The Iraq supergroup reunion

The Iraq supergroup reunion

by digby

If you weren't skeptical about intervention in Syria before, this should make you think twice:
Dear Mr. President:

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has once again violated your red line, using chemical weapons to kill as many as 1,400 people in the suburbs of Damascus. You have said that large-scale use of chemical weapons in Syria would implicate “core national interests,” including “making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies [and] our bases in the region.” The world—including Iran, North Korea, and other potential aggressors who seek or possess weapons of mass of destruction—is now watching to see how you respond.

We urge you to respond decisively by imposing meaningful consequences on the Assad regime. At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons. It should also provide vetted moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition with the military support required to identify and strike regime units armed with chemical weapons.

Moreover, the United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime. The objectives should be not only to ensure that Assad’s chemical weapons no longer threaten America, our allies in the region or the Syrian people, but also to deter or destroy the Assad regime’s airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants. At the same time, the United States should accelerate efforts to vet, train, and arm moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition, with the goal of empowering them to prevail against both the Assad regime and the growing presence of Al Qaeda-affiliated and other extremist rebel factions in the country.

Left unanswered, the Assad regime’s mounting attacks with chemical weapons will show the world that America’s red lines are only empty threats. It is a dangerous and destabilizing message that will surely come to haunt us—one that will certainly embolden Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability despite your repeated warnings that doing so is unacceptable. It is therefore time for the United States to take meaningful and decisive actions to stem the Assad regime’s relentless aggression, and help shape and influence the foundations for the post-Assad Syria that you have said is inevitable.


Ammar Abdulhamid
Elliott Abrams
Dr. Fouad Ajami
Dr. Michael Auslin
Gary Bauer
Paul Berman
Max Boot
Ellen Bork
Ambassador L. Paul Bremer
Matthew R. J. Brodsky
Dr. Eliot A. Cohen
Senator Norm Coleman
Ambassador William Courtney
Seth Cropsey
James S. Denton
Paula A. DeSutter
Larry Diamond
Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky
Thomas Donnelly
Dr. Michael Doran
Mark Dubowitz
Dr. Colin Dueck
Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt
Ambassador Eric S. Edelman
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Abe Greenwald
Christopher J. Griffin
John P. Hannah
Bruce Pitcairn Jackson
Ash Jain
Dr. Kenneth Jensen
Allison Johnson
Dr. Robert G. Joseph
Dr. Robert Kagan
Lawrence F. Kaplan
Jamie Kirchick
Irina Krasovskaya
Dr. William Kristol
Bernard-Henri Levy
Dr. Robert J. Lieber
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
Tod Lindberg
Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken
Dr. Michael Makovsky
Ann Marlowe
Dr. Clifford D. May
Dr. Alan Mendoza
Dr. Joshua Muravchik
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Martin Peretz
Danielle Pletka
Dr. David Pollock
Arch Puddington
Karl Rove
Randy Scheunemann
Dan Senor
Ambassador John Shattuck
Lee Smith
Henry D. Sokolski
James Traub
Ambassador Mark D. Wallace
Michael Weiss
Leon Wieseltier
Khawla Yusuf
Robert Zarate
Dr. Radwan Ziadeh

I'm not sure why Ken Adelman and Frank Gaffney aren't on board, but perhaps they're pushing for a full scale invasion.

I suppose that the fact that Max Boot, Cliff May and Elliot Abrams are signatories doesn't automatically make it a daft idea. But it sure puts a thumb on the scales.

The Weekly Standard considers all those people to be "experts", by the way. And it's right. They are experts in one particular thing which one would have thought they'd be embarrassed to admit after that little bobble back in 2003.