I wrote the following in response to a comment on Facebook by reader DavidF. I decided to turn it into a post because it clarifies what I think the Congress needs to demand before they make a decision.
Obama is just following the Bush model. Bush went to Congress and got authorization for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If only the Congress had taken their responsibility more seriously back then, we probably wouldn’t be facing half the situations we are facing now.
Yesterday, I think Kerry made a plausible case for why we need to take action if it turns out that Assad is responsible for the attacks. However, he keeps assuming that Assad did it, even while he says it would be irrational for Assad to have done it. He states without explanation that it is irrational to assume the rebels did it.
I think it is irrational to think that anybody but the rebels did it. Perhaps he does have some evidence to prove his case, but if so, it is so classified that the public will never hear it. I hope the Senators press him on this issue in the classified hearings, and accept nothing short of definitive proof.
Also Kerry’s reasons for not waiting for the UN report are not good enough. If he is so sure that the results will not tell us anything we don’t already know, then he should have no worry about waiting. The problem for me is that the videos of the victims cast severe doubt on some of Kerry’s assumptions. That is why I need to hear the UN report before I would be comfortable making a decision. The Congress ought to tell this to Kerry in no uncertain terms. “No decision until the UN reports.” If Obama insists on a decision right now, then “No” is the answer.