The Case Against Intervening in Syria: Nick Gillespie on C-SPAN

I was on C-Span's Washington Journal yesterday, talking about Syria and related issues from a libertarian perspective. Click above to watch (about 45 minutes total) or watch at C-SPAN. If my Twitter feed is any indication, it's a pretty lively and provocative discussion with host Steve Scully and a wide range of callers.

@nickgillespie @cspanwj You've blown their minds. Good job!

— American Hero, Joe (@American_hero) September 1, 2013

The news commentary site Mediaite (and a number of other places, including The Daily Caller) have singled out my comments on Weekly Standard Editor William Kristoal and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer for special attention:

“Let’s be blunt,” Gillespie said. “[Kristol] has essentially zero wins in his column. When I think of the foreign policy mastery that comes out of theWeekly Standard, which was an instrumental mouthpiece for the Bush administration, and before that they were calling for intervention throughout the Balkans—In their short existence, they have never met a war they didn’t like.”

“For all of his plaudits, he has no credibility on foreign policy,” Gillespie continued. “Every decision that he has pushed and urged on America—including before 9/11, to start getting really antagonistic militarily with China—has been wrong. It’s about time that we stop paying that much attention to a kind of perspective on military action that coming out of the Weekly Standard.”

Gillespie also dismissed Krauthammer’s criticism of Obama’s alleged inaction.

“I’m not sure what Charles Krauthammer can point to, to say, ‘Look, I said we should go into Iraq, and that’s a great thing, and we should go into Afghanistan, and that’s a great thing,” Gillespie said.

“People who are interested in going to war are always in favor of war, and then they always criticize when war doesn’t go well,” Gillespie said. “Pundits, every once in a while, should be held accountable for their past recommendations, and these guys have a track record that is god-awful.”

Read the Mediaite piece here.

And take two minutes to watch "3 Reasons Not to Go to War with Syria":

 

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nick Gillespie on the Libertarian Agenda

    I knew it! Why not just interview the Koch brothers, CSPAN?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Picking on a cripple, eh?

    And then you went and badmouthed Krauthammer.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    When the Weekly Standard eventually folds, Nick, you need to hire Andrew Ferguson.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    I'm convinced he's either a closet libertarian or convertible.

  • ||

    It seemed to me like most of the callers on the Democrat phone line had an argument that was essentially "I support the President because he's smart and he's a good man and I like him."

    THE MESSIAH

  • ||

    I will point out again that they want to wage war on Assad for the mere act of gassing his own people. Not long ago they were chastising GWB for lying about Saddam possessing WMDs, ignoring the fact that Saddam also gassed his own people.

  • ||

    But they don't want to wage war. They just want to give him a time out.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Drones and Cruise Missles don't really count as war because no one ever dies from them.

  • Killazontherun||

    Like a schoolmarm's ruler applied to a nation's knuckles to let them know how naughty they are.

  • setTHEline||

    Naw, people may die. But not Americans, just other civilians who probably had it coming for wanting to live in Syria in the first place.

  • OneOut||

    Well, no one on our side at least.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And no one would have cared if Bush had taken Saddam out with a helicopter and a Seal Team - on the cheap and effectively (Obama style).

  • ||

    It was not possible. It is very unlikely that it will occur in this case either.

  • Hyperion||

    All things are possible, in ButtHeads mind, for super Obama.

    ButtHead is all for going around the world and changing regimes to setup a another US puppet, as long as his supreme master is doing it.

  • DJF||

    I did not support the Iraq war but there is a difference between taking out a guy with his own army and taking out a guy with only a couple of servants.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Not for Obama, reality does not limit his achievements. He is a gifted military genius, leading American Forces to victory after victory, never but tasting the sorrow and pain of defeat....except for that little thing in Afghanistan where 70% of all US Casualties occurred under illustrious stewardship.

    Why didn't he send a seal team and helicopter to win there?

