President Obama, has made some mistakes. Taking the nation to war, again, without Congressional approval, may be his biggest mistake of all. Offhand, I can’t think of anything that trumps it.
Mr. Obama, has taken us to war, based upon “The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists” or the “AUMF,” which was passed by Congress in 2001. The bill, singed by former President Bush, “authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.”
Clearly, this bill does not apply to the situation with ISIS. Unless you buy into the argument that ISIS is a distant cousin to al Qaeda, but that’s a stretch. If you stretch it far enough, almost every rebel group in the Middle East probably has some kind of connection to al Qaeda, which goes back to the Russians fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 80’s. Which is when the United States supplied arms to the Taliban and al Qaeda, which they later used on U.S. troops.
Beyond that, without UN approval for the attacks, Mr. Obama, needed an “imminent” threat to the United States. Writing for “The Intercept,” Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain say he fabricated the threat he needed, coming up with a fake terror threat, the “Khorasan Group,” to justify the U.S. bombing of Syria. “Khorasan,” was a terrorist organization no one had ever heard of, a supposed threat that was picked up and virtually parroted by the American media as the airstrikes were underway.
An argument can be made for anything. When will we learn? Or has the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about taken the nation by the throat to such a high degree that our civilian representation has effectively been eliminated?
This is war we are talking about, not a series of airstrikes that will end in two or three weeks. A war our government says will last for years, with no end-game. Here they go again. No exit-strategy. War without end, amen, with the corporate news media too often serving not as analysts and critics, but as cheerleaders. “They’re sending in F-18’s, F-16’s, and Tomahawk Cruise Missiles to ‘rain death’ down on ISIS!”
Some of this is starting to feel like a 21st Century replay of “Dr. Strangelove.” “Hit um again! Hit um again! Harder, harder!”
Mr. Obama, where have you gone?
Setting the AUMF aside because it does not apply, and unless the President has suddenly and unbeknownst to the people of the United States been anointed king, we are left with the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which provides that “the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, “statutory authorization,” or in case of “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”
There was no “national emergency,” which points to the obvious need for a declaration of war by the Congress. But there is none. And the Congress is gone. Away on another leave of absence from Washington, for seven weeks.
We have been taken into a regional war involving numerous MIddle-Eastern nations. A war with no exit-plan and no end-game. We are told only that it is expected to have a duration of “years.” We have been committed to this ongoing warfare by the President, with no proper approval from our elected representatives in the Congress. Oh sure, some in the Congress may have been “consulted,” but a mere consultation is not the same as a formal declaration of war. Beyond that, this new war is being fought at a time of extreme tension between Russia, the European Union and the United States.
The law says the President must obtain a declaration of war from the Congress, or stop the bombing and begin pulling our troops out of Iraq within 60 days. The military says this commitment will require “years,” and that it might eventually require the insertion of additional ground troops. Which Mr. Obama, says he won’t do. For now. With an election only weeks away and the American people tired of paying for never-ending war in the Middle East. What a surprise.
We are in the midst of a national emergency, largely of our own creation. There would be no ISIS, had the Bush/Cheney Administration not invaded Iraq, based upon a false cloud of fear.
President Obama, had better call the Congress back from their vacation now, unless he want’s to admit that the United States has ceased being a nation of laws and has instead become a rouge imperial power, it’s leaders doing what they want, where they want, simply because they can. Oh wait, we’ve been doing that at least since the 1980’s, when Ronald Reagan ignored the will of the Congress (that would be the people’s representatives) and kept funding the Contras through back-channels.
Remember Ollie North?
Despite thousands of deaths and the expenditure of trillions of taxpayer’s dollars, nothing the United States has done in the Middle East has worked. And now, with an election just weeks away, Mr. Obama, is dragging us into yet another war.
Is it too much to expect the American People to demand that their elected representatives do their jobs and assume responsibility for our actions going forward? Perhaps. In order for that to happen, they would first have to be properly informed about our geopolitical affairs and the law, and that’s way to complicated for commercail television, right? There’s always PBS and Amy Goodman, but who watches them, other than upper-income intellectual elites?
Considering the current state of American broadcast journalism and the confused state of mass media generally, resulting in the dumbed-down condition of the American people, this may be too much to hope for.
I hope you enjoy paying for war because we just jumped back into another one. A war that will last for years. And the longer it runs on, the deeper we will be drawn into the conflict, producing even more generational hatred, increasing the likelihood of a whole new brood of chickens coming home to roost in the form of renewed attacks on U.S. soil for years to come.
My only comfort comes in knowing we’d be in even worse shape with a Republican running the show. However, with this latest war, Mr. Obama, looks increasingly like nothing more than an extension of George W. Bush.