Congress is supposed to be the branch of government closest to the people. If so, it will listen to the voices of war-weary Americans when it reconvenes next week and reject President Obama’s plan to jump into another conflict halfway around the globe with no clear objectives and no compelling national security interest at stake.
Congress should say no, loudly and clearly, to the president’s request for authorization of military strikes against Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons.
During the pressure of the 2012 campaign, Obama made rash and amateurish statements about those weapons being a “red line” for the U.S., but Congress is not obliged to bail him out. Nor must Congress pretend that gassing civilians, as horrifying as that is, is any more despicable than bombing them by the thousands or crushing them with tanks.
Earlier this week Sen. Michael Bennet, who leans toward supporting military action, told The Denver Post’s editorial board, “I don’t think there’s any conceivable way that Syria ends well.” We think Bennet’s analysis of Syria’s prospects is essentially correct. So why would the U.S. want to intervene in a struggle in which the eventual outcome is so bleak?