Syria Question

Friday, September 06, 2013

Am I the only lefty who thinks it was a bad idea for President Obama to ask Congress for a resolution authorizing military action in Syria? (Over Syria?) I am not asking if the military action itself is a bad idea, I just don't think the President should have gone to Congress about it.

What do ATK's 1.6 million liberal readers and 2.3 conservatives think?

7 comments:

steves 2:14 PM  

I agree with you. Ironically, Obama made a strong statement for requiring the president to get approval for military action while he was a Senator.

Bob 10:05 AM  

Thats not so much irony as it is typical of a legislator who become Prez.

Smitty 9:12 AM  

I like the idea a lot. I like that he asked. I like that he wants active Congressional participation; it's a requirement, then, that they share in the shame of a failed Syrian venture or share in the benefits of a successful one. Nobody can then pin anything thing on *him* like was pinned on Bush.

But I don't mean that last statement as one of cynical ass-covering. But when we spend years bitching about unilateral action and a President Hell-bent for leather to deploy, how can we turn around now and say "but now it's OK because things in Syria look worse."

On top of that, there are lots of other moving parts to the Syria situation. Russian protection of Syria and Russian obstructionism in our endeavor. What will Russia do if we bomb chem plants? Some hard-line religious zealots have joined the rebels because they're helping overthrow a secular government; are we willing to help the rebels knowing there are zealots in the ranks? What's the price on INaction? If we don't help, will those same zealots who *did* help then win the hearts-and-minds of the rebels instead of us? What do we get by not pissing-off Russia? Will the UK hold another vote now that the Labor party can reach an agreement? Will that change our disposition? France? Germany?

All of that needs careful consideration, and I don't mind the President saying "I have answers to all those questions and I'm still comfortable enough to do this, but you have to decide too." I think it's a damn good move. We can ill-afford another "unilateral" Preznit.

Bob 9:29 AM  

Jeffery Toobin, (who is sometime a d-bag) made some good points on one of the talking-heads shows this weekend. He made the case that Syria is different than other instances of the Pres. taking action without Congressional authorization. Namely, that in other actions there was an imminent threat that does not exist in Syria. He included Libya in this analysis. In that case there were government troops moving toward a population center, plus Libya action had the support of the UN. Since UN membership and treaties are already approved by Congress, there is already Congressional authorization. Similar arguments can be made for involvement in Kosovo which was supported by NATO.

Now I wonder, had the US been able to see the chemical weapons being used, and could have prevented their use through military action, would immediate action been legal without Congressional authorization?

Smitty 10:42 AM  

That'd be a game-changer IMO )if there was an imminent threat). As you state, the question to Congress would be irrelevant.

But we don't/didn't have that. So the question is put, and I think it's right.

steves 9:15 AM  

I agree, Smitty. I can understand treaty obligations and the need to act quickly, but I wish we would go back to requiring that Congress declare war. I think this would better limit military actions and would hold Congress more accountable.

As it stands now, it makes it easy for someone to say that they weren't really for the war if it goes poorly. Additionally, the Constitution says Congress declares war.232 umanympe

steves 9:15 AM  

Oops, got part of the verification code in there.

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