War Hawks Urge Military Intervention in Syria

By:  Bob Adelmann
08/26/2013
       
War Hawks Urge Military Intervention in Syria

Following reports of chemical attacks in Syria on August 21, war hawks are urging, and the Pentagon is developing, plans to remove Syria President Assad's chemical weapons facilities.

Following reports of ghastly chemical attacks on civilians in the Ghouta region just east of Damascus early in the morning of Wednesday, August 21, preparations for military intervention have begun, urged on by predictable war hawks in Congress and the media.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), a French medical humanitarian organization, estimated that 3,600 patients were admitted to three hospitals in the area and that 355 of them had already died as of Wednesday evening. The symptoms, predictable effects of nerve agent poisoning, have included muscle spasms, foaming at the mouth, and suffocation leaving bodies that turned blue and emitted smells of a mixture of vinegar and rotten eggs.

The next day preliminary assessments by both American and European sources were that chemical attacks had been launched under the direction of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, as rebel forces, including the Free Syria Army (FSA) were closing in on Damascus.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that “these reports are uncorroborated ... but ... if they are verified, if would mark a shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria.” A senior U.S. State Department official concurred: “There is very little doubt at this point that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians.”

Almost exactly one year earlier, on August 20, 2012, President Obama warned in a news conference that Assad would be crossing a "red line" by resorting to chemical weapons:

We have been very clear to the Assad regime ... that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons ... being utilized.

That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.

So will the Obama administration soon conclude that Assad definitely crossed this red line and use this as a rationale for going to war in Syria?And will this intervention be launched by Obama without a congressional declaration of war, as required by the U.S. Constitution?

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