1) Question: Is it justifiable for America to go to war in Syria to get President Obama out of the box he created for himself by talking about a “red line” in the Syrian civil war, a conflict in which no genuine U.S. national interests are at risk?
Answer: No. Obama’s inexperience in foreign affairs and his seeming personal arrogance got him -- and America -- into this mess, and so little a man is he that he now refuses to accept responsibility for foolishly drawing the red line, instead blaming it on “the world.” Let him swing.
2) Question: Will America’s credibility as a great military power be denigrated if it does not attack Syria?
Answer: No. We have already lost most of that credibility because Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, and their generals waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq they did not intend to win. The wanton waste of American military lives and money by these men, and their willingness to admit defeat to men armed with weapons from the Korean war, have largely destroyed America’s military credibility among allies and foes alike. Compared to failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, a failure to attack Syria is small potatoes.
3) Question: Is it unacceptable for one side in a civil war -- as in Syria -- to use every weapon it needs to try to ensure its survival against an enemy who started the civil war and whose military power is supplied by the Islamist fighters who are at war with America and the West? In other words, must the legitimate government of Syria -- which we and all the world recognized before the Syrian opposition started the civil war -- commit suicide rather than defend itself and prevent the slaughter of Syria’s million-strong Alawite community?
Answer: No. The right to self-defense is the first law of nature and the Asaad government has as much right to exercise it as does -- as Washington always and correctly insists to be the case -- the Israeli government.
4) Question: Is it acceptable for the great majority of Americans -- who polls show are opposed to a Syrian war -- to be ignored by both houses of Congress because they cannot offer the same slate of enticements that are available to their elected representatives from pro-Israel U.S. citizens and organizations, as well as from the Saudi and other Gulf regimes and their subordinates in the lobbies of the U.S. oil and arms-making industries?
Answer: No. Unless, of course, our country exists only to supply money and cannon fodder for attaining the foreign policy goals of Israel, the Saudis, and other Gulf tyrants while they stand safely on the sidelines.
5) Question: Do American parents whose soldier-children were killed or maimed in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve to have their and their children’s sacrifice made a mockery of by having U.S. military forces ally themselves with and try to deliver victory to the same mujahedin who killed and maimed their offspring? Do the families of those killed and maimed on 9/11 merit the same treatment?
6) Question: Is it acceptable for Congress to fail to demand that the Executive Branch publicly explain to the American people the domestic threat that is posed by the substantial terrorist capability that Iran and Lebanese Hizballah have built inside the United States, a capability resulting from open borders and bipartisan political correctness, and one that could be activated if U.S. forces attack Syria?
Answer: No. If honest, such a briefing from the Executive Branch would make every American aware that border-control is a key national-defense requirement, as well as demonstrate to them how negligent both parties have been for decades in regard to their responsibility to protect the country by controlling its borders.
7) Question: Does it make sense for Obama to undertake military action against Syria -- which poses no threat to the United States -- when he refused to use the U.S. military to try to save the lives of the Americans in Benghazi whom he and his lieutenants were watching on live video being attacked and finally killed?
8) Question: Would a decent man, respectful of the electorate’s wishes, distribute videos of the gas attacks in Syria in attempt to shame Americans into supporting his unnecessary war?
Answer: No. But Obama consistently has shown that he, his party, and their media accomplices will exploit the deaths of others -- take the shootings in Colorado and Connecticut -- to try to achieve their ideological goals, such as negating the 2nd Amendment.
9) Question: Should the Congress and media continue to allow Obama to use his politically well-calculated ardor for an unnecessary war to distract Americans from his administration’s scandals, such as IRS attacks on Conservative groups and his administration’s expansion of NSA programs that have all but shredded the 4th Amendment?
10) Question: Given polling data that shows an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose an offensive war against the Syria regime, will the interventionists in both political parties begin to see that Americans are sick to death of both the unnecessary wars they start -- such as Libya and Iraq -- and the necessary wars they undertake but do not intend to win, such as Afghanistan? Will they begin to see what their constituents clearly see, that all unnecessary wars inevitably undermine the nation’s liberties, its economic prosperity, and its social and political cohesion?
Answer: No. As Secretary of State Kerry said this weekend, the bipartisan interventionists who want an offensive war against Syria are “humane and decent” people who -- by implication -- are much smarter and more moral persons than the people who elect and pay them, and whose children will die in their wars.
Scheuer is a Member of RPI's Academic Advisory Board.