  • wwhorton||

    I've taken a page out of Obama's book. Yesterday I stopped at a red light. I considered it a moment of laser-like focus, leadership, and solomonic wisdom. My friends refer to me as a masterful driver with an unparalleled ability to anticipate the unexpected and make sound decisions under pressure.

  • C. Anacreon||

    I am stealing this, nice work!

  • Hyperion||

    But, Afghanistan is soooo last decade.

    Geat Messiah Obama cannot be bothered with unfashionable old wars, he needs to lead the new and exciting ones.

    I think he should get him a proper uniform, like a South American dictator would wear.

    Go get em El Presidente War Boner Grande! Every time one of your glorious drones kill some 3rd world sub human brownies, Shreek has another orgasm.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    I think he should get him a proper uniform, like a South American dictator would wear.

    Like the one John Gill introduced to the Ekotians?

  • ||

    The WMD justification for Iraq mandated a controlling force, as the point was to secure the WMDs. The fact that they were non-existent is irrelevant, because the planning was based on their presumed existence.

  • ||

    And no one would have cared...

    Certainly, no one here cares about your opinion on anything. LEAVE.

  • wwhorton||

    So, to be clear, bin Laden was the bedraggled, semi-crippled leader of a terrorist organization living incognito in a country with whom we have any number of agreements vis a vis counterterror operations, and Saddam Hussein was the head of a sovereign state and nominal commander-in-chief of one of the larger military forces in the Middle East. A minor distinction, I know, but probably just a little bit significant.

    And, so far, cheap might describe his style, but certainly not inexpensive, and definitely not effective. Unless your goal is to ride a wave of white guilt and Progressive utopianism to a job for which he is remarkably unqualified, in which case he is clearly a master.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Add on to that the 1,500 American soldiers that have died since Emperor Barry rose to his throne along with hundreds of civilians killed by drone.

  • R C Dean||

    And no one would have cared if Bush had taken Saddam out with a helicopter and a Seal Team

    Well, except for the bit about assassinating a head of state being a violation of US and international law.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Saddam used to wear a uniform all the time. Seems like a legitimate target to me.

  • Mongo||

    I dug him shooting off the rifle in the air while sporting a pork pie hat.

  • JoshSN||

    And you seem like someone completely ignorant of the relevant U.S. and international law.

    And I'm sure it's not just me.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    You look like you're new around here. You're not making a good impression.

  • Killazontherun||

    What if chemicals are used to expedite a war to an end? That is always the excuse given by neocons to justify bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Oh, right, America is exceptional. Truman was a wise leader of a democratic nation while Huissain and Assad are tyrants. Sometimes I forget.

  • JoshSN||

    Nice one! Yours?

    I haven't heard anyone bring up the expedited ending before.

  • Almanian!||

    Clearly Nick just doesn't like Kristol and Krauthammer cause...JOOOZ.

  • ||

    You'd think being the youngest member of the Bushy Eyebrow League would make him more sympathetic.

  • Killazontherun||

    It's always 1939 somewhere in the universe.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    No, we hate Kristol because JOOZ and we hate Krauthammer because he's a cripple. Try to keep up.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Speaking of JOOZ check out the caller at ~27:00.

  • ||

    John mansplained to me a long time ago that using the term neocon, especially calling Krauthammer a neocon is idiocy of the highest order.

  • Kurbster||

    keep on thinking that the 'conspiracy theories' of jews in a position of political influence is false.

    Bill Kristol is a jew
    Charles Krauthammer is a jew
    both have a neocon interest in propping up Israel at the expense of the US

    the sooner you realize the jewish lobby isn't for America's interests, is when this country can finally begin healing

  • Contrarian P||

    So because you've found two jews who are really bad pundits that equates to a conspiracy? Give it a rest, man.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Gillespie on Bush: "amateur hour" and "disastrous".

    BOOOSH! NO FAIR!

  • Ted S.||

    Gillespie isn't using "BOOOOOOOSH!!!111!!!" to defend Obama.

  • Hyperion||

    I wonder if Shreeky will worship Hillary like he does Obama?

