Reprinted from The Guardian
Republicans are now openly campaigning on the fact that they want to shoot down Russian planes over Syria, and seem to be trying to out tough-guy each other for who would be willing to start World War III the quickest.
At least that's what it sounds like from their comments in the past week, where most of them have stepped up their advocacy of a no-fly zone (and ground troops) in Syria while bragging that they have no problem shooting down Russian fighter jets to enforce it.
The still-somehow Republican frontrunner Ben Carson said of his call for a no-fly zone and Russian planes: "You shoot them down, absolutely" then added "Whatever happens next, we deal with it." No word on what he would do if "Whatever happens next" involves some of the thousands of nuclear weapons Russia still has in their arsenal.
Carly Fiorina said "I think we must be prepared" to shoot down Russian jets, saying separately that she would never talk to Putin beforehand (while at the same time bragging that she talked to him before). Lindsey Graham, an asterisk in the Republican polls who's never met a war he didn't like, opined that he "would shoot [Putin's] planes down, I would literally shoot his planes down."
Chris Christie said he would "call Putin, and tell him, 'Listen, we're enforcing a no-fly zone against everyone, and that includes you, so: don't test me.'" After being asked "And then he flies through your territory?" by a reporter, Christie responded: "You take him down." Just in case there was any ambiguity, he confirmed he meant shooting their fighter jets out of the sky and potentially starting a hot war with Russia because "we spent untold American treasure and blood to eliminate the Soviet Union. We should not let it come back."