Broad Congressional Mobilization
Against Arming Syrian Rebels
July 2, 2013 (EIRNS)Bipartisan opposition to President Obama's moves to launch military action against Syria, directly or indirectly, has grown considerably over the past weeks, including from Congressional Committees.
The most significant move was taken June 20 by Republican Representative Walter Jones, who introduced a resolution to prohibit the use of war power against Syria without Congressional authorization.
A warning was also issued by New York Democratic Representative Charles Rangel, a long-standing leader of the African-American caucus. In an op-ed in the June 19 USA Today, Rangel warned:
"If Congress fails to assert its constitutional authority when it comes to something as serious as war, we are contributing to the slow erosion of our democratic principles."
Already last December, Rangel and Jones and three of their colleagues sent an open letter to President Obama, reminding him that any action in Syria requires a vote by Congress, and expressing concern that your "recent threat of 'consequences' should Syria use chemical weapons is eerily reminiscent of the calls for war with Iraq to deal with their Weapons of Mass Destruction." Since then, Obama has dramatically escalated, with his bogus charges of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government.
Moreover, according to a report in the June 26 Associated Press, the House Intelligence Committee unanimously rejected a request from President Obama to arm Syrian rebels, delivered through Secretary of State John Kerry in a secret hearing. Both Democrats and Republicans demanded a more detailed plan before allowing it to go ahead. The other House committees to which the administration presented the request, reportedly rejected it nearly unanimously as well. Sources told AP that the administration needed approval from several Congressional committees, because the plan involves taking money currently being spent on other U.S. intelligence activities.
In addition, a bill has been introduced into the House and has been signed onto by five Republicans and two Democrats, to prevent military action against Syria, including by restricting the funds available.
In the Senate, Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee together with Democrats Tom Udall and Chris Murphy authored a bill which would ban the Defense Department, the CIA, or any other agency from funding any military, paramilitary or covert operations in Syria.
Otherwise, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey continues to push back against those who demand U.S. military intervention in Syria. During a press briefing June 27, he addressed the issue of a no-fly zone, underscoring that
"to conduct a no-fly zone, it's essentially an act of war, and I'd like to understand the plan to make peace before we start a war."
A number of other military leaders are asking for the same clarification. The point is that the British Empire, which Barack Obama serves, could care less about making peace, since its intention is to continue fomenting conflict and chaos in all Southwest Asia, while building dangerously for all-out sectarian warfare.