Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) had harsh words this week for the White House with regards to the Obama administration’s consistent inching towards a war in Syria.
Lawmakers in the United States continue to debate what role the US should take in the increasingly bloody Syrian civil war, but Sen. Paul said during a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention on Monday that President Barack Obama is asking for the American military to open up a front without waiting for congressional approval.
“Even if you believe we should arm Islamic fighters in Syria, shouldn't, at the very least, Congress vote on the matter?” Paul asked of the crowd. “The Constitution is very clear. Congress is to declare war, not the President.”
“Nevertheless, President Obama is moving ahead with plans to
get involved in the Syrian civil war, without the authorization
of Congress,” he said.
According to Sen. Paul, the White House is aware that taking military action in Syria may not be able to do much to settle a civil war that has so far claimed more than 92,000 lives, by the United Nation’s estimation. Regardless, the libertarian-leaning lawmaker said intervention is still an option, albeit one he isn’t in favor of.
“Last week I was told by the administration, you know what their goal is in Syria? To fight to a stalemate,” Paul said on Monday. “I’ve told them I’m not sending my kids or your kids or any American soldiers to fight for stalemate. When we fight, we fight to win, we fight for American principles, we fight for the American flag and we come home after we win.”
“For our country’s sake, certainly for our soldiers’ sake — for the sake of every veteran who ever donned a uniform and fought for this country — America’s mission should always be to keep the peace, not police the world,” Paul said.
As blood continues to spill across Syria, the US has reportedly weighed a number of options with regards to how it could aid opposition fighters rebelling against the regime controlled by President Bashar al-Assad.
Pres. Obama previously said that any use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would prompt the US to take action, but the White House has been reluctant to make a move even weeks after announcing that they linked the Syrian leader to using chemical warfare.
Ron Paul, the former Republican congressman for Texas and the father of Sen. Paul, said last month that talks of chemical weapon use prompting the US to intervene is “identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq War.”
The White House has reportedly weighed the possibility of enacting a no-fly zone over Syria, and on Monday the House and Senate intelligence committees finally approved a measure that will allow the Central Intelligence Agency to ship weapons to be used by rebel fighters.
Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said in a statement Monday that lawmakers decided to approve the CIA plan “after much discussion and review,” despite “very strong concerns about the strength of the administration’s plans in Syria and its chances for success.”