Despite the White House’s mistaken impression that Obama can arm jihadist Syrian rebels without permission from Congress, media reports indicate that the administration is lobbying lawmakers for a green light after key congressional committees rebuked the president’s deeply unpopular plan to send military aid to opposition forces in Syria. While members of Congress on both sides of the aisle fret about the potential for U.S. weapons to end up in the hands of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups currently fighting the Assad regime, the administration appears determined to go forward with its scheme.
Without any semblance of congressional approval, the Obama administration vowed last month to intensify its support and start overtly shipping military assistance to rebel forces — a coalition of mostly Sunni jihadists and designated terror groups backed by Western governments, Arab dictators, and the global establishment. U.S. officials claimed — implausibly, according to analysts and investigators — that the Syrian regime had deployed chemical weapons, which Obama had previously called a “red line.”
As The New American reported in late June, Republican and Democrat lawmakers are seeking to restrain Obama, citing the U.S. Constitution and national security concerns about arming dubious rebel groups with well-documented links to al-Qaeda. Bi-partisan legislation has already been introduced in Congress aimed at stopping the administration from arming Syrian rebels. So far, however, the president has largely ignored lawmakers anyway, especially when it comes to foreign policy and unconstitutional wars.
According to a July 8 Reuters report citing “five U.S. national security sources,” Congress might finally be putting its foot down. Both the Senate and House intelligence committees have apparently “expressed reservations behind closed doors,” the news agency reported, saying Obama’s controversial plot to deepen U.S. government involvement with weapons shipments to the opposition had been “delayed” by congressional reluctance. Now, top administration officials such as Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and CIA boss John Brennan are reportedly lobbying hard to sway lawmakers.
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Photo of President Barack Obama: AP Images