The headline from Newser is “Lawmakers Unswayed by White House Syria Case.” Well, why should they be swayed?
Congress is joining the vast majority of the American people, the majority in the UK Parliament, and the nonconsensus of the United Nations Security Council. Americans have been led to expect that the UN wouldn’t go along with the strike because of Russia’s and China’s recalcitrance. Russia, we are told, is a close ally of Syria and won’t side with the US against Assad for that reason.
But Assad was once the US government’s ally as well. Hillary Clinton did PR for him, calling him a reformer. Also, the Bush Administration used him for rendition in the war on terror because he was willing to torture people. Plainly, alliances can change. If Russia is continuing their alliance with Assad, we might need to ask why that is so rather than treating it as an explanation in itself.
Perhaps some members of the UN Security Council are so old they can remember all the way back to May of 2013! At that time UN officials gave testimony quite different from what we are being told now:
“U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday. The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte. “Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television. ‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,’ she added, speaking in Italian.”
Suddenly we must believe the Assad government is responsible? That hasn’t been proved. The only evidence we have of an attack, besides a questionable video, is an intercepted phone conversation that, Newser tells us, “doesn’t directly implicate Bashar al-Assad.” That’s arguably an understatement. The phone conversation could indicate that Assad was as surprised as anyone else that it even happened. I have no doubt that Bashar-al-Assad would use chemical weapons to prevent being sodomize and killed as NATO/US Al Qaeda allies did to our former ally Gaddafi (my advice if you click on the link: just read the story; I didn’t look at the video or images). But Assad was winning against the rebels and knew a chemical attack would provoke US and France. So why assume he did it?
The conservative Christian columnist Rod Dreher is right: we have no business giving over Syria to anti-Christian Jihadists. Congress is right to balk against Obama’s attack. They also need to defund US support of the Islamist terrorists who are killing (after raping and torturing) Syrian Christians.