Letter: Congress must approve action in Syria

August 28, 2013 

According to a recent Reuters-Ipsos opinion poll, 60 percent of the American public opposes intervention in the civil war in Syria. 

In 1928, nations adopted the Geneva Protocol, which banned the use of chemical weapons. In 1969 the United Nations General Assembly verified the Geneva Protocol as international law. Syria is a member of the U.N. Since 1968, Syria has been a party to the Geneva Protocol.

No principle or treaty provides a basis for the United States to attack Syria to enforce the international ban on use of chemical weapons. The US should work with the U.N. to determine an appropriate international reaction to the events in Syria. The first step would be to find out what actually happened.

Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution states “Congress shall have power … to declare war.” Unilateral action by the U.S. to bomb Syria would be an act of war, which must be authorized by Congress. If the president continues to head foolishly towards unilateral military action, Congress should do their job and intervene. 

— Rob Shoaf



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