By Scott Tibbs, September 3, 2013
The following is an open letter to Barack Obama, with a carbon copy sent to Todd Young, Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats. I attended my first anti-war rally on September 2. (As a participant, anyway.) For all the talk of hypocrisy by Obama and John Kerry, it is good to see the activists are consistent. See pictures of the rally here and here.
From: Scott Tibbs [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2013 9:45 PM
Subject: No attack on Syria - no new wars
I am writing to express my strong opposition to using military force against Syria. This is an unwise and unnecessary action that should be avoided as it will only make the situation worse.
First of all, absent an imminent threat to our national security, you do not have the authority to act militarily against Syria without authorization from Congress. If you act without Congressional approval, you should immediately be impeached and removed from office for violating the Constitution and abusing your power as President. This is a very serious matter and you have a responsibility to treat the rule of law with the utmost respect.
Attacking Syria will likely result in retaliation, probably against our ally Israel. Are you willing to take responsibility for widening the conflict and making things worse? Will you take responsibility for any civilian casualties, both as a direct result of our attack and for the deaths that will occur when Bashir Assad retaliates even more aggressively against the rebels? I honestly wonder if you have even considered these options.
It is true that our credibility is on the line here - but that is because you drew a rash and foolish "red line" last summer. Saying that chemical weapons are a "red line" should have been preceded by an authorization to use force from Congress, because you lack the authority to back up your words. Our soldiers and their families should not be expected to sacrifice because you will look weak. The fact that you shot your mouth off without considering the consequences of your words is not a good enough reason for us to go to war.
We simply do not have a national security interest in Syria. Not yet, anyway. If Assad falls, we will certainly have a serious national security concern. What happens if al-Qaeda, one of the groups fighting Assad, gets their hands on his chemical weapons? They will not hesitate to use those weapons against us. The prospect of a cloud of mustard gas in Times Square should make us think very seriously about what we do here. It is both stupid and immoral to get involved without a plan to secure Assad's weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. President, I am not a pacifist. I believe that war can be necessary. But war is a terrible thing, and the use of military force should only be used to defend our national security, and then should always be the last resort.
There is no question that Bashir Assad is an evil man - Syria might as well have Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy as their president. But we should not be the world's police force. We should not be sticking our noses into conflicts that do not involve us and bombing our way to being even more hated. This war would be a mistake.
Sincerely, Scott Tibbs