Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Wednesday, July 19, 2012

On the attack yesterday on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s senior security chiefs:

The secretary of defense is saying that the situation is spinning out of control. I think he’s right. It could be a matter of hours or days. It’s hard to see how the regime will survive. … The most important thing right now is to try to influence the transition.

But that is precisely why the president should not be talking with the Russians, working with the Russians, negotiating with the Russians. He shouldn’t be doing that. He should work with the allies and the Turks and the Saudis and Qataris and others who oppose the regime.

The one advantage we have in the situation, and it’s through no wisdom of our own, is that the Russians have backed the wrong horse. The Russians and Iranians… have supported the regime as it kills in the thousands, with weapons, and money and finances and diplomatic cover. The Russians have just about written themselves out of the post-Assad Syria. Why should we be the ones to bring them back in?

The Russians have no interest in that area other than asserting Russian power and keeping us out. Our interest has to be to work with the rebels, and to try to work with those whom the Turks and the Saudis are the closest with, and promote them and help to steer a transition in which the Russians and the Iranians are out….

Our negotiation with Russia is giving them a hand in the transition. They should have no hand. The Syrians who will win this hate Russians, oppose them and want them out. We should not work against our own interest in keeping them in.

On how Israel will respond to yesterday’s terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria:

I think Israel will react strongly but not rashly. When our embassies were attacked in 1998 in Tanzania and Kenya we responded by launching attacks with missiles into Afghanistan and destroying a factory in the Sudan. That’s not what Israel will do because if it actually attacked, physically, Iran, it could trigger a war and that would not be at a time of Israel’s choosing….

I think what Israel will do is what it traditionally does — as it did [after] the attack on its athletes in the Olympics 40 years ago — where it finds out methodically who did it and all of a sudden terrorists all over the world turn up dead. That is I think the kind of response that Israel will do.

On the nuclear issue, it [Israel] either will or will not attack, but I think it will be on a different timetable.

On the fact that yesterday’s attack occurred on the 18th anniversary of the Iranian-orchestrated bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires:

The Iranians, whom our own State Department says is the biggest exporter of terror in the world, were clearly behind that, and that is not Israel speaking or Zionists speaking, that was an Argentinean inquiry into the bombing [that] concluded that it was Iran behind it.

Think about this. It wasn’t an Israeli embassy. It was a Jewish community center, as you have one in Washington. The attack was on Jews….

On speculation that the Bulgaria attack was retaliation for Israeli attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists:

If this is retaliation for [that], tell me what the [1994] attack in Argentina was in retaliation for. It’s in retaliation for Israel’s existence. That’s the grievance Iran has with Israel.

On President Obama’s statement that entrepreneurial and business success ultimately comes from government and the infrastructure that provides:

I think Obama has made the gaffe of the year when he said if you created a business you didn’t build it. That phrase “you didn’t build it” should be hung around Obama until the end of his presidency.

I read the totality of the statement — and it’s worse if you read it all. Essentially he has a view that is antithetical to view that the majority of the Americans have, which is that enterprise, initiative, the markets are what drive American wealth and excellence and achievements. Government is parasitic on that and lives off the excess wealth in the form of taxation.

Obama has the view [that] at the heart of American excellence and achievement is government and not enterprise. I think what Romney ought to do is take the headline in today’s lead editorial in the “Wall Street Journal,” “Solyndra vs. Staples.” And he has to have a simple slogan: “Obama and his administration gave you Solyndra — using your money, incidentally. I and my colleagues in the free enterprise system gave you Staples — with all the jobs and all the wealth and all the accrued wealth it gave to the foundations, to the pension [funds], and the universities that invested with us in those enterprises.

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