As U.S. President Barack Obama, civil rights leaders and celebrities joined tens of thousands who had gathered in Washington attending the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington festivities – a small gr0up of Codepink members carrying signs such as the one pictured stating Obama Thinks He’s King – But He’s No MLK protested the possible use of U.S. military force in Syria – and they aren’t alone in their disdain for U.S. involvement there. Nearly 100 members of Congress, including at least 16 democrats, have signed a letter insisting Obama consult with the lower chamber before initiating strikes and getting involved in the Syrian war conflict.
“We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria,” the letter said. “Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.”
The letter, written by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va, attempts to remind President Obama that has authority to act without congressional approval is limited to emergencies and said deploying military forces in Syria “when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”
On Wednesday U.S. House Speaker John Boehner called on Obama to “personally make the case to the American people and Congress for how potential military action will secure American national security interests, preserve America’s credibility, deter the future use of chemical weapons, and, critically, be a part of our broader policy and strategy.”
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called for “an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement,” since the Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. “The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States,” he said.
If Obama’s record on going to war on his signal is any indicator, as was the case in Libya, the letter will most likely find it’s way into the circular file of the Oval Office.