WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued remarks yesterday and said that it is likely the U.S. could intervene in the Syrian civil war, calling it a “moral obscenity” after introducing the use of chemical weapons.
Reuters reports that Kerry’s remarks came after he arrived at his press conference late, which has become a trademark of the Obama administration. But what is overlooked is whether the Obama administration has the constitutional power to declare and intervene in a foreign civil war, which it technically does not under the War Powers Act passed during the Vietnam War.
This comes when the United Nations has a chemical weapons inspection team in Syria to investigate rebel and government claims of chemical weapons use in warfare. Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President, denied that he used chemical weapons on rebels. This same U.N. team was shot at by snipers as they went to a site yesterday for inspections.
Among his remarks, Kerry said the following:
“President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people … What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world.
“The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable.
“And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.”
U.S. allies such as the United Kingdom are planning intervention efforts in Syria, which creates a conundrum. The rebels have Islamist elements and are linked to al-Qaeda, which is notoriously anti-American and has fought American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the West has turned its back on former friend Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Russia, China and Iran.