“What’s happening in Syria is a civil war. In the hierarchy of wars, civil wars are always the most bloody and least humane, in much the same way that, in the area of law, the most vicious cases are divorces. Your opponent is close enough for you to hate wholeheartedly.
“In Syria, we are witnessing a fight between two closely-related, rabid dogs. These war dogs can be put down entirely or they can be ignored. They cannot be trifled with in an inconsequential way, or they will turn the full fury of their wrath on the trifler, even as they escalate actions against each other. If America goes in, she must go in to destroy one side or the other. Doing less than that is futile and tremendously dangerous, especially because these are Arabs….
“And that gets me to the main reason I’m opposed to intervening despite gas attack that Assad’s troops launched. Perhaps to your surprise, I’m not going to argue that ‘Let the Muslims kill each other there, because it’s good riddance to bad rubbish.’ I certainly don’t mind Syria being so busy internally that she has no time to harass Israel. However, that pragmatic response is most definitely not the same as delighting in the destruction of her innocent civilian population.
“Instead, my sense of futility in getting involved in Syria is that what we’re seeing is simply how Muslim Arabs fight. They don’t do polite warfare, with rules. They do balls-to-the-wall warfare, with women and children as primary targets. Their cultural preference when fighting war is rape, mutilation, torture, mass-murder, civilian massacres, and soaking-their-hands-in-their-victims’ blood.” ―Bookworm
“For a quarter-century, from Kuwait to Kosovo to Kandahar, the civilized world has gone to war only in order to save or liberate Muslims. The Pentagon is little more than central dispatch for the U.S. military’s Muslim Fast Squad. And what do we have to show for it? Liberating Syria isn’t like liberating the Netherlands: In the Middle East, the enemy of our enemy is also our enemy. Yes, those BBC images of schoolchildren with burning flesh are heart-rending. So we’ll get rid of Assad and install the local branch of al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood or whatever plucky neophyte democrat makes it to the presidential palace first — and then, instead of napalmed schoolyards, there will be, as in Egypt, burning Christian churches and women raped for going uncovered.
“So what do we want in Syria? Obama can’t say, other than for him to look muscular without being mocked, like a camp bodybuilder admiring himself in the gym mirror.” ―Mark Steyn
“With the vast majority of Americans opposing a strike against Syria, President Obama has requested that Congress vote on his powers as commander in chief under the Constitution. The president doesn’t need congressional approval to shoot a few missiles into Syria, nor — amazingly — has he said he’ll abide by such a vote, anyway.
“Why is Congress even having a vote? This is nothing but a fig leaf to cover Obama’s own idiotic ‘red line’ ultimatum to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on chemical weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize winner needs to get Congress on the record so that whatever happens, the media can blame Republicans.
“No Republican who thinks seriously about America’s national security interests — by which I mean to exclude John McCain and Lindsey Graham — can support Obama’s ‘plan’ to shoot blindly into this hornet’s nest.” ―Ann Coulter
“Contrary to this president’s touching faith in his omnipotence, Congress was not designed to be a well-staffed life-coaching service, but was instead chartered to confer legal permission to an executive branch that, on matters of war at least, is subordinate to it. Explaining that ‘in no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature,’ James Madison observed that to afford carte blanche to the executive in such matter would be foolish, for ‘the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man.’ Alexander Hamilton, who had as expansive a view of the role of the executive as any Founder, noted that ‘while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and the raising and regulating of fleets and armies,’ in ‘the Constitution under consideration’ such powers ‘would appertain to the legislature.’
“Evidently, the president disagrees. ‘As commander-in-chief,’ he lectured perplexed Swedes, ‘I always preserve the right and the responsibility to act on behalf of America’s national security. I don’t believe that I was required to take this to Congress. But I did not take this to Congress because I think it’s an empty exercise.’
“As it happens, ‘empty exercise’ is an especially good way of describing the process of asking for the permission of an institution of whose constraints you believe yourself to be of right free. It is also a good way of describing how its apologists view this war, for Syria, it seems, is the war that isn’t a war — or, at least, in John Kerry’s comical phrase, it is not a ‘war in the classic sense.’” ―Charles C. W. Cooke
“Because Barack Obama recklessly shot off his mouth about a ‘red line’ in Syria, he’s demanding that our nation insert itself into a civil war between terrorist groups, both of which have chemical weapons, to protect his ego. Happily, the American people recognize what a foolish move this would be. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that only 9% of Americans currently support bombing Syria. This is why Barack Obama has punted his Syrian War to Congress. He’s hoping that it’ll be foolish enough to vote in favor of war to give him the political cover he needs to bomb. Not only should Congress vote against the war in Syria, if Obama bombs that country anyway, Congress should immediately cut off funds for the war and move to impeach him.” ―John Hawkins
“In a speech at a 2002 anti-war rally, Obama, then an Illinois state senator, conceded that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was ‘a brutal man,’ ‘a ruthless man,’ ‘a man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.’ He noted that the Iraqi dictator ‘has repeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.’
“In short, there was no question that ‘the world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.’ Still, Obama said, ‘Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States.’ Hence a U.S. invasion aimed at overthrowing him would be ‘a dumb war,’ ‘a rash war,’ ‘a war based not on reason but on passion.’
“Notably, Saddam’s crimes against his own people included using chemical weapons against Kurds in northern Iraq, a campaign that killed some 5,000 men, women and children. That murderous assault, in Obama’s view, did not justify U.S. intervention.
“Today, by contrast, Obama says a sarin-gas attack that caused about 1,400 of the 100,000 deaths so far in Syria’s civil war demands an American response in the form of missiles aimed at President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. ‘What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?’ Obama asked in a speech on Saturday. Presumably the same message he was willing to send when he opposed war with Iraq.” ―Jacob Sullum