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Ordered Liberty

This is a disgraceful state of affairs. For many years after their enactment in 1996, the material-support-to-terrorism laws, which prohibit and severely punish any abetting of terrorist organizations and their savage methods, were foundational to American counterterrorism. They have been a staple of anti-terrorism prosecutions and of the policy shift designed to prevent terrorist attacks from happening (by starving jihadist cells of resources) rather than content ourselves to prosecute only after suffering attacks. At least as importantly, material support statutes also proclaimed our moral position: any organization that resorted to terrorism is the enemy of humanity, regardless of its cause and regardless of what humanitarian activities the organization purports to carry out. Now, no matter how much government officials deny it, our government is endorsing what we went to war to defeat. Our government is materially supporting terrorists – the very conduct it prosecutes and imprisons American citizens for committing.

The intervention is also making a mockery of the international order that Obama purports to care so much about. There are international law restrictions against arming the jihadist-ridden Syrian opposition. The Obama administration looked the other way while encouraging Islamic-supremacist governments in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to supply weapons. Now, entirely predictably, those weapons are in the hands of terrorists – exactly what the international law restrictions were designed to prevent. So we are both materially supporting jihadists and undermining the laws on which, according to progressives, global stability depends.

And don’t tell me about “red lines” and the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons. The sharia-supremacists our government is supporting include factions that have been seeking chemical weapons for decades – and unlike Assad, they want them in order to use them against the United States. This is not to carry Assad’s water; he is incontestably a monster – unlike the Obama administration, which hailed him as a “reformer” and strengthened him by re-establishing diplomatic ties with Syria at a time when Assad was reeling, I have never been under any illusions to the contrary. But our interventionist rah-rah squad is gradually giving us a Middle East in which weapons of mass destruction will be in the hands of Islamic-supremacist regimes heavily influenced by jihadists (did you see that Morsi’s Egypt just appointed a governor from the blind sheikh’s terrorist organization?). Already, the US/NATO intervention in Libya has opened Qaddafi’s arsenal to the jihadists who are terrorizing North Africa. Would Assad give his WMD to Hezbollah? He might, but as both he and Hezbollah are supplied by Iran, it would be silly to imagine that Hezbollah does not already have access to WMD. The point is that our intervention stands to land such weapons in the hands of Sunni jihadists. How is that better? How is it in America’s vital interests?

The fact is, we have no vital interests in the outcome of Syria’s civil war. Both sides are our enemies. Assad has neither attacked nor threatened to attack the United States. Consequently, waging war against the Syrian regime is wholly a matter of choice. That is a choice that, in our constitutional system, cries out for congressional authorization. Without congressional authorization – without a demonstration that the American people’s representatives are satisfied that American interests call for waging an unprovoked war against the Assad regime – there should be no American intervention.

For what it’s worth, during the Libya intervention debate, I dilated on what I believe our law requires for the use of military force in the absence of an attack or threatened attack against our country:

Transnational progressives and national-security conservatives may hotly debate whether any endorsement from some international body (in particular, the U.N. Security Council) is necessary before the United States may legitimately take military action. But there should be no debating that absent a hostile invasion of our country, a forcible attack against our interests, or a clear threat against us so imminent that Americans may be harmed unless prompt action is taken, the United States should not launch combat operations without congressional approval.

That is especially true in Libya. There is no realistic prospect of harm to the United States from Qaddafi’s regime.

Concededly, I do not believe there is sufficient justification to use U.S. military force — I don’t even think it’s a close case, and I think proponents are seriously discounting the net harm using force could cause. But I am talking now about propriety, not policy….

In his remarks Friday, committing to what he promised would be a limited military engagement (with no ground forces, basically just air power), [President Obama] never even hinted that he might seek Congress’s imprimatur. To the contrary, he asserted that the “use of force” was “authorized” by the “strong resolution” of the “U.N. Security Council,” which was acting “in response to a call for action by the Libyan people and the Arab League.”

Many of the Libyan people, to say nothing of the Arab League, do not mean the United States well. But even if they were strong allies, that would make no difference. Only the American people and their representatives in the United States Congress get to make the “call for action” that involves enmeshing our armed forces and our country in a war.

In terms of American national security, there is no emergency. The only threat here is to Libyans who oppose Qaddafi. If that threat is truly worthy of American military intervention, President Obama and intervention proponents should be able to make that case to Congress quickly and persuasively. The president’s party controls the Senate, and even though Republicans control the House, the GOP has consistently rallied to the support of Democratic presidents when American national security is clearly at stake.

But it’s not. Thus, it is highly likely that Congress cannot be persuaded, quickly or otherwise. But the dim prospect for success is not an acceptable reason to end-run the process. In the Libya situation, our constitutional system calls for seeking a congressional authorization of military force. Even if that weren’t so, it is terrible policy to go to war without public support.

If the president and proponents of intervention cannot win congressional approval, that is a reason to refrain from going to war, not a reason to refrain from asking for approval. I used to think we all agreed about that. I hope we still do.

