Is Syria so important that we have to send military forces to punish Bashar al-Assad for supposedly using chemical weapons against his own people? Even though we have been informed, repeatedly, that the Assad regime is responsible for using chemical weapons, there are legitimate questions about the evidence. Many sources are saying the rebels fighting against Assad are the guilty party. Unfortunately, people like you and I have no way of knowing the truth. One thing is clear, President Obama is determined to strike Syria and some Republicans, high-ranking members of Congress, are just as determined to stay in lock step with his agenda.
The big news of the day is the vote taken in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. The President won that vote, 10-7. As expected, Senator John McCain voted in favor of the resolution to strike Syria. His yes vote was expected, given the rhetoric he has spouted for the past several weeks. Clearly, McCain wants to send a strong message to Assad. So much so, that he included language in the resolution that changes the scope of the possible military attack.
Fox News - The Wednesday vote came after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised objections to an earlier draft. The objections forced lawmakers to renegotiate the measure; McCain ultimately won tougher language clarifying that U.S. policy would be aimed at changing the momentum on the ground.He was among the 10 who voted for the final resolution, after getting two amendments added.
“These amendments are vital to ensuring that any U.S. military operations in Syria are part of a broader strategy to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria,” McCain said in a statement afterward. “That strategy must degrade the military capabilities of the Assad regime while upgrading the military capabilities of moderate Syrian opposition forces. These amendments would put the Congress on the record that this is the policy of the United States, as President Obama has assured me it is.”
Tell me again how we are just going to punish Assad for using chemical weapons. Clearly, John McCain has other things on his mind. Notice the language he included in the resolution. “Change the momentum on the battlefield” and “degrade the military capabilities of the Assad regime”. I can’t say this for sure about Obama, but McCain has let it be known that he wants to affect regime change in Syria. His actions and his words speak volumes.
Some of the political wrangling going on over Syria is almost funny. President Obama was in Sweden yesterday and he had the audacity to say he didn’t draw a red line in Syria. He is now blaming it on the rest of the world. All the while, he is using every move he has left in his political playbook to convince Congress and the world to go along with his push for military intervention in Syria. He won the first test vote in the Senate yesterday, but winning full Congressional approval is anything but a given. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi may be on the same side in this game, but some of their members are not being so easily convinced. The rank and file members of Congress are balking and there is every indication that they may be able to defeat the resolution to use military force in Syria.
My Congressman, Markwayne Mullin, has said he will not support the resolution. So has Representative Tom Cole, also from Oklahoma. Other, more prominent members have also declared they will not vote to go to war with Syria. Representative Matt Salmon, R-AZ, has said he sees no threat to the national security of the United States. Notably, he also said John Boehner was not his boss, that he worked for the people who elected him, and they are saying “please, do not engage in Syria”.
My question is this. Are the leaders of our political class so determined to use military force against Syria, that they will go against the will of the people who elected them to their positions? If so, that strengthens my support for term limits.
Even if Congress votes down the President’s request to use military force in Syria, the man in the White House is likely to go ahead with his plans. He seems to believe he has the authority and with Obama, to believe is to make it so. He has ignored the will of the people and of Congress before. I see no reason to believe he will suddenly agree to abide by the wishes of the American people and stay out of Syria. Never mind the consequences and the futility of going into the middle of a civil war where neither side is a friend to the United States, I believe Obama will go ahead with his plan to strike Syria, no matter how Congress votes.