OCALA, Fla., September 9, 2013 — As President Obama continues to drum up congressional support for taking military action against Syria, a former Department of Justice official has stated his strong beliefs about the matter.
“Barack Obama has threatened gratuitous, unilateral, offensive military action against Syria, which would compound the already grisly Syrian war casualties. His juvenile justification is national prestige,” former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Fein wrote in The Huffington Post last week.
Fein also served as General Counsel to the Federal Communications Commission during the Ronald Reagan Administration. He is the author of two books about American government; Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy as well as American Empire: Before the Fall.
“The threatened military action confronts Congress and the American people with a momentous choice: either to repudiate the President in favor of the Constitution and a Republic; or, to acquiesce in one-branch government, international lawlessness, and self-ruination in imitation of all previous Empires,” Fein continued.
He is not alone in criticizing President Obama’s ambition to launch a strike on Syria. The President has not found solid support for a declaration of war in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. Interestingly enough, resistance to engaging Syria with military force is proving to be one of the few major issues that generates bipartisan support.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since March of 2011, but the conflict did not grow to national proportions until roughly one month later. Bands of rebels formed with the objective of deposing Syria’s well-established strongman government, led by President Bashar al-Assad.
Assad assumed office after his father, Hafez, died in 2000. The elder al-Assad’s rule marked an era of secular public policy and strides toward equality for women, among other things. Bashar has maintained the status quo that his father built.
The al-Assad family is comprised of Alawite religious minorities in a country where militant fundamentalist Sunni Islamism has surged. A great deal of anti-al-Assad forces are backed by totalitarian groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and international terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda.
Many have noted that if America provides assistance to Syria’s rebels, then it will essentially be aiding terrorists.
“The post-World War II Nuremburg tribunal championed by the United States established the principle that war not justified by self-defense, i.e., a response to an actual or imminent attack, constitutes the crime of aggression,” Fein pointed out. “Syria has neither attacked the United States nor threatens to do so. United States military action against Syria to maintain national prestige or otherwise would be a war crime.”
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