American Intervention in Syria?

By Bill Jayne

Early on with regard to the Syrian intervention issue, the SLD team has been concerned that words and deeds are out of whack.

In a piece published on AOL Defense (now Breaking Defense) December 10, 2012 we expressed our concern.

Since President Obama has declared Syrian use of chemical weapons a “red line” that line should mean something when it has been crossed. And the president better have a clear view of what his options are to change the situation when the “red line” is crossed.

But do we?

Now an experienced warrior from the Vietnam War has provided his own version of what he believes is the real red line: How can the US consider a significant Syrian intervention without a public debate and an Act of Congress?

This is especially true when one sees the Galloping Prism program and other manifestations of a covert role to the exercise of power in a world which needs clarity and debate, not just elite clandestine decisions?

Bill Jayne has provided a short but clear statement about the Syrian issue and where it stands at this point in American history.

The US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 clearly states: “The Congress shall have Power…To declare war.”

The President doesn’t have the unilateral legal authority to play games with the lives of those serving in our military.

If the Congress wants to declare war and commit the United States to a course of action that will result in a decisive military victory in Syria, then lets hear the debate and watch the vote.

After Korea, Vietnam and all the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, I think it’s time to say “No more!

We need to stop playing political games with the lives of our best young people. Like the Balkans in Bismarck’s time, I don’t see any interest in Syria or the rest of the lands from Libya to Pakistan where we’ve used so much blood and treasure already.  There is simply no national interest worth the healthy bones of one single tattooed lance corporal.

I oppose Islamic terrorism but “humanitarian interests” or “nation-building” or whatever marketing slogan is used to justify war in Syria does not justify more extra-Constitutional warfare.

When officials in Washington commit American citizens to war, they are committing the sovereignty of the United States and there should be no alternative but victory.

When the commitment is made to go – through a constitutionally mandated process – we need to support the troops by supporting their mission and not undercutting them with politically motivated criticism and condemnation when they use violence to gain military objectives.

It’s easy to win votes by criticizing the military for collateral damage or lapses in discipline but that makes those at the pointy end of the spear think that they are undervalued and unsupported.

The lesson is clear: don’t commit our people to war unless you’re prepared to support them all the way to victory.

That’s why the founding fathers lodged the power to declare war in the Congress and not with the Executive.  The Congress needs to assert its power for the good of the Republic.

Bill Jayne, was Marine infantryman wounded at Khe Sanh who who was given the great opportunity to make a career of serving his fellow veterans and their families.”





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