Obama has no moral authority to punish Syria

Committing an act of war needs to be justified by far more than just saving political face Photo: AP Photo/SANA File

CALIFORNIA August 31, 2013 – Emotionally, it’s understandable to want to punish the Assad regime for using chemical weapons against innocent people. But like it or not there must be a clear, justifiable reason to commit an act of war against another country.

As political opponents have painfully learned, Obama is very thin-skinned when personally challenged and will use any means available to punish detractors. The Assad regime has not only challenged Obama, they have done it in plain view of the entire world. Unfortunately for all of us, Obama will never allow that to go unpunished.

The stage for the current showdown was set when Obama unilaterally defined chemical weapon usage as a “red line” for taking military action. In doing this, he made a national commitment to the world without having the moral standing to do so.

What else except pride explains Obama’s military inaction towards Syria while over 100,000 people have died by being shot, blown to bits, or tortured these last 30 months? Why didn’t a quarter of a million casualties and over two million refugees result in some Presidential outrage?

Obama’s selective moral revulsion doesn’t pass the sniff test; but that shouldn’t be surprising if a leader lacks a well grounded moral compass (James 1:5-8).

SEE RELATED: KACER: Does Obama hate Christianity, or just Christians?

Consider Libya. It posed no direct threat to our nation, but Obama sent military force to help overthrow Gaddafi based solely on his threat to kill political opponents. With Libya in chaos ever since, it is not surprising this embarrassment is no longer on Obama’s action item list.

In fact, the level of Presidential ambivalence became clear when our Benghazi consulate was attacked by terrorists. Not one warrior of the finest military in history was sent to help our ambassador or his colleagues. To save face afterwards, our President repeatedly lied about the cause for the attacks, and continues to impede any objective investigation.

What about Egypt? Remember the administration turning its back on then-President Hosni Mubarak and supporting open, western-style democratic elections? Unfortunately, the predictable happened when President Mohammed Morsi and the radical Muslim Brotherhood took power and drove the nation further into the ground.

To save face for misjudging how wickedness can manipulate democratic processes, Obama gave incoherent and mixed messages to the warring Egyptian factions. Now that he’s being publically ridiculed in Egypt, is it any surprise our President has turned national attention towards Syria?

For whatever reason, Assad appears to have openly challenged Obama’s red line warning. It may be a way for Assad to gain prominence if he survives an attack by the most powerful nation on earth. It could be an opportunity to force Russia, Iran and even China to more aggressively give support. Or American military intervention could be used as an excuse for a retaliatory action against our closest ally in the region, Israel. This action alone would curry a lot of favor with the wider Muslim world.

There are no good guys currently in the Syrian civil war, only bad guys. We can do very little to resolve this conflict unless we are willing to take on another major military role in the Middle East. This would take boots on the ground and enormous resources to ensure Assad’s ouster and the securing of any WMD.

The current desire to lob dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of Tomahawk missiles into Syria will only demonstrate how impotent the United States has become. Instead of giving the Syrian people hope for an end to the civil war, it could actually prolong it by provoking Assad’s allies to provide him with even more support.

Obama’s feckless leadership doesn’t just impact foreign affairs; it brings shame on us as a nation. His selective outrage reveals a self-centered worldview that’s alien to our heritage, our national principles, and the Christian justice ethic that has served us well through both good and troubled times.

Unfortunately, abuses of power in the United States can happen with impunity. But abusing power in the international community can result in dire consequences for our citizens and our national interests around the world.

As President Obama weighs his options to punish Syria for embarrassing him on the international stage, he’s meddling in a quarrel that’s not ours to meddle in (Proverbs 26:17). Although finally willing to seek Congressional counsel and consent, if Obama takes military action it will be an act of war that will be too little, too late, and too politically superficial.

Realistically, continuing to provide humanitarian aid to victims and refugees and exercising selected economic sanctions are still the most reasonable pressures we can apply. This is consistent with our Christian heritage of compassion towards those that are suffering and the most beneficial for now (Luke 6:27-31).

But make no mistake: we know our sworn enemies will be carefully watching to see if Obama continues to show weak leadership towards radicalized Muslim countries. If he does, it won’t matter how many red lines are drawn and redrawn, the next three years will be a golden opportunity to do us harm.


Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKacer or #BiblicalPolitics

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Frank Kacer

Frank Kacer has been writing and lecturing on the applications of a Biblical worldview to the contemporary issues of the day since the mid 1990s. Besides his regular Biblical Politics column with the Washington Times Communities, Frank has authored over 100 op-ed columns for Good News Etc. and the popular Christian Examiner. Frank can be reached at frankkacer@hotmail.com


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