Tipton still opposed to Syria strike;
 senators cite ‘encouraging signs’

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As chronicled by Gary Harmon today (“Tipton still opposed to Syria strike; senators cite ‘encouraging signs’”), Scott Tipton’s rationale for opposing military action against Syria would be laughable – if the stakes weren’t so high.

Tipton sees “no reason to alter his opposition to military action” because – like local “Tea Partiers” – he blithely denies any connection between enforcing “international norms” and America’s national interests.

Tipton suggests that we “should take the lead in levying sanctions and seeking diplomatic solutions, rather then relying on Putin”, ignoring the fact that the Obama Administration – resisting calls from partisan “hawks” for more active involvement in Syria’s civil war – has been doing so for two years, but were stymied by Russia’s U.N. veto power. 
On June 15, 2001, President Bush “looked [Putin] in the eye”, got “a sense of his soul”, and “found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy”.
On December 12, 2003, Congress passed the Syria Accountability Act, finding that its acquisition of chemical weapons threatened U.S. national security.
Beginning on August 20, 2012, President Obama five-times cited the “red line” against Syria’s use of chemical weapons implicit in both international treaties and U.S. law.
Following Assad’s sarin gas attack on August 21, 2013, Obama positioned missile-laden warships within striking distance of Syria.
Tipton opines that “’maybe we ought to lead rather than follow the Russians’ on any effort to take control of Syria’s chemical weapons”.  “Maybe” Tipton forgets that President Obama proposed that solution to Putin in June 2012.
President Obama’s critics doubt that his leadership (even without Putin’s help) – coupled with the “credible threat” of cruise missiles – will end the impass.  Putin and Assad know that the “red line” was no “unfortunate foreign policy blunder” – and that “all options [remain] on the table”—even if Tipton doesn’t.  Only time will tell.



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