Senate votes 78-22 to fund President Obama request to arm, train Syrian rebels. Recall that Senate vote authorizing Bush on Iraq was 77-23.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) September 19, 2014
Following the House, the Senate voted yesterday to approve President Obama’s plan to arm and train the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. They vote was 78-22 with 9 Democrats, 12 Republicans, and independent Senator Bernie Sanders voting no. Congress has now authorized another military adventure in the Middle East, what could go wrong?
In both the House and the Senate a considerable amount of Democrats opposed the legislation but not enough to make a difference. Many high profile Democratic Senators such as Elizabeth Warren and Kristen Gillibrand voted no further revealing a divided party. Republicans in the House and Senate made these divisions irrelevant to the legislative outcome, but how much of a mandate does Obama have if his own party is divided?
Many rank-and-file Democrats who did support Obama said they expect a broad debate in November and December, after the midterm elections, so that legislation can be approved to place broad constraints on the U.S. military’s ability to carry out the operation and set a specific deadline for the mission’s end.
After the votes, Obama thanked Congress “for the speed and seriousness with which they approached this issue” and noted that “a majority of Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate” had voted to train and equip the rebels.
Yes, debate real issues after the election. Elections are for focus grouped slogans and gotcha oppo dumps not debating war and peace. Apparently the lame duck period is the best time for accountability.
But President Obama’s statement is correct, he was able to garner majority support from both parties for a plan that even Obama has publicly admitted has “always been a fantasy.” While the federal government can’t agree on healthcare, inequality, immigration or numerous other important issues, it is nice to see that can still get together and find consensus on their imperial fantasies, isn’t it?