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Cruz: Obama administration has no ‘viable plan for success’ in Syria

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday said the Obama administration is proceeding with the wrong objective in Syria, saying the White House has “no viable plan for success.” 

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“It is not based on defending Americans or our allies, rather it is explicitly framed by President Obama, by Secretary Kerry, as a defense of what they call international norms," Cruz said on ABC's "This Week." And I don't think that's the job of our military to be defending amorphous international norms.

"There are many other steps we can do to express strong disapproval to Assad's murderous conduct, but I don't think it's the job of the military.”

Cruz called for a vote in the United Nations Security Council “condemning Assad’s use of chemical weapons to murder his own citizens,” despite Russian and Chinese opposition.

“We know Russia and China would veto it. They said that, but we should make them veto it on the world stage. And if they do veto it, we should respond by, with respect to Russia, we should reinstate the anti-ballistic missile station in eastern Europe that was canceled at the beginning of the Obama administration to appease Russia, and with respect to China, we should go through with selling the new F-16s to Taiwan … .”

The Texas Republican also said he would cut off $500 million in aid to Iraq if reports prove true that Baghdad is allowing Iran to fly over its territory to resupply the Syrian regime and Iraq does not close its airspace.

Cruz dismissed criticism from White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who appeared earlier on the show, that claims that U.S. intervention in Syria would help al Qaeda were “outrageous. “

Cruz said there is a lot to be outraged about, including Assad’s conduct, but added that “just because Assad is a murderous tyrant doesn’t mean his opponents are any better.”

“In June, the intelligence showed that the nine major al Qaeda -- of the nine major rebels forces in Syria, at least seven appear to have significant ties to al-Qaeda,” Cruz said.

"And the problem with this strike is one of two things is possible, either the strike is really significant, it weakens Assad and the result is the rebels are able to succeed, and if what happened there is al-Qaeda taking over, or al Nusra taking over, and extremist terrorists getting access to those chemical weapons, that hurts U.S. national security.”

Cruz also said he does not think Obama has the authority to go forward with military action in Syria without congressional support.

“I don’t think he has the authority,” Cruz said.

“It would be contrary to the Constitution,” he added.

--This report was updated at 12:49 p.m.