The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has spoken.
However many members of Congress were willing to oppose President Obama’s request for authorization to attack Syria, that number just got slashed by the institutional authority that few in Washington dare challenge: the Israel lobby.
AIPAC urges Congress to grant the President the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime’s further use of unconventional weapons. The civilized world cannot tolerate the use of these barbaric weapons, particularly against an innocent civilian population including hundreds of children.
Simply put, barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass.
This is a critical moment when America must also send a forceful message of resolve to Iran and Hezbollah — both of whom have provided direct and extensive military support to Assad. The Syrian regime and its Iranian ally have repeatedly demonstrated that they will not respect civilized norms. That is why America must act, and why we must prevent further proliferation of unconventional weapons in this region.
America’s allies and adversaries are closely watching the outcome of this momentous vote. This critical decision comes at a time when Iran is racing toward obtaining nuclear capability. Failure to approve this resolution would weaken our country’s credibility to prevent the use and proliferation of unconventional weapons and thereby greatly endanger our country’s security and interests and those of our regional allies. AIPAC maintains that it is imperative to adopt the resolution to authorize the use of force, and take a firm stand that the world’s most dangerous regimes cannot obtain and use the most dangerous weapons.
Update: And now, following AIPAC’s lead, the National Jewish Democratic Council has tossed in its own two cents:
In response to clear evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) urges Congress to authorize President Obama to use military force against the government of Syria. As Secretary of State John Kerry said, “this debate is about the world’s red line, it’s about humanity’s red line; and it’s a red line that anyone with a conscience ought to draw.”
NJDC Chairman Marc R. Stanley stated, “We need to be clear about what is at stake here. This is not about choosing sides in Syria’s civil war or starting a war with Syria. This is about deterring the Assad regime from using chemical weapons again. The US should send a message to the world that the use of these horrible weapons is unacceptable and that the consequences of using weapons of mass destruction will always outweigh any perceived benefit.”
The NJDC agrees with President Obama that even if not required by law, debate and approval by Congress will show the world that Americans are united in their commitment to affirm, with force if necessary, that the use of weapons of mass destruction is intolerable. This will send a clear signal to the world that the United States stands by its commitments. Failure to authorize force would encourage even worse abuse of weapons of mass destruction, destabilize the region, and endanger the security of all Americans.
The NJDC applauds Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Minority Leader Pelosi, and Minority Whip Hoyer for stepping forward to back the President’s plan. Furthermore, NJDC urges Americans on all sides of the political spectrum, Democrats and Republicans, liberals, libertarians and conservatives, to contact their elected representatives immediately, and let them know that calibrated military action against Syria is a moral and strategic necessity. The United States is the world’s lone superpower, and with that power comes responsibility.