  • Tejicano||

    I wonder if she will grow a phallus for her worshipers to gag on just so she can fill in the emperor's shoes in the exact same way as the current leader. I mean she resembles a hyena is just about every other way so this kinds makes sense.

  • JoshSN||

    I guess he brought it up in a completely context-free way.

    Ted S. really has the brains on, today!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Wow, Gillespie must be really influential, guess who's supporting him?

    “Violence never brings peace: war brings war, violence leads to more violence,”

    http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.....sco-27503/

  • Hyperion||

    Since the Pope is Gods personal spokesperson, it's quite evident that GOD agrees with libertarians.

    So, next time a 'liberal' asks, what would Jesus do, we already know.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    I'm sure the Carthaginians would have something to say about that.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant," lol

    yumdessertdrool.com

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Nevertheless, the matter was permanently settled. And peace depends on what the other guy wants, too.

  • JoshSN||

    I wonder how many unique, and useful, genes have been wiped out because so many fucking idiots think exterminating Native American tribes, or whoever, is desirable because the solution is permanent.

    You are smart. You can probably just figure it out.

    The shortest human gene is 76 base pairs, and that means only about 4 to the 76th, or, 5.7e45 combinations to try to find a good one.

    Or, fuckheads like you could stop exterminating people.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Fuck you. I never said anything about it being desirable.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I wonder how many unique, and useful, genes have been wiped out because so many fucking idiots think exterminating Native American tribes, or whoever, is desirable because the solution is permanent.

    Uh, did you rip this from bizarrereasonstobeapacifist.com?

  • General Butt Naked||

    That's not a real website.

    hth

  • JWatts||

    Dud. He obviously mistyped. It should have been bizarrereasonstobeapacifist.org.

  • Hyperion||

    What's the likelihood of the GOP in the house voting yes on this?

    I worry, since so many of them are war mongers.

  • Hyperion||

    I mean because it's very clear that the only reason that Obama is going to congress, is that when this becomes a total disaster, which it will, then he can point and say 'but the Rethuglicans wanted this! It's their fault!, I was just respecting the will of Congress!

    And the stupid party will lose more seats in 2014.

    Goddamn every motherfucker who votes for this shit, they should be dragged through the streets and then rot in hell.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Leave it to the Stupid Party to never miss an opportunity to do something stupid.

  • Tejicano||

    Naw, they should be sent in as the first wave to hold the beachhead until we get our troops geared up to go. Arm them and support them as well as we can but send them first.

    They want a war? Let them have the first slice.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The image John Kerry WON'T want you to see: U.S. Secretary of State pictured dining with Assad and his wife at Damascus restaurant before war broke out in Syria
    This astonishing photograph shows U.S Secretary of State John Kerry having a cosy and intimate dinner with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

    Kerry - who compared Assad to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein yesterday - is pictured around a small table with his wife and the Assads in 2009.

    Assad and Kerry - who was then a senator for Massachusetts - lean in towards each other and appear deep in conversation as their wives look on. ...

  • Hyperion||

    I'm sure that pic will be all over CNN and MSNBC, any minute now. Those guys are always right on top of making sure the American public gets the whole picture, not just what the current administration wants us to see, right?

  • JoshSN||

    Just like they spent so long concentrating on Bush-Saudi ties after 9/11? Or went in depth into Reagan-era relations with Saddam?

  • OneOut||

    It's Bush's fault for the children !

  • JWatts||

    Just like they spent so long concentrating on Bush-Saudi ties after 9/11?

    There were all kinds of stories about the Bush family ties with the Saudi royal family after 9/11. Hell, there was even a New York Times bestseller written about it in 2004, entitled "House of Bush, House of Saud".

  • Redmanfms||

    He was before the Assad regime before he was against it.

  • ||

    Well done Nick.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I enjoy how the "compassionate" and "empathetic" Progressives claim that Obama is "setting a trap" for the Republicans in that if they don't give him what he wants, he'll call them weak on defense and if they do, and Syria goes down the crapper (which it will), he'll just blame them.

