One voice of sanity on Capitol Hill. “Ted Cruz: U.S. not ‘Al Qaeda’s air force,– by Tal Kopan for Politico, September 4:
Sen. Ted Cruz called President Barack Obama’s efforts to authorize military intervention in Syria a public relations move, saying the U.S. military shouldn’t be “Al Qaeda’s air force.”
The Texas Republican said Tuesday on TheBlaze that while he’s glad the president listened to calls from him and others to bring the issue to Congress, America shouldn’t get involved and risk helping terrorists in the rebel forces.
“We certainly don’t have a dog in the fight,” Cruz said, calling it a civil war in Syria. “We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters that Cruz sounded “totally uninformed” in his comments and that there is “overwhelming” evidence that the Free Syrian Army is still the dominant opposition force on the battlefield, not terrorists. McCain met with the army”s leader, Gen. Salim Idriss, in June.
“This is based on this assumption that they”re all extremists,” McCain said. “That’s just false, totally false. That’s someone that’s totally uninformed.”
Instead of being focused on securing chemical weapons in Syria, Cruz said, the president is too focused on “international norms” and his own public image.
“It appears what the president is pressing for is essentially protecting his public relations because he drew a red line, and, essentially, the bluff was called,” Cruz said.
Cruz said of nine major groups of rebels fighting in Syria, at least seven had ties to Al Qaeda, and a strategy from Obama that would arm those groups “makes no sense whatsoever.”
“I’ll give you one of the simplest principles of foreign policy that we ought to be following: Don’t give weapons to people who hate you. Don’t give weapons to people who want to kill you,” Cruz said.