Why the Syrian strike was wrong.
Well, I can’t say it was completely wrong. It’s a tough decision to weigh out. I think the strike could produce some positives for us, namely sending a message to the world to look out, there is a new sheriff in town! The question has been posed so many times in the last 24 hours- how can you say defending innocent children being killed by chemical warfare is wrong? There is more than one reason but whether you agree with me or not comes down to one thing- Your view of America’s place in the world. No, not any of that were number one stuff, of course we are and we should be. The question is does your world view allow the U.S. to intervene in the world theatre? Mine does not, or at least only in a few circumstances. Here’s why;
- If we do not learn from the mistakes of history, we are doomed to repeat them. -Churchill (sort of)
Let’s take a few minutes to think about our recent involvement in the middle east, our track record is not very good. We intervened in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya among others. Can anyone really make an honest argument that we made the situation in any of those places better? Saddam was no saint mind you, Gadaffi was no gem either but look at what has filled the void since we intervened and we took those regimes out. Chaos. Lots of Chaos and death far worse than the dictators we toppled. Similarly, Assad in Syria is no Mother Theresa, in fact he is downright evil in using chemical weapons against his own people but would taking him out lend to anything better? Would you prefer ISIS fill the vacuum in Syria as they have in Iraq? Some would argue the withdraw of our troops in Iraq is what gave way to ISIS. They would be correct. But should our troops have been there in the first place? Saddam was not good but at least he gave stability to the region. Saddam filled the vacuum radical Islamist hanker for. However, we did take out Saddam and we did send our troops into Iraq and we are here today. So, should we occupy indefinitely? If the drawdown caused ISIS then when we intervene in these mid-eastern countries we must plan on occupying them forever, right? We must plan on making them U.S. territories, right? Is that the long-term plan in Syria? If we attack are we going to occupy forever? But even that does not solve the problem because more bad regimes will just spring up in other parts of the world. We are not fighting flesh and blood, we are fighting an ideology that is widespread. If we insist on taking out these regimes we will be forced to occupy to stabilize the regions and those regions will just keep growing and growing. Essentially, we need a plan to take over the world. We are dealing with an ideological game of deadly Whac-A-Mole. As soon as we strike down a bad guy, another one springs up in another country. It is just not feasible for us to police the world. The classic American way is not to fire first. We fire when fired upon and if you dare fire on America we WILL kick your ass.
- We cannot afford it.
This Sounds like I am putting a price tag on a human life, a soul. I sincerely am not trying to be callused but with nearly $20,000,000,000,000 in debt, which is our entire annual GDP. We simply cannot afford to get bogged down in another conflict which is not vital to our national security. Syria is not an imminent, direct physical threat to the U.S. and yet we just spent approximately $90,000,000 in a single strike against them. We have been dumping Billions and trillions of dollars into these mid-eastern conflicts that really do not concern our national security. My heart goes out to the innocent men, women, and especially children who died a brutal death but innocent people die every single day, we cannot stop it all. In fact, we are on a financial titanic as a nation, if changes are not made soon we will not be able to help ourselves, let alone anyone else. Chemical warfare is no way to go but would we have sent 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria if those 80+ people had been shot with an AK? Probably not. We would have condemned it but we would not have struck. Are we saying a life only has value if it dies a gruesome death? Is it, not ok but permissible, to put lead in the heads of your country men but not death by other means? Death is death, it’s brutal and ugly, if it’s not justifiable to strike over genocide by one means we shouldn’t strike over genocide by chemical weapons.
- It wasn’t constitutional.
I find the lack of regard for our founding document among ‘conservative’ circles astonishing! I expect it from Liberals and/or Democrats but it shocks and chills me that conservatives only care about the constitution when it backs them up. As soon as a conservative has an idea they like but is unconstitutional they wipe their ass with it and flush… twice… then comes the plunger because that old partridge doesn’t flush easily! I am sensing we are getting a little off topic? The fact remains the constitution clearly states it is up to the congress to declare war and the President to command the troops. Article 1, Section 8, The congress shall have to power to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water… (it goes on to say) … To provide for the calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions. First, we were not repelling an invasion by striking Syria. Second, clearly it is congress who is to declare war. Article 2, Section 2 defines the president’s responsibilities. The president shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the united states, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the states… The president does NOT have the constitutional authority to call the armed forces into service. ONLY congress can do that! It is against all the founding principles of this nation to suggest one man in Washington DC can unilaterally decide such policy on behalf of the entire federal government, all 50 states, and all citizens of this country! We elect Representatives to congress who are directly accountable to we the people and it was our founder’s intention that they consent to major policy decisions such as declaring war. The founders never intended for one government official to have such consolidated power. We are a nation of balanced, separated powers with checks and balances but; the executive branch is assuming congressional authority and the congress is standing their watching! Just one of the reasons it is necessary for congress to declare war is the issue discussed above- finances. The House of Representatives controls the purse strings for this country. War is expensive, before the Commander in Chief can spend $90,000,000 in a single strike the representatives of the people need to sign off on it. They are our fiscal watch dogs. Correction, they are SUPPOSED to be our fiscal watch dogs! Although Congress has not formerly declared war since WWII, we have found ourselves caught up in many, many conflicts- it is time the congress demand their constitutional power back! In 1973 congress passed the War Powers Resolution. President Nixon vetoed the law but congress overrode it. Under this legislation, the congress attempted to take back some of their constitutional authority after years of being caught up in conflict in Korea and Vietnam. The War Powers Resolution didn’t go far enough. Under the law the president can still order air strikes, missile strikes, and even boots on the ground for periods of time not to exceed 60 days with another 30 days’ allowance for a draw down. Yet nearly every president has avoided this timetable and still involved the nation in armed conflict without congress declaring war. Even under the War Powers Resolution the Syria strike should be condemned. The law states the president can only call for the militia without a congressional declaration of war in cases of national emergency such as when the homeland, U.S. territories, personnel or citizens, or other property are under attack. Last time I checked Syria had not attacked the U.S. nor are we in any immediate danger of being attacked. Some would argue Syria along with N. Korea and Iran, among others, pose a substantial threat to the U.S. While these countries are no friends of ours, at this time they pose no immediate danger to us. With this logic, we could attack any country who is armed and happens to not like us. All we would have to do is say we feel threatened and nuke them. Shouldn’t there be higher threshold before we attack other countries?
I call for a return to the constitution. We can disagree on foreign policy but every American should be able to agree our congressman should have a say before our nation is thrust into war and our boys in blue face the grim reaper.