President Barack Obama said, in a speech delivered in the White House Rose Garden, that he is asking Congress to vote to authorize him to use military force in Syria—while insisting he does not need congressional authorization to order the U.S. military to commit acts of war in that Middle Eastern country.

“I have long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” Obama said at one point in the speech. “That’s why I have made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”

A moment later, Obama insisted that he did not need the authorization of Congress to unilaterally order the military to use force in Syria.

Obama did not explain from what source he believed he derived the authority to order U.S.military action against Syria if not from a resolution constitutionally approved by the U.S. Congress. He simply asserted that he believed he had that unilateral power.

He did note that the United Nations had not approved such action, and that the British Parliament had specifically voted against the use of British force in Syria despite the fact that British Prime Minister David Cameron had advocated for it.

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