photo of an indecisive president, considering voting ‘present’
Update: 15:18: White House: John McCain and Lindsey Graham discussed the meeting with the president today as he took time off from golfing.
Senators McCain and Graham said if they see a concrete, articulated strategy and plan for Syria from President Obama, they will ask their colleagues for a war vote on his behalf.
Both Senators said it will be catastrophic to the US and US interests around the world if we don’t back up the president’s word. The Senators said a weak response would be as catastrophic as no response. [Hmm…not so sure about that]
Senator McCain said with certainty that the Free Syrian Army can be armed and supported without supporting al Qaeda. He said that al Qaeda is a separate force in Syria who are wasting their time on trying to install Sharia law. He said that the majority of Syrians do not want to replace one dictator with another. They want freedom. McCain said anyone who thinks al Qaeda are in charge of the rebels are either liars or misinformed. [Hmmm…]
The Senators said they don’t want boots on the ground but they want arms given to the rebels. Assad’s air power needs to be dismantled, they believe.
They said we must disconnect Syria from Iran and we must protect Jordan. [Jordan, Iran, Israel are certainly concerns]
They agreed it is bizarre to give the enemies weeks to move their resources as we have now done but this is where we are. They said we should have done this weeks ago, actually two years ago.
The attacks must be sustainable and expandable, according to McCain and Graham. It must back up the rebels and defeat Assad.
Senator McCain believes that President Obama changed his mind about an imminent strike because the UK and the UN are not backing him up.
If the goal of coming to Congress is only to place blame on Congress as opposed to a serious fight, Graham said Congress will not support him.
The Senators made an impassioned plea, reminding us of Czechoslovakia in 1939.
So far, President Obama is still going for a one strike attack and a quick departure.
Original Story: President Obama wants to take a few days to hit the Syrian regime in Damascus. There will be no ‘boots on the ground.’ Syria is to be punished for using chemical weapons – weapons of mass destruction. That appears to be his sole objective because he said that regime change is not on the table.
The administration claims that only the regime has the capability of releasing chemical nerve agents. That’s not a certainty as there are accounts that cast doubt on that hypothesis.
Mr. Obama has approached Congress for war powers.
The emergency proposal for authorization of force which he has forwarded to Congress and which is to be considered after his 9 days of golfing and Congress’ 9 days of vacation, gives him free rein however.
Outlined in his two-page congressional proposal, is his clear intent to use the military as he ‘determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria.’
And he wants unlimited power to “prevent or deter the use or proliferation” of the weapons or to “protect the United States and its allies and partners” from the weapons.”
He is giving himself carte blanche on the hows, whys, and whats. There is also no sunset date.
USA Today said Congress will seek a narrower resolution. You can read the resolution for yourself on the link.
The President is the commander-in-Chief. He has the power to manage a war and to strike if the US or US interests are under attack. Article I, Section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution reserves the power to declare war to Congress. The US has declared war five times in our history – the War of 1812, The Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, WWI and WWII.
President Obama is fully within his rights to fire upon the Syrians now. He has 60 days under the War Powers Act to ask for congressional permission and he can act in the meantime. Apparently, the War Powers Act is not taken seriously, according to a number of members of Congress, including John McCain.
Mr. Obama never did request congressional permission in Libya, which, billions of dollars later, is a failing state and a terrorist training ground. Many of Khaddafi’s arsenal of weapons were not secured before we bombed Khaddafi’s dictatorship into oblivion and now the weapons – many are chemical weapons – are believed to be in the hands of al Qaeda.
In the past, the US has limited wars to imminent threats or actual attacks on the homeland or US interests. Mr. Obama has us wandering around in the weeds.
As a side note, there is still some doubt that Assad fired the chemical weapons. The Obama administration says that the rebels aren’t capable of doing so:
The al-Nusra (al Qaeda faction of the Syrian rebels we are aligned with) have control of a chemical factory near Aleppo.
Remember back in May when Turkey found sarin gas in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamist rebels (al- Nusra). That story is in Russia Today.
Abdola Al-Jaledi, a former high-ranking member of the Jabhat al-Nusrah front has revealed on his Twitter account @abo_almonthir, that his Jabhat al-Nusrah colleagues are in possession of chemical weapons, reports the independent Syrian Dampress Online Journal.
Almanar claims rebels misused the weapons and accidentally caused the recent attack. They said the weapons were to be turned over to al Nusra.
Our administration claims the rebels aren’t in possession of sarin gas nor would they be able to use it.
Mr. Obama wants to punish the Syrians for ill-defined threats to our national security; he wants to do this for humanitarian reasons though he didn’t do that for the Africans or the Tibetans; he wants to address arms proliferation, which probably does need UN approval.
At this point, we might need to do something, I don’t know, but telling the Syrians where and when and how we are going to do it is what is making us a laughingstock. Mr. Obama is indecisive and leaks his plans. He is only transparent when he is telling the enemy what we are up to.
He is an inexperienced president surrounded by incompetents.
BBC News believes an attack would only benefit al Qaeda since they have heavily infiltrated the rebel forces we are backing.
Sarah Palin said, ‘Let Allah decide.’