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Congress and the Imperial Presidency Debate Syria – An Analysis

Congress and the Imperial Presidency Debate Syria – An Analysis

by Lawrence Davidson
03 Sep, 2013

Part I – The President Goes to Congress

President Obama has sidestepped the political hole he had dug for himself (what we might call the “red line” hole) over his proposed attack on Syria. Having insisted there must be “consequences” for a breach of international law, specifically the alleged use of banned chemical weapons by the Syrian government, he was faced with both popular American reluctance to support military action and Congressional pique over not being included in the decision process.

As a consequence President Obama announced on 31 August 2013 that he now supports a Congressional debate and vote on the issue of attacking Syria. Then he told us how he sees the situation, “This [Syrian chemical] attack is an assault on human dignity…. It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons…. Ultimately this is not about who occupies this [White House] office at any given time, its about who we are as a country.”

Part II – The U.S. and Chemical Weapons

For all I know, the president really believes his own words, but I am pretty sure his implied question of “who we are as a country” is meant to be rhetorical. If one was to give an evidence-based answer to that inquiry, as it relates to chemical weapons, it would be embarrassing in the extreme. Lest we forget, the U.S. defoliated parts of Vietnam with a chemical weapon called Agent Orange and by its use killed a lot more than large swaths of jungle. Agent Orange killed and maimed an estimated 400,000 Vietnamese and an estimated half a million children have subsequently been born deformed. It also did a fatal job on many of the American troops that handled the stuff. Later, the U.S. sold chemical and biological weapons-grade material to Saddam Hussein and followed up by helping his army aim the stuff accurately at Iranian troops. Saddam also used it on the Iraqi Kurds. Then there is the fact that our “very special friend,” Israel, used phosphorous bombs (a banned chemical weapon) on the civilians of Gaza. At the time Israel did this, President Obama occupied the oval office. I don’t remember him displaying any moral angst or positioning U.S. ships in the eastern Mediterranean with cruise missiles aimed at Israeli airbases. The truth is that during all of these episodes no one in the government worried (at least publicly) about what our actions or lack thereof, said about what sort of country this is.

However, this question does deserve a direct answer. What sort of country is the U.S. in relation to the use of chemical weapons? The kindest answer one can give is it is a bloody hypocritical nation.

Read more: http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2013/09/congress-imperial-...




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Modern America Has Not Suffered the Ravages of War

Not since the War of Secession (a.k.a. Civil War) has a United States city been destroyed by military conflict. This is part of the problem Americans don't think about; the suffering we have caused other human beings under the false pretense of freedom and democracy.

The electorate who support using force to intervene in the global affairs of other countries cannot imagine the loss of life and property that occurs when bombs fall. Americans are insulated from such chaos. They banter about phrases of, 'send a message' as if they were writing a letter to Mr. Assad and delivering it by post.

The Washington neocons cleverly use the ridiculous idea that "we must bomb them to save them," through their media propagandists as a valid reason to engage in militarism against other sovereign nations. They spew forth the old canard, "we must fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here," to a mesmerized population.

But is Assad attacking Americans? Has he threatened in any way to attack America or its allies? Does he even have the capability to prosecute such adventurism and for what purpose? No, no and no.

The concept of preemptive attack using the most flimsy of excuses is not about protecting America or rescuing an oppressed people. It's an agenda of pro-aggression against those nations and their leaders who do not bend to the will of the U.S. Government. America is an arrogant bully because its citizens acquiesce to the intolerable acts committed in their name.

Until the level of objective intelligence rises in the psyche of the American population these wars and conflicts will continue. Our once great economic power will ultimately descend into financial ruin, as did ancient Rome.

You do not save a people by killing them indiscriminately or destroying their property. You make them hate us and remember the pain we caused them.