535 congressmen can’t fix Obama’s weak, incoherent foreign policy
Did over four months of begging the United Nations to authorize the invasion of Iraq aid in the discovery of the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction that the U.N. had determined Saddam Hussein had in 1998 and which he had used many times? We didn’t think so.
President Barack Hussein Obama now wants Congress to pre-approve U.S. military action designed to punish the Bashar al-Assad regime for crossing the use-of-WMD “red line” he first drew in Syrian sand on August 20, 2012:
“While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that thecountry will be stronger … and our actions will be even more effective” if the strike is authorized by Congress, Obama said Saturday in a televised address from the Rose Garden.
This former self-described “neo-con” agrees with President Obama that he has inherent authority as Commander in Chief under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution to wage war against Syria (or any other nation) on his own initiative. Such authority was understood to be inherent by the framers when they replaced the weak Articles of Confederation that gave Congress the exclusive power to declare and wage war with the unitary executive of Article II. Article I, Section 8, clause 11 retains the power of the legislative branch to “declare” war and Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973 purporting to “allow” a President to wage war for 60 days on his own initiative without a congressional declaration of war or other authorization. No president has ever conceded that the Act is constitutional even when they have complied with its 48-hour notification-that-hostilities-have-commenced requirement. Declarations of war were understood to primarily control legal matters between warring nations without regard to the power to order armed forces into action.
In any event, Congress at all times retains the power of the purse or even impeachment to stop any military actions initiated by the President with which they disapprove.
Yes, given the nation-building/Religion of Peace-Sharia Constitution aftermath of the Invasion of Iraq, we now self-describe as a “former” neo-con, but unlike too many Republicans in Congress today, we haven’t re-interpreted our founding document merely because Americans elected (and inexplicably re-elected) its first Citizen of the World for whom governing former British colonies is as disdainful as were the early years of the Dutch William of Orange after being crowned King William III of England. Sadly, there is no prospect that Michelle has the stuff of Queen Mary II, nor John Kerry the constitution of the Duke of Marlborough, but I digress. [We would also note that we consider the post-9/11 invasion of a nation that had used WMD, refused to allow U.N. inspectors access to enforce ceasefire inspection provisions, regularly fired upon U.S. planes enforcing a no-fly zone and publicly funded suicide bombers, to have been justified based upon Saddam's actions without regard to the difficulty of proving a negative with CIA intel concerning stockpiles of WMD.]
Hypocrisy remains a relatively puny sin in our eyes, and the Free World still requires a leader that the non-free world understands can act as quickly to defend Liberty as can the most evil despot to destroy it. Therefore, that Illinois State Legislator Obama thought President Bush needed not just the congressional authorization he obtained, but also a second U.N. resolution to make the Iraq War “legal” matters not a whit concerning the meaning of any article or amendment of the Constitution nor the efficacy of statutes passed by Congress.
When America elects their president, he must needs and does take custody of the nukes, sidearm bullets and all arms and ammo in between. This is just one reason why character in the executive matters so much more than it does in the election of the glorified “yea/nay voters”, on relatively easy votes, that we call legislators. Other reasons why character matters so much in a president include faithful execution of the laws when Dream Acts are rejected by the legislature and oil moratoriums are ruled illegal by the judiciary, but again I digress.
We suspect that the most political and ill-prepared, yet usually “cool”, President the office has seen in its 224-year history sought congressional approval in the midst of a red-line-induced panic attack. Having his Winston Churchill-bust and Queen Elizabeth-CD insult-chickens come home to roost with Parliament’s rejection of a coalition of the willing-to-fight-Syria was bad enough, we suspect those roostings only exacerbated the fundamental cognitive dissonance of his foreign policy writ large.
A few hundred innocents are killed by chemical weapons in a war between Islamist extremists in Syria and that constitutes a red-line-crossing requiring military action on the part of the United States? Yet, we heard not a peep from post-choom gang B. Hussein Obama (fka Sotero) when S. Hussein killed thousands with such WMD in Iraq in the 1990s? After thousands of Americans died to free Iraq while killing tens of thousands of jihadists trained to attack America, he surrendered those gains lest any footprint of the “immoral and illegal” Bush War be left that enhances the national security of states united under Bush or any other president not named B. Hussein Obama.
When thousands of freedom-seeking Iranians were being mowed down in the streets, B. Hussein sought unconditional dialogue with those mowing them down. With Col. Moamar Gadafy in a post-9/11 box, having surrendered his WMD for fear that President Bush would introduce him to rat holes the size of Saddam Hussein, Commander in Chief B. Hussein hastened his exit so he could use Benghazi to funnel weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria to defeat an Assad that he, Hillary and Kerry had proclaimed a reformer and with whom they had re-established diplomatic relations four years after they conspired to kill Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Bottom Line: We do not favor military action against Syria, with or without congressional approval. We would ordinarily favor the backing of the only President we have in the foreign policy field, since the president’s foreign policy IS the only foreign policy the United States has at any particular time. And we ordinarily think it’s a good thing when America bombs bad guys and that it is bad when an American president is shown to be weak in the eyes of future would-be bad guys.
But Congress can’t fix a weak president whose entire presidency has been dedicated to weakening the United States. Yes, after many months of delay, he authorized Navy Seals to kill Osama bin Laden, regularly targets Islamists abroad for drone strikes and ordered a surge in Afghanistan. But had he and the Democrats had their way after 9/11 there would have been the intel that made the killing of such terrorist leaders possible. And after authorizing a surge with fewer troops than military commanders deemed necessary to secure Afghanistan, he immediately announced a withdrawal date, thus signaling to our Taliban and Al Qaeda enemies that all they need do was to wait us out. Reminds of Democratic Party Sens. Obama and Hillary’s BushLied Era when they signaled that Al Qaeda in Iraq need only wait until a Democrat became president so they could surrender that country to them.
Finally, even if we had favored aiding the rebels opposing Assad in Syria or action against WMD-use; we would have to assume that Assad is not as smart as Saddam was between the time of the first U.N. resolution of November 8, 2002 promising “serious consequences” if he did not cooperate fully with Hans Blix to inspect all areas of the country for WMD evidence and the failure of the U.N. to follow that up before the March 19, 2003 Shock & Awe invasion. If the stockpiles still existed, they were moved; and some intel indicates to Syria.
But our opposition to a congressional resolution authorizing punishing Syria is more fundamental. President Obama has made clear that he will not use the U.S. military to try and bring down the Assad regime. No, the only purpose is to punish Syria for using WMD and to deter their future use by Syria or any other bad actor. But how could any number of cruise missile strikes into Syria outweigh the weak actions of the United States in Iran, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan and in slashing the Navy and defense budget overall, in rehabilitating the kind of deterrence that caused Libya to voluntarily give up their WMD without President Bush having to fire a shot?
Much as with the task of re-building the economy, re-establishing U.S. strength and credibility abroad will have to wait until January 20, 2017 when a new, hopefully Republican, Chief Executive/Commander in Chief is Inaugurated.
Mike DeVine‘s Right.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson