Bill Kristol: My Support for Syria Strike Wavering

Monday, 09 Sep 2013 01:58 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol admitted Monday his support for President Barack Obama's plan to strike Syria is wavering after Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that an attack would be an "unbelievably small, limited kind of effort."

"I'm shaking in my support. I've been trying to make my case to all my conservative friends. What I hear is, 'Don't get involved in this messy civil war. The strategic case hasn't been made,'" Kristol said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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Kristol, a conservative, has been a proponent of the U.S. launching a military strike against Syria to deter future use of chemical weapons. He maintained that action is important, because not to do so would be a "path to disaster."

"A really big picture case is that you cannot let a brutal dictator use weapons of mass destruction, after we've explicitly said we would retaliate against that use, and then not retaliate. I think that's terrible for U.S. foreign policy, period," Kristol said.

Though the U.S. has stayed out of the struggle in Syria between rebel forces and the regime, headed by President Bashar Assad, Kristol said that the U.S. should launch a strike to offer stability to the region.

"A hundred thousand people are dead. Al-Qaida is stronger. Assad is backed by Iran. The worst people are going to control either parts of Syria, or one of them will control all of Syria," Kristol said. "It would have been better to have been involved two years ago, or one year ago.

"But, better late than never. I think the inadequate use of force is better than no use of force."

Because Syria "borders everything," Kristol said that "al-Qaida is stronger because we've stayed out" and called the Middle East "a mess."

"In terms of the Middle East, there's a geostrategic case. Syria is important. We've stayed out for two years, to my mind, mistakenly. And, what's happened, it's gotten worse," Kristol said.


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