Rhetorical Shenanigans III: Marco Rubio’s Syrian Switcheroo

Last night while watching Greta (which was particularly painful that evening) I caught a short segment featuring Marco Rubio talking about how he is best fit to handle the chaos in the Middle East.

What surprised me was that, despite trying to frame his argument in a very clever way, he added nothing original to the conversation.

His describe strategy on Greta’s “On the Record” segment was — quite literally — the exact strategy proposed by President Obama.

What he did do, was add a quick little flourish, a deployment of deception, to confuse undecided voters that were not listening carefully enough — he made it sound like his competitors and the sitting president were in cowardly disagreement with him.

Let’s roll the clip and then break it down below:

Let’s look at his opening position:

“To defeat ISIS militarily and reject it ideologically you can’t just do that from the air.”

But Rubio knows that all of his competitors and President Obama are on the same page here.

He continues:

“Anyone who says we can do it just with air power is not — either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or isn’t be truthful.”

But is anyone actually saying that? Not really.

At this point, Rubio is hoping he can slip in the implication that there is someone out there saying that we can defeat ISIS by only bombing them.

He’s also implying that he will be willing to deploy troops to the region in a manner that his Republican competition and the current sitting president have suggested.

This is simply not true on both accounts. There isn’t a person running for office right now that has said we can defeat ISIS without some sort of force on the ground.  He also isn’t even talking about a full scale troop deployment.

Rubio continues:

“We will have to increase airstrikes, but there needs to be a ground force that defeats [ISIS], and while Kurds are doing a great job of holding the Kurdish area we need a Sunni Arab force on the ground.”

Here, Rubio’s manipulation falls to scrutiny. He admits that there needs to be a ground force, but not one composed of western or US troops — one composed of local Arabs. This is pretty much in line with the standard suggestion by both parties.

In fact, it is much more in line with President Obama’s current strategy, one that Breitbart’s Michelle Fields explained is nothing new.  In fact, it’s a strategy that most Americans, according to CNN, are unhappy with.

There are bold candidates that go further than Marco’s timidity — Jeb, Trump, and Cruz have all said they are willing to put troops on the ground.

In fact, these latest comments from Rubio are walking back earlier, more aggressive statements implying he may deploy as many as 50,000 troops if need be.

Let’s return to Rubio’s final comments:

“We will help, by embedding special operatives alongside [Sunni forces].” 

Again, this has been part of Obama’s ongoing strategy from the beginning.

Something that officials in the UK, Russia, and the United States all agree has failed.

Marco Rubio has repeated the same outdated and weak strategies of the Democratic opposition, while framing them as something new and improved.

He attempts to deceive his base and potential voters that this is a strategy that hasn’t been put forth, that his opponents are cowering behind air strikes, and the he is the man for the job.

Don’t be fooled. 

One thought on “Rhetorical Shenanigans III: Marco Rubio’s Syrian Switcheroo

  1. Pingback: Rhetorical Shenanigans: Marco Rubio Switcheroo | 4newstalk

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