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Syria, 15+ Interviews Later

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When producer Duane is finished on Friday night, you will find 15 to 20 interviews on the question of “What to do now?” regarding Syria at the Transcripts page.

I began to dive deep on the question of how to respond to Assad’s use of WMD with the New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins on August 28.

Every day since then the president has lost support. Former Congressman Ron Paul is dancing a jig at the prospect of withdrawal of America from the world.

Every day since the 28th the president has lost support.

Every day.

The Congress should still vote to confirm the authority the president most assuredly already has to strike at Syrian targets.

The consequences of not doing so —of weakening an already weak presidency in the face of very bold enemies— are hard to imagine. The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol lays out the best arguments –both from statesmanship and from politics– in a must read editorial today.  Former senators Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl –two men very wise in the ways the world really works when it comes to our enemies– add their arguments in favor of a yes vote via the Wall Street Journal.

Some very principled people —Andrew McCarthy and Frank Gaffney, for example– think the costs of supporting the president are higher than the benefits.

Others, like Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are still undecided but leaning against the AUMF 2.0..  Still others, like AEI’s Michael Rubin, hope for a middle course.

After two weeks of interviews with all the points of view and given all the precedents, I hope the Congress will support the AUMF 2.0..

“There was no use in saying ‘We don’t want it; we won’t have it; our forebears left Europe to avoid these quarrels; we have founded a new world which has no contact with the old.’ ” Winston Chruchill todl a Harvard audience 70 years ago to this day. “There was no use in that.”

“The price of greatness is responsibility,” Churchill thundered, and we ought to hear him still.

Secretary of State John Kerry is appealing to the wrong people for support.  He must find it hard to believe, but the people most likely to rally to the president are not on the left, but on the center-right.  He should ask for their support.  And for the support of the leaders they admire.  There is still time to turn this around Fred Barnes argues, and he is right.

Has he or the president called W or former Vice President Cheney to seek counsel or support?  If they haven’t, they should do so.  Today.  On the 70th anniversary of Churchill’s speech.






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