If, as Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have been proposing for months, U.S. missiles "crater" Syrian airfields, shoot down Syrian planes, and establish a "safe zone" for rebel forces, we will be at war with Syria in all but name. Yet according to McCain et al, the president could do all that without a declaration of war from Congress.
In the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and other GOP stalwarts appear ready to join Senate counterparts McCain, Graham, and others in bowing to Obama's global mission of defending peace through what some have called "humanitarian bombing." Even Democrats, who have been known to turn rather completely against wars they had previously authorized, may be walking into a trap by voting to authorize the military action, because Obama can force them to share in the blame if it turns into a debacle.
Despite statements by President Obama and others urging military action against Syria that such action will not involve U.S. "boots on the ground," Secretary of State John Kerry said the boots and bodies of those ground troops are on "the table" and among the options for possible use by the president in the effort to punish and deter Syria's alleged use of chemical warfare against rebel forces attempting to topple the Damascus regime.
"I don't want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the President of the United States to secure our country," Kerry said, indicating that a ground invasion to secure Syria's chemical weapons may become reality.
Indeed, securing those weapons would require a ground invasion, and without securing them, vague proposals for a military strike or strikes against Syria make little-to-no sense. Only if such strikes were to lead to a ground war would they succeed in the ultimate goal of "securing" the weapons from either side in the two-and-a-half-year civil war in the Arab nation that has killed an estimated 100,000 people or more.
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Photos from left to right: Sen. John McCain, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Lindsey Graham