Yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry was working hard to convince senators to vote for using U.S. military force on Syrian targets to punish the country's government for using chemical weapons on its own people. Congress reconvenes next week from its summer vacation and is expected to vote on the measure. Kerry has been lobbying hard for President Barack Obama to bomb certain areas of Syria for a limited time and with a limited scope. Late last week Kerry made public comments to the effect that a strike was imminent, only to be neutered by President Obama the following day stating he would seek the approval of Congress instead of using what he viewed as his own discretion to do so.
A 'red line' was drawn by President Obama that should Syria use chemical weapons on its own people, then this would be a violation of international law and Obama promised military action. Obama fails to mention the United States itself used chemical weapons in 2003 during the Iraq invasion.
During yesterday's questioning, Kerry took the offensive when libertarian-leaning Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky began his questioning, even though Paul started off congratulating President Obama for seeking Congress's approval and abiding by the U.S. Constitution.
Many libertarians are concerned that even though the proposal before the U.S. Senate has a 60 day timetable with a 30 day extension, the use of military force will continue beyond. In addition, many do not feel the U.S. military should be involved as we are not under direct threat from Syria and should we intervene, the action would create more enemies than we have today. The proposal from President Obama does not include the removal of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Ray Netherwood, who is the Libertarian Party candidate running to be Florida's District 19 U.S. House Rep in 2014 said, "As your Congressman, I would stand up for the Constitution and also for our fighting men and women who should not be thrown into another Middle Eastern quagmire based on shoddy intelligence with no endgame in sight."
Adrian Wyllie, one of two Libertarians running in the 2014 race to be Florida's next governor stated on his campaign website, "Though the situation in Syria is horribly tragic, it is not our responsibility. Nor is it in our interest to intervene. Syria poses no threat to the United States. If we engage in Syria, we will find ourselves surrounded by enemies on all sides, and allying with groups like Al Qaeda. We will irrevocably harm our relationship with nations across the region and the world. There is no 'winnable' outcome in this scenario for us."
Last week, Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey J. Neale strongly opposed any U.S. military intervention in the civil war in Syria in the following statement, "There is no Constitutional justification for America to unilaterally use force in Syria. Syria is not threatening our country. We have no national interest in intervening there. There are no reasons for the U.S. to support either the Assad dictatorship or the opposition warlords."
Neale reaffirmed the party's longstanding foreign policy of nonintervention, quoting part of the National Defense plank of the party platform: "The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world."
He also quoted from the International Affairs plank, which says, "American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid."
Locally in Boca Raton, Florida, a "No War With Syria" rally is planned for this Saturday by libertarians and those interested in not using U.S. military action for Syria's civil war.