Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama Wants Congressional Approval for Syria Strike

At the Hill, "Obama to seek congressional approval for Syrian military strike" (via Memeorandum).

And at the Wall Street Journal, "Obama Seeks Congressional Backing for Syria Strike":

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama said Saturday he is prepared to take military action if necessary against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people, but said he will seek authorization from Congress before moving forward.

"This menace must be confronted," Mr. Obama vowed in an address from the White House Rose Garden, arguing for using force to punish the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Not acting, he said, "risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons."

"I'm ready to act in the face of this outrage. Today I am asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation," Mr. Obama said.

The president has faced criticism on the political left and right, with some lawmakers arguing against a military response and others demanding more information about any U.S. mission in advance of a presidential order. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), in particular, had pushed Mr. Obama to consult with Congress about his plans for military action.

Mr. Obama said he's talked with leaders in Congress and they've agreed to schedule a debate on using force as soon as they return from their August recess on Sept. 9, though lawmakers could be called back earlier.

The president said the effectiveness of any U.S. military strike, which he vowed would be limited, is "not time sensitive."

"It could be effective tomorrow, or next week or one month from now," Mr. Obama said. He said he is aware that the United Nations and some countries may not agree with his decision. He said he's prepared to go forward without their approval.

Not acting, he said, could lead to an escalation of chemical-weapons use and embolden countries that are seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Mr. Obama's comments follow a week of high tensions about whether the U.S. would strike Syria. And it comes after the administration made a public argument for a forceful American response and took the unusual step of making public evidence from the intelligence community that it had "high confidence" the Assad regime deployed chemical weapons against civilians on Aug. 21.
I don't know. The congressional politics of this won't be conducive to quick military action nor to our military objectives. But hey, there's little popular support, so O-Bomba has no choice.

More at the Los Angles Times, "Getting Congress to OK military action in Syria could be tough."