Dem. Senator Blasts Obama’s Syria Strategy [VIDEO]

Steve Guest Media Reporter
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Democratic Sen. [crscore]Tim Kaine[/crscore] blasted the Obama sdministration’s actions in Syria against the Islamic State, insisting, “We don’t have a comprehensive strategy.”

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, Kaine said that President Obama made a “mistake” in suggesting that Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad “must go” because he “raised expectations in Syria and then he didn’t follow through on it.”

“I think the problem is we don’t have a comprehensive strategy,” Kaine said. “When this war started August of 2014, two very limited purposes: protect U.S. Consulate in Erbil and protect Yazidis on Mount Sinjar from a humanitarian crisis.”

“We’ve seen ISIL go from Iraq and Syria to now a presence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia. We just recently dispatched troops to Cameroon to counter Boko Haram, which has sworn allegiance to ISIL Yemen,” explained Kaine. “So this is a threat that’s mutating. We’ve spent nearly $5 billion, $11 million a day. We’ve lost service members lives.”

Kaine argued, “It’s time to really have a strategy between Congress and the president, and that involves Congress being willing to engage, and Congress hasn’t been willing to do that.”

When asked why America still doesn’t have a strategy in Syria, “We’re doing things, but they just don’t knit together into a whole. So we are the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, four plus billion dollars. That’s a positive. We’ve got U.S. forces working with the Iraq military. I think that’s a positive, and I would vote for it.”

“But it doesn’t fit together because there’s frankly three pieces to this crisis,” explained Kaine. “There is the battle against ISIL. There is what to do about Assad and his atrocities, and there’s what to do with these millions of refugees, the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.”

“And the administration hasn’t put on the table a strategy that encompasses all three, and frankly Congress really hasn’t been demanding it. What Congress wants to do is criticize the White House but neither authorize nor stop what the president is doing. Congress is just trying to keep its fingerprints off this,” insisted Kaine. “And it’s one of the most shocking examples of congressional abdication of an important power, the power to declare war in the history of this country.”

Regarding the fact Obama said Bashar Al-Assad “must go” and squaring it with the fact that he is still in power, Kaine suggested, “I think when the president said ‘Assad must go,’ I think it was probably a little bit of a mistake.”

“He got out ahead of himself,” claimed Kaine. “When he said those words, he realized President Bush said, ‘Saddam Hussein must go. I said Gaddafi must go. I said Mubarak must go.'”

“When the United States has tried to say who the leader of another country should be in this region, we’ve usually not done a very good job at it,” said Kaine. “I think after the president made that commitment, Assad must go, he raised expectations in Syria and then he didn’t follow through on it because he realized, frankly, the limits of America’s ability to change a regime that did dash a lot of hopes and expectations. And that was unfortunate.”

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