- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Ex-CIA chief Michael Hayden ‘reluctantly’ supports military strikes in Syria
Says Obama’s ‘red line’ puts nation on the hook
Question of the Day
Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said Thursday that he "reluctantly" backs a military strike against the Syrian government and that President Obama painted the United States into a corner by saying the use of chemical weapons represented a "red line" for his administration.
Mr. Hayden, who served under President George W. Bush, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Mr. Obama's comments put the prestige of the nation at risk and limited the amount of time the Obama administration now has to build international support for a military response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged used of chemical weapons against rebel forces in his nation's ongoing civil war.
"It was an unwise comment," Mr. Hayden said. "It has consequences, and it has put us on the line that we would act in the face of these kinds of actions."
Mr. Obama said on Wednesday, "I didn’t set a red line; the world set a red line." In 2012, Mr. Obama said that "a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized."
"That would change my calculus," he said at the time. "That would change my equation."
Mr. Hayden said that the purpose of the airstrikes will be to deter the Assad regime from using those kinds of weapons again.
But he said the strikes are unlikely to degrade Mr. Assad's ability to carry out a similar attack in the future and could provoke a response from Syria; Iran; and Hezbollah, the Shia Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon.
"They are going to want to show after we act that these kinds of actions on our part are not cost-free," Mr. Hayden said. "We should expect some kind of response from them."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution Wednesday that limits Mr. Obama by giving him 90 days to act, and also pushes him to take steps to help the rebel forces that are fighting against
Mr. Hayden said it is in America's strategic interest to play a larger role in the Syrian conflict.
"We have been hands off for far too long," he said. "As hard as it would have been, this would have been easier to influence and effect 18, 12 or six months ago then it will be now."
Asked about Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who argue that the push for limited airstrikes is too late, Mr. Hayden said that lawmakers have to face the reality before them.
"At the end of the day, this is the least worse option we now have, and it would be near catastrophic, I think, for American influence in the world and the American Congress not to support this," he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Inside the sport of hockey from a scout’s perspective
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
For moms, dads, kids, tech heads, travelers, kitchen mavens and everyone else on your holiday gift list
White House pets gone wild!