John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Let’s Wander Into a Bar Brawl in the Middle East

Posted on September 15, 2014
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Some hawks think it is smart policy and politics to push President Obama into putting boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq to battle the ISIS threat.

It’s neither.

I was talking to a high-ranking Foreign Affairs Committee Member of Congress (who happens to be a conservative Republican) today and he told me it’s a terrible idea.

He is right.

The American people don’t want us to overcommit in this region.   They are war-weary.

And while they want us to defeat ISIS, they think we can do that with our air power.

The fight that has engulfed the region reminds me of one big bar brawl.

Everybody is whacking everybody, and it is not exactly clear where the battle lines are drawn.

The Sunnis are fighting the Shia, the Persians are fighting the Arabs, the moderates are fighting the conservatives, the Kurds are fighting the Turks, the Baathists are fighting for survival.

If the Americans decided to engage, I guarantee they will all start shooting at them.

President Obama deserves some blame for pulling out our troops early.  But the American people still blame President Bush for getting us in this whole mess to begin with.

I agree with the strategic objective of degrading ISIS or ISIL or whatever they are called.

I also agree with the idea that we should protect the Christians in the region from annihilation, which I think we can do with air power.

I don’t think we should wander into a bar brawl and get clocked from all sides.

That makes no sense to me, either from a policy perspective or from a political perspective.