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Newt Gingrich slams 'naive' John Kerry, GOP 'elitists,' for pushing war in Syria

Gingrich warns against military action in Syria. AP Photo

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, soon to be the newest CNN celeb when he joins the a refashioned Crossfire in September, on Wednesday slapped GOP 'elitists' and Secretary of State John Kerry for pushing U.S. military action in Syria.

In a memo, he urged supporters to call their lawmakers and urge restraint. While he didn't mention the biggest Senate hawk on the issue, Sen. John McCain, he was certainly referencing him and other attack fans when he said, "The gap between the American people and the Washington elite has seldom been as wide as it is on the question of U.S. military involvement in Syria. The American people are tired of 12 years of war without victory."

His call for grassroots opposition came on the heels of Sen. Rand Paul's warning to President Obama to seek Congress' OK first.

The administration is planning an attack in retaliation for Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. By attacking, the administration will be further ramping up the nation's involvement in the drawn out civil war, said critics.

"What will American missiles accomplish?" Gingrich asked, echoing a question many are asking. "Doing something that feels good isn't the same as doing something good," said Gingrich.

Obama compelled the attack when he warned Syrian leaders that any use of chemical weapons would result in U.S. action. But so far the White House isn't considering an attack that will change the situation in Syria.

"Unless the United States and its allies are prepared to do a lot more than simply fire missiles at a distance, nothing positive will come from this adventure," said Gingrich. "The time has come for a complete rethinking of our strategy in the Middle East. Avoiding a military engagement in Syria is an important first step toward rethinking what we are doing."

He also mocked Kerry's effort to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop siding with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Secretary of State John Kerry's effort this week to 'shame' the Russian government is embarrassingly naive. Putin was a senior KGB officer. He can't be shamed," said Gingrich.

He concluded: "It's time for the American people to put limits on the elites' foreign policy adventures."

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.