This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013:
The president has an excellent speech writer. His presentation Tuesday night was well-organized and persuasive. It revealed more than we knew. And it solved nothing.
He said he has “resisted calls for military action” but no one can recall exactly who called first for military action: McCain, Graham, Corker, or Obama. He stated the obvious: “We cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force.” And then he proceeded to build the case for doing just that: the gassing of the kids was “a crime against humanity and a violation of the laws of war.”
He finally exposed the evidence that he apparently has had for some time but which has been shielded from the American public, until now: Assad ordered the gassing (he says). Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for the attack (he says). They distributed gas masks to their troops (he says). They fired rockets into the Damascus suburbs (he says). Hospitals began filling up with victims immediately afterwards. The military forces “reviewed the results of the attack” (he says) and resumed shelling those neighborhoods after the attack (he says).
Assuming that all of this is true, where does that take us, he asked. “What is the United States of America prepared to do about it?” And right here is where his train leaves the tracks:
Because what happened to those people – to those children – is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security.
If such gassing violates international law, why is it America’s responsibility to take umbrage and revenge? How is it a danger to our security? He stumbled badly here:
These weapons could threaten [our] allies like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel.
And [our] failure to stand against the use of chemical weapons would weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction….
This is not a world we should accept.
And he, as Imperial King of the World, has decided in his infinite knowledge and judgment about right and wrong (as he sees it):
After careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.
He makes no reference whatsoever anywhere to the Constitution’s prohibiting the executive from doing any such thing. The only time he mentions the Constitution is when he mischaracterizes the US as a “constitutional democracy” – exactly what the Founders tried to avoid creating. Obama didn’t mention the unconstitutional War Powers Act which Congress passed in 1973 which illegally “amended” the Constitution in order to limit Nixon’s adventures in Viet Nam.
This is exactly what happens when a republic becomes a democracy and the rule of law is replaced by the rule of man.
He condescends to let Congress have its say in the matter:
That’s my judgment as Commander-in-Chief. But I’m also the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress.
Isn’t that strange? If he “possesses” the power, why does he need Congress?
Perhaps it’s the polls, running 2 to 3-1 against his planned attacks. Perhaps it’s the 2014 election. Perhaps it’s his unfinished agenda: gun control and immigration. Perhaps he’s trying to avoid becoming a lame-duck.
Just to be sure that no one misunderstands what he’s about, Obama said:
I’ve ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails.
Such diplomacy swings on weak hinges: cooperation with America’s enemy, Russia, in conjunction with cooperation with Assad. Just how is that going to work, exactly?
All Obama did last night was buy himself some time. He knows that the American people’s attention span is very short, and there are lots of other agenda items facing Washington: the budget, the debt ceiling, the various scandals still brewing, and so on.
In the end, as poignantly noted by NBC News staff writer Michael O’Brien:
If a diplomatic solution ultimately fails, the president could find himself confronting the same difficult decisions of unilateral action once again…
[Congress] could once again find itself in a position to take a vote on military against Syria.
So all sides of the political equation appear to have found an escape hatch – for now.
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at BobAdelmann@msn.com.
Michael O’Brien: Uncertain path forward after Obama makes his case