Aug
28
2013

The New Crossfire: Where Both Sides Support War With Syria

CNN-Crossfire-SyriaCNN is bringing back Crossfire next month, but viewers on August 27 got a taste of what they might expect: The left thinks we should bomb Syria, while the right thinks we should have started that a long time ago.

On the show The Lead, guest host John Berman moderated a "debate" between conservative S.E. Cupp and left-leaning Van Jones.

"Look, I want to commend the president for finally following through on our red line threats," Cupp declared–before explaining that Obama's plan was too timid:

We should absolutely intervene to stop the genocide of more than 100,000 people. We should absolutely intervene to stop Al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism from jihadizing yet another conflict. It is absolutely our obligation, and instead we do the bare minimum to save face and pat ourselves on the back for our civility and our diplomacy. I think it's pathetic.

OK, and from the left? Jones said:

This president has now said there is a red line. It was not clear before whether the line was crossed. It's crossed, he's moving forward. I think we need to stand behind this president and send a clear message to Assad that this type behavior is not acceptable.

And:

If you kill Assad right now, wonderful. You have a huge power vacuum. Who is going to fill it? Listen, people have a nostalgia for 1953 when the U.S. could just sort of thump out dictators like in Iran. This is not the world we live in. It is a tough neighborhood over there, and the idea that we should have a more bloodthirsty and reckless president, I reject.

I'm not sure what "thumping out dictators like in Iran" is supposed to mean; in 1953, the United States supported a coup against Iran's elected president.

But back to Syria: The American public is generally and overwhelmingly skeptical of military strikes on Syria. But in CNN's left/right debate, that point of view seems to be missing entirely.

 

UPDATE: Asked about the reference to "dictators like in Iran," Jones (8/28/13) replied on Twitter:

.

@andEps / YOU ARE RIGHT! Slip of the tongue! … I meant "leader." USA *replaced* him with a dictator, the Shah. Good point!

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.