Krauthammer on Attacking Syria: 'What's Russia Going to Do? Cancel Another Summit?'
With all eyes on Syria and what the Obama administration is going to do in response to alleged chemical weapons use by Bashar Assad, many are concerned with how Vladimir Putin will react if we attack.
On Fox News's O'Reilly Factor Tuesday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously asked, "What's Russia going to do? Cancel another summit?"
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Back Of The Book segment tonight, what to do about Syria. We discussed it at the beginning of the broadcast. Now we want to know what Charles Krauthammer thinks and he joins us from Washington. And you say?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I say it all depends on whether this is about Obama or about the strategic interest of the United States. What I'm concerned about is that what we hear the leaks from the White House, deliberate leaks are, we are going to have a very limited two or three day campaign. We will drop a couple of bombs. We will make a point and when we will retire from the field because from the reports I have read and from what I have heard, they explicitly say, this is not intended to alter the strategic balance or to alter the course of the war.
If that's the case we should do nothing. If that's the case is a pinprick, a demonstration of un-seriousness, the same as when the Clinton administration when our embassies were attacked in Africa in 1998, launched a few cruise missiles into empty tempts in Afghanistan and the methods that Bin Laden got was America is the weak horse. America is unserious, three years later we got 9/11. If we're going to do a campaign, it has to be a sustained campaign aimed at depriving Assad of air power. Otherwise, stay home.
O'REILLY: Let's take the if out of it. Both Colonels Peter and Hunt say do nothing. Do not get involved, it's bad for the country. Apparently you disagree with that. Why?
KRAUTHAMMER: I disagree entirely. I think what we should do right now is to have a sustained air campaign that tilts the balance, alters the course of the war. Right now, what Assad has over the rebels is the support of Iran, of Russia, he has the shock troops from Hezbollah, he has got air power and he has got a feckless west. We can remove air power without a huge campaign, it can be done without flying any airplanes over Syria. General Keen is outlying a plan where you take the six major air bases and with airplanes that are not flying in Syrian airspace, would stand off missiles and navel missiles, you make those six air assets unusable. You destroy the runways, you destroy the planes, you destroy the fuel, and you keep hitting these targets until you have eliminated the air advantage that the government --
O'REILLY: That's the strategy.
KRAUTHAMMER: That's a strategy.
O'REILLY: But then you have blow back from Iran, blow back from Russia, blow back from China. And from many in the Arab world.
KRAUTHAMMER: What's Russia going to do? Cancel another summit?
O'REILLY: I don't know.
KRAUTHAMMER: What's Iran going to do? Does Iran want to start a war in the gulf with the United States --
O'REILLY: But you know what I'm talking about here. There are unintended consequences of military action led by the USA. And that's what Hunt and Peters object to. They say, look, if you devalue Assad's ability to fight. He might get overthrown, and you'll have al-Qaeda running the country. Why don't you let them all kill each other? How do you answer that?
KRAUTHAMMER: That's what was said three years ago, when we had a chance to alter the bounds of the war on the cheap when the Jihadist were not in the war.
KRAUTHAMMER: And everyone said, you know what, they said what we now hear from the naysayers. Oh, if you start that, the government will fall, al-Qaeda will come in. Al-Qaeda came in because we did nothing, because we waited.