Following Tuesday’s Senate hearing and
Wednesday's House hearing on Syria, the political theater is beginning to sound
like some level of US involvement will most likely happen over the chemical
weapons attack. Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to authorize President
Obama to use limited force against Syria. Lots of arm-twisting will be taking
place in the next week. The pundits seem to think the Senate will vote with the
President, but that the Republican-controlled House will be a tougher
sell—despite the apparent support of Speaker John Boehner.
I am not writing to weigh in on whether or not we should have military action in Syria. I do energy. I have no military experience or expertise. What I do know is the economic impact of energy and politics. I can point out that with just talk of war, the price of oil has increased—even though Syria exports very little oil. (Of course, we know that the Administration wants higher gas prices.)
Since most people agree that there is no good option and disagree as to whether the cost of doing nothing is worse than the cost of doing something, let’s not debate that. Can we be pragmatic about this highly emotional issue? Ultimately, it’s political.
In his Washington Examiner column, “Why many Republicans won't support Obama on Syria attack,” Byron York points out: “lawmakers might re-write the president's draft authorization into something they can live with.” We know wrangling and politicking will occur. John McCain has flipped from opposition to support after two amendments were added. Other deals were probably made behind closed doors.
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