Republican presidential candidates put their spin on the Arab Spring and call for an all-out air war to defeat the Islamic State.
From United Nations headquarters in New York, this is your World in 2:00. I’m your host Luke Vargas with Talk Media News.
With presidential candidates reaching upwards of 20 million Americans in their televised debates, their comments and claims can have huge impact on public consciousness.
That’s especially true when candidates discuss foreign policy and tie together developments in a range of countries to fit a particular world view.
Consider this from Texas Senator Ted Cruz:
“Assad is a bad man. Gaddafi was a bad man. Mubarak had a terrible human rights record. But they were assisting us — at least Gaddafi and Mubarak — in fighting radical Islamic terrorists.
And if we topple Assad, the result will be ISIS will take over Syria, and it will worsen U.S. national security interests.”
Mark Ensalaco is the Director of Research at the University of Dayton’s Human Rights Center.
“It’s important in these discussions to have some level of analysis and some discernment between a Mubarak and an Assad.”
Ensalaco says Mubarak’s dismal human rights record overshadowed his anti-terror support, and in Libya, the U.S. didn’t take out Gaddafi simply because we wanted regime change:
“That was humanitarian intervention to stop a slaughter. Did they think through what would happen when that regime fell? No they didn’t. But neither had the Republican administration, the Bush administration, thought about the consequences of Saddam Hussein coming down.”
Ensalaco was equally troubled that in an effort to talk tough about the war on terror, candidates argued America should level major cities occupied by the Islamic State:
“You’ve got candidates who are openly calling on the United States to violate humanitarian law, Geneva conventions, the U.S. Military Code of Justice by bombing civilians and asking questions late. And so it was very disturbing.”
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