Just as sailors aboard U.S. Navy destroyers were making last minute preparations for the impending cruise missile attack on Syria tonight, a respected retired 4-star general appeared on MSNBC to deliver a dire warning to America about the consequences of military intervention against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad (video below).
Appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, General Barry McCaffrey was asked by the eponymous host what possible reason there could be for a U.S.-led retaliatory strike for Assad’s chemical weapons attack Tuesday on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, “except for PR.” The general responded:
“I don’t think there is an argument. I think it would be a mistake to conduct limited political signaling using naval airpower or F-16s flying out of some place in the region.”
The highly-decorated former Army general then laid-in to the President’s reaction to the Syria crisis overall, and seemed to fault the saber rattling he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been engaging in over the last 48 hours.
“Military power invites unknown consequences when you carry it out. The question might be, why don’t we consider significant humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in border regions of Turkey and Jordan and Iraq in lieu of ineffectual military strikes?”
Finally, as if he knew he was speaking to a President in way over his head, he offered one last bit of caution regarding any collateral damage a U.S. military strike may cause to Assad’s powerful enablers, Russia and Iran, particularly to troops they may have on the ground in Syria:
“…the consequences of that, might be Iranian revolutionary guards killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and Hezbollah going after the Israelis.”
The timing of the interview was probably a coincidence, but the details of his warnings are spot-on. Since he directed his commentary at a President with no military history, but who nevertheless famously declared as a candidate that he “could teach the generals a thing or two,” don’t count on Trump heeding any of his warnings.
You can see General McCaffrey’s Hardball interview below.
Four-star Army General Barry McCaffrey criticizes Trump's rush to military involvement in Syria: pic.twitter.com/GwNHV5kyGU
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) April 6, 2017
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Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.