- The Washington Times - Monday, June 17, 2013

President Obama’s tack on Syria looks a lot like President George W. Bush’s handling of Iraq and “sounds an awful lot like how Vietnam started,” former Rep. Ron Paul argues in his weekly column.

Mr. Paul, Texas Republican, argues that the recent announcement from the Obama administration that the Syrian government has used poison gas on rebels follows already-made decisions to transfer weapons to the Syrian rebels.

“The process was identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq war,” Mr. Paul writes. “Remember the famous quote from the leaked ‘Downing Street Memo,’ where representatives of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s administration discussed Washington’s push for war on Iraq?”

“Here the head of British intelligence was reporting back to his government after a trip to Washington in the summer of 2002:

‘Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.’

“That is exactly what the Obama Administration is doing with Syria: fixing the intelligence and facts around the already determined policy,” Mr. Paul continues. “And Congress just goes along, just as they did the last time.”

Mr. Paul asks if anyone sees the irony in Mr. Obama’s plans to send weapons to the Syrian rebels, many of whom have pledged loyalty to al Qaeda, after 12 years of the “war on terror” and the struggle against al Qaeda.

“The Obama administration promises us that this is to be a very limited operation, providing small arms only, with no plans for a no-fly zone or American boots on the ground,” Mr. Paul writes. “That sounds an awful lot like how Vietnam started. Just a few advisers. When these few small arms do not achieve the predetermined U.S. policy of regime change in Syria what is the administration going to do? Admit failure and pull the troops out, or escalate? History suggests the answer and it now appears to be repeating itself once again. The president has opened a can of worms that will destroy his presidency and possibly destroy this country. Another multi-billion dollar war has begun.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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