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Rick Perry Calls for Syria No-Fly Zone

Rick Perry has apparently decided that he can’t wait for debates to say stupid things. So, he went on Fox Special Report to call for a no-fly zone in Syria.

Ben Armbruster (“Perry Calls For No-Fly Zone In Syria, Would Act Unilaterally Without U.N. Authorization“) has the transcript:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Would you do what we did in Libya which is institute a no-fly zone over Syria? If you were the president would you advocate that we do that in Syria?

PERRY: Absolutely. Absolutely. …

BILL KRISTOL: And you’d do that I suppose unilaterally without waiting for the U.N. to approve it?

PERRY: I would not spend a lot of time waiting for the U.N. I will tell you that my position on the U.N. is if they continue to go around as the Palestinian state tried to do. We need to sit down as a country and have a conversation about, is the continued funding of the United Nations in the best interest of America.

Armbruster seems to think ignoring the UN is the issue here. I’d say the fact that Assad is brutalizing the people with ground forces, not airplanes and helicopters, and that a no-fly zone wouldn’t hinder that one bit is the more problematic issue here.

Perry does go on to talk about the possibility of de-funding the UN, which is a different sort of stupid.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    I’d say the fact that Assad is brutalizing the people with ground forces, not airplanes and helicopters, and that a no-fly zone wouldn’t hinder that one bit is the more problematic issue here.

    That’s exactly what I was wondering about earlier… I doubt Perry could find Syria on a map, let alone grapple with the idea & possible consequences of intervening in another country’s political struggles, but would Krauthammer understand that a no-fly zone would be pointless here? Was he giving Perry a ‘gotcha’ question, or is he just as uneducated on current affairs as Perry?

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  2. James Joyner says:

    @legion: I honestly don’t get it. While I frequently disagree with Krauthammer, he’s pretty damned smart on foreign affairs. And, hell, Perry is a former Air Force pilot, so you’d think he’d have some grasp on this as well.

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  3. JHC says:

    Presidents that speak like this have consistently made our allies feel more secure about being allies, and our enemies less secure in their predations. A dramatic contrast to our last few years.

    Picking around about how much Syria is or isn’t employing helos in the last 45 days is missing the much larger themes. And as Syrian military units defect and an align with a resistance movement, you’ll be seeing Syrian airpower soon enough and you don’t want to have to eat those words later.

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