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It's Up to Congress Now: No to War in Syria!

Syria Protesters
On Saturday, President Barack Obama made the right decision and asked Congress for authority to go to war in Syria.  Now Congress should make the right decision and vote no.

Conflicts and crises abound around the globe, but few significantly impact U.S. security.  So it is with Syria.

The bitter civil war obviously is a human tragedy.  However, the conflict is beyond repair by Washington.

Ronald Reagan’s greatest mistake was getting involved in the Lebanese civil war, which at one point contained 25 warring factions.  The U.S. invasion of Iraq sparked civil conflict which killed tens or even hundreds of thousands of civilians.  Civil wars are particularly resistant to outside solution.

Nor would the fighting likely end even if the U.S. ousted the Assad regime.  Insurgent factions, including increasingly influential jihadists, then would fight for dominance.  For many rebels revenge would become a top priority.

Even if nation-building in Syria wasn’t such a daunting task, the U.S. government should not risk the lives of its citizens in conflicts where Americans have no substantial stake.  Policymakers have no warrant to be generous with fellow citizens’ lives.  Protecting this nation, its territory, people, liberty, and prosperity, remains the highest duty for Washington.

Far from advancing U.S. security, getting involved in Syria would ensnare Americans in a completely unnecessary conflict.  Damascus has neither the ability nor the interest to attack the U.S.  Any attempt by the Assad government to strike, including with chemical weapons, would trigger massive retaliation—perhaps even with nuclear weapons, which are true weapons of mass destruction.

While the Assad regime theoretically could target a U.S. ally, it has no incentive to do so.  After all, its very survival is threatened by determined insurgents.  Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey all are well-heeled and well-armed.  All are capable of deterring attack.

Some war advocates hope that hitting Damascus would weaken Iran.  However, to the extent the latter feels more isolated, it may press for tighter ties with Shia-dominated Iraq, which faces an increasing challenge from militant Sunnis.  Tehran’s divided elites also likely would close ranks against any possible peaceful deal over its nuclear program, which would be the regime’s only sure guarantee of survival.

The Syrian conflict is destabilizing, but the Mideast never has been at rest.  Most of the countries are artificial, created by British and French line-drawing a century ago.  War, revolution, discord, and violence have been the norm for decades.

The focus on chemical weapons is misguided.  The travesty of the Syrian civil war is that more than 100,000 people apparently have died, not that some were killed with chemical weapons.  The latter are not really weapons of mass destruction.  They are difficult to deploy and not so deadly.  At least 99 percent of the millions of battlefield deaths in World War I were caused by other means.

Entering yet another war against a Muslim nation in the Middle East is bound to create more enemies for America.  The surest way to encourage future terrorists is to join other nations’ conflicts and kill other nations’ peoples.

Even if the administration is genuinely committed to only minor military action, Washington would find it hard to be only half in.  Inconsequential missile attacks still would represent increased U.S. investment in the Syrian civil war.  Pressure on Washington to do more would steadily grow, with a warlike Greek Chorus intoning “U.S. credibility” at every turn.

However, concern over credibility does not warrant making a bad decision to enter an unnecessary war.  American presidents routinely put U.S. credibility on the line without backing up their threats—how many times have we heard that North Korea cannot be allowed to possess nuclear weapons?

The real lesson of President Obama’s throwaway comment on Syrian chemical weapons is that red lines should not be drawn unless they reflect overriding, even vital interests and are worth war to enforce.  Going to war for minimal, even frivolous stakes to enhance credibility is a fool’s bargain.

The president has placed the decision whether to go to war where it belongs, with Congress.  Legislators should act on behalf of the American people, not the Obama administration.  And the right decision is to keep the U.S. at peace.

Britain’s House of Commons showed the way.  After members rejected the government’s war policy, Prime Minister David Cameron observed:  “it is clear to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action.  I get that and the government will act accordingly.”

President Obama needs to “get that” and his government needs to “act accordingly.”

Syria is a tragedy.  But it is not America’s tragedy.  Legislators should reject war with Syria.

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Boehner/Cantor betray conservatives

So now our House Republican "leaders" become followers of Barack Obama and his cockeyed plan for a pinprick attack on Syria. Are they insane or just stupid? Obama, who routinely trashes Constitutional requirements and dismisses Congress as a mere obstacle to his goals, decides he wants Congress, and particularly Republicans, in the leaky boat he sat in alone, without allies or public support.

The vast majority of the American people are strongly against getting involved in Syria, yet these dunderheads put the GOP stamp of approval on this losing plan. I have had enough. Both Boehner and Cantor are an embarrassment to the party and to conservatism. House Republicans need new leaders. Both of these turncoats need strong primary challengers in 2014. Out with them!

Conservatives need to rally around the best conservative in the Virginia and Ohio districts these men represent, and retire them to a life of lobbying for their special interest friends. Republicans can't win with "leaders" like these.

