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Shane Vander Hart: Congress Should Vote No on Syria

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What happened in Syria on August 21st was horrible.  The loss of innocent life, especially children, is tragic.  I understand the desire to do something – anything – in order to stop the use of chemical weapons or any weapons of mass destruction.

Yet we can’t make decisions based on an emotional argument.

President Obama was right to go to Congress with this decision.  Congress, however, needs to tell him no.  I’m not alone in holding that point of view.

Multiple polling done shows that the American people overwhelmingly do not want the United States to involve itself even if it is just an airstrike.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 to approve a resolution that would limit the action to 60-90 days and would prohibit boots on the grounds.  However some see loopholes in the language of the resolution which could broaden the use of the military.

It seems as though the Senate will ignore calls from constituents to stay out.

Aside from the polling on the subject.

Why now?  120,000 people, it has been reported, have died since the conflict began.  Over one million Syrians have been displaced.  The loss of life, including innocent civilian life, was less tragic because conventional weapons were used?

Is the evidence absolutely conclusive?  That is up for debate.

Then exactly who will be fighting for?  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pointed out that the U.S. is not Al Qaeda’s Air Force.  Via POLITICO:

“It appears what the president is pressing for is essentially protecting his public relations because he drew a red line, and, essentially, the bluff was called,” Cruz said.

Cruz said of nine major groups of rebels fighting in Syria, at least seven had ties to Al Qaeda, and a strategy from Obama that would arm those groups “makes no sense whatsoever.”

“I’ll give you one of the simplest principles of foreign policy that we ought to be following: Don’t give weapons to people who hate you. Don’t give weapons to people who want to kill you,” Cruz said.

Besides the rebel forces don’t seem to mind attacking innocents – at least if they’re Christian.

President Obama boxed himself in with his “red line” comment in 2012 (which he now denies saying).  He said that the world’s credibility on the line, not his, if we don’t involve ourselves in Syria.

Frankly yes it is the President’s credibility on the line.  He involved our military in Libya and look how that turned out.  Almost a year later and we are still waiting for answers on Benghazi.  Why should we trust him now?

Also there is the threat of a wider conflict.  As we are winding down in Afghanistan do we want to risk that?  Do we want to put Israel at risk?  Also where is our national security interest?  Obama admitted that in the short term we don’t have one.

I supported the war in Afghanistan and Iraq initially.  I have a different opinion of those conflicts than I did 10 years ago.  Shouldn’t we have learned our lessons from them?  At least we can say with those conflicts we did not go it alone.  Not the case now with the United Kingdom’s Parliament voting to stay out.  So that leaves us with who?  France?  Do we plan to surrender?

Then there is the cost.  We simply can’t afford this.  It is time to wind things down after being on war footings since 2001.  It’s time to give our military and their families a break.

Congress, please vote no.

Originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts.


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