Rubio Calls On ‘Coalition Of The Willing’ To Counter Assad In Syria

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called on the United States to help build a “coalition of the willing” in an effort to take down President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime in Syria has levied a brutal crackdown over the last week against rebels who have led the bloody uprising.  Rubio’s choice of words harkens back to the build-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, when Bush administration officials used the phrase to tout broad support for the war even as many allies took a pass on joining the American military engagement.

“The US is indispensable [in] increasing a Coalition of the Willing, for lack of a better term,” Rubio said. The goal of the partnership is to create “that safe operating space where Syrians that desire freedom are able to organize themselves and create a cohesive political and military positioning,” he said.  The junior senator from Florida, however, declined to call for direct U.S. military action in Syria.

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Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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