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February 14, 2016

Peter King Says Obama Is ‘Abdicating His Responsibility’ on Syria

Rep. Peter T. King accused President Barack Obama of “undermining the authority of future presidents” to engage in military action in a scathing statement issued following Obama’s Rose Garden speech Saturday.

Obama said he would seek an authorization for the use of military force against the Syrian regime in response to the widely-reported use of chemical weapons, but King, a New York Republican and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, blasted that move.

“President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents. The President does not need Congress to authorize a strike on Syria. If Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians deserves a military response, and I believe it does, and if the President is seeking congressional approval, then he should call Congress back into a special session at the earliest date,” King said in a statement. “The President doesn’t need 535 Members of Congress to enforce his own redline.”

While his rhetoric may be the most charged, King is not alone in calling for Congress to come back immediately. House Foreign Affairs ranking Democrat Eliot L. Engel of New York said something similar in his own statement.

“The President has laid out a strong and convincing case to the American people for action in Syria. However, I understand his desire to seek explicit authorization to do so from Congress,” Engel said. “I call on the Speaker to immediately recall the House back from its August recess and debate this critical issue as soon as possible.”

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, doesn’t seem inclined to make that move. House Republican leaders said in a joint statement: “In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th. This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”

  • Harry Underwood

    Oh please…Obama did the right and constitutional thing in seeking an AUMF. History won’t look too kindly if he didn’t.

    • Jose Jemenez

      as a lifelong conservative Republican I have to agree. I’m really kind of embarrassed by Congressman King, for two weeks we on the right have been saying Obama needed to go to Congress, we’ve been replaying his words stating exactly that from his campaign plus we have been broadcasting Bidens words threatening to support impeachment over the use of force.

      We can’t have it both ways, Peter King should know this if he doesn’t, maybe he needs to bone up on some constitutional classes or find a profession where his ignorance of the Constitution won’t endanger a nation.

      I’m thrilled beyond belief actually that finally King Obama looked at the polls, took a walk and decided this was one instance of usurping the Constitution too many. While I am concerned about the use of weapons of mass destruction anywhere in the world I’m really not convinced that the Syrian government would be foolish enough to bring hell upon themselves.

      What I mean by that is you need to look at who had the most to gain in the use of chemical weapons? The government had nothing to gain by risking world condemnation and possibly military action, from everything I’ve seen I haven’t been able to ascertain that they targeted or even killed any rebels, just civilians mostly women and children. On the other hand you have rebels backed by Al Qaeda and staunch Islamists and I have to think “would they hesitate to kill 1500 women and children and civilians to further their cause?” It really makes one take pause.

      Then I think about history, what life in this country would be like had an outside power intervened on one side of the other during our Civil War, how differently that might’ve turned out?

      So I for one believe that we need to sit back and let them kill each other and let Allah sort it out…

      • Harry Underwood

        The problem in looking at who had more to gain from using chemical weapons is that the Syrian government has consistently, from the beginning in the Arab Spring, brutally cracked down on dissent and protests through all-out acts of mass murder, just as Gaddafi did in Benghazi pre-Western involvement. I’m tempted to say that Assad only needed citizens to breathe too hard before the Shabiha came to cart people off.

        Plus, Assad’s father, Hafez Al-Assad, set somewhat of a template in the Hama massacre, which has been described as the single deadliest attack by a Middle Eastern government on its own people.

        If anything, long-running personality cults like that of the Assad family, Gaddafi, Saddam and other Arab nationalists allow them to go all out in outright concentrated campaigns of near-genocide against their own citizens. Saddam’s Al-Anfal campaign is another example of a nationalist personality cult attempting to obliterate a local population by the thousands through conventional or chemical weapons.

        That’s why I find it easy to think that Assad’s brother simply cut loose and used chemical weapons in an act to dramatically weaken the resolve of rebels. It fits a perceivable profile.

      • xian

        oh, and you were so close to noticing the constant hypocritical shifting of positions to oppose Obama from any angle before you veered off into classic unsourced constitution-sniffing

        • Jose Jemenez

          So let me ask you oh great constitutional scholar, if any country on the face of the earth parked warships off any of our coasts and said “we crossed some imaginary line in their minds and needed to be taught a lesson” and started lobbing cruise missiles onto American soil, would YOU consider that a use of force or an act of war?

          I can assure you every American would consider it an act of war, so its rather disingenuous to sit back and say “we’re just popping off a few cruise missiles to teach them a lesson” because when you use what some people like to call “use of force” it is clearly an act of war.

          I know I’m confident in my assessment that those who call it anything other than what it really is have never been in combat, because you don’t start something that you’re not prepared to finish, and you really shouldn’t start anything unless it is in the interest of national security or otherwise of the United States. Because Obama is now calling it “a limited narrow attack” but since Syria has not attacked us or declared war against us, any attack on Syria limited or otherwise is an unprovoked act of war.

          As such according to the Constitution the president can’t do that unilaterally, sourced or unsourced even you should be able to find that in the Constitution.

          • xian

            you seemed *so* close to waking up

      • xian

        cui bono is a weak argument when there’s strong evidence that a local syrian commander accidentally mixed too much sarin gas into his payload (frantic inquiries from HQ were intercepted). he gave away the game.

  • brasscrest

    Obama is absolutely doing the right thing by waiting for Congress to authorize military action. I believe that, although he can’t say so publicly, he is hoping that it is voted down. He made a huge blunder with the “red line”, and now he is hoping that Congress will let him off the hook much as the British Parliament did for Cameron. The fact is that there is no side in the Syrian situation that the US should support. The choice is between a heinous dictator and an al-Qaeda controlled opposition. Either way, the common people are pretty much doomed. A US military strike will simply add more suffering into Syria, without doing anything at all to end the crisis, deter the use of chemical weapons, or advancing US national interests.

  • LeseMajeste

    King is just another Zionist war monger who serves Israel, not the USA and is a traitor to the Constitution.

  • John Brinkerhoff

    Peter King is a A Hole ! If Obama had went forward with bombing Syria then he would have said we should have waited for a vote from congress! He’s a joke !

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