The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier is moving westward toward the Red Sea. Five US aircraft carriers, The USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Graveley – not to mention the USS San Antonio amphibious landing vessel – are already positioned in eastern Mediterranean waters – ready to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles against Syria if President Barack Obama gives the order. And that’s going to happen, anyway!
Obama has delayed the threat of missile strikes, saying he would seek formal approval from Congress after lawmakers return from recess. It’s clear, US President Barack Obama has made up his mind to attack Syria even without congressional approval. In a speech about Syria last week, President Obama said: “While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific Congressional authorization, I know the country will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be even more effective”.
What would Obama do in the event that Congress refuses to give its consent, US Secretary of State John Kerry “The president has taken his decision. I think this is a smart decision by the president. He is not trying to create an imperial presidency. I believe that in the end, Congress will do what is right.”
Meanwhile, Obama is trying to rally support among US congressmen and senators for military strikes against Syria. He invited hawkish Senator John McCain to the White House in order to help sell the idea of a US military intervention in Syria. Following the meeting, McCain said a Congressional vote against military action would be “catastrophic.”
Congress moves to approve Syria strike
Obama’s battle to get congressional approval for a military strike on Syria moved a step closer, with leaders of both parties in Congress announcing that the United States should respond to Syrian President Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
US President Barack Obama convinced leaders of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to support his request for the authorization of a military strike on Syria. After a meeting [September 3, 2013] with more than a dozen senior lawmakers, members of both parties went public, praising Obama’s plan and pledging a ‘yes’ vote on the operation against the Syrian government. The president said he is confident he can persuade a sceptical American public that a strike Syria will not emulate the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, and that US military action will be a “limited, proportionate step.”
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the speaker of the House of Representative, told reporters after a White House meeting on Tuesday that he thinks it’s important that Americans to unite behind their president. “This is something that the United States, as a country, needs to do. I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action,” he said. Boehner said that only the US has the capability to stop Assad. “We have enemies around the world that need to understand we’re not going to tolerate this type of behaviour. We also have allies around the world and allies in the region who also need to know that America will be there and stand up when it’s necessary.”
During a hearing on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State John Kerry advocated for re-writing Obama’s authorization to use military force in order to clear up any language that would leave open the possibility for putting US boots on the ground. “There will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war,” Kerry insisted. At the same time, however, the former senator fell short of insuring Congress that US troops may not be asked to intervene on mainland Syria in the future if, for example, chemical weapons fall into the hands of extremists “and it was clearly in the interest of our allies” to recover weapons of mass destruction.
John Kerry, along with Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, made up a three-witness panel of Obama administration officials who answered questions before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. All three men advocated for a limited strike on Syria as proposed by the president.
“We cannot overlook the impact of chemical weapons and the danger that they pose to a particularly volatile area of the world in which we’ve been deeply invested in years,” Sec. Kerry told the lawmakers. “We cannot be silent,” he added.
Dempsey, the chairman of the JCOS [Joint Chief of Staff], called the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad’s regime an “assault on humanity” and “a serious threat to America’s national security interests. Our allies throughout the world must be assured that the US will fulfill its security commitments,” he said. “The US must demonstrate through our actions that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.”
Should the US not act, added Kerry, America’s allies may suspend their support of the White House’s initiatives in the future. “As we convene for this debate, it’s not an exaggeration to say to you, all of you, my former colleagues, that the world is watching not just to see what we decide, but it’s watching to see how we make this decision,” Kerry said during his statement. “Whether in a dangerous world we can still make our government speak with one voice. They want to know if America will rise to this moment and make a difference.”
Abby Martin talks to Brian Becker of the ANSWER Coalition and Mouaz Moustafa of the Syrian Emergency Task Force about whether or not the US should militarily intervene in Syria’s civil war, citing the rhetoric of chemical weapons, humanitarian intervention and the lack of public support for a strike.
Senate Panel Advances Syria Strike Measure
President Obama’s effort to win legislative approval for military action against Syria has passed its first congressional hurdle with a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote backing U.S. strikes. The Senate resolution sets a 60-day limit on any engagement in Syria, with a possible 30-day extension to deter Syria’s use and degrade its capacity to use chemical weapons. Under the bill, it would become U.S. policy to “change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria.” The Senate Foreign Relations Committee cleared the measure Wednesday [September 04, 2013] in a 10-to-7 vote. Both the House and Senate are expected to hold their votes on military action in Syria as early as Monday.
With obscene imperial arrogance, President Obama proclaimed that the “world” – not he – has drawn a bloody “red line” in Syria. “I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama, at a stop in Sweden on his way to a Group of 20 nations meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. “The world set a red line.” That’s news to the rest of the planet.
Obama Says ‘World Set a Red Line’ on Chemical Arms (Article, The New York Times, september 04, 2013)
Obama Pushes for intervention in Syria (Video, The New York Times)
- Obama wins Senate panel’s backing on Syria strike (stltoday.com)