The draft resolution (pdf) which the White House has submitted to Congress for the authorization of the use of military force in Syria contains some interesting things.
Paragraph 1 reads, “Whereas, on August 21, 2013, the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, killing more than 1,000 innocent Syrians;”
France and the United States are the only ones who are certain of that, and no other country, including France, claims more than about 350 people were killed. John Kerry says specifically that 1,429 were killed but cites no authority for that number.
To quote a Republican Senator from Wisconsin, “I have in my hand a list of 329 members of Congress who are card carrying members of the Communist party.” He made the statement often, and the number changed each time.
Paragraph 4 says that, “Congress found that Syria's acquisition of weapons of mass destruction threatens the security of the Middle East and the national security interests of the United States;”
It doesn’t spell out the nature of that threat. Perhaps model airplanes flying over the United States like miniature crop dusters. Sorry, that was Bush and the chemical weapons in Iraq. The resolution also doesn’t say why, if the threat has existed since 2003, when Congress made this finding, it has not been necessary to do anything about it for ten years but now suddenly is. Unless the suspicion that Asad can throw these weapons 85 miles means that he can and will throw them 8000 miles.
The real oddity is in Paragraph 7, which says, “the conflict in Syria will only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement, and Congress calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to participate urgently and constructively in the Geneva process;”
Followed by, “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate…”
This is not typical Congressional committee idiocy, this is a draft written by the executive for Congress to pass, and is a real masterpiece of non sequitur. “This can only be solved by negotiation, so let’s go bomb the shit out of it.” On what planet does that make any sense?