Congress should turn down plan

When President George W. Bush mounted what became the second Gulf War, though later shown to have been based on faulty intelligence, he worked to establish an international coalition.

It was not a rogue, cowboy action by a trigger-happy president, though there are those on the left who wish to portray Bush as having been such.

When Bush made speeches about needing to rid the world of despots and dictators who enslave and kill their own people, he tied it directly to the need to protect the United States from terrorists and the nations that would harbor them.

When President Barack Obama makes a similar statement about U.S. credibility in dealing with Syria’s leadership, he fails to make the strong connection to U.S. interests, protection of U.S. citizens and to building a coalition. Rather, he chooses to play political gamesmanship with foreign policy, placing the onus on Congress to back or turn thumbs down to an attack. The Constitution, fortunately, gives Congress the right to declare war and the War Powers Act gives presidents a time limit on undeclared actions.

We are sure, however, that Obama is mounting an effort to get his partisans re-elected in the mid-term elections next year by giving them a platform from which to sound off in the form of a debate on Syria. We doubt he would have placed so sensitive a decision into Congressional hands if he actually believed the need for action was imminent.

And if the need is not imminent, in this case, why undertake it at all? Where is the national security interest? Where is the economic interest? Where is the protection of American citizens, or our allies?

We urge Congress to curtail debate, consider the reasons – or lack thereof – for military response in Syria and to turn a quick thumbs down to Obama’s gambit.