We Dare Not Cross This Line


President Obama has decided to use military force to teach Syria a lesson to not gas their own people.  So the red line created by the president has been crossed.  Can we look at this situation rationally?

For the life of me, I cannot discern an end game for the president’s decision to use military force against Syria.  Am I missing something, or can someone inform me how a nation’s use of chemical weapons against their own citizens classifies as a national security threat to our country?
The use of chemical weapons against its citizens during a time of civil war does violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and Protocol One that were adopted in 1949 and 1977 respectively.  The Fourth Convention and Protocol One specifically singles out the use of biological weapons.  Syria became a signatory to all four conventions in 1953.  They also agreed to Protocol One in 1983.
The only arbitrator of the Geneva Conventions, and all four protocols, is the United Nations.  The United States does not have the authority to take unilateral military action against a nation that violates any part of the Geneva Conventions.
This brings me back to the president’s decision.  While I can only speak for myself, it appears to me that we are entering a hornet’s nest from which there may be no easy extraction.  It is foolhardy to assume that we are going to fire off a few cruise missiles for several days and then pack up our toys and leave.
Nor am I basing my opposition on past actions or inactions by the United States.  What happened in the past with any other country that committed human rights abuses, falls outside the scope of this one issue.  Syria is likely to be many times more complex due to possible involvement of the Chinese, the Russians, and Iran.
Nor do I have any desire to run the president under a bus. His decision is just wrong.  I respect him and usually his decision-making process is reasoned and spot on.  Not this time.
The bottom line in my book is quite simple. Regardless of how heinous the offense to human rights, the United States lacks the authority to take military action against another sovereign nation who killed citizens within its own borders.  Should Syria attack one of our allies with weapons of mass destruction, especially Israel, now that is a different matter.
The Congress must deny the president the authority to use force against Syria, no matter how limited the mission.  Thank God the Brits had the good sense to vote down a similar measure offered by their Prime Minister.
As hard as it may be, we have to let the United Nations process play out even it if takes weeks or even months.  Patience is always a virtue, but in this case it is the only sure path to build an international consensus, using the rule of law, to stop the use of weapons of mass destruction by Syria or any other nation on this planet.
That red line must remain firmly in place.

Author: The Blue Route

What say you, the people?