On Saturday, President Obama shared his decision about the possible Syrian chemical weapons attack and possibility of a U.S. air strike with the American people, Congress, and the global community. The president believes publicly and strongly in action to confront this atrocity, but he is seeking congressional approval. Despite the support by some major members of his cabinet and even members of the global community, Obama is receiving heavy scrutiny and criticism for his decisions. President Obama made the right decision in sharing his views and wishes with the world and also in his decision to uphold the democratic process of seeking congressional approval for a military action. The congressional body represents the American people and should have the opportunity to share their collective thoughts and decisions.
President Obama claims the strike is ready and can happen at any time but it is not a time sensitive issue. Therefore, why not give Congress an opportunity and constitutional right to review the action, especially over such a sensitive issue due to the call for military action and our country’s recent history? Some may say the only reason President Obama is seeking congressional approval is because of the recent rejected resolution of the U.K. Parliament, which complicates the issue in the eyes of the public. Either way, President Obama is giving Congress and the people a chance to come together as a unified and strong nation.
There are many individuals split on the matter of becoming involved in Syria. I am in favor. The U.S. has gathered intelligence and evidence that show Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,400 of his own people, approximately 400 of them children. The U.S. is not alone in its intelligence findings. On Monday, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault made public his country’s intelligence that reported the Syrian army had previously used chemical warfare against its people. The report also stated that “the use of chemical weapons can only be authorized by President Assad or ‘certain influential members of his clan,” and goes on to say the “opposition forces lack the capacity to carry out such a large-scale chemical attack.”
Anyone that has a conscience and a heart should want to hold the Syrian president accountable for his actions. As Secretary of State John Kerry phrased, we cannot give our “consent through silence” to such horrifying immoral acts. I know many of the U.S. people fear taking any action in a foreign country due to our recently ended war, but President Obama is not proposing war. He is proposing a way to hold a terrible man accountable and to deter and degrade his capacity to carry out even further heinous actions, which does not include putting any troops on the ground, any sort of war or becoming involved in the Syrian Civil War. President Obama is simply suggesting taking away this man’s ruthless ability to commit murder.
If you disagree due to fear of our national security, just think for a moment. The rest of the world, including Iran and North Korea, is watching the U.S. to see what we do about such obvious injustice. The United States, along with many other nations, agreed to the prohibition of chemical weapons. How will other nations see it if we let such an apparent violation to this agreement go unnoticed? Not only do our morals go right out the window, but so does the United States’ credibility! What makes the United States a strong nation is not only asking and concerning ourselves with our present national security, but our national security a few years from now. The American people, Congress, and president cannot set a precedent for the passive acceptance and inaction against such terrible injustices.