Without a declaration of war from Congress or any constitutional authority whatsoever, the Obama administration is reportedly preparing to openly send lethal weapons to so-called “rebels” in Syria seeking to overthrow the regime. The president plans to start sending arms while simultaneously pursuing “political negotiation” in the operation to oust dictator Bashar al-Assad, according to news reports citing “senior administration officials.” The White House is also seeking to assert “more aggressive U.S. leadership” in the battle against Syrian authorities, potentially including overt military intervention.
The Washington Post reported this week that in addition to preparing weapons shipments to Syrian opposition forces, Obama is also working to convince other governments — especially Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who along with the dictatorships ruling Iran and China has been supporting Assad — to finally back the international “regime-change” plot. Dubious allegations of chemical weapons deployment are apparently at the center of the new scheme to get other governments onboard.
Obama hopes to “mobilize the international community to support” installing a new regime in Syria, he said at a news conference. It was not immediately clear whether he plans to mobilize support from Congress to declare war as required by the U.S. Constitution. The president also claimed that it was not yet known to the administration if Assad had really deployed weapons of mass destruction, apparently an effort to make the administration seem somewhat responsible amid the chaos it has sown.
Quoting unnamed “officials,” the Post reported that the White House planned to make a “final decision” about openly sending arms to “rebels” within weeks — presumably after Secretary of State John Kerry returns from Moscow. “We’re clearly on an upward trajectory,” a senior White House official reportedly told the paper. “We’ve moved over to assistance that has a direct military purpose.”
The anonymous “senior officials” using the newspaper to publicize information the administration wanted published also described Obama as “ready to move” on what one “source” described as the “left-hand side” of a broad spectrum of options ranging from “arming the opposition to boots on the ground.” One of several “senior officials” who spoke to the paper also said Obama has “not closed the door to other military actions,” apparently a reference to overtly putting American troops in Syria or at least using military air strikes to create a “no-fly zone” benefiting the “rebels,” as happened in Libya.
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