Home » 17 Reasons that Going to War with Syria is a Mistake – Even if Congress Declares War
Whether one or several nations should attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons is a matter of international law. If the security of the United States were at issue, it would be a matter of domestic law. Absent an emergency, military response by the United States would require a declaration of war by the Congress and implementation of the declaration by the president.
Make no mistake: the firing of missiles into a foreign state is an act of war. If a Russian warship anchored near New York fired a series of missiles into the mainland United States, few of us would have difficulty saying that was an act of war.
In the United States, we have only one way under the constitution to go to war: the Congress must declare war and the president must carry out Congress’s order. If what is going on now in the Congress is other than a declaration of war, say a resolution of support or approval that will not serve as a legal basis for war to be initiated.
And that brings us to the wisdom of going to war. Suppose the Congress declares war, what are the reasons that would be a mistake?
- The United States has not been attacked.
- The security of the United States is not at issue, and war should always be a response of last resort to a threat to our security.
No international body has determined that a human rights violation did in fact occur.
- Committing to war solely on the basis of our intelligence, which may or may not be accurate, without the benefit of a neutral adjudicator and without giving the accused an opportunity to defend, is lawless.
- It is like sending the captured bank robber to jail without a trial.
- Going to war risks escalation into nuclear conflict.
Our striking forces of the Syrian government would support Al Qaeda.
- Putin’s intelligence is that the rebels have incorporated strong elements of Al Qaeda, which is consistent with common sense and the rebels’ killing of Christians.
- Obama has incorporated members of the Muslim Brotherhood into highly placed jobs in our own government.
- This raises questions about why Obama wants to attack the forces who are fighting Al Qaeda.
No nation or nations have come forward to partner with the United States to punish this alleged human rights violation.
- Neither the United Nations, nor Arab states in the region, nor European allies, nor the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have come forward.
- In the first Gulf war, some 50 nations supported the United States
Going to war would be based on the erroneous notion that we have authority to intervene in the affairs of another nation.
- Thinking that we are the world’s policeman is an arrogance we in which we should not indulge.
- Even if we were the world’s policeman, there have been many human rights violations in Syria and other nations to which we have not responded.
The motives for such a war are questionable.
- Obama has said it is a shot across the bow.
- Kerry has said it is a signal that atrocities will not be tolerated.
- Boehner has said “enemies around the world need to understand that we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior.”
None of these motives is justification for war.
- Shooting across the bow is an irresponsible act that risks much and accomplishes nothing.
- We are not the policeman of the world and have no authority to say what will be tolerated in another country.
- If enemies do not fear us, going to war will not help (see 10 and 11 below), and beyond that, who would fear the United States when Obama is president, regardless of what response we make in Syria?
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on August 4, 2013 that he had no idea what we were seeking to accomplish by the proposed military action.
- If the chairman of the joint chiefs doesn’t know what the proposed military strike will accomplish, it’s unlikely that Obama or Kerry know.
- Voting to approve of this military strike would be like voting for Obamacare to find out what’s in it.
Dempsey’s testimony reveals that there is no military or strategic benefit to Obama’s proposal.
- A military strike that has no clear strategic objective is an exercise in pointlessness.
- Many supporters of this war are closely aligned to the military-industrial complex.
- The nation is war-weary and likely to vote against anyone who votes for war with Syria.
- Any war will drive the national debt beyond its current 84 trillion dollars (entitlements included).
Obama on September 4, 2013 announced that he did not draw a red line in the sand. Congress, the world and the American people did that.
- If Obama is referring to the Geneva Protocol and the CWC, banning the use of chemical weapons, both signed by the United States, he forgot to add that while these agreements ban the use of chemical weapons, they do not require the United States to act alone as investigator, adjudicator and executioner.
- The embarrassment of having a president who will not accept responsibility for what he has done is a stain on our honor that no war can erase.
- It is likely that one of Obama’s motives in dragging out this deadly game is that in doing so he will redirect attention away from Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, the NSA, and the AP scandals as well as the evolving catastrophes that are Obamacare and the budget deliberations.
Insofar as Congress is motivated to save the reputation of the president and the United States, going to war cannot do that.
- Obama has revealed himself as a community organizer who was elected president. A military strike will not change that.
- The reputation of the United States as a responsible world power can be saved only by the impeachment or voluntary resignation of this incompetent president.
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