There's No Justification for Obama’s War on Syria
"A citizen’s first responsibility is to oppose his or her own government’s crimes, not those of others."
-- Fred Branfman
The Obama administration’s campaign for war against Syria is so flagrantly wrong, so ill-advised and so illegal, that it is making a fool of both the president and his secretary of state, John Kerry.
Certainly Kerry, who was in combat in Vietnam, where he commanded a river boat in the waterways of the lower Mekong River estuary, who later had the good sense to become an opponent of the war, and who clearly knows what war is, surely knows that launching an armada of high-explosive-tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles and probably high-altitude heavy bombers for a three-day blitz of Syria is exactly that: war. And yet there he was telling members of Congress during a hearing over the weekend that “the president is not asking you to go to war,” but "only" to bomb Syria for two or three days.
Think for a minute what the US would call it if Russia, or Venezuela, or Iran, fired even one cruise missile at a target in the US. Would we say it wasn’t an act of war? Just a missile firing?
The idea is laughable, right? And yet that is the argument that our vaunted Yale-graduate Secretary of State is making to Congress and the American people.
And Obama? This ludicrous holder of a Nobel Peace Prize is claiming that the US has to attack Syria to defend “international norms,” because the Syrian government allegedly launched a poison gas attack on an area of Damascus allegedly killing upwards of 1000 people, including children. A big point is made about the deaths of children.
The thing is, the focus of Obama’s outrage is always the children and the civilian deaths, which nobody denies. But the evidence he presents that it was Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government army that launched that attack, is not just thin, it is purely circumstantial. It is not even internally consistent.
One of the worst parts of the president’s argument is the claim that the US had satellite and ground-based intelligence showing that the Syrian army was making preparations for a gas attack three days before the attack allegedly occurred. Yet in prior cases when the Syrian government was thought to be preparing to use its stocks of gas weapons, the administration issued a clear warning that if it did so, the US would act. That was the “red line” which President Obama once did announce for US involvement in Syria’s conflict (a “red line” which he now claims, preposterously, that he never announced, claiming it is “the world’s red line). So the question is: if it were true that the US had advance evidence that Syria was planning to use gas in late August, why didn’t it re-issue its warning? Nothing was said, and in fact, according to a letter written by 12 senior veterans of the defense department and the CIA, instead forces in Turkey and Jordan, and rebel forces being advised and armed by the US, were told to prepare for military action in Syria by the US.