Home > Uncategorized > Congressional Approval No Justification For War On Syria

Congressional Approval No Justification For War On Syria

Xinhua News Agency
September 1, 2013

Commentary: Congressional approval no license for attacking Syria
By Lu Yu

BEIJING: U.S. President Barack Obama’s last-minute decision to put a planned military attack on Syria on hold displays some sort of prudence, but it does not end the worry for a war-weary American public and the world’s peace-loving nations.

It appears the main motive for seeking congressional approval before going to war is to add an aura of legitimacy to the military intervention, when the president lacks support at home and from allies abroad for such a move.

In other words, he is still determined to do it, but chooses to first win the support of lawmakers, at a time when polls show more than half of the American public and many Congress members are averse to war.

However, a go-head from the Congress, even if Obama gets it, won’t give Washington a legal pass to attack Syria.

Obviously, the president still views the question of whether to attack Syria a purely internal decision-making matter, and basically ignores the UN Security Council’s undisputed authority over such issues.

While the world is still awaiting the results of the UN inspectors’ probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, Washington has been pinning the blame on Damascus for quite a while.

Long after naming the culprit, the White House recently released an intelligence assessment to support its claim. But it is still short of hard evidence and details.

The recent veto by the British Parliament on joining Washington for a strike shows even the people of the staunchest U.S. ally remain unconvinced.

As a firm opponent to the Iraq war, Obama must have a clear notion of the severe consequences such a military intervention could bring.

In addition to causing heavy casualties, an attack on Syria could dramatically enhance the spill-over effect on the already-volatile regional situation, possibly dragging other parties, such as Israel and Iran, into an even bloodier conflict.

The United States, as well as other members of the Security Council, should remain committed to keeping world peace and maintaining the UN’s authority, instead of messing up international norms and interfering in other countries’s internal affairs.

Now, the ball is in the U.S. Congress’s court. It should seriously listen to public opinion and carefully figure out the consequences of launching such a strike.

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