Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — Marc Scaringi, candidate for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, released the following statement today regarding Senator Robert Casey’s resolution calling for U.S. support for regime change in Syria:
Last week, United States Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced a resolution into the U.S. Senate calling for the removal of Bashar al-Assad, that is “regime change,” and for the provision of substantial U.S. taxpayer-dollar “material and technical” support to “the Syrian opposition.” Senator Casey claims Syrian President Assad is brutalizing his own people and as such it is the responsibility of the American people to save the Syrian people from their own ruler. Senator Casey is once again laying the groundwork for U.S. military intervention in the Arab world – this time in Syria.
But America has been led down this path before. Like Senator Casey does today, President George W. Bush a mere ten years ago told the American people we needed regime change in the Middle East. Then President Bush banged the drums for war against Iraq claiming then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was a “brutal dictator” and the American people had a moral duty to free the Iraqi people from him. So President Bush took America to war in Iraq. By the war’s end, America added nearly $1 trillion to its national debt and nearly 4,500 brave American soldiers lost their lives and over 30,000 suffered serious injuries.
President Bush accomplished his goal of regime change in Iraq; however, the result made America poorer and less safe. President Bush removed a strong and secular dictator who served as a buffer against an Islamist Iran and replaced him with a weak government racked by sectarian violence and civil and tribal war. As a result, al-Qaeda, which did not exist in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, now has a strong presence and operating base in Iraq. Instead of learning from the failure of President Bush’s misguided interventionist foreign policy Senator Casey wants to double down.
Bashar al-Assad poses no threat to the United States of America. Assad has no intention or capability of invading America. Syria under the Assad regime had been an ally of the United States in the first Gulf War. Now Senator Casey wants America to join with the Islamists, socialists, liberals and al-Qaeda who seek to overthrow Assad. But even if Senator Casey is able to remove the Assad regime, he cannot control what type of government would replace him. As in Iraq and Libya, Casey’s policy of regime change has harmed U.S. interests by ushering into power Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood, or worse. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, who believe in using government to bring about the earthly rule of Allah, are now in control.
Even more ominous for U.S. interests, is Senator Casey’s intervention in Syria will strengthen al-Qaeda. According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, al-Qaeda networks based in Iraq have moved into Syria to fight alongside Senator Casey’s “Syrian opposition” groups. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor leader of al-Qaeda, who will benefit from Casey’s call for U.S. support to the Syrian opposition, has called for all Sunni Muslims in neighboring countries to assist Senator Casey’s Syrian opposition and destroy what al-Zawahiri refers to as the “pernicious, cancerous, regime” of Assad. Al-Zawahiri wishes to destroy the secular Assad regime because he claims Assad is anti-Islamic, and replace it with an Islamist regime that embraces the ideology of Islamic jihad. This is not good for America.
Nevertheless, Senator Casey justifies U.S. involvement in removing Assad from power on the grounds the Assad regime is anti-Democratic. Casey declares what is happening in Syria to be a democratic revolution. Senator Casey could not be more wrong. When “democracy” came to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia it ushered into power the Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law. What is happening in Syria is a tribal and religious war by Sunni Islamists who seek to eliminate the minority Shia-based yet secular regime of Bashar al-Assad and establish an Islamist state under Sharia law in its place. There is nothing “democratic” about what is happening in Syria.
Senator Casey fails to understand what is happening in Syria and throughout the Arab world and North Africa is not an “Arab Spring,” but an “Islamist Winter.” And, Senator Casey wants to use U.S. power to bring it about. Senator Casey’s interventionist foreign policy will actually harm U.S. interests and make the American people less safe. Nevertheless, Senator Casey continues to rush into a conflict he completely misunderstands and risks drawing America into another war in the Arab world where we have no vital interest at stake. Senator Casey’s desire to inject the American people into the latest war between the two, major rival sects of Islam will only create for us more ungrateful “friends” and vengeful enemies.
Senator Casey is once again sticking the hand of the American people into a hornet’s nest in the Arab world and America may once again get stung. That is why I am asking the people of Pennsylvania to help me stop Senator Casey from beating the drums of war before it is too late and American soldiers are once again sent to fight and die in the Arab world in a war in which no American interest is at stake and in which our very involvement stokes the flames of Islamic jihad against us.