President Obama was absolutely correct in seeking Congress’s views on such an important matter as war with Syria. And it is War. Anytime you fire weapons into a sovereign nation’s territory---that’s war.
While we wait for the U-N report (not available at this writing) you have to wonder why a century old treaty, signed by 90 plus nations including Syria, outlawing chemical weapons seems to have no enforcement provisions. That's what the U-N and NATO and the Arab States ought to be able to support...but if the U-S has to go it alone, so be it.
However, our Constitution is very clear. Congress declares war, not the President. This has been “bypassed” by the President and Congress at least five times since the Vietnam war and it’s about time our “rule of law” was adhered to...by a man who is both a lawyer and teacher of constitutional law, and by an assembly made up largely of lawyers.
The “consent of the governed” needs to be sought on such an important matter as war. Britain called its parliament back in 2 days; what’s taking ours so long—if we really care about the sufferings of the Syrian people? Britain’s MPs were doing just what our “MCs” are doing..vacationing but going back to their districts to meet with voters.
When the Commons voted against War with Syria, Prime Minister Cameron said “he got it” and would pursue War no more. And Britain has an UN-written constitution.
Ours is written..and Article 1, Section 8 says concisely…"Congress shall have the power…to declare war.” As Commander-in-Chief the President prosecutes the war, after Congress declares it.
If Congress agrees, we know the President is ready to prosecute..tho I wish he wouldn’t keep talking about a “surgical strike” which in any war does NOT exist.
But if the Congress says ”No” - President Obama is duty bound to follow that decision..by his oath of office and the Constitution. He cannot have it both ways…seek Congress’s advice, and then ignore it.
If Congress does turn his war request down..there is still room for diplomacy, or getting NATO or some other regional defense group..authorized by the U-N but not subject to Security Council vetoes..to go ahead. That may yet be the better way.
The worse way of all would be for the Congress to say “No” and the President to go ahead, violating our Constitution. Two wrongs would still not make it right.
I'm just sayin'...