Open letter to Congressman Westmoreland: Vote no on Syria resolution
My purpose in writing this is to encourage you and your fellow Congressmen to vote against the resolution to use force against Syria that President Obama has asked Congress to pass. While the use of nerve gas is inexcusable, the hundreds of deaths by the use of it in Syria unconscionable and it has been forbidden worldwide for decades there are a number of reasons I nonetheless feel the President’s request needs to be rejected:
· To position this as a threat to our national security is a bogus attempt to justify using force against Syria.
· There are thousands dying all over the world due to oppression. The killing of Coptic Christians by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and over 1 million deaths in Rwanda are two of many examples.
· By delaying any action he has given the Syrian government plenty of time to hide most of their strategic assets.
· Again his administration has leaked vital information further aiding the Syrian government in knowing where we will send missiles.
· It is unclear who released these nerve agent sarin attacks so are we attacking the guilty?
· No other country but France supports this action so President Obama violates his own words by saying we do not want to engage in a conflict without wide spread support from other countries.
· Russia has threatened to give Syria a missile shield.
· Quoting from a USA Today editorial, “it’s astonishing that the nation finds itself in such a potentially embarrassing situation put there by an ambivalent President who, like a novice chess player, made early moves in Syria without anticipating the end game.”
· It was pathetic watching Secretary of State John Kerry make the rounds of the news channels Sunday supporting the President’s action when just two days before Kerry was aggressively saying to immediately attack.
· Once again the President will buy votes, as he did with ObamaCare, by committing to large expenditures in the states where Congressman live who succumb to such a reprehensible tactic by the President.
· While the President claims this attack is not about regime change it is obvious it will have an effect. I certainly do not support President Assad of Syria nor did I support Saddam Hussein of Iraq, President Mubarak of Egypt nor Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. However our actions in these countries reinforced the old saying, “The enemy we know is better than the one we don’t.” Further, “Obama is now talking about a comprehensive plan to support Syrian rebels and push Assad aside” and the draft Senate resolution would “require Obama to submit a strategy for achieving a negotiated political settlement in Syria.” This is a lot more than a missile strike!
· Once again the President’s actions have encouraged Iran, Syria, North Korea and Hezbollah due to his repeated “red lines in the sand” but no action when these lines were crossed. While the exact reverse of this position is being used by advocate’s for passing this resolution let’s get serious and admit that a few missile strikes into Syria will be less consequential than had we launched a more timely response.
· As one Senator said, “Because Obama says he maintains the authority to take military action without Congressional approval the current debate is meaningless.” When pressed in the Senate hearing earlier this week the Secretary of State, Defense Secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff refused to answer the question whether the administration would act if Congress voted against the joint resolution.
· We have repeatedly seen President Obama flaunt the law. As a related case in point he “has used the 2001 law authorizing the Afghanistan War to authorize drone strikes against terrorists across the globe.” This includes such in the US.
· The War Powers Act gives President Obama the ability to strike Syria regardless of the ultimate vote in Congress as it did months ago when we learned of the first nerve gas attack. In my opinion Congress is being used as a scape goat to cover his ineptness on Syria.
· A Washington Post/ABC News poll shows almost 60 percent of Americans oppose military action in Syria. While I understand you hear all sides and then vote for what you feel is best for our country versus reading a poll and voting accordingly please take into consideration why 60 percent feel this way and the consequences of voting with the 40 percent.
You will have much more information when it is time to vote than I had writing this article so I will continue to respect you even if you vote for the resolution. However I do request you tell us why you voted as you as you did.
Rep Jeff Brown (Ret)
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