Syria remains our top story today as we inch closer to what inevitably appears to be some form of military action.
As I told you yesterday, before the week is done we are likely to see the United States engage in limited cruise missile strikes in Syria in an effort to punish Assad for his use of chemical weapons. The goal of the United States is not to remove Assad from power, nor is it the goal of the United States at this time to help rebel forces in their cause for a regime change.
At this point – 30 months after this civil war began – the world is out of viable alternatives to the Assad regime. The current rebel forces consist mainly of al Qaeda jihadists, with the most organized opposition being al Nusra Front: A recognized terrorist organization by the United States. This wasn't always the case. Early in this civil war, the opposition did consist of pro-American, secular rebels. As time as dragged on, and the world has sat on the sidelines, those forces have left, only to be replaced by radical Islamic jihadists.
Intelligence officials have confirmed that Assad did, in fact, use chemical weapons based on an intercepted phone calls during last week's attack. As of today, the United States believes it needs to strike quickly because the Assad regime appears to be readying for another chemical attack in the largest city of Aleppo. But if the United States chooses to strike, Iran and Syria have threatened to direct retaliation at Israel. Israel is preparing for a possible strike, issuing gas masks to its citizens and calling up reserve troops. Are we witnessing the beginning of what could potentially be the next World War? The Commander and Chief better have a plan for the sake of America and our allies.
The decision for the United States to engage in limited military strikes has been met with skepticism for many reasons.
Some believe that a limited strike will accomplish nothing of substance in Syria and only inflame tensions in the region and put Israel at risk. Many pundits, including myself, think that the decision to engage in these limited strikes is merely so the Obama administration can check off the box of having “done something” in response to Assad; I've been calling this “therapeutic bombing.” I'm not really sure what the administration feels it will ultimately accomplish by doing this, other than cover for Obama's “red line” comment he made last year.
There is debate over whether or not Obama must seek Congressional approval in order to act. Should any military action (including launching cruise missiles) be considered an act of war? At this point, it doesn't look like Obama will seek Congressional approval while it does look like he will launch these missiles. I wonder what Senator Obama would have said about this action by a president? In 2007 Barack Obama told the Boston Globe: “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” He went on to say, “It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.” But he wasn't the only one. Vice President Joe Biden in 2007 made a similar statement: “The president has no constitutional authority to take this country to war… unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked.” Biden went on to explain how acting outside this authority is an impeachable offense. You read that correctly: An impeachable offense.
Also where are the outspoken critic of George W. Bush? Suddenly those who were screaming and protesting during the Bush administration are silent on the issue of Syria under Barack Obama. Equally as outraged during the Bush administration was the lapdog media. Suddenly the Obama-mania media is doing its best to explain why the situation in Syria under Obama is vastly different from what we saw under George Bush.