As the beat of the war drums reaches its crescendo, one former lawmaker warns that any attack on Syrian government forces will make the United States the ally of al-Qaeda.
In an interview with The Hill, former congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said that should President Obama green-light an air strike in Syria, the U.S. military would “become Al Qaeda's air force.”
“This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally. And to try to minimize it by saying we're just going to have a 'targeted strike' — that's an act of war. It's not anything to be trifled with,” Kucinich said, as quoted in The Hill.
President Obama said Friday that if he approved a U.S. military strike on Syria, it would be “narrow” and “limited.”
Kucinich’s comments are similar to those made on Capitol Hill by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) earlier this year.
“This is an important moment. You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda,” Paul said during a hearing in May of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Paul’s comments were directed at his colleagues, nearly all of whom voted to send arms to Syrian rebels.
Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) co-sponsored the bill that authorizes “critical support to the Syrian opposition through provision of military assistance, training, and additional humanitarian support.”
The bill sailed through the committee, passing with bipartisan support by a vote of 15-3.
Senator Paul offered two amendments to the bill — officially styled the Syria Transition Support Act — one that would have forbidden the transfer of weapons to the rebel forces fighting to oust the government of current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and another that would have prevented the use of U.S. military armed forces in Syria.
Both of Paul’s amendments were rejected by the committee.
Kucinich also insisted that any military action taken by the president without the consent of Congress would violate the Constitution and the power to wage war granted exclusively to the legislative branch in Article I.
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Photo: U.S. Air Force