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Syria War Vote: Congress May Block Military Action

The Syria war vote in Congress could go against any authorization for a US military intervention in that country’s civil war. Either way, the vote by federal lawmakers on the use of force in Syria is apparently going to be close.

President Obama reversed course yesterday and decided to seek congressional approval for a missile strike on Syria after all. The president also insisted that he believes he has the authority to carry out the strike without approval but that America will be “stronger” if he does ask.

Congress will return from its summer recess next Monday and intends to begin debating the Syria war issue at that time. CNN reports that if the vote in Congress to launch airstrikes against Syria occurred today, it wouldn’t pass.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Opposition to Mr. Obama’s call to strike Syria has come from a set of Republicans, many in the libertarian mold, and liberal Democrats who already had formed an alliance out of wariness of the president’s drone and national-security surveillance programs, among other uses of executive power… Opposition to the 2002 resolution to use force against Iraq was limited almost exclusively to Democrats. Now small-government Republicans are part of the coalition of critics urging caution in Syria.”

On Thursday, the UK House of Commons voted down Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempt to obtain authorization for a military action against the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.

The potential US military strike in Syria would be a response to an incident on August 21 where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces allegedly used chemical weapons to kill about 1,400 people. Of those, almost 450 were children.

Apart from the opposition to getting entangled in yet another Middle East war, much of the resistance to military action in Syria in Congress and among the general public is that intervening against the Assad regime puts the US in a position of helping the Al Qaeda-linked rebels.

Tony Abbott, the lawmaker who is the favorite to be elected Australia’s prime minister in the upcoming election, deemed the Syrian conflict as “a civil war between two equally unsavory sides.”

As far as the upcoming vote is concerned, CNN adds that “Historically, both parties tend to treat votes like these as a matter of conscience, and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has no plans to twist members’ arms on a vote… Democratic supporters are hoping Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi decides to whip Democratic members to push for a yes vote.”

Do you think that Congress will ultimately approve an airstrike on Syria? Do you think that the Syrian conflict and the use of chemical weapons poses an imminent threat to US national security?

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