A bill authorizing the use of military force in Syria has been drafted in the Senate. The resolution from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee allows President Obama to make war on Syria for a period of 90 days with certain conditions.


(a) AUTHORIZATION-The President is authorized, subject to subsection (b), to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in a limited and tailored manner against legitimate military targets in Syria, only to: (1) respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction by the Syrian government in the conflict in Syria; (2) deter Syria’s use of such weapons in order to protect the national security interests of the United States and to protect our allies and partners against the use of such weapons; and (3) degrade Syria’s capacity to use such weapons in the future

Limited and tailored manner? Because that’s how wars in the Middle East usually end up working out. The Senate bill contradicts itself with the mandate to “deter Syria’s use” talk about an open ended proposition – what action can not be justified in the name of deterrence?

The public remains more realistic than the fabulists in Washington with strong opposition to attacking Syria.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Aug. 29-Sept. 1 among 1,000 adults, finds that Obama has significant ground to make up in his own party. Just 29% of Democrats favor conducting airstrikes against Syria while 48% are opposed. Opinion among independents is similar (29% favor, 50% oppose). Republicans are more divided, with 35% favoring airstrikes and 40% opposed.

And that is just for airstrikes, let alone what Secretary Kerry let slip yesterday – that troops may be needed. In theory the resolution would limit President Obama to airstrikes, in practice it is hard to control a war once you start one.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus will be holding a conference call today at noon EST with the White House in what may be a final push by the Obama Administration for progressive support for war with Syria before an authorizing vote takes place.