Fortunately, Senator Paul and Senator Lee still do, as do their Democratic colleagues, Senators Murphy and Udall. Hopefully, there are many others – there certainly should be. The Congress abdicated its responsibility by failing to press for a vigorous debate on Libyan intervention, and by failing to pull the plug on that wayward initiative when Obama went ahead unilaterally. We should not need another Benghazi massacre to learn our lesson.

President Obama and his interventionist allies should be pressed to define the mission, be transparent about the forces opposing Assad, explain why helping them is in America’s vital interests, and persuade the Congress to authorize the use of military force. I do not believe they can do it in a convincing way, but they should have that opportunity. And it should not be optional – if they cannot garner public support and persuade Congress to authorize the war (as President Bush did with respect to Iraq), then Congress must take decisive action to forbid American intervention.

We know where the administration is on the Muslim Brotherhood. Let’s find out where the American people are.

Related: Senators Want Debate on Arming Syrian Rebels

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Two writers I consider must-reads on developments in the Middle East are Andrew McCarthy and Michael Ledeen. What is perplexing to me is that although I find both men persuasive, they seem to be taking opposite sides regarding intervening in Syria. Ledeen seems to be arguing that defeating Asaad is defeating the mullahs in Iran. McCarthy argues that both sides in Syria are our enemies.

I have linked to Andy's post here: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2013/06/are-they-rebels-or-jihad-warriors.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Question: If Snowden is a traitor for revealing possibly illegal NSA activities that could damage our nation's ability to fight Islamic terrorists, then what do we make of Our Beloved President who is currently currying the favor of the Islamic Brotherhood in Afghanistan and Egypt, and supporting Islamic extremists in a half-dozen other countries throughout the Middle East?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" Report: CIA training Syrian rebels
CBS reports: CIA, US Special Forces training rebels in Turkey, Jordan. Meantime, Kerry arrives in Doha for talks, rebels confirm western military aid has begun to flow, in bid to turn tide against Assad
Yitzhak Benhorin
Latest Update: 06.22.13, 19:20 / Israel News "

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4395445,00.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
NATO is a mutual defense treaty. NATO dragged the USA into Libya.

So far, most of what the USA has done/ is doing, is to support Jordan.
fwiw, it is rather incredible that the Hasemite, descended from mohamed and the Sherif of Mecca, that King Abdullah of Jordan, has Israel providing border drone service, and now the USA is leaving F-16's and 700 troops from Eager Lion in Jordan.

The Sunnis crave Damascus - to restore the Sunni Arab Caliphate, not the Ottoman Turkish Caliphate.

the sad part is that we seem to be approximately where the Middle East was one hundred years ago. The battle for Syria was in 1918.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Clear that Obama is inured and immune to criticism. Also clear that the Republicans have neither the guts nor the votes to do much about it. Perhaps, if the US and the world can survive the next 43 months, things will improve.

In the meantime, there will be a continual threat to Jordan, and all 'Islamist' elements, including in Judea, Samaria and in the Israeli Galil and Little Triangle will be encouraged.

I am only disappointed that the Israeli gov't won't do more to distance itself from this more or less insane Adminsitration.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Firstly, Syria would not be on fire, nor would the entire region, if the Pyromaniac-in-Chief had not entered into Libya, ostensibly "leading from behind". In the main, the goal of Obama Inc. is to arm the Syrian Brotherhood with a conduit of weapons found in Libya, albeit under the cover of R2P.
That being said, the situation, as it stands, six of one, half a dozen of another jihadists. It is akin to arming Al Qaeda to fight Hizbullah, both of which are dangerous for American interests. However, Obama Inc sees it thusly, as their regional designs ARE anti-American - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/05/30/war-drums-blaring-the-commander-in-chief-is-awol-russia-in-charge-irans-axis-ascendant-israel-left-dangling-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

A disaster in the making!

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Christians in Syria are saying, "Thank God for the Russians!". If Obama and McCain and Rubio were born a century earlier, they would be siding with the Turks in their genocide of Christian Armenians. If Obama sends in air support for the Shariah loving and Christian hating "rebels", I hope the Russians shoot them all down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"the factions President Obama is abetting – egged on by the GOP’s McCain wing and their fellow transnational progressives on the Democratic side of the aisle – are Islamic supremacists dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and closely connected to violent jihadists, including al Qaeda-affiliated groups."
You neglected to give credit to Marco Rubio: John McCain, The Next Generation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Barack Hussein Obama
The Greatest President
Saudi Arabia ever had
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not one penny, or American G.I., to Syria. Increase military funding to Israel. They know how to deal with Assad. Barry does not. Barry has no clue. He blew Iraq. He is currently blowing Afghanistan. He blew Egypt. He blew Libya, twice. We need a new CiC before we even consider re-engaging the Islamofascist world. I know how harsh that sounds, but it's true. We have a weenie in the Oval Office. We need to step away from any new engagements. Saudi Arabia has a state-of-the-art air-force thanks to us. Let THEM engage the insane Shiites and their Syrian & Hizballahan tools. Let Sunni Islam fend for itself. For a change. Let THEM bleed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just being in Afcrapistan is blowing it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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