Is overthrowing yet another regime in the Middle East is worth the risk of World War III?
U.S. Inc. — So far, the 2016 presidential election season has held tightly to predictable tactics and equally predictable frontrunners; until one of them opened their mouth. Marco Rubio didn’t pull any punches in a recent interview with CNBC, saying the U.S. should go to war against Russia — essentially to prevent a tidal wave of Muslim immigrants.
Rubio wants to implement the much-debated Syrian “no-fly zone” to prevent Syrian government forces from bombing civilians or rebel targets — and if Russia happens to participate in such a campaign and breaches this zone, they would be considered “no different than any other adversary.”
Posturing. Politicians proffering pretentiously provocative policy solely to produce positive publicity is patently ASININE. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
This new assertion cozily fits that description. Rubio seeks to win back GOP favor for his ailing fourth-place campaign, which was sorely injured in 2014 when he sided with Democrats to back a wildly unpopular immigration “amnesty” bill that voters blocked. Having raised just [just?!] $6 million in 2015’s third-quarter so far, Rubio needed to generate some attention. It’s arguable whether the attention desired was exactly what he garnered, but scrapping the general consensus of the American people — do not poke the sleeping, irritable Bear for, well, any reason — is going to earn questions.
CNBC’s John Harwood conducted the interview on October 5th:
RUBIO: If you’re going to have a no-fly zone, it has to be against anyone who would dare intrude on it, and I am confident that the United States Air Force can enforce that, including against the Russians . . . I believe the Russians would not test that. I don’t think it is in the Russians’ interest to engage in an armed conflict of the United States.
HARWOOD: You think Putin would back off if we had a no-fly zone?
RUBIO: I don’t think he’s going to go into a safe zone, absolutely. I don’t believe he will look for a direct military conflict against the United States in order to go into a safe zone.
HARWOOD: What if he was?
RUBIO: Well, then you’re going to have a problem, but that would be no different than any other adversary.
HARWOOD: You’d be willing to accept that consequence?
RUBIO: Because the alternative is this massive migration crisis that we’re now facing. The alternative is that [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad will remain in power but never control the whole whole of Syria again. The alternative is the continued growth of non-ISIS terrorist groups in addition to ISIS, itself. So I think the alternative is worse.
HARWOOD: Don’t you think the prospect of potential military — hot military conflict with Russia would scare the American people?
RUBIO: Sure. But the consequences of not doing anything would scare them even more and that includes its ongoing crisis of the migratory crisis that we’re now facing. The continued growth, not just of ISIS, but a Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups in the region as well. At the end of the day . . . we cannot say, well, if Putin is going to test us, then we can’t do anything. You’ve basically at that point ceded to him as becoming the most influential geopolitical broker in the region.
In other words, it’s worth poking the Bear for the sake of bravado — and to prevent the possibility of problem Muslim migrants overrunning the country. It’s worth poking the Bear to act as world police in a conflict the U.S. has no proper excuse to insert itself in the first place. And it’s always worth poking the Bear when your campaign flounders.
Though Rubio certainly has company in backing the Syrian no-fly zone, his seeming ambivalence about actively provoking war with Russia is his, alone.
Never mind that the United States spent numerous decades trying to avoid engaging Russia in combat, mostly out of the fearful belief that a conflict between the two atomically-armed super powers would undoubtedly escalate into World War III. Marco Rubio seems to be under the impression that playing ‘RISK’ as a child gives him the strategic authority to conquer other nations. Either Marco is overlooking the fact that your competitor can’t drop nukes in a board game, or he simply believes that overthrowing yet another regime in the Middle East is worth the risk of World War III.
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