Sen. Marco Rubio embarrassed himself yet again on national television by putting his ignorance on full display while trying to bash President Obama on Syria.
Video from ABC News:
KARL: Thank you. so you have been pushing for a long time for the U.S. to arm the rebels. Is this going to make a difference?
RUBIO: Well, let me just say that in politics or in foreign policy, timing matters. So these were options that were there for us a year and a half ago, before this thing kind of became this chaotic. It behooved us to kind of identify whether there were any elements there within Syria fighting against Assad that we could work with, reasonable people that wouldn’t carry out human rights violations, and could be part of building a new Syria. We failed to do that. This president failed to do that.
So now your options are quite limited. Now the strongest groups fighting against Assad, unfortunately, are al Qaeda-linked elements. That doesn’t mean that they all are, but it certainly — this group has become the most organized, the best armed, the best equipped. Our options are now really narrower than they were a few months ago.
So look, I think we should continue to search to see if there are any elements fighting against Assad that are reasonable, that we can work with, that will respect human rights and hopefully build a new Syria. I just think it’s a lot tougher now when you’ve got Hezbollah running around and Russia fully arming Syria, and Iran fully engaged in this as well. I think that the fact that it’s taken this White House and this president so long to get a clear and concise policy on Syria has led us — has left us with the worst possible scenario right now.
KARL: OK, so we’re here now though. What would President Rubio do right now? Would you commit U.S. forces to — to a no-fly zone?
RUBIO: First of all, if I was in charge of this issue, we never would have gotten to this point. We would have identified elements that we could have worked with, and we would have made sure that those elements, not the al Qaeda elements, were the best armed, best equipped and best trained. That being said, I think we need to continue to search for elements on the ground that we can work with, and we should try to do the best we can to increase their viability and their strength so that even when Assad falls, and we hope that he still will, they will be the ones on the ground with — with the best ability to kind of manage a future, hopefully democratic Syria, and peaceful Syria.
Sen. Marco Rubio’s big plan for Syria is to find the good guys and work with them. That’s it. Finding the good guys equals victory. This “strategy” sounds an awful lot like George W. Bush’s strategy to win in Iraq. Rubio later goes on to show that he knows nothing about what he is talking about by suggesting that he would have done the same thing that President Obama is doing, but he would have done it sooner.
Rubio’s problem was that he HAD to find a way to bash Obama for doing exactly what he supported in the past, so he invoked the GOP’s silly find the good guys sooner criticism and ran with that. Marco Rubio demonstrated that he has very childlike view of the world. He and his party still believe that there are good guys and bad guys, and all we have to do is find the good guys in order to win.
In the real world, there are no black hats and white hats. In the case of Syria the Assad regime is the black hat, and the people fighting him are various range from black to gray hats. Sen. Rubio was pretending that if Obama would have acted sooner the pro-Islamist rebels who don’t want democracy would have been transformed into an entirely different kind of rebel force, but reality is much more complicated that Marco’s fantasy.
A UN investigation found that most Syrian rebels don’t want democracy, and that both Assad and the rebels are committing war crimes. As UN investigator Paulo Pinheiro put it, “There is a very complicated distinction between the bad and the good rebels.”
Sen. Rubio sacrificed facts in order to bash the president, and his answer was so embarrassing that it demonstrated why Rubio should never be taken seriously as a potential presidential candidate.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association