Unjust War in Syria: Worst of Many Evils

Friday, 06 Sep 2013 07:28 PM

By Joseph E. Schmitz

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If the U.S. military strikes anything in Syria in response to the recent gas attack on Syrian civilians, it should take out targets associated with the one Syrian individual who has — through his public pledge of allegiance to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri — declared war on the United States: Nusra Front leader Muhammad al-Jawlani.

Any other U.S. military strike in Syria risks being at best an “unjust war.”

One of the essential elements of any “just war” is probability of success — the achievement of the war's purpose must have a reasonable chance of success.

Another essential element is just cause — The war must confront an unquestioned danger.

Yet another is proper authority — the legitimate authority must declare the war and must be acting on behalf of the people.

Thus far, President Obama has failed to convince the American people that he has a plan as Commander in Chief that includes either a “just cause” or a “probability of success.”

Moreover, under our Constitution, the president is not the legitimate authority for declaring war; that power is delegated exclusively to Congress in Article I, Section 8.

On May 16, 2013, the U.S. State Department “designated al-Nusra Front leader Muhammad al-Jawlani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224,” explaining that “Al-Jawlani is considered the leader of al-Nusrah. He has stated in videos that his ultimate goal is the overthrow of the Syrian regime and the institution of Islamist shari’a law throughout the country. Al-Jawlani was specifically tasked by al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) to carry out these objectives. Under al-Jawlani’s leadership, al-Nusra Front has carried out multiple suicide attacks throughout Syria.”

This designation by the State Department and explanation of al-Jawlani’s connection to al-Qaida, a self-declared enemy of the United States, would at least support an arguable “just cause” for U.S. military action against al-Nusra with a “probability of success” — assuming, of course, that any act of war is approved by the only constitutionally “proper authority,” i.e., the Congress.

A narrowly focused strategy to take out the Nusra Front leader in response to the recent gas attack on Syrian civilians might “confront an unquestionable danger” and would presumably have a “reasonable chance of success.”

So why is President Obama talking so much about taking out Assad regime targets in Syria, and not taking out al-Jawlani, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and by affiliation with al-Qaida a self-declared enemy of the United States — unlike Syrian President Bashar Assad as bad as he may be

The president has been authorizing the dropping of high explosives via drones with extreme prejudice on al-Qaida chapters in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia for the entirety of his tenure.

Those al-Qaida chapters’ strategic objectives are all identical to the Nusra Front's: Remove the immediate secular dictator, and replace the government with a shariah compliant regime in support of the broader Islamo-facist dream of expanding the Dar al-Islam and restoring the Caliphate.

If the United States engages in military action against any targets in Syria, it should be against al-Jawlani and his al-Qaida affiliated terrorists — who otherwise might benefit most by the United States military taking out Assad regime targets.

As an alternate strategy, the United States might just refrain from engaging in any new acts of war while our enemies are killing each other, and instead focus on humanitarian relief of those tragically caught in the crosshairs.

As Napoleon once said, “Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.”

Joseph E. Schmitz served as inspector general of the Dept. of Defense from 2002-2005 and is CEO of Joseph E. Schmitz, PLLC. Read more reports from Joseph E. Schmitz — Click Here Now.

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