Obama is not decisive - he is divisive -

It is sad that this president has had an agenda to divide our nation. He has succeeded - hasn't he?

Over the next few weeks, the politicians will do what politicians do - barter and sell the soul of America for a vote - a vote designed to give President Obama political cover. If things go bad in Syria, it gives him the ability to say later on..." I was hesitant, but Congress voted to send our nation into war...." Surely you can see through his actions and words. Sending Kerry out to say how urgent a call to action, then hours later, wimps to ask Congress for "permission". Is this leadership? Is it any wonder Putin is laughing, or Assad? And then on Saturday Obama and Biden go play golf - huh ?

And to engage in an act of war (a missile) with no agenda other than to satisfy his ego? It is astounding that any sane American supports this guy.

Why have you not asked a basic question: So where did Assad get these chemicals? You will likely find that they were the chemicals that according to the media, George W. Bush "lied about"... Truth is they were transported from Iraq to Syria - We have satelite photos showing the trucks and the tracks moving them - Ironic that it is President Obama who now has to deal with the chemicals that he and his media claimed did not exist.... Where is the investigation or the media on this question.

He is not a leader - he is a reader (but only when his Tele-Prompter is on).

He is not decisive - he is divisive.

And our world will pay a price for a long time thanks to his leadership.

Yes, he is the Commander in Chief - and ideally we should trust him - but what has he done to gain our trust - Just ask Christopher Stevens and the three other Americans that were murdered because Barack Obama was in a hurry to get to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, and Hillary Clinton did not want any political "blood" on her hands prior to the 2016 election. What has he done to lose our trust? The list is long, starting with his first lie on Day#1, promising to post on the internet every bill so Americans could read them, before he signed them into law - ahem, he broke this promise on his first day in office. How about how Obamacare was to lower healthcare costs, you can keep your same insurance plan that you have, on and on and on and on....

Is it any wonder why America is so divided - He has brought us there.

Syria

Yes, it is immoral, and repugnant that Syria's leaders have killed so many in its civil war and the use of chemical gas violates international standards and agreements, but who used the gas?
Syria's civil war is not our problem and so far it has not inflected any harm on the USA or our allies. If blame is to be laid it should be laid at the feet of all those Muslims that truly believe that it is "The Will of Allah."
My country should stay out of this conflict until such time as it actually causes us or our allies harm.

Syria set up

Regarding Syria, this presidential administration is now famous for ---never letting a crisis go to waste.
A tomahawk pinprick will surely draw in those nations historically advocating opposition to America through secondary players such as Russia, China, Iran, and even Iraq.
America is broke. Our national treasure has lined the pockets of like-minded liberal cadres rather than clearly spending on Constitutional dictates to defend the citizens of the USA. Our rust bucket navy has been falling apart for decades, our trained soldiers fired and put on food stamps for their sacrifice, our war-winning defense industries decimated, our nuclear deterrent unilaterally disarmed in the face of a clearly militarizing Russia and China.
A president who thought up sequestration, defense secretaries who gave lip service to the dangers of de-militarization knowing full well that our war-fighting equipment and weapons were already critically worn out but yet managed to blame Congress rather than stating truth-to-power and blaming the man responsible---President Obama.
So...the president has now bunted the decision to Congress after Europe almost en-mass would not step up to the plate and support its allies.
Congress can decide not to support the incursion into Syria and it potential for broadening into a regional if not global conflagration. Then the fault will lie with Congress not the president whom has already started the 2014 elections campaign.
Imagine every Muslim Brotherhood chapter, jihadist cell, Sunni or Shiite faction forgetting about what divides them locally and joining to defeat the American capitalist devil and its proxy Israel. Israel and Christianity are the timeworn enemies not 1000 gassed Syrians out of nearly 135,000 Syrians already killed in a Syrian civil war.
Domestically, if we are forced into a war from our embarrassing tomahawk pinprick, then...president Obama like FDR during WWII can declare marshal law and with nearly dictatorial powers can run a government behemoth intent on controlling the means of production and the power to enact his will at leisure(which is not far from where we are now since the liberal press whitewashes every breach of moral depravity masquerading as government policy, while the GOP leadership hides in the background agreeing with the president that the white middle class labeled as the Tea Party is their enemy too).
How are we to trust an administration that has made the embrace of Muslim jihadism the centerpiece of his and the State Department's foreign policy push over the last five years and virtually near a word spoken against the willful progrom against Christians worshiping quietly for thousands of years in the Middle East.
As Barry Rubin wrote Syria will already have boxed, crated and moved its chemical weapons to Lebanon or Iran until the US tomahawk pinprick is past.
There is much to ponder but for the sake of our children's tomorrowas let America make sure a Syria response is in our national interest.
Have we taken our eyes off our national interest and turned blind eyes towards those enemies arising around us in the east that truly have our worst interests at heart?