The point of rattling sabers over Syria is to change the media narrative. Instead of talking about the weak economy and its cause, Obamacare and the other regulatory burdens the statists are creating, or the many scandals plaguing the White House to the point of impeachment talk, the President and his handlers want to focus on a convenient demon, King Assad of Syria. At the same time, Obama hopes to split his Republican opposition, with defense hawks supporting his call for enforcing national credibility.
There is no need to go to war to rescue Obama from the embarrassment of having issued an ultimatum when he should have kept his mouth shut. By refusing to go along, Congress lets him save face. Republicans should ignore the ham-handed Obama, refuse to bring a war resolution up for a vote, and continue with the Republican agenda of defeating Obamacare and beating back government overreach.
Do you think politics stops at the water's edge? Not so with Obama. The Syria move is all politics.
Big move by POTUS. Consistent with his principles. Congress is now the dog that caught the car. Should be a fascinating week!
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 31, 2013
Sean Davis of Media Trackers gives the rundown of the lockstep, obsequious treatment the White House Revolutionary Guard have given the decision by the President to follow the Constitution for a change. It became obvious that the push for war in Syria is a coordinated media and Democrat effort to get past launch of Obamacare, the many scandals, and most directly, to get Congress to increase military funding -- thus breaking the 2011 Budget Control Act (sequestration).
It was not some magnanimous move to request authorization for war from Congress. Obama has doubtless heard the impeachment talk over his repeated violations of the Constitution. But impeachment is one thing, and conviction is another. Conviction requires that a president's allies turn on him. Going to war without approval from Congress is the kind of thing that could make Democrats do that.
A Big CYA Move
But even disregarding the impeachment thread, President Obama knows that by involving Congress he shields himself politically no matter what the vote is. As I tweeted Friday:
Why doesn't Obama say, "I issued the red line, Assad crossed it, and now Congress must act." They never would, and he's off the hook.
— Loren #DontFundIt (@lheal) August 31, 2013
Tea party and constitutionalist members of Congress are leading the growing consensus inside the GOP that trying to topple nominally Muslim Middle Eastern dictators is either against our national interest or irrelevant to it.
It's quite likely, war being a series of unpredictable disasters for one side or the other, that bombing Syria could turn out very badly for the United States. A war declaration from Congress would give Obama cover.
In the amazing event of a positive outcome from attacking Syria -- or in spite of it -- Congress will get no credit for having declared war or authorized action.
The palace guard media will declare a great Obama victory no matter what happens.
A vote for war gives more power to Obama. With all of the ways this administration has abused power, do we really want to give him more?
Remember Benghazi? That was where we had a bunch of CIA people collecting weaponry from the successful overthrow of Khaddafi in order, we're told, to send them to Syria.
Obama Lied, People Died
From the text of the briefing in which he announced the call for a war declaration:
Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place. And all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see — hospitals overflowing with victims; terrible images of the dead. All told, well over 1,000 people were murdered. Several hundred of them were children — young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government.
What was that intelligence? The Obama regime knew an attack was coming, and it wasn't the first time (emphasis added):
An administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the report detailed Assad’s motivation in launching the attack on the 12 locations targeted last week. The regime had been focused on those neighborhoods and wanted to clear the area of opposition fighters. The US official said that pro-regime forces had exhausted their conventional options, and he emphasized that “the regime considers chemical weapons in its portfolio of military use. They do not see it as an extreme measure for extreme cases.”
So the Syrian rebels are hiding among the civilian population.
This Is Not Our Fight
The Syrian Civil War is a fight among groups of people who do not want America to exist. It's Iran, King Assad, and Hezbollah versus the Arab League-funded Islamist-led Free Syrian Army Islamist Syrian Liberation Army, and Al Qaeda in Iraq.
There is no strategic value in a limited strike.
- A limited strike will not deter the use of WMD, unless it kills the one who made the decision to use them, Assad.
- People who are willing to use WMD do not care what happens to other people, only to themselves.
- The only result of a limited strike is an increase in American involvement, either because "It didn't do the job, and more force is clearly needed." or because one side or the other uses it as an excuse to attack our allies.
President Obama created this mess, and now offers Congress a way to pull his fat from the fire. They should do so, either by refusing to hold a vote or by voting No on war with Syria.
Let's focus on repealing, defunding, delaying, and dismantling Obamacare.