Use the Constitution to prevent war with Syria

Syria is getting to be an old and boring story, but it still is a deadly come-hither trap in which America may yet be bloodily ensnared by its bipartisan interventionists.

By now the story is familiar. A government in Damascus that is officially recognized by all the Great Powers, the UN, and other major international organizations is attacked by domestic dissidents who are supported and militarily powered by al-Qaeda and other mujahideen, and funded by the Saudi, Emirati, and Qatari regimes. The “International Community,” as usual, sides with any set of miscreants that can utter the word “democracy” and thereby ensures the currently ongoing bloodbath in Syria. President Obama, his party, and the Republicans also side with al-Qaeda and the Islamists against Asaad in a piece of thinking that is perfectly logical when you accept that none of that crowd cares about preserving America’s security and financial viability, or about how many American lives they waste.

Now, we have fresh reports that the Asaad regime has used chemical weapons against areas belonging to the Syrian government’s Islamist enemies and that we have — perhaps? maybe ? probably? certainly? — crossed Obama’s much-vaunted red line for sending the U.S. military to teach Asaad a lesson about how to be a good citizen of the world, or at least to be more kind to Syrian citizens than Obama ever intends to be toward U.S. citizens.

Obama is, of course, consulting with his interventionist brains trust — starting with the towering intellects of Biden, Kerry, Brennan, and Susan Rice — and the president will certainly order those senile Republican champions of all war, all the time, McCain and Graham, to demand a U.S. military assault on Asaad’s government.

Amidst the developing momentum for the U.S. to enter another war that will strengthen al-Qaeda and its allies — like the one Obama fought in Libya and the anti-democratic one in Egypt he authorized this month — perhaps it is worth reviewing three salient and crystal clear facts:

1st : The United States has no genuine national-security interests in Syria. If all Syrians turn up dead tomorrow morning it would have precisely no impact on security of the United States. Syrians share this characteristic with those living in most areas of the world outside North America, which is the main reason that America would fight very few wars if it ever begins to elect adults to the presidency and the Congress.

2nd: Unless America is attacked first, no U.S. president has the constitutional authority to take America to war without a formal declaration of war by Congress. Asaad surely is not going to stage an amphibious invasion of America, although a month-long visit from Syria’s Republican Guard could do nothing but good for the now-occupied Political/Hollywood summer-vacation cesspools in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard. Therefore, the Senate and House leaders ought to tell Ol’ Red-Line Barack that there will be dollars and American lives for a Syrian war only if (a) he formally asks for a declaration of war and (b) the Congress believes his justification for a war and votes in favor of taking 330 million Americans into an unnecessary war against the Syrian Superpower.

3rd : Today’s status quo in Syria benefits U.S. national-security interests without Washington having to take any action at all:

a.) The Syrian army, Lebanese Hizaballah guerrillas, and Iran’s soldiers are killing large numbers of America’s enemies among al-Qaeda, its allies, and their supporters. Iran and Syria also are spending themselves further into bankruptcy.

b.) At the same time, Al-Qaeda and its allies — America’s enemies — are killing large numbers of the Syrian army, Lebanese Hizballah guerrillas, and Iran’s soldiers, all of whom Washington describes as America’s true-blue enemies.

c.) And much of this mayhem is being at least partially facilitated by the money and expensive equipment being sent to each side by other of America’s enemies — Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, for example.

For all of these realistic, common sense, beneficial-to-America, and — dare I say? — America First reasons, as well as for the even more important constitutional reasons cited above, Senate and House leaders ought to lay down the constitutional law — that is, no Congressional declaration, no war — to the supposed constitutional lawyer Obama and thereby make him obey the law for the first time in his presidency.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.