Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Congress Should Help Obama Make History Again

If lawmakers deny Obama’s request for force in Syria, it would be a historic moment. Congress has never outright rejected a president’s request for military force, said Richard Grimmett, a former international security specialist for the Congressional Research Service, in an interview.
War Declarations
Including the first request targeting France in 1798, Congress has endorsed 11 formal declarations of war and the use of force in 11 other conflicts, according to a 2011 Congressional Research Service report that Grimmett co-authored. The closest Congress came to rejecting a request was in 1815 when President James Madison initially sought a declaration of war against Algiers and lawmakers instead authorized the use of force, Grimmett said.
Congress should refuse to authorize the use of force against Syria.  The Obama regime cannot explain how its intervention can avoid aiding the al Qaeda elements among Syrian rebels.  Nor can they square this circle: Since the Obama regime cannot destroy Syria's chemical weapons and since they do not want to remove the Assad regime, how will the Assad regime be deterred by a pinprick strike?  On the other hand, if the attack does substantial damage to the Assad regime, won't that simply enable al Qaeda to take over the country?  What the Obama regime appears to promise is ludicrous, some kind of Goldilocks war that is just right, that doesn't substantially undermine the Assad regime but will deter them from using chemical weapons.  How that miracle is going to be achieved remains unexplained.

In related news, a recent survey shows most Americans remain opposed to Obama's rush to war.  That popular sentiment is certainly reflected by the response from the constituents of various members of Congress.

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