Obama Looking to Congress for Military Involvement in Syria
Posted: Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 at 11:11 am
President Barack Obama announced today that he would seek Congressional authorization for military force in Syria when Congress reconvenes on September 9th, BBC sources reported today.
This move comes on the heels of fierce debate over what, if any, role the United States should take in the conflict, now in it’s second year. Earlier this week, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee appeared to clear the way for an all-Congress vote, voting 10-7 to grant authorization to the President for “limited military action” in Syria. While many in the Obama Administration are calling the vote a monumental step toward military action, polls indicate that Congress and the American public remain sharply against any such action in the embattled Arab state. Fox News reports that while House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has taken a strong stance in favor of military action, his party has been more hesitant to do so, with one Representative reporting saying “he [Boehner] isn’t my boss,” in reference to the ongoing discussions. Outspoken Republican Rand Paul (R-KY) was more direct, posting on his facebook today “I will not vote to send young men to sacrifice life and limb for stalemate.”
Adding to the high-stakes tensions over Syira was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who reportedly pledged this afternoon to provide a missile shield to Syria if the United States carried out attacks on that nation. The Russian leader also took sharp aim at Secretary of State Kerry, saying that the Secretary “lies openly” about the scope of al-Qaeda’s role in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other rebel groups. The State Department has consistently maintained that al-Qaeda affiliates represent only a limited fraction of the total rebel strength, though the Department earlier listed the rebel-affiliated al-Nusra Front as a foreign terrorist organization.
The Syrian Civil War, now in its second year, has been described as an unmitigated humanitarian disaster by the UN and its Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. Recent reports indicating the use of chemical weapons have served to pique the interests of the US and others, though the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad strongly denies their use.