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by Bob Pappas, USMC, Retired, ©2013, blogging at Gulf1

(Sep. 12, 2013) — At any moment Obama may direct a strike on selected Syrian military targets. If so, is it an impeachable offense or do the provisions of the War Powers Act and the Constitution grant the President the authority to act unilaterally, that is, without the U.S. House of Representatives authorizing?  Obama asserts that he has authority as Command in Chief, even some in Congress believe he does, and although his status as CIC is clear, it is equally clear that the Constitution vests the Congress with the authority to declare war; and through the War Powers Act Congress put restrictions on the President to prevent indiscriminate use of force without broad consensus, absent an immediate threat to U.S. Security.  By any objective standard, the use of poisonous gas in Syria is not an immediate threat to U.S. Security.

The Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor would be a perfect example of the President’s authority to take immediate unilateral action if there had been a War Powers Act (1973) at that time. The President would have been perfectly well-authorized to conduct not only defensive operations in Hawaii but to launch a counter-strike against Japanese interests anywhere in the world for up to sixty days without Congressional authorization.

But, the situation in Syria is different:

First, there is in place a U.S. Administration that is heavily sympathetic to Islamic states growing out of theirs and the de facto U.S. President’s general mutual Muslim character.  To argue this point would be “pointless,” in fact, laughable given his background, his long-term filial relationship with Islam, Muslim appointments to a number of significant positions of authority throughout his Administration, Obama’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the list goes on. This fact, that he is sweet on Islam and Islamic culture grows out of his childhood experiences and exposure to and embrace of Islam while in Indonesia. His allegiance to Islam is illustrated by his wedding ring engraved with the inscription in Arabic: “There is no God but Allah.” These factors significantly influence if not dominate (one could say “cloud”) his judgment as U.S. President, albeit not if he regards himself as United Caliphate President.  

Second, Assad had done nothing that is directly and immediately inimical to U.S. Security albeit offensive at least on paper to U.S. and International sensibilities. 

Third, despite claims by the Administration that Assad used chemical weapons on opposing forces that included significant civilian casualties, information as to the perpetrator is so far, weak, notwithstanding claims by the Administration. The problem here is that the trust factor is so damaged, it is as difficult to trust his statements as those of Putin. Readers will recall:

President Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

President Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”

President Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”(emphasis is mine)

President Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.”


And Obama expects Americans of all stripes to trust him?

Fourth, until special interest groups on both sides of the political aisle began rattling the bars the Administration was AWOL on the poison gas issue, evidently hoping that no one would remember his, “will have crossed a Red Line” comments about the use of poisonous gas, a year ago.  

Obama has stated that he may strike with or without Congressional approval and may strike at any time of his choosing over the course of the next month. Well, that was until September 10th, and now he has asked Congress not to vote on the issue.  What a bunch of feckless hogwash!

Obama’s central problem in this situation is his oral orifice. Mr. “Nobel Prize Winner” has put his foot in it so many times that his words have stretched it beyond credulity.  Europeans cringe, Russia insults him, Japan stands aghast, China hovers like a vulture, Islamist States run for cover…and Israel stands like a stone wall! Obama asserted that he would change the world…and he is succeeding…by diminishing U.S. stature; no doubt the Putin and Assad regimes are shaking in their boots.

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  1. O has been “Sheikin’ his groove thang” since 2008, but good citizens will win the “Bet You Can’t Dance” contest and reinstate a functioning
    Constitutionally compliant (and respectful) Republic.