The Obama administration is nowhere near ready to "jump into a war" in Syria, with a history of failed U.S. interventions and still-unanswered questions about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the embassy in Benghazi, decorated Vietnam hero and retired Army Capt. David Christian warned Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Christian, a former military analyst for Fox News, said the nation has a dismal track record with nations "where we’ve encouraged an uprising" — like North Africa, Egypt, and Tunisia — "and it's all gone in a bread basket to you know where."
"There's too many questions that are out there and I'm saying that you got to know where you’ve been before you know where you’re going," he said, adding that his experience in the military and Washington "is saying push the caution button, the pause button."
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"Let us not jump into a war when we can't answer the mothers and father from other recent conflicts that lost children," he said. "We have to answer to them before we send their children off to another conflict."
Christian said the questions still unanswered about the slaughter of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Libya last year are not "mundane" — and President Barack Obama must answer them.
"Before we enter into Syria, can we not answer the questions of Benghazi?" he asked. "It comes up as being trite and trivial and being mundane and redundant by the president himself when he says, 'oh, it's a Benghazi question again.' . . . we had people standing down because of a presidential order, it deserves an answer before you commit more sons and more daughters to Syria."
Christian also said the lessons of Vietnam suggest caution before military action in Syria.
"President Obama a year ago drew a line in the sand and said that they crossed this line in the sand," he said. "In Syria, they've run across the line in the sand and now all of a sudden the weapons of mass destruction supposedly gives us a green light.
"I've seen villages where chemical warfare has taken out everybody from small children to goats to dogs to cats to mothers and fathers. You have to be extremely careful. Was it [President Bashar] Assad who has done this? . . . before we commit troops, do we know what the outcome is going to be? . . . We're surrounding Israel, our one ally, which may throw us into a world war situation. So let us be extremely cautious."
Christian said he believes there's a legal justification for a strike, but more is needed.
"The United Nations is saying to us, 'please be cautious, give us four more days' for inspectors to finish their work in Syria," he said. “I say take two more weeks before you take my son, before you take my daughter. Take the time. Let us be cautious and what we're doing here because once you've fired the bullet you cannot bring it back. . . . Let us get the answers."
Christian also said he doesn't agree with a petition effort, signed by 26,000 veterans, calling for Obama to fire Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki over the backlog of vets awaiting action on their disability claims.
"There's almost 30 million veterans in the United States of America," he said. "Twenty-six thousand is a large number but in comparison to all of the veterans, it's a small number. And . . . as a person who's experienced the bureaucracy of the VA . . . out of all of the agencies, one of the people that's trying very hard is Secretary Shinseki."
"It takes a long time," he said, noting his own case has only just been resolved.
Christian said he's currently supporting the work of sculptor Greg Marra, who is about to start work on a bronze sculpture to honor the victims of Benghazi.
"Most of the artwork in America's been hijacked by the far left and it has to come back to the center," he said.
Christian said Marra — whose last sculpture was that of Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL shot to death in February — is focusing on Benghazi because it’s "very, very significant."
He said he's asking Marra to petition Washington, D.C., to place the sculpture in the park across from the White House, "so when President Obama wakes up every morning, he realizes as he's pulling up his pants that there's questions unanswered out there.
"We have to know where we've been before we know where we're going — and we don't know where we've been in Benghazi," he said. "Otherwise, it's just going to be a bleep or a footnote on a page ... And we will get into another Vietnam then. We will get into other situations because we're not studying our history."
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