Americanizing a Syrian Civil War?


Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. What could be stranger than the thought of Tea Party conservatives, libertarians, and progressive Democrats uniting to defy the White House in its decision to provide military assistance to Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Assad? Thanks to President Obama’s foreign policy shift, these polar opposites are finding themselves uncomfortably rolling together under the sheets.

When Obama suddenly reversed his stance against intervening in Syria and urged Congress to arm opposition militants and move more troops into Jordan, some politicians, including photo-op-ready John McCain, not only praised his decision, but pressed the President to do even more by creating a no-fly zone over Syria. Both sides of the aisle opposed to intervention immediately went into combat mode frantically fighting to stop an American presence in Syria as evidenced by the introduction of three separate bills this past week, including one bi-partisan, in the House to prohibit funding.

Interventionist opponents assert that if the United States becomes involved in the Syrian conflict by providing arms to Islamic militants, the United States will be knowingly arming Al-Qaeda. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who joined other members of the House at a press conference this past week said, “The Use of Authorization of Force [AUMF] in 2001 said we could go after the Taliban, Al Qaeda and associated forces,” Paul said. “Now we will be arming forces who are actually associated and fighting on the same side as Al Qaeda.”

Another issue causing great consternation within the House is the willingness of President Obama to act (again)- with or without approval from Congress. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has threatened to try to impeach President Obama if U.S. soldiers were killed in a Syrian operation that Congress did not authorize.

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