Thursday, September 5, 2013

Avoiding a vote of "No confidence" in Obama is not a good enough reason to bomb Syria.

Walter Russell Mead almost convinced me the US should take action against Syria, almost.

Now the President is twisting lonesomely in the wind, and the question is whether Congress will ride to the rescue. If it doesn’t, it will be the closest thing the American system has to a parliamentary vote of “no confidence”, where Congress explicitly declares to the world that the President of the United States does not speak for the country.
But giving the go-ahead to bomb Syria gives a blank check to the Presidency (not just Obama) and I don't want that to happen either. Imagine if the President (not just Obama) could paint red lines whenever and wherever he/she wanted knowing the US would back him/her up simply to avoid a vote of no confidence.

What bother me most about this entire episode is there doesn't seem to be a clear reason, by anyone, not  just the President, to bomb Syria. Most admit our vital interests aren't at stake. All admit we have not been attacked. All admit this is a humanitarian disaster but can not explain why we are taking notice of this one and not the dozen that occurred over the past few years nor the next dozen that will occur in the next two years.

The best reason, and it's not a very good one, is posted by Mead. But unless we get safeguards on the President's (not just this one) future behavior, that seems fraught with negative consequences as well.


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