Henry Kissinger pushed members of Congress to rally behind President Obama’s call for military intervention in Syria for diplomatic reasons, even if they don’t believe it is the right solution. The former secretary of state explained that he warned against military action in favor of arming the rebels, but that the present situation has changed his mind because the United States’ international credibility is on the line.
“If the president of the United States for the first time in American history, so far as one can tell, is refused authority by the Congress to do what he has declared in the national interest, the impact of that on allies and people we’ll have to be in possible confrontation with will be enormous,” Kissinger said on Fox News last night. He asked lawmakers to weigh two elements: the national interest and the impact on the international situation.
Kissinger also cautioned the president and Congress to remember the “fundamental strategic issue in the Middle East” is not Syria, but Iran. “We should not get involved in a diversion of a magnitude that then makes a discussion domestically the issue of Iran impossible,” he explained.