“If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common identity…the state then disintegrates – as happened in Lebanon – into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties."
~ Bernard Lewis, “Rethinking the Middle East,” Foreign Affairs, Fall 1992
The Iraq War is a “prelude to a redrawing the map of the Middle East [to] threaten Syria’s territorial integrity.”
~ “A Clean Break: a New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other US neo-conservatives to Prime Minister Netanyahu, 1996
Pressure is building on Congress to avoid a further US escalation in Syria by sending weapons to strengthen the anti-Assad rebel forces. The evolving US escalation is opposed because it would lead to a spiral of further escalation while there is neither an endgame nor an exit strategy in sight. The expedient nature of the US proposal was revealed in a recent statement by one of its leading advocates, former President Bill Clinton, who recently called President Barack Obama “lame,” said, “Sometimes it’s best to get caught trying, as long as you don’t overcommit.”
The opposing legislators are demanding a Congressional role, including a vote, in any approval for funds for escalation.
The US is locked in a fierce power rivalry and proxy war over Syria against Russia and Iran. Meanwhile, the administration’s open-ended request is meeting resistance on Capitol Hill from legislators worried about the usurpation of war-making power by the executive branch and the fear that the US will be drawn into another unwinnable, unaffordable, and, to most Americans, indefinable Middle East war. The more Islamophobic legislators worry that any weapons shipped by the US will fall into the hands of al-Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda-associated rebel group fighting the Syrian army.
Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Paul (R-KY) are pushing the opposition on the Senate, while Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) is carrying the effort in the House. The Obama administration claims a unilateral power to wage a war that Congress funds, and is obligated only to “consult” the legislative branch. Recent classified hearings have resulted in an impasse while the bloodshed deepens and a new war may be looming in Syria.
For more, please see also by Tom Hayden "Can Public Opinion Stop U.S. War in Syria?"