I use the term war rather loosely here because America hasn’t declared a war since WWII. That’s right. Korea was not a declared war, neither was Vietnam, Somalia, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egype, or Libya. But my understanding of the definition of war involving the United States is that Congress has the sole power to declare war. Congress fails, almost always, to accept that responsibility, opting instead to just tell the President to just go ahead and get them, reserving the right to criticize the President for doing such a terrible thing. Iraq is an excellent example.
But here we are again. Our current President, and I use that title somewhat loosely, too because I’m not sure how he would like to be addressed. Should it be King, Prime Minister, Imam, El Presidente, El Commandante, Your Highness, Your Holiness? I’m not sure. He behaves as if he is the sole master of the United States, usurpiing the Constitution again and again, but Congress is, evidently, afraid to call him on it. So we have a weak President and a weaker Congress. But when we have people like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in Congress, we pretty much know that this is not the cream of the crop.
Syria is a mess, we all know that unless you’ve been hiding in your basement without electricity. There is a major civil war going on in Syria. It’s been going on for several years. Initially, there were the Syrian rebels fighting against the Al-Assad regime, but it has morphed to a large degree in the past year or so. Now, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Quaeda, Iranian Republican Guard, and many other Islamic factions are now embedded in Syria to try and overthrown the Al-Assad regime. Over 100,000 men, women, and children killed. We know this because the media are all over it. 50 years ago, we wouldn’t even know it was going on, but we know today. Nearly two million people have fled Syria, fearing for their very lives. Up until recently it was a conventional civil war, if there is such a thing. But then chemical agents were dispersed, serin gas I believe, and many people died an agonizing death.
Evidently, as long as the slaughter was confined to “conventional” weapons, the President was loathe to do anything, and members of Congress kept saying, “What’s a Syria?” But now, boy oh boy, the President is mad. And so is Secretary of State John Kerr, who served in Vietnam. The President has now said that he, he alone, is mulling over lobbing a few hundred missiles into Syria to teach them a lesson. Teach who a lesson? Missiles are indiscriminate, impersonal killers; they don’t check ID cards before exploding. As I understand things, when you fire missiles into another country, you are declaring war on that country, or have I missed a memo? Well, if I’m right, then the President is mulling over not declaring war on Syria, but commiting a warfare act. There may be a semantic difference, but I’m not sure I see it.
Some cynics, and I’ll admit to being one, believe that all this hoopla over Syria is an attempt by the President to distract all of us from the plethora of scandals laying at his feat, phony and otherwise.
Here are a few questions I’m absolutely sure the President has considered. First, Russia has a major seaport in Syria. Will they be angry with us? If they are angry, what might they do in retaliation? Will Iran be mad at us? Well, of course they will. They’ve already said that if we “attack” Syria, they will attack Israel. I’m sure Israel loved the thought of a protracted war with Iran on short notice because our President wants to lob some missiles into Syria. How would China respond to our missile-lobbing exploits? Well, we owe them so much money, they can’t do much or we won’t pay!! Then there are the Islamic fanatics. Will they immediately begin plotting to blow up Amiercan embassies in Europe and the middle East? No, wait; they’re already doing that. They might move up the date that the terrorists already in the U.S. Launch a coordinated attack at 10-15 shopping malls.
The parameter for going into armed conflict with another nation was if that nation threatened our national security. We ignored that in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Grenada (really, it was a rescue mission so don’t pick nits with me), Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Egypt.
We didn’t get involved in the Sudan when millions were slaughtered in a genocide, or in Rwanda when genocide was going on there, and still is going on. We ignore that. But for some reason this President wants to flex his basketball muscles and order the military to toss missiles into a country in the midst of a civil war, with no idea what the end game should be. This is very dangerous, for Syrians, and for Americans, and perhaps for Israelis. Dumb.