In a bipartisan House vote, congress moved to limit our Nobel Peace Prize winning President from using military intervention in Syria, without congressional approval, in accordance to the War Powers Act. This means that Obama would need approval from congress before sending troops into battle, or putting troops in an area “where hostilities are imminent”. Not only will the bill help prevent U.S. troops from being thrown into the mix in Syria, but it should also prevent American military intervention in tumultuous Egypt. Altho, according to one article, the bill will not prevent weapons from going to Syrian rebels, it should prevent the type of American military force used in Libya during its own uprising.
But the wording of the amendment would apply to setting up a no-fly zone or using U.S. ships to launch attacks on sites in Syria, and the debate showed that deeper military involvement in Syria is opposed by an unusual House coalition of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats.
“I believe without a shadow of a doubt this is one of the most insane policies that borders on madness – the United States to give funding, training and arms most likely to al Qaida in Syria doesn’t make any sense,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. “This is absolute madness.”
Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., agreed, calling the situation in Syria “chaotic.”
“Distinguishing between the good rebels and the bad rebels is impossible,” Welch said on the House floor. “The notion that we can have a micromanaged approach and pick the good guys, and arm them, and not have any reasonable . . . expectation that the arms will get into bad hands I think is naive.”
Welch added that Congress has the responsibility to weigh in before U.S. troops are sent into harm’s way.
“We have a job to do under the Constitution,” he said.
700 troops have already remained in Jordan, just across Syria’s border, on President Obama’s order. One thing at least that Obama can be credited for doing right, is halting the shipments of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt. We certainly should not be arming a country where power vacuums spring up on the regular, although I must question Obama’s earlier decision to allow the shipment of 20 fighter jets to Egypt while President Morsi, aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, was still in power. It seems Obama trusted a Muslim Brotherhood government aligned with al-qaeda more than he trusts the current military regime. Still, the halting of the jets is a good thing.
The best plan of action is to not get involved in foreign affairs which will come back to haunt us. Certainly we should keep an eye on the region to help insure dangerous weapons do not fall into the hands of people with bad intentions, but supplying rebels with weapons almost guarantees that people with animosity towards the U.S. would acquire dangerous weapons. Best to avoid involvement, avoid spending money on endless war, and avoid responsibility for what happens next. If we intervene, the troubled region will still be America’s problem for years to come.