Today, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack stated that the United States’ position with respect to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East is to deescalate the tensions:
We believe that finding a way to deescalate the tensions in the current crisis…is really the way forward to achieve that ultimate goal which everybody agrees upon.
But Joseph Cirincione explained this morning that deescalation works against the goals of neoconservatives. Those who argued strenuously for a preemptive war against Iraq are now clamoring for a deeper regional war against Iran and Syria.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, who signed his name to a letter addressed to President Clinton in 1998 arguing for the Iraq war, appeared on Fox to make the case against Syria. “I think we ought to execute some air strikes against Syria,” adding, “The last thing we ought to do now is to start talking about cease-fires and the rest.” Watch it.
WOOLSEY: Without talking to Lebanon about it, frankly, John, I think we ought to execute some air strikes against Syria, against the instruments of power of that state, against the airport, which is the place where the weapons shuttle through from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas. I think both Syria and Iran think that we’re cowards. They saw us leave Lebanon after the ’83 Marine Corps bombing. They saw us leave Mogadishu in 1993. They saw us back off in 1991 when we had Saddam on the ropes and there were revolts in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces, and we stood there. I think they think Israel, similarly, by backing out of Lebanon a few years ago, and by backing out of Gaza, they’re fielding their oats. In that part of the world, the most dangerous thing to do is look like cowards in the face of these totalitarian groups.
QUESTION: Mr. Woolsey, are you saying that we should be hitting Syria? We should be hitting the airport? We should be hitting Bashar Assad’s office?
WOOLSEY: Yes. The last thing we ought to do now —
QUESTION: You mean we the United States, not Israel?
WOOLSEY: Yes, yes. The last thing we ought to do now is to start talking about cease-fires and the rest.