By Columnist Jim Kouri
On Tuesday, just hours after Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Syrian regime about war crimes, including the alleged use of chemical weapons, during that nation’s violent and devastating civil war, representatives of the United States and the European Union met in Jordan and held what is in effect a “war council” to plan military intervention.
But a U.S. legal scholar said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel must not order U.S. troops to fight in Syria using the same rules of engagement currently promulgated and implemented in Afghanistan.
If and when the United States undertakes another military campaign in the Middle East, members of the House of Representatives must first debate and then issue a lawful “Declaration of War,” according to legal scholar, public-interest attorney and chairman of Freedom Watch, Larry Klayman.
“Congress must first debate and wage a ‘Declaration of War’ and it should be fought on different terms than we have been fighting the war in Afghanistan under the Obama administration in particular,” stated Freedom Watch chairman Larry Klayman, the founder also of Judicial Watch.
“In Afghanistan, the policy of the Obama administration has been to win the so-called ‘hearts and minds’ of the Muslim, jihadist enemies,” says Klayman.
Klaymen points to a letter written by General David H. Petraeus, the former commander in Afghanistan before becoming the director of the CIA, in which the goals of the Obama administration were preached in no uncertain terms:
“ . . . through our compassion for the Afghan people . . . we must secure and serve the people of Afghanistan . . . Be a good guest. Treat the Afghan people and their property with respect . . . Think about how we drive, how we patrol, how we relate to people, and how we help the community. View our actions through the eyes of the Afghans, and together with our partners, consult with elders before pursuing new initiatives and operations . . . Earn the people’s trust, talk to them, ask them questions, and learn about their lives . . . Stop by, don’t drive by. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population . . . work closely with our international and Afghan partners, civilian as well as military. Treat them as brothers-in-arms . . .”
“We have suffered an inordinate amount of casualties because of the Obama administration’s desire to befriend the Afghans, [many] of whom are loyal to the Taliban, not our nation, as evidenced by the increase of ‘green on blue’ attacks and fatalities, said the career attorney who specializes in exposing government corruption.
“Green on blue” attacks refer to those numerous incidents in which Afghan soldiers and police officers kill their American trainers and advisors instead of killing the members of the Taliban or other radical Muslims.
“It is called ‘Afghanization’ and it is killing and maiming our men and women daily, especially since the Afghans we ask our servicemen and women to trust with their lives have betrayed them on a continual basis. It is the Taliban’s self-proclaimed goal to infiltrate the Afghan military we are purportedly partnered with as well as the civilians we are supposed to ‘treat as brothers-in-arms,’” added Klayman.
Klayman has alleged that, on Aug. 6, 2011, 30 U.S. Navy SEAL Team VI and other special forces servicemen on a mission named Extortion 17 were shot out of the sky by the Taliban after they were denied pre-assault fire in an effort to protect the enemy at the expense of our servicemen.
In Tuesday’s letter, Klayman wrote:
“Our military has been ordered by the Commander-in-Chief and his military commanders to be so overly concerned about civilian Muslim casualties, that our brave men and women are being killed and maimed in record per capita numbers because they cannot take offensive action unless fired upon first. This is currently the subject of a Congressional inquiry by the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee.
“Not only should Congress exercise its authority to debate and declare war in Syria, but if we do go to war, the rules of engagement need to be changed before more of our brave servicemen and women are killed because our leaders are putting their lives second to the Muslim civilian population and it’s jihadist allies.”