Iraq No, Syria Yes

obama syria

Pete Souza/White House Photographer

Somewhere in Syria, not long ago, a 6-year-old girl woke up one morning, cradling her doll, smiling toward the sun, kissing her loving mom and dad as a new day began.

Several hours later she heard a strange sound, and within seconds she felt a sharp pain and gripped her throat. She began shaking uncontrollably. She desperately tried to breathe, but couldn’t. She fell to the floor, her entire body was trembling from a violent seizure. Pain was exploding from inside her head from headaches more horrible than anything that she had ever experienced.

Lying on the ground, this child was in shock and could no longer speak. She thought: What’s happening to me? Mommy? Daddy? What’s happening to me? Will somebody help me?

She vomited again and again. She could no longer move her head, but shifted her eyes and saw her dad was dead. A few feet away she could see her mom still alive, unable to move, gazing at her helplessly with drool pouring out of her mouth while the white of her eyes flashed fear, panic and love.

Seconds later they were dead.

Minutes later there was celebration at Bashar Assad’s military headquarters in Damascus for a job well done by those who walk in the footsteps of Hitler and Adolf Eichmann, who are today rooting for Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and others they believe (correctly) are serving their interests in Washington.

Let me answer to the defamation of Secretary of State John Kerry by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who called our secretary of State a liar on Wednesday, with this: Putin must decide whether his Russia is the nation that first allied itself with Hitler and his foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, or the nation that ultimately allied itself with Roosevelt and Churchill.

As to the U.S. response to the mass murder and crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime, so must we all.

for warI opposed going to war in Iraq — strongly, clearly and unequivocally — from the moment the military operation was conceived in the hours after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

I support Congress granting President Obama authority for a limited and targeted military attack in Syria — authority that, in my opinion, he does not need and should not have requested — equally strongly, clearly and unequivocally.

Make no mistake: whichever way Congress votes, Congress votes “yes.”

If Congress votes to give the president the authority to initiate targeted military action, Congress will be voting “yes” to hold Syrian dictators accountable for their crimes against humanity.

If Congress denies this authority to the president, it would be voting “yes” to authorize Syrian dictators — and others around the world — to use chemical weapons again, and again, and again, without any fear of sanction.

If Congress were to deny Obama the authority to act in Syria, there would be cheering from hard-liners in Iran. There would be joy from demented rulers in North Korea. There would be laughter from bad actors all around the world who would rejoice in America’s self-castration of its deterrent capability, if the dysfunction in Congress were to inhibit America’s ability to take even limited action against crimes against humanity banned by international law since the 1920s.

Syria is not Iraq. Obama, along with Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, national security adviser Susan Rice and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, is not looking for imperial wars or large-scale or long-term military conflicts.

Quite the contrary.

As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Congress, it would be a horror for humanity if Syrian butchers were allowed to turn crimes against humanity into regularized daily tactics of warfare while America and the world stand idly by.

Brent-Budowsky-175I equally applaud Kerry and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for their stance. I stand with pride alongside Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) on this fundamental matter of American security and honor.

These are hard issues, but America is the indispensable nation.

In the name of everything we stand for, no 6-year-old girl should ever be dying in agony and calling for help and hear the dead sound of silence from the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Brent Budowsky
The Hill

Friday, 6 September 2013


  1. jackrabbit says

    This post by BB is more old Cold War rhetoric by an old cold warrior stuck in time and unable to think clearly and ask the hard questions of the White House instead of brown nosing the politicians. To use McCain is ridiculous, he participated in the bombing of NVN that killed women and children — those weapons he used are weapons of mass destruction as was the attacking of dikes that protected food stuffs. And anytime you have Boehner on your side you better ask what the hell you are doing.

    There has been no definite proof of the use of chemical weapons no matter the blathering by John Kerry and/or Obama. When Putin asked for truth we offered none. I remember well the weapons of mass destruction that were all over Iraq and ended up being non existent. No, it is time for reason not prejudice.

    The statements about the NAZI time is historically a lie and BB must know it.
    Before the famous Ribbentrop meeting the USSR had made strenuous efforts to get the West (US, Britain, etc) to form a united front against Germany but the west wanted none of it. This forced the USSR to buy time to move its industrial resources to the east and to build its military to take on the onslaught it knew was coming. The Soviets ended up taking on 70% of the NAZI forces and the east european AXIS allies and defeating them. That defeat in the east saved American lives but instead of befriending the USSR we made Cold War. The USSR lost about 20,000,000 in WW2, more than another other nation.

    It is time for reason, not hateful propaganda. This whole blowup may be a mask by the “rebels” get resources to bolster their faltering effort undertaken to try to cover the Snowden materials through hubris.

  2. JoeWeinstein says

    Budowsky is correct. If Congress denies authority to the president, it will in effect be saying YES to authorize Assad and every other dictator to use chem weapons over and over, with no fear of sanction.

    The main reason to deny authority to the president in this case is that THIS president has shown himself across-the-board incompetent to use his power effectively and wisely.

    What is really called for is to grant the authority and impeach the incumbent.

    • webcelt says

      Please, impeach. Go for it. Democrats would love for the 2014 campaign to be about the Republicans trying to impeach Obama on whatever bogus grounds they come up with. By the way, nobody who supported Bush gets to complain about any other president’s incompetence at foreign policy. Or anything else for that matter.

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