Republican Senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain are demanding that the Obama Administration get the U.S. involved militarily in Syria’s sectarian civil war.  But after the experience of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, President Obama and U.S. military leaders are right to be wary of these calls. And if we don’t have enough money for Social Security, veterans’ benefits, Head Start, and cancer clinics, we certainly don’t have enough money for another war.
Urge Congress and the President to resist calls for another rush to war in the Middle East, and to support a political solution instead.
There’s something particularly troubling about all this Sunday talk show blather about U.S. military action in Syria: it seems to assume that the President can order military action in Syria without anyone else’s approval. But Syria hasn’t attacked us, and as far as we know, has no plans to attack us.
Given the absence of a Syrian attack on or imminent threat to the United States:
- If the President ordered military action against Syria without Congressional authorization, that would violate the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.
- If the President ordered military action in Syria without the approval of the United Nations Security Council, that would violate the United Nations Charter—just like the Iraq war did.
- If Congressional authorization and UN Security Council approval can be treated as trivial inconveniences for war in Syria, they can be treated as trivial inconveniences for war with Iran, or for drone strikes anywhere.
Urge Congress and the President to resist calls for a rush to war in Syria, and to ensure that U.S. actions comply fully with U.S. and international law.
Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,
Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy
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1. “U.S. lawmakers press Obama to take action on Syria,” Jason Lange, Reuters, Sun, Apr 28, 2013, http://news.yahoo.com/international-troops-prepare-syria-u-senator-150852575.html