- - Monday, September 2, 2013

Why are Americans supposed to blithely follow our “moral” leader, Barack Obama, as he take sides in yet another Middle East sectarian civil war? And what will Congress do to stop his unilateral military attacks on a nation that has not threatened us?

The president wants Americans to think that Syrian President Bashar Assad invited U.N. chemical weapons inspectors into Syria, then immediately launched a deadly poison gas attack against women and children close to where inspectors were staying — not against militant jihadists or paid mercenaries trying to topple his government. I also doubt that Syrian military officials would talk freely on open phone lines “monitored” by James R. Clapper’s National Security Agency.

Mr. Obama wants the American people and the U.S. military to take sides in Syria’s religious civil war to assist the same amoral groups and individuals who were responsible for killing more than 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, and thousands of our servicemen and women elsewhere.

Mr. Obama’s words lack credibility, and his threatened naval and air strikes against Syria lack strategic purpose and prudence.

Foreign Policy magazine recently noted that “in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical-weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve-agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people. Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services.” Syrian officials would not have asked what was going on if they had known about or ordered the poison-gas attack. Further, the magazine has also noted that “U.S. spy services still have not acquired the evidence traditionally considered to be the gold standard in chemical-weapons cases: soil, blood and other environmental samples that test positive for reactions with nerve agents.” Is this the kind of secondhand, unsubstantiated “evidence” that Mr. Obama thinks gives him the moral and legal authority to initiate war?

BOB MARSHALL

State delegate

Prince William County Republican

Manassas, Va.