Two things happened to the USG which prevented Obama from acting like it was "just another day of the Empire acting like an empire." First, the British Prime Minister David Cameron was rejected by the British Parliament, when he proposed military action against Syria. Secondly, Americans are deeply against an attack on Syria.
Obama might have been willing to pull off an attack with just one of these two impediments surfacing, but with both of them in the news headlines, the USG would look too much like the bully it is. Thus, the Congressional vote, to add a bit of diluted democratic approval nonsense to any attack.
But there is an important lesson here for libertarians. When the public is deeply against something, it makes it very difficult for the government to act against such public leanings. And thus we see the value of getting the general public to hold libertarian-type positions, even on an ad hoc basis.
Indeed, it is instructive to understand how the people likely adopted their negative view about a U.S. attack on Syria. MSM tends to offer up the explanation of "war weariness," but it is much deeper than this. After, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bengazi, the U.S. people see the USG and its military as bunglers with likely hidden agendas. And, this is all true. It still remains unclear why some of these military efforts, and the mysterious operations at Benghazi, were really launched (Or the real reason the USG desires to launch an attack against Syria.)
As for the military bungling, well the military is a bureaucracy with all the inherent inefficiencies of a bureaucracy. MSM acts as a pretty good propaganda machine for the military that promotes the idea of a spit and polish operation, more powerful than any other on earth, but when it comes to real world confrontations, as we see, the US military has problems against even a rag tag bunch of mountain men. And in Iraq, I doubt any Americans are wandering outside the green zone and it remains unclear why support wasn't immediately provided to Ambassador Chris Stevens and his entourage when they came under attack in Benghazi.
Americans get the US war picture: bungling and hidden agendas. But this is what all government is about and the more that this is thrown into the face of the people so they see it, the better. The more they see it, the more they are likely to oppose government expansion. The message, however, must always be that tinkering can't solve the problem, only the ending of a program is the correct solution. The message should not be tinkering with Social Security to "save" it, but that SS should be ended. The message should not be the introduction of a flat tax (or sales tax) to replace the current tax system, but to cut taxes to zero. Cut, cut, cut, and end, end, end should always be the direction advanced by libertarians, never tinkering.
As for the debate and vote in Congress on Syria, for the libertarian, the high mark likely in this episode was the fact that Obama feared the people and thus has had to seek out cover via a Congressional vote. But, for the libertarian this high mark is very high. It shows just how vulnerable the Empire is to the will of the people. When they understand the true nature of government, they can put halt and hesitancy into much of it.
The actual Congressional debate is likely to be, for the libertarian, a sideshow, with the debate being shifted to whether chemical weapons were used and if so, who used them. It will move away from hidden agendas, bungling and the problems with the US attempting to be the world's policeman. The public sense, in this case, of the bungling, hidden agendas and downright evil are not deep enough to hold up against a major government pr campaign.
The best statements in Congress during the debate will probably be made by Alan Grayson and perhaps Justin Amash. However, though Amash may be an ally of libertarians during the debate, he is likely to take an "I back my military and President in time of war" stance, if Congress approves a Syrian attack.
A great blow to the Empire will occur if Congress votes down an attack, but that is unlikely. The war propaganda will be flying will be intense. It will subtly move the focus of the people away from the bumbling adventures of the Empire to the alleged horrors which must be stopped by these bunglers with hidden agendas. And the pressure on congressmen to vote for an attack will be enormous.
But the lesson for libertarians, at this time, is nevertheless great: It is important to always and everywhere point out that government, by its very nature, is a bungling machine run by men with hidden agendas, mostly doing evil. On any issue, where the people understand this, the government can very likely be stopped.