These days, words are usually sent via e-mail, text, or Twitter. It’s all digital. So it’s nice to see Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul rely on the traditional piece of paper for his ‘Dear Colleague’ letter that was given out to Congressmen on Monday.
Posted to Scribd.com for all to see, Paul wrote the 1 ½ page piece to urge his fellow elected official in Congress to vote ‘No’ on U.S. military action in Syria. Paul writes:
“There is no greater questions that is ever brought before Congress than the issue of whether to go to war…In 1995, Colin Powell wrote, ‘War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose our people understand and support.’
I do not believe Syria passes that test.”
He goes on to write that the debate about whether go to war often starts and stops with a claim of “national security.” Simply claiming “national security” simply isn’t good enough. As Paul says, “The burden of proof lies with those who wish to engage in war.”
Paul also makes quite the ideologically-consistent argument that the proposal – a 60 day strike, with no actual soldiers on the ground, with the possibility of extending action another 30 days – goes simultaneously too far and not far enough. The rules of American government were written in the Constitution, and whether the result of this vote is A) President Obama ordering a military strike without Congress’ approval, or B) Congress giving the president the power to go to war, but limiting his ability to execute it, it doesn’t fit the rules that were set up.
“The resolution does too much by involving us in a civil war in which there is no clearly defined American national security interest…The resolution does too little by narrowly circumscribing the President’s power to execute war. I disagree strongly with unlimited executive power to initiate war. But I have some sympathy for the argument that once war commences, the executive should not be hamstrung by a narrowed ability to execute that war.”
The letter itself is addressed, “Dear Colleague.” Hopefully, those colleagues take the time to read Paul’s argument, written plainly and clearly on a simple piece of paper.
You an see the letter in full below:
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