    It's okay to cynically play with the lives of Syrians and American troops so long as TEAM Blue comes out ahead.

  • OneOut||

    Racist.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Honestly, I don't understand why the Republicans don't scream from the rooftops "We'll be providing air support to Al Qaeda!" I think that ought to be first and foremost in any discussion of the issue.

  • ||

    Because, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and the rest of the Hitler youth that have taken over the party.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Sigh.

    I don't think "taken over the party" is the right turn of phrase. They've owned the party for a while now. The takeover is something in process. And it's the voices of reason who are trying to do the taking over.

  • ||

    It has been a while. But warmongering like this wouldn't have flown in the 80s. Reagan may have been pro defense, but he was sane enough not to use it.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That's what I don't get about this. I can't think of a Republican foreign policy big who would back this. Reagan would have been appalled. Nixon would have been horrified. Hell, even Teddy Roosevelt would have asked "What the f**king f**k are you doing?!" And that's on the interventionist side! We've replaced geopolitical analysis with juvenile exercises in penis slapping.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That's what I don't get about this. I can't think of a Republican foreign policy big who would back this. Reagan would have been appalled. Nixon would have been horrified. Hell, even Teddy Roosevelt would have asked "What the f**king f**k are you doing?!" And that's on the interventionist side! We've replaced geopolitical analysis with juvenile exercises in penis slapping.

  • JoshSN||

    Reagan didn't illegally arms, in order to get in bed with drug dealers, in order to fund rebels that U.S. law specifically told him he could not fund?

    Reagan was the most horrific of U.S. Presidents on foreign policy. For the record, I recently posted on my blog that I thought only G.H.W. Bush was the best foreign policy President in the last 50 years.

    Reagan armed both sides of the Iran-Iraq war. There is no more despicable, craven or cowardly act.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Murder droning weddings is way worse.

  • OneOut||

    You have a blog ?

    Who knew ?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You'll have to forgive me, though. I was watching Paul's performance on Meet the Depressed from yesterday and I was thinking "Damn, that sounds like a real president." The optimism may have gotten the better of me.

  • PapayaSF||

    I'm not so sure. The Tea Party folks are now a big block of voters, and I doubt if most of them want to bomb Syria. John McCain and Lindsey Graham aren't the core of GOP.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Let me take my analysis a step further. Assad isn't a nice man. He's a godawful prick. But, he's a godawful prick whose interests, on the main, don't necessarily dramatically conflict with our own. He's ultimately interested (assuming rationality) in some degree of stability in the region. Yes, he'll do whatever he can to "zing" Israel. But, pushing that too hard would be a strategic error on his part. And if he doesn't realize that, I can't imagine his generals don't. The rebels, on the other hand, don't have any particular interest in stability. Their goal is transformational. His is a client state of Iran. And, for all their efforts at nuclear weapons, it isn't all that clear to me that the mullahs see that as anything other than a guarantee against external threats. The bottom line is they're increasingly boxed in. The best strategy to deal with that is how do we make them less paranoid given that reality.

  • Mongo||

    400 quatloos on the newcombers.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Great job Nick. Don't back down one iota on this. You are 100% in the right, and it needed sayin.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Hit 'em again, Nick!

    By the way, why don't you have your customary attire? Did you take your shirt and jacket off?

    Get it? Huh-huh huh, huh-huh.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The Jacket must occasionally return to its home dimension to replenish its supply of Unobtainium. That element, combined with the life force of its host, Nick Gillespie, give the Jacket unimaginable power in our dimension.

  • VicRattlehead||

    So why are we all focused on violent options for Syria, if we are convinced spending millions of tax dollars that would be used for good in America are best spent in Syria why do we not help fund refugee camps so those that wish to flee have a safe means of doing so, assist the surrounding nations in securing their boarders and protect the civilians, that way we have not engaged in war on either side but have established a means in which the people can save themselves from the violence, they need medics and food not violence and bombs.

  • Jake345||

    the stupid black clothes high school affectation look from Nick again...

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