A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives which would prohibit any kind of intervention in Syria, amid widespread calls for military intervention and additional reports of the Obama administration secretly aiding the Syrian rebel fighters.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has introduced the bill – HR 5993 The Syria Non-Intervention Act of 2012 – which is “modeled after the famous Boland Amendments of the early 1980s that were designed to limit the president’s assistance to the Contras in their attempt to overthrow the government of Nicaragua,” Paul said in a statement.
“The Administration is marching toward another war in the Middle East,” Paul warned, “this time against Syria. As with the president’s war against Libya, Congress has been frozen out of the process. The Constitution, which grants Congress and only Congress the authority to declare war, is once again being completely ignored.”
“The push for a US attack on Syria makes no sense, is not in our interest, and will likely make matters worse. Yet the Administration, after transferring equipment to the Syrian rebels and facilitating the shipment of weapons from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, has indicated that its plans for an actual invasion are complete,” he added.
The Obama administration has so far opposed direct military action in Syria on the grounds that “further militarization of the situation in Syria” would “lead to greater chaos, greater carnage,” as White House spokesman Jay Carney said last month.
But the latest reports indicate the administration and the CIA are funneling weapons “including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons” through allies in the Persian Gulf and neighboring Turkey. This, despite the opposition in Syria having ties to Sunni extremist groups and elements of al-Qaeda.
The Obama administration is, as Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and an expert on Syria, wrote in Foreign Policy this month “pursuing regime change by civil war in Syria,” completely independently of Congress. This reckless policy has been helping to prolong the conflict and intensify the humanitarian crisis there.
The bill states that, “No funds available to the Department of Defense or an element of the intelligence community may be obligated or expended for the purpose or which would have the effect of supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria by any nation, group, organization, movement, or individual.”