And the Nobel Prize for Peace goes to…Barack Obama! Sometimes you have to wonder if the Nobel Committee doesn’t regret falling for the “Obama the Peacemaker” rhetoric a little too early.
Earlier this year, I gathered with a group of friends and elected officials to discuss the status of America. I used the meeting to make a provocative claim. I said to the assembled powerful leaders, “How many of you think America will be at war by the end of the year?” Of the dozen, only two of us raised our hands.
The others said they didn’t raise their hands because “we just ended Iraq, and it’s too soon for another war.”
Or I also heard this one: “Obama is weak. He doesn’t have the guts to start a war.”
Or how about this one…”Congress will never approve of Obama launching a major military action.”
John Kerry laid out the rationale earlier this week for an American attack on Syria. Kerry vowed there would be “consequences” for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons attack on Syrian rebel fighters.
Kerry sounded so tough, I thought he was channeling Teddy Roosevelt. “But make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people…Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny.”
Kerry is talking tough, and the Pentagon is assembling assets in the area. According to reports from the Pentagon, the Navy has at least four ships near Syria with the ability to launch cruise missiles into Syrian territory. On top of that, the United States has Air Force assets within striking range.
The only question now is will anyone in Congress stand up and speak against another war? John Boehner, the current Speaker of the House, chose not to speak himself and instead asked his press secretary, Brendan Buck, to demand answers… through an online blog posting.
Brendan wrote on Boehner’s blog about Obama’s obligations: “One, of course, is to consult with Congress on the options he sees as a viable response. This consultation has not yet taken place, but it is an essential part of the process. And meaningful consultation should happen before any military action is taken. More than just to Congress, the president has an obligation to the American people to explain the rationale for the course of action he chooses.”
I can see from this reaction that Boehner is preparing to roll over and support Obama (as he usually does). Obama has the most compliant Speaker from another party in the history of Congress; yet he still complains about congressional support.
The only real opposition to another war is coming once again from the back-bench members. These are the young members of Congress who haven’t had enough of the D.C. Kool-Aid to become foreign policy zombies.
The leader of the rebellion is Representative Justin Amash, who’s trying to remind his colleagues about the law. He tweeted, “ If Pres ‘consults’ me abt #Syria, I’ll tell him military action w/o authorization f/ Congress is unconstitutional & violates War Powers Res.”
Rep. Tom Rooney, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added, “Syria is too far gone to pick sides. The rebels are infiltrated with Al Qaeda. Assad has joined the ranks of history’s most evil despots in what he’s willing to do to stay in power. And Russia won’t help us find a solution because relations [between Washington and Moscow] are as bad as they have been in 30 years. I don’t see a way forward, but U.S. boots on the ground is out of the question in my opinion.”
Lets hope others join the campaign to slow the rush to war. Tragic abuse of one’s own citizens isn’t the mode of operation in just Syria. If we want to right every wrong done by world leaders, it’ll bring us great sorrow and cost many American lives.
Furthermore, I don’t trust intelligence agencies enough to be sure Assad used chemical weapons against the rebels. But even if he did, a decision to go to war must be deliberative, must include Congress, and must never be the result of media hype. Lets find out exactly what happened and then discern if American interests are even impacted.
It’s not our responsibility to police the world. Instead, our leaders must adopt policies that protect America’s interests and our citizens around the globe. We shouldn’t go to war to try to solve internal differences between warring factions in some other country’s civil war.
This article originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo credit: terrellaftermath