The Constitution is clear on the power to declare war. Only Congress can declare war and only Congress can approve funding for war. The Constitution and Federal statutes are also clear on the definition of inherent executive power to use military force against foreign nations without congressional approval if the security of the United States is threatened or it is under imminent attack.
Most United States Congressional legislators are trained to be lawyers. If they are not trained to be lawyers then at least they are knowledgeable of the United States Constitution and Federal Statutes, particularly the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Since the discovery that some form of sarin gas was used in Syria which resulted in the deaths of several hundred persons, a debate has evolved between Congress and President Barak Obama. It is a debate on War Power.
The issue presented to the public is whether or not Congress (the People of the United States) should be involved in the decision making process to determine whether or not The People of the United States should commit to bomb the sovereign nation of Syria as ‘punishment’ for the use of sarin gas on its own people.
There are two over arching issues, however. One is whether or not Syria is legally subject to the Executive Branch of the United States Government? No reasonable person would make the argument that it is because Syria is not subject to the Executive Branch of the United States Government and has not posed a threat to U.S. national security. For that reason alone President Barak Obama does not have the legal nor moral authority to bomb Syria.
The second issue is whether or not the Government of Syria knowingly, purposely, recklessly, or negligently used sarin gas to kill its citizens? Now we must ask: what evidence has been proffered by the President to U.S. citizens?
The Obama administration has used straw man arguments and has proffered at most circumstantial evidence that the Syrian Government used sarin gas on its people. It has proffered satellite data of phone calls near the scene of sarin gas use and satellite data of the use of artillery near the scene of sarin gas use. And notice, the use of that presumed evidence is peppered by Secretary of State John Kerry with emotive terminology to manipulate the American People emotionally.
However, satellite data on phone calls and artillery use in the area where the gas was used can be simulated by computer programs as it is done in war games for training purposes. Therefore, such evidence cannot be rationally authenticated and thus cannot be used to justify the bombing of a sovereign nation.
If one accepts as credible United Nations scientists that sarin gas was used and that people actually died then the question now is: who used the sarin gas? The fact is that there is no direct evidence which conclusively proves who used the sarin gas.
If we further assume that Bashar Assad and the U.S., Israeli, and Saudi rebel leaders are rational persons then what a rational Congress ought to ask is: who would benefit by the use of sarin gas on Syrian people? Certainly, Bashar Assad would not benefit. He would lose both Russian and Chinese support as well as his government. Therefore, he didn’t use the sarin gas. That leaves the rebels.
The rebels would gain from the use of sarin gas because it would enlist the overt might of the U.S. military to destroy the Syrian government. The rebels would then get Syria to ghettoize. The Israelis would gain because Israel would then be able to undermine Hezbullah in Lebanon and that would allow Israel to take Lebanon’s southern territories to ghettoize, again. The Saudis would gain because they would feel that greater military pressure would be put on Iran, a nation they want to ghettoize. And of course, U.S. corporations would gain because they could get contracts to exploit resources and rebuild Syria, again. Therefore, the rebels and their supporters used the sarin gas.
President Obama drew a Red Line. Now he should be hoping that Congress gives him a way to back down and to save face by saying no to him because if he bombs Syria there will be terrible repercussions as far away as the Korean peninsula. Korea is China’s trump card. Expect South Korea to be under extreme military pressure from North Korea if Syria is bombed. Russia will up support for Syria,too. President Obama is in a mess. He should step out of it and clean his shoes.