The U.S. should stay out of Syria until the president makes a better case for war

By Tom Quiner

The president is asking us to kill people.

Think about this. We are Americans. We believe in a fundamental right to life (unless you’re a Democrat, of course).

The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who is also the president of the United States of America, has justly expressed his outrage at the mass killing of Syrian civilians via chemical weapons. He wants to do something about it: he wants to use American might to potentially kill some Syrians.

Specifically, as I understand it, President Obama wants to:

1. Wipe out Syrian president Assad’s cache of chemical weapons.

2. Punish President Assad for using these weapons and deter him from using them again.

3. Do all of this with a missile without putting any U.S. “boots on the ground.”

4. Go home and hope for the best.

I’m skeptical. President Obama hasn’t made his case.

By contrast, President George W. Bush spent two years making his case to invade Iraq. He talked to us to keep Americans in the loop on what was going on and built public support.

He built Congressional support. By the time he asked for Congress to authorize the use of force against Iraq, bi-partisan support was firmly in place. The Senate voted 77 to 23 to support the measure, including 58% of the Democrats in the Senate.

The House voted 297 to 133 in favor of the resolution, including nearly 40% of House Democrats.

Even more, his administration painstakingly documented CIA intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s use and possession of weapons of mass destruction and his attempt to assassinate the 41st president after he left office. He revealed intelligence of Al Qaeda’s use of Iraq as a training ground for future attacks on U.S. interests. Ultimately, he made a compelling case why Iraq presented a legitimate threat to U.S. security interests.

He went further. He built an international coalition of 50 nations who supported military intervention in Iraq either directly or indirectly.

President Barack Obama has done none of this with Syria.

He has not on international ally. Even more, many Americans were left with the sick feeling that he asked Congress to vote on military action in the hope that they would turn him down to help him save face, and set the groundwork for him to blame Congress for future events.

In other words, we are not sure the president even believes what he is calling for. The last thing a nation should do is rush to war when the commander-in-chief appears so indecisive, so feckless, so in over his head.

Until the president makes a more compelling case, we should stay out of Syria.