Dr. Ben Carson has repeatedly demonstrated recently during his
book promotion tour presidential campaign that he not only has a fuzzy grasp on the facts of his own life, but that he also knows very little about foreign policy. He’s also claimed that free college would destroy our country, and that evolution was a lie encouraged by Satan.
Along with claiming that he would be open to the possibility of using armed drones along the border with Mexico, Ben Carson has had some other pretty bizarre ideas as to what he would do if elected president. The latest remarks he made during a radio interview prove that he’s woefully lacking common sense on basic foreign affairs and how to handle conflict.
Ben Carson was a guest on a Des Moines talk radio show with host Simon Conway on Wednesday. When asked about how he would deal with Russia in Syria, Carson said he would shoot down a Russian aircraft if it entered a hypothetical no-fly zone. Yes, he actually said he would give the order to fire upon a Russian jet, because that could only end well, right?
“After you’ve given them [a Russian plane] adequate warning, after we’ve talked to Putin, you shoot them down – absolutely,” Carson said when he was asked what he would do if a Russian plane refused to adhere to a no-fly zone over the Syrian/Turkey border.
He also went on to say, “Whatever happens next, we deal with it.”
Ben Carson’s reckless words should worry any American who’s not eager to see the U.S. F-22’s and Russian MiGs in dogfights over Syria, but it needs to be understood that there are a whole lot of outside variables that would probably make this scenario unlikely. Despite Putin’s arrogant bravado, the last thing he wants is an all-out war with the United States.
The issue here isn’t whether or not this situation would actually lead to a WWIII, but how Carson seems to have absolutely no foresight on what could potentially happen if this were to occur. Shooting down a Russian plane over Syria isn’t one of those things you do and then “deal with the ramifications later.” This isn’t droning the wrong village in western Afghanistan. If there’s one thing anyone running for president should be able to understand about foreign policy, especially as it relates to matters of war, it’s that you don’t haphazardly engaged in combat with another nuclear power. The fact that he seems to have no understanding of this further proves why this man is completely unfit to be president.
Meanwhile, a number of Republican politicians have embraced the idea of a war with Iran, especially since some of the right-wing evangelicals believe a massive armed conflict in the Middle East is necessary to start a chain of events that will bring about the supposed return of Jesus. A war with Iran would certainly further destabilize the region, but Ben Carson seems completely at peace with the idea of opening fire on the military personnel of a nuclear power – to “prove” to Russia that he isn’t willing to let them call the shots in Syria.
The current situation in Syria and Iraq is due to our interference in the Middle East. Thanks to George W. Bush and Tony Blair, we removed an admittedly brutal dictator who was a counterbalance to Iran in the region, and some members of his Baathist government and military have aligned themselves with ISIS in order to regain power in Iraq.
Like many other Republican candidates, Ben Carson seems to have the idea that we can shoot our way out of any situation – even if it is one that was originally caused by us bombing a region into destabilization.
The gunslinger cowboy approach to foreign policy almost always sounds good to the people who will likely vote for Ben Carson or Ted Cruz. To them, we can solve all of our problems with prayers and big guns, but that is certainly no way run our government or to conduct ourselves on the world stage.
As far as I am concerned, it would be ideal if Russia would take more of an initiative in fighting ISIS. We can’t get too involved in Syria, although we do owe it to the region to fix the mess we made in Iraq. Then again, if Ben Carson was in charge of our military decisions, he could make Bush’s Iraq debacle pale in comparison to a Carson feud with Russia.
You can hear his comments below:
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