We're hearing a lot of politicians talking about Syria, I thought for a change we'd hear from someone who as a former staffer at the Obama State Department, was privy to some of the back room debates.
"When I was in the government I saw a lot of plans to topple the Assad regime," said Jeremy Shapiro.
Shapiro is now at the Brookings Institution, where he studies how nations use force. And he says the idea that this Syria debate will make us look timid in the eyes of the world is absurd.
"To the contrary - I see a country which has the reputation, particularly after the Iraq War, of using force recklessly and incompetently."
And as Shapiro sees it, THAT is the real risk to our national security. "The story of empires is that they fall because they are reckless and overuse their military power."
He thinks the president's red line comment was a mistake, and it would be another mistake to double down on the first mistake.
And as for those State Department plans to topple the Assad regime? They all had one thing in common.
"This is what I called, following "Seinfeld," the Yadda Yadda Yadda doctrine: We will topple Assad, yadda yadda yadda, there will be stability and democracy in Syria," said Shapiro. "As Elaine put it on "Seinfeld" so well - 'we yadda yadda yadda-ed the most important part.'"
Actually, Mr. Shapiro is wrong about one thing ... it was Jerry who said it.
President Obama is set to speak at 6 p.m. You can hear it LIVE on KIRO Radio.
Why is this debate even happening?