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Just say "no" to war with Syria

Printed in the Herald-Times, September 11, 2013.

To the Editor:

When he was running for President in 2007, President Barack Obama said this: "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Now, President Obama claims to have the authority to attack Syria - a nation that has not attacked us - without Congressional authorization. The hypocrisy is stunning.

The civil war in Syria is a terrible humanitarian tragedy. No one denies that Bashir Assad is an evil tyrant who has unleashed immense suffering on his own people. In a perfect world, he would be executed for his crimes against humanity.

But we should not be the world's police force, and intervening in Syria could make things worse by widening the war. If Assad falls, what happens to his chemical weapons? What if al-Qaeda gets their hands on those weapons?

The reality is that we do not have a national security interest in Syria. I am not a pacifist, but I recognize that war is a terrible thing. We should only go to war to defend our national security, and then it should always be the last resort.

Scott Tibbs.