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Obama Still Not Taking Congressional Approval for Syrian War Seriously

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On August 31, 2013 @ 11:54 pm In The Point | 11 Comments

Congress is celebrating a little too hard because Obama agreed to ask them for approval of military action in Syria. This request was likely not prompted by any of the Congressional demands from both parties. It was most likely prompted by the UK dropping out and the unpopularity of proposed military action in Syria.

And Obama isn’t treating the request with any great seriousness. His Rose Garden speech asserted that he could go to war without Congress but that he wants to present a united front to the world.

It’s a condescending statement that treats Congressional approval for military action as a consultation, a symbolic formality

But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. I’ve long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that’s why I’ve made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.

Obama presents it as his second decision. His first decision is to go to war. His second decision is to ask Congress to ratify the decision he already made.

Over the last several days, we’ve heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree.

Voices being heard is not the issue here. There’s a legal requirement in place that Obama is choosing not to acknowledge, while speaking in the same condescending tones he uses for voters.

I’m confident in the case our government has made without waiting for U.N. inspectors. I’m comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that, so far, has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable.

This is actually a good deal more unilateral and cowboyish than Bush, who at least tried to make a case to the Security Council first and waited for months and months while the UN inspectors and Saddam played a game of tag.

Obama seems barely willing to wait a week.

As a consequence, many people have advised against taking this decision to Congress, and undoubtedly, they were impacted by what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week when the Parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even as the Prime Minister supported taking action.

I’d like to know who these people are.

Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective.

So Obama reduces Congress to a consultative body for his actions whose approval is merely symbolic. Sadly he’s confusing America with a monarchy. And the media is letting him get away with it.

So to all members of Congress of both parties, I ask you to take this vote for our national security. I am looking forward to the debate. And in doing so, I ask you, members of Congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment.

Ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time; it’s about who we are as a country. I believe that the people’s representatives must be invested in what America does abroad, and now is the time to show the world that America keeps our commitments.

That’s ironic coming from a party that built its recent rep on a partisan attack on an Iraq War that they initially supported and then disavowed for political reasons.

But as with his insane spending sprees and the debt limit, Obama confuses his commitments with America’s commitments.

America didn’t commit to a Syrian Red Line. Obama did. If Obama had asked Congress earlier for an authorization of force in case Assad uses WMDs, then there would be an American commitment.

As of now, it’s only an Obamerican commitment. And Obama’s people are already saying that his Majesty will do what he wants, regardless of what Congress says.

A senior State Department official tells Fox News the president’s decision to take military action in Syria still stands, and will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes next week to approve the use of such force.

The official said that every major player on the National Security Council – including the commander-in-chief – was in accord last night on the need for military action, and that the president’s decision to seek a congressional debate and vote was a surprise to most if not all of them. However, the aide insisted the request for Congress to vote did not supplant the president’s earlier decision to use force in Syria, only delayed its implementation.

“That’s going to happen, anyway,” the source told me, adding that that was why the president, in his rose Garden remarks, was careful to establish that he believes he has the authority to launch such strikes even without congressional authorization

How unilateral.


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