Tucker Carlson’s Syria Challenge

Tucker Carlson’s Syria Challenge, by Joel Pollack.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, after a friendly interview Tuesday with anti-war leftist Glenn Greenwald, challenged anyone supporting American military action in Syria to define what U.S. interests there might be.

The answer is fairly straightforward.

The United States cannot allow Syria to fall into Iranian hands. If it does, Iran will extend its military influence into the Mediterranean, threatening American bases as well as American allies. It will also strengthen its emerging position as a regional power that threatens Israel and the Sunni Arab states.

In addition, the U.S. has a strong interest in punishing the use of chemical weapons. Granted, that is an interest shared by the international community in general, but few nations other than the U.S. are capable of carrying out that punishment. If the U.S. fails to respond to the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, the use of such weapons will become more widespread, including by terrorists.

Finally, the U.S. has an interest in protecting the Kurdish population of the region, which provided the most effective ground forces in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, and which is broadly pro-American. If the U.S. were to abandon the Kurds now, many Kurds would be in danger, and few groups would take risks on America’s behalf in future.

That does not mean the U.S. must send troops to Syria, or that it must topple the Assad regime. …

Those who emphasize these interests are not pushing for war. On the contrary, many advocates of a U.S. role in Syria want to avoid a wider war that might be inevitable if Iran takes effective control of the country and uses its power to threaten its rivals.