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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Morning Examiner: Ted Cruz walks fine line on Syria

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, appeared to reject President Obama’s impending missile strike on Syria Monday, but also left open the door for possibly supporting some type of United States intervention in the conflict.

Cruz’ first foreign policy test
Without former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support for President Bush’s Iraq war, it is highly likely that Obama would not be in the White House today. Foreign policy rarely dominates presidential primaries, but it can be decisive. Considering this recent history, many eyes in Washington were eager to see what Cruz has to say about Obama’s Syria policy.

Libertarian?
On Monday, Cruz told Fox News, “The United States Armed Forces doesn’t exist to be a policeman for the world and I certainly hope the reaction isn’t lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad’s murderous actions.”

This statement would seem to put Cruz in the same libertarian camp as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., but then Cruz followed up by saying, “The focus should be the only justifiable reason for U.S. military forces to be engaged is to protect our national security and sadly, that has been the missing variable from this administration’s approach from the beginning as they allowed Assad to slaughter over 100,000 of his people.”

For intervention just last month
What does this statement mean? What types of intervention would Cruz support? Well, in June Cruz issued a press release on Obama’s Syria policy stating, “We need to be developing a clear, practical plan to go in, locate the weapons, secure or destroy them, and then get out. The United States should be firmly in the lead to make sure the job is done right.”

So not only does Cruz support intervening in Syria, he would go further than Obama, and put U.S. boots on the ground to destroy whatever chemical weapons are in the country, and then get out. That is not exactly a Paul/libertarian/non-interventionist foreign policy.

All Republicans agree on one thing
While there is clearly no unified Republican position on Syria, all Republicans do agree on one thing. Obama must first come to Congress for approval before he uses force. “Secretary Kerry and the president have said they want to go to the United Nations for approval,” Cruz told Fox News,”How about going to the United States Congress?”

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Obama tries to run out clock on Keystone
Susan Crabtree: Critics sound off on Obama’s ‘no regime change’ stance on Syria
Susan Ferrechio: Boehner contradicts White House, says there’s little or no consultation on Syria
Sean Lengell: Congress divided on response to Syrian conflict
David Drucker: GOP building digital voter ID network to top Obama’s
Michael Barone: Are cable news ratings a harbinger of voter turnout?
Rebecca Berg: Republicans hit Mark Pryor with new video, website
Byron York: Scott Walker says don’t shut down government over Obamacare
Sean Higgins: Unions plan national fast-food walkout Thursday
Ashe Schow: Obamacare unlikely to operate during a government shutdown
Charlie Spiering: 42 percent of GOP voters think defunding Obamacare will help the party
Conn Carroll: Obama’s creeping amnesty plan

In Other News
The New York Times, Arab League Rejects Attack Against Syria: The leaders of the Arab world blamed the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack, but declined to back a retaliatory military strike.
McClatchy Newspapers, U.S. wins Arab League backing as plans emerge for strike against Syria: The Arab League on Tuesday declared the Syrian regime “fully responsible” for an alleged chemical weapons attack, giving the Obama administration symbolic regional cover to proceed with a punitive offensive that could begin within days.
The Wall Street Journal, Leaker’s Security Check Faulted: The most recent background check of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was so inadequate that too few people were interviewed and potential concerns weren’t pursued, according to a federal review.
Reuters, Deadline for finalizing Obamacare health plans delayed: The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.
Detroit Free Press, Medicaid expansion passes: It took two votes and eight hours of mostly closed-door politicking and vote wrangling, but the state Senate approved a plan late Tuesday to expand Medicaid health care coverage to 470,000 low-income Michiganders.
TV Newser, MSNBC Down Double Digits: MSNBC continued its rough 2013 in the ratings, continuing to lose significant audience from 2012. The problems were particularly prevalent in primetime, with some shows losing close to -50 percent of viewers.

Lefty Playbook
Cass Sunstein says people don’t fear climate change enough.
Scott Lemieux notes that the same’experts’ who are always wrong about everything want to bomb Syria.
Matt Yglesias notes that military strikes are an extremely expensive way to help foreigners.
Noam Scheiber says Obama should refuse to negotiate on the CR until Republicans vote to raise the debt limit.

Righty Playbook
James Carafano says coalitions can’t solve Syria crisis.
Michael Rosen says we have moral and strategic reasons to intervene in Syria.
Charles Krauthammer says intervening in Syria without regime change as a goal is pointless.
Avik Roy has seven things you should know about Obama’s final individual mandate regulation.

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