On Thursday night, television host Bill O’Reilly and radio personality Laura Ingraham clashed over Syria and whether the U.S. should take military action against the government there. The discussion, while contentious at moments, highlighted the complexities involved in the ongoing situation.
At the start of the segment, O’Reilly, who supports military action, noted that Ingraham, who does not, was an ardent supporter of the Iraq War. That said, the radio host was quick to note that her views have changed and that the current situation in Syria does not warrant U.S. involvement.
“Over the last several years I have warned Republicans about continuing to go down this path where when it comes to military engagement the American public is not seeing how the military engagement improves their lives, how it impacts out national security,” Ingraham said, adding that Iraq was based on wishful thinking and that the Middle Eastern country the U.S. once hoped to help is now in “total chaos.”
O’Reilly went on to ask a number of questions, including whether America loses its moral authority if the government chooses not to act against President Bashar al-Assad’s human rights abuses. Ingraham, of course, didn’t see a decision to stay out of the scenario as an instance of moral deficiency.
“You’re saying that any state that’s not party to weapons of mass destruction being banned can now use them without any interference … that’s … dice,” O’Reilly said, going on to note that America, in his view, has a responsibility. “We’re the leader of the civilized world and if we sit it out it just becomes chaotic.”
O’Reilly admitted that most Americans don’t want to get involved in the situation for two reasons. First, he claimed that the left never wants military action. Additionally, he said that many on the right generally see Obama as incompetent and they, thus, oppose most of what the president says and does.
Despite the television host’s grievances, Ingraham remained steadfast that action in Syria simply isn’t the proper course.
“American has grown weaker in the last 11 years after a lot of warfare,” she said, maintaining that the U.S. is in a very different place from where we were in the mid-1990s (a time during which a strike like this might have been more viable).
Watch the fascinating debate, below: