U.S. involvement in the ongoing Syrian civil war is likely, judging by the near-constant war-drum rhetoric from U.S. political elite. Whether Congress as a whole supports the action and regardless of how extremely unpopular the idea of war in Syria is to the average American, the Nation’s political elite are hell-bent on making it happen.
On Saturday, President Barack Obama announced that he will seek Congressional approval for Syrian war, initiating an instant publicity campaign wherein Secretary of State John Kerry has made no fewer than nine television appearances in an effort to drum up public support.
“In the last 24 hours, we have learned through samples that were provided to the U.S. that have now been tested from first responders in east Damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of sarin,” Kerry said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
Visiting CNN, Kerry insisted that military action, given allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria, is imperative immediately.
“Each day that goes by, this case is even stronger,” Kerry said, calling the case against Syrian President Bashar Assad “overwhelming.”
Kerry said he is certain “the good people in Congress” will support the war.
And among members of Congress who have spent far too many years in marbled halls, Kerry and Obama have bipartisan support for military action.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been beating the Syrian war drum for months. In a recent interview with FOX News, he insisted that the rebel forces are moderates (despite overwhelming evidence of Muslim extremism).
Of the constant chorus of “Allahu Akbars” that accompany just about anything Free Syrian Army rebels do in available footage of the conflict, McCain said: “Would you have a problem with an American or Christians saying ‘thank God? Thank God?’” He added, “That’s what they’re saying. Come on! Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.”
(Of course, McCain made no mention of holy lice or sex jihad — nor did he provide any evidence that the FSA isn’t full of extremists.)
Representative Nancy Pelosi has also announced full support of a Syrian intervention campaign.
“It was humanity drew a line decades ago that I think if we ignore, we do so to the peril of many other people who can suffer,” she said.
The elderly Representative also revealed that she consulted with her 5-year-old grandson on the issue. He, like the rest of the Nation, wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of being thrown into a military conflict by a bunch of senile, disconnected Washington elitists.
Also in favor of having American troops die to support a rebellion in a Mideast being carried out by Islamic extremists are Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), both of whom have expressed support for Syrian intervention publicly.
“I’m going to support the President’s call for action,” Boehner said. He went on to say that chemical weapons use in Syria (which still isn’t fully verifiable) “is not going to be tolerated.”
And Cantor said his vote will grant Obama the option to use military force in Syria.
“America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially by a terrorist state such as Syria, and to prevent further instability in a region of vital interest to the United States,” he said.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who hasn’t been seen by his constituents in quite some time, is pining for Syrian war. After all, it will likely bring the United States a little closer to war with Iran.
“If we don’t get Syria right,” Graham warned, “Iran is surely going to take the signals that we don’t care about their nuclear program, and it weighs on the President’s mind strongly about the signals we send.”
Octogenarian Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) doesn’t even care if Congress votes; she wants a war.
“I listened carefully to what Secretary Kerry had to say and believe his remarks should stir the conscience of the world. He pointed out the high confidence our government has that this was a chemical weapons attack, that it was directed by the Assad regime and that it killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children,” she said.
“The unclassified intelligence assessment released today tracks closely with briefings I have received over the past week,” the lawmaker continued. “I agree with Secretary Kerry that the world cannot let such a heinous attack pass without a meaningful response, and I hope the international community will take appropriate action.”
Meanwhile, there is plenty of opposition to Syrian intervention.
An NBC poll showed nearly 80 percent of Americans believe Obama should receive Congressional approval for war with Syria. Fewer than 20 percent support Syrian intervention. And according to Reuters, more than half of Americans would prefer the United States mind its own business.
Gregory III, the leader of the Greek Catholic Church in Syria and Lebanon, no doubt fearing what a Muslim extremist-controlled Syria would mean for Christians in the nation, said recently that U.S. intervention would be “a criminal act, which will only reap more victims.”
“We must listen to the Pope’s appeal for peace in Syria,” said Patriarch Gregory III, referring to a recent call for peace from Pope Francis. “If Western countries want to create true democracy then they must build it on reconciliation, through dialogue between Christians and Muslims, not with weapons. This attack being planned by the United States is a criminal act, which will only reap more victims, in addition to the tens of thousands of these two years of war. This will destroy the Arab world’s trust in the West.”
Former Representative Ron Paul has also called for the United States to avoid involvement in the Syrian conflict, saying it could be the war that leads to America’s financial demise.
“According to recent media reports, the military does not have enough money to attack Syria and would have to go to Congress for a supplemental appropriation to carry out the strikes. It seems our empire is at the end of its financial rope. The limited strikes that the president has called for in Syria would cost the US in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Paul said over the weekend. “Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote to Congress last month that just the training of Syrian rebels and ‘limited’ missile and air strikes would cost ‘in the billions’ of dollars. We should clearly understand what another war will do to the US economy, not to mention the effects of additional unknown costs such as a spike in fuel costs as oil skyrockets.”
Paul’s son Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is also urging caution in Syrian intervention.
“[If Congress does not vote for authorization] we should not be involved in the Syrian war. And I think it’s at least 50/50 whether the House will vote down involvement in the Syrian war,” Paul said.
“I think it’s pretty apparent there was a chemical attack,” he continued. “But we now have to ask are we going to go after chemical weapons with our bombing? Everything I read says that we’re unlikely to bomb chemical sites because of the potential for civilian damage and civilian loss of life… If we get involved people say, well 100,000 people have died, we must act. Well our weapons get involved and we get involved, do you think more people will die or less people? I think the war may escalate out of control. And then we have to ask ourselves who is on America’s side over there? If the rebels win, will they be American allies?”
There has also been healthy opposition to involvement in Syria’s civil war from members of the U.S. armed forces, judging by Internet chatter.
Via Armed Forces Tea Party: