provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength. … The United States of America should be prepared to use military force, to strike military targets of Bashar Assad regime.”
John McCain went further:
“The U.S. … must issue an ultimatum to Mr. Assad — stop flying or lose your aircraft … If Russia continues its indiscriminate bombing, we should make clear that we will take steps to hold its aircraft at greater risk.”
Yet one gets the impression this is bluster and bluff.
Pence has walked his warnings back. And there are few echoes of McCain’s hawkishness. Even Hillary Clinton’s call for a “no-fly zone” has been muted.
The American people have no stomach for a new war in Syria.
Nor does it make sense to expand our enemies list in that bleeding and broken country — from ISIS and the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front — to Syria’s armed forces, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.
These last three have been battling to save Assad’s regime because they see vital interests imperiled should it fall.
We have not plunged into Syria because we have no vital interest at risk in Syria. We have lived with the Assads since Richard Nixon went to Damascus.
President Obama, who has four months left in office, is not going to intervene. And Congress, which has the sole power to declare war, has never authorized a war on Syria.