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.