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Veto Obama's war

| Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

“Congress doesn't have a whole lot of core responsibilities,” said Barack Obama last week in an astonishing remark.

For in the Constitution, Congress appears as the first branch of government. And among its enumerated powers are the power to tax, coin money, create courts, provide for the common defense, raise and support an army, maintain a navy and declare war.

But, then, perhaps Obama's contempt is justified. For consider Congress' broad assent to news that Obama has decided to attack Syria, a nation that has not attacked us and against which Congress has never authorized a war.

Why is Obama making plans to launch cruise missiles on Syria? According to a “senior administration official ... who insisted on anonymity,” President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people last week in the 2-year-old Syrian civil war.

But where does our imperial president come off drawing “red lines” and ordering nations not to cross them? Who made Barack Obama the Wyatt Earp of the Global Village?

Moreover, where is the evidence that WMDs were used and that it had to be Assad who ordered them? Such an attack makes no sense.

Firing a few shells of gas at Syrian civilians was not going to advance Assad's cause but rather was certain to bring universal condemnation on his regime.

Why did the United States so swiftly dismiss Assad's offer to have U.N. inspectors — already in Damascus ­— go to the site of the latest incident?

Do we not want to know the truth? Are we afraid that it was rebel elements or rogue Syrian soldiers who fired the gas shells to stampede us into fighting this war?

With U.S. ships moving toward Syria's coast and the McCainiacs assuring us we can smash Syria from offshore without serious injury to ourselves, why has Congress not cut short its vacation and come back to Washington to debate and decide by recorded vote whether Obama can take us into yet another Middle East war?

The questions to which Congress needs answers: Do we have incontrovertible proof that Bashar Assad ordered chemical weapons be used on his own people? What kind of reprisals might we expect if we launch cruise missiles at Syria? If we attack and Syria or its allies attack U.S. military or diplomatic missions in the Middle East or here in the United States, are we prepared for the wider war we will have started? If stung and bleeding from retaliation, are we prepared to go all the way, boots on the ground, to bring down Assad?

The basic question that needs to be asked about this horrific attack on civilians, which appears to be gas related, is: Cui bono?

To whose benefit would the use of nerve gas on Syrian women and children redound? Certainly not Assad's.

The sole beneficiary of this apparent use of poison gas against civilians appears to be the rebels, who have long sought to have us come in and fight their war.

Perhaps Congress cannot defund ObamaCare. But at least it can come back to Washington and tell Obama, sinking poll numbers aside, he has no authority to drag us into another war. His Libyan adventure, which gave us the Benghazi massacre and cover-up, was his last hurrah as war president.

Pat Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”

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