The Corner

Paul Ryan Wants to Hear More on Syria, Says Obama Made ‘Grave Missteps’

Representative Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) just issued the following statement:

“The President has some work to do to recover from his grave missteps in Syria. He needs to clearly demonstrate that the use of military force would strengthen America’s security. I want to hear his case to Congress and to the American people.”

Ryan’s take unsurprisingly raps the president’s indecision. It also gives him some room for manuevering as the debate unfolds. For the moment, he isn’t aligning himself with the Rand Paul wing or with the outspoken hawks.

Ryan’s previous remarks on foreign policy, however, may give us clues about how he’ll ultimately vote. In June 2011, he spoke to the Alexander Hamilton Society and sounded the alarm about Syria:

In Syria and Iran, we are witnessing regimes that have chosen the opposite path. Instead of accommodating the desires of their peoples for liberty and justice, these regimes have engaged in brutal crackdowns, imprisoning opposition leaders, and killing their own citizens to quell dissent.

The Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky has testified to the power of words to those suffering under the boot of oppression. Sharansky said in reference to President Reagan’s inspired “Evil Empire” speech, “This was the moment. It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell’s Newspeak was dead.”

We have a responsibility to speak boldly for those whose voices are denied by the jackbooted thugs of the tired tyrants of Syria and Iran.

Read the rest of Ryan’s speech here.

 

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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