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A Two-Fold Task

3:05 PM, Aug 31, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The president has decided to ask Congress to authorize the use of force against the Assad regime. As we editorialized this week, "It may be that the president believes he ought to get congressional approval before acting against Assad. There is merit to this view. The solution is to ask Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Harry Reid to call the House and Senate back to Washington as soon as possible. A full debate in Congress would be appropriate and desirable. It would focus the American people on what is at stake, instead of leaving the public a bystander watching media commentary on the administration’s rhetorical zigs and political zags. We suspect at the end of the day Congress would pass legislation authorizing the use of military force against the Assad regime."

US Capitol Building at night Jan 2006

Now those of us who believe that the U.S. must act, and must act decisively, in Syria and beyond, have a two-fold task.  We need to persuade the Congress and the country to pass a resolution authorizing the use of force; and we need to persuade the administration (against its predilections) to take strong and decisive action. Both may be difficult. But, as Churchill once remarked, "difficulties mastered are opportunities won."

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