Back to Syria. We have all watched the mess the middle east is in almost all our lives. I am 63 and remember the wars and coups in the 50's and 60's perpetrated by disgruntled Islamic nuts and/or militaries. The Middle East has been this way since the Jews started writing their holy book, 3,500 years ago. But we "people of good will" think we can change these fanatics who believe there is a "prophet" coming out of a well to save them. How do you reason with that?
Syria has been run by a minority tribe for many years. They kept the fanatics in line by force just as Sadaam Hussein did in Iraq and the Mullahs do in Iran. Arabs, at least the less educated ones seem to respond to power and have no respect for anyone who cannot wield it effectively. This means foreigners too. America, well we want to be liked, we want to set examples for the planet in how to be "nice" sans force. It doesn't seem to work. There are huge problems in most areas of the planet and it is not being caused by kittens and puppies. It is being caused by people who test power.
In Syria, America could have has an impact two years ago when the uprising of their "street" started. But, just as he failed with the same actions of the "street" in Iran, Obama missed the chance for change. He decided to do nothing but talk. The Arabs could care less about talk. The see that approach as weak and so the Syrian President went to war with his own citizens. Some say 100,000 have died. The latest is his use of chemicals to kill men, women and children. What should we do?
With China and Russia rattling their sabres in support of Assad, some biblical scholars think we are headed for Armageddon. The Book of Revelations says millions from the north will invade the area and all hell will break loose, The end is near they say. Maybe, war is unpredictable and men can be totally unreasonable when trying to save "face". I say, stay out of there. Let the place go to hell. Protect Israel and let Syria self destruct. Based on our experience in Iraq, the people there will not thank us anyway.
Sure, I think genocide needs to be curtailed and we should do what we can but we lost the opportunity to have any effect when Obama wimped. A few well placed Cruise missiles in the beginning would have sent a huge message to Assad but the chance for the same message now is gone. Russia and China have chosen Assad as their fair haired boy to support. Putin and the Chi-coms have little interest in the people of Syria. Stalin and Mao murdered close to 100 hundred million of their own citizens so what a few Syrian kids and moms? But the risk to American soldiers in a land that will be ungrateful to say the least is too great for my tastes now. Since Obama missed the opportunity to help I say leave it alone. Let the French and English, heck, even the Bulgarians, take the lead and help. Turkey is right there and has a large military. They could relive their heyday as the "Ottoman" Empire.
No more American boys and girls should be sent to the crazy middle east.
Update August 28, 2013
It appears our Congressman Tom McClintock agrees with my position. The following is his Press Release from yesterday.
I am deeply concerned about reports that the President is preparing to order acts of war against the government of Syria without congressional authorization.
The Constitution clearly and unmistakably vests Congress with the sole prerogative “to declare war.” The President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief to order a military attack on a foreign government is implicitly limited by the Constitution to repelling an attack and explicitly limited under the War Powers Resolution to: “(1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” Unless one of these conditions is present, the decision must be made by Congress and not by the President.
Nor does our participation in NATO allow the President to order an unprovoked act of war. The North Atlantic Treaty clearly requires troops under NATO command to be deployed in accordance with their country’s constitutional provisions. The War Powers Resolution clearly states that the President’s power to engage United States Armed Forces in hostilities “shall not be inferred …from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities…”
Nor does the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 authorize the President to commit U.S. Armed Forces to combat in pursuit of United Nations directives without congressional approval.
The authors of the Constitution were explicit on this point. Madison said, “In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department… …Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded.”
In Federalist 69, Alexander Hamilton drew a sharp distinction between the American President’s authority as Commander in Chief, which he said “would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces” and that of the British king who could actually declare war.
Indeed, it is reported that the British Prime Minister has called Parliament into special session to consider the question. How ironic it would be if the British government were to act with the authorization of Parliament but the American government acted on the unilateral decision of one man.
War is not a one-sided act that can be turned on and off with Congressional funding. Once any nation commits an act of war against another, from that moment it is at war -- inextricably embroiled and entangled with an aggrieved and belligerent government and its allies that have casus belli to prosecute hostilities regardless of what Congress then decides.
If there are facts that compel us to take such a course, let those facts be laid before Congress and let Congress fulfill its rightful constitutional role on the most momentous decision any government can make.