The resolution to authorize military force in Syria is already meeting opposition in Congress. The complete lack of public support along with the vagueness of the resolution proposed by the Obama Administration has weakened an already weak case.
President Barack Obama faces a clear uphill battle in swaying skeptical lawmakers of the merits of military action in Syria, as top officials were dispatched to Capitol Hill Sunday to make the administration’s case.
In response to concern from a swath of lawmakers, Senate Democratic aides are drafting new language for an authorization of military force in Syria, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Sunday.The administration’s proposal is too open-ended — a complaint many lawmakers aired Sunday — Leahy said after leaving the classified briefing. The current version wouldn’t garner his support, but he indicated that a more tightly written draft might.
Therein lies a dangerous impulse – Congress believes it can control the forces of war once unleashed by tailoring a limited resolution. However, once the bombs fall that’s where control ends.
And of course, the Obama Administration plans to exploit that misguided impulse.
On Sunday, a senior administration official said their strategy in selling the Hill on military action “will be to flood the zone.” The official noted that President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough all made calls on Sunday to individual lawmakers and would again hit the phone lines on Monday. On the Labor Day holiday, a conference call was also planned for House Democrats with administration officials.
Selling? Flooding the zone? So moving the ball to Congress was really a calculated move to get some kind of credibility for a questionable war – the UN being unavailable – not an attempt to consult with anybody or reconsider the action.
Then again, if Congress says no the Obama Administration is going to have a difficult time justifying the start of another war in the Middle East against a country that has not threatened nor poses a threat to America. Activism between now and the vote in Congress will make the difference.