It’s nothing new to hear that the Republican primary is holding strong as a giant cluster of buzzwords and pandering. No amount of statisticians, analysts, or journalists (myself included) can predict the outcome of this mess.
But something from the maelstrom came to me this week out of the mouth of Newt Gingrich, and it’s telling of radicalized Republican foreign policy.
If you’ve turned on the news at any point in 2012, you’ve heard two stories guaranteed: the Republican primary and the uprising in Syria. It was only a matter of time before the candidates tossed their two cents on how the US should approach Assad and his regime’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. Gingrich’s plan was to arm the rebels and promote the Free Syrian Army, a band of former soldiers that have defected from government control.
At first glance, the plan looks as noble as could be: the world’s only superpower reaching down and putting M16s in the hands of scrappy rebels fighting in the name of freedom from tyranny.
So why is someone against widespread government spending speaking up for dumping millions of dollars into another country’s affairs?
One reason and one alone: Iran.
Gingrich openly stated that he wanted to arm the Syrian rebellion and topple Assad because the regime is a friend of such perennial “bad guys” China, Russia, and Iran (China and Russia vetoed a UN resolution that would create a path for President Assad to step from power).
To those with an imperialist view of our future, this is a fantastic opportunity to make a move against countries not so friendly to us. In a humanitarian sense, it’s miserable that the GOP would promote democracy only if it served their interests.
Why do you think we’ve fed some much equipment to Israel? But that’s another story for another day.
This isn’t a game. We’re not here to move a free Syria like a game piece against Iran. These are human lives at stake. These are people getting butchered in the streets by their own government. These are rockets indiscriminately being fired into crowd cities. This is murder on the grandest scale.
But what does Gingrich and a big chunk of the GOP care? They’ve got an opportunity to solidify their presence in the area and they want to take it.
This country was formed by insurgents and troublemakers. If we’re going to promote democracy out of the barrel of a gun, we’ve got to do it for the sheer love of freedom.
Yeah right, like that’ll happen. That costs money Gingrich doesn’t want to spend without getting something in return.
History shows that this is often not true, and we’ll fund only those who will best serve our interests, whether they’re noble or not.
Gingrich and the radicalized portions of GOP do not care about the well being of Syria or the promotion of democracy abroad unless it’ll help us stay the world’s top dog.