by Newt Gingrich
Aug 28, 2013
In fact, call your congressman and your two senators and demand that they oppose the media pressure and elite pressure to attack Syria.
The gap between the American people and the Washington elite has seldom been as wide as it is on the question of U.S. military involvement in Syria.
The American people are tired of 12 years of war without victory.
They are reminded every day of how hostile and violent the Middle East can be. At least 46 people were killed in Iraq this last weekend, for example.
Americans have also seen their country's hopes dashed in Somalia (1993), Afghanistan (for the past 12 years), Libya (the last two years), Yemen and Lebanon (since 1983), and recently in Egypt.
Most Americans would agree Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad is a bad person, just as his father was before him.
Most Americans would agree the use of chemical weapons is frightening and worthy of condemnation.
Most Americans would also suggest, however, that both sides in the Syrian civil war are terrible and that there is not a good side in this tragedy.
In fact, given the relative caution of the two Assads (Bashir's father took over in 1970, so the family has run the dictatorship for 43 years) America would be in greater danger at this point if the radical Islamists and terrorists in the opposition manage to win than if Assad survives.
In this setting, what will American missiles accomplish?
Doing something that feels good isn't the same as doing something good.
Unless the United States and its allies are prepared to do a lot more than simply fire missiles at a distance, nothing positive will come from this adventure.
The time has come for a complete rethinking of our strategy in the Middle East.
Avoiding a military engagement in Syria is an important first step toward rethinking what we are doing.
A final note: Secretary of State John Kerry's effort this week to "shame" the Russian government is embarrassingly naive. Putin was a senior KGB officer. He can't be shamed.
The Russians killed thousands of Chechens in their war to crush radical Islamists (the people who bombed Boston last spring).
Syria under the Assads has been a Russian ally for decades.
It is sad to watch Americans ignore this history and posture on the world stage. It is also dangerous.
It's time for the American people to put limits on the elites' foreign policy adventures.
Call your elected representatives in the House and Senate and start this process today. There is still time to say no to American intervention in Syria.