Politics, we're often told, is the art of the possible. The potential for American intervention in the Syrian civil war is stretching what previously was believed scarcely possible.
Liberal Democratic congressman Alan Grayson of Florida, one of the party's most strident voices, a man who once said GOP policy on health care boils down to wanting you to "die quickly," finds himself inexplicably agreeing with that most demonized of all Republicans, Sarah Palin. (Audio clips after the jump)
Appearing on Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday, Grayson said this about his opposition to the US attacking the Assad regime after its alleged use of chemical weapons (audio) --
SCHULTZ: Now it can only break out into a regional conflict, as I see it, if the Syrians have some help. I mean, I think that there's a, there's an indication there that he's not going to be alone. What are your thoughts on the Russians and the Iranians on this?
GRAYSON: What's actually happened is that until this point, in the past couple of years, this has been an internal civil war. It's been the Alawites on one side and the Sunnis on the other side. And it's been to some degree a reasonable expression of the desire of many people to have a modern life and not live under a dictatorship. But in the past several months what's happened is that the backing by other foreign governments of certain rebels, Al-Nusra, has led to a situation where the strongest opposition force in Syria today is in fact another fundamentalist Muslim regime like the one in Iran. So we have a fundamentalist Muslim regime in Iran fighting fundamentalist Muslim Sunnis in a proxy war in Syria. I don't think we have a dog in that fight. I think this is one of those extraordinarily rare occasions when I think I'm in agreement with Sarah Palin. She said, let Allah sort it out.
Just as surprising was Grayson's criticism of President Obama for suggesting that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has broken international law by his alleged use of chemical weapons. According to Grayson, it is Obama who is running the risk of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention if he attacks Syria (audio) --
SCHULTZ: What about our moral obligation? The president's making the case on international law on the use of chemical weapons.
GRAYSON: Well, the president's wrong on international law. Actually he has been very careful to use the term 'international norms' and he won't tell you why, but I'll tell you why. The Convention, not the treaty, but the Convention that the president was refers to (sic), is one that Syria never signed and one of the basic rules in international law is that you're not bound by treaties that you don't sign. So, the president can't use the term that international law has been violated. It's worse than that. If you actually look at the treaty that the president's referring to, the Convention, in Article 12 it spells out exactly what's supposed to happen if there are violations of the treaty and the answer is that you take the perpetrators to the International Court in The Hague. You don't simply bomb them.
This comes as no surprise, since Obama is just as blase about complying with the rule of law at home.