Syria shows Obama's shameless hypocrisy on executive war powers

President Obama, war monger, is about to go to war with a Middle Eastern dictator over an unsubstantiated claim of WMD use. Photo: AP

HOUSTON, August 30, 2013 — All signs now point to President Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, launching an unconstitutional military strike against a Mideast dictator over the alleged usage of weapons of mass destruction.

Obama is about to commit an act of war against Syria, without congressional or international approval, for the same reason President Bush made the decision to go to war with Iraq. President Obama was one of Bush’s most vocal critics about the Iraq war.

Bush, however, got both international approval and congressional approval before launching military action, and a large majority of American people supported the wars Iraq and Afghanistan. The same United Nations Security Council that approved military action against both Iraq and Afghanistan has voted against military action in Syria three times.

International law requires a U.N. resolution to commence military action, and more importantly, federal law requires congressional approval. The War Powers Act of 1974 and the War Powers Clause of the Constitution, provide for only one exception that could possibly apply to Obama’s Syrian war: a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories, or its armed forces, or the imminence of such an attack.

Obama’s prospective Syrian war does not fall under this exception. Federal law therefore requires Obama to get pre-approval from Congress to conduct this act of war.

President Obama has indicated that he will not seek congressional approval before taking action. He is aware that the Democrat-controlled Senate would not support him, and he will therefore just ignore the law. The anti-war Democrats who were so vocal about President Bush going to war under almost identical circumstances are all silent today, even though Bush followed both international and federal law. This is just more evidence that their extreme opposition under Bush was about naked politics, not principle.


SEE RELATED: Obama on Syria: The worst foreign policy president - ever


President Obama wasn’t always a war-monger. In October, 2002, Obama, then an Illinois state senator, gave a rousing speech in opposition to the Iraq war at the Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago. He began by differentiating between a “dumb, rash war based not on reason, but on passion and politics,” and a war concerning a direct American security interest.

Obama went on to dismiss any sort of humanitarian motive as justification to enter into war. He started by admitting that Saddam Hussein is “a man who butchers his own people to secure his own power,” and that “the world would be better off without him.” He made a very strong point that “Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, and that in concert with the international community, he can be contained.”

Even as recently as 2007, while campaigning for president, Obama told The Boston Globe that “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” He added that the president can only act unilaterally in “instances of self-defense.”

Obama’s most loyal followers, the main stream media, can’t do enough spinning to make Obama’s Syrian war match with the litany of his past statements and actions which directly contradict this decision.


SEE RELATED: President Obama’s sound and fury on Syria signifies nothing


The American people are sick of America being the world’s policemen. This is reflected in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showing that only 9 percent of Americans agree with the decision to intervene militarily in Syria. Not one of our allies, after the U.K. parliament voted against it on Thursday, is going to join us.

Additionally, Russia, China and Iran have all threatened repercussions if military action is commenced. Russia has defied Obama numerous times and have sent ships to the Mediterranean Sea. China owns more than enough American debt to crash the economy tomorrow if they wanted to cash in. Iran has the capability of causing great harm to one of our very best allies, Israel.

With every reason not to move forward with this attack, it is apparent Obama is adamant about conducting this act of war for one reason: to save face. On August 20, 2012 he infamously told the world that a “red-line” for America’s military involvement in Syria was if the Syrians used weapons of mass destruction, which includes chemical weapons, against their own people.

According to Secretary of State John Kerry, there is now undeniable evidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on its people. Obama, with one eye on his bloated ego and the other distracted with concern about his legacy of being a feckless, weak leader, will go to war just to save face.

Since the more than 12 years and innumerable American lives that have been lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, most Americans have grown very wary of new wars in the Middle East based on unsubstantiated claims of weapons of mass destruction. However, as Obama’s power and ego have grown, his impunity to act against all domestic, and even international, legal protocols has also also grown.

President Obama, the shameless hypocrite, should take his own advice and not enter into another “dumb, rash war based not on reason, but on passion and politics.”


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James Richard Edwards

James R. Edwards is a medical malpractice defense attorney in Houston, Tx. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from LSU (Geaux Tigers!) in Psychology and subsequently went on to attend the University of Houston Law Center. James became interested in politics in law school because of the consistent and oppressive disgust and revulsion shown by the staff and Professors for the Constitution and for America in general. He is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives. 

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