Out of Syria

The New York Times and Pat Buchanan warn that the United States is being drawn into the Syrian civil war, now a regional conflict.  President Obama is allowing himself to be pressed by Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus, John McCain, and other hawks who wish the United States to impose a no-fly zone and a safe zone over Syria into annulling the sole positive “legacy” of his destructive seven-year administration—the retreat from military intervention and adventurism around the world—by ordering 50 members of Special Operations into that hopeless country.  “Mission creep,” Buchanan says, “has begun.  The tripwire is being put down.  Yet, who authorized Obama to take us into this war?  The Russians and Iranians are in Syria at the invitation of the government.  But Obama has no authorization from Congress to put our combat troops into Syria.”

Obama is approaching his constitutional limit to office.  At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Paul Ryan has just been elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, the body whose constitutional right and responsibility it is to declare war.  Ryan owes his new position to the guarded consent of the so-called Freedom Caucus among the House Republicans, which is watching his every move through narrowed eyes.  The Freedom Caucus, or Tea Party conservatives, are sworn to dissolve the bond between...

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