We need to defeat ISIS. But even more than that, we need to be a nation that observes the Constitution.
Of course under President Obama, we will be neither a nation that observes the Constitution nor one that defeats ISIS. But I digress.
Obama is simply not authorized under the War Powers Resolution, as he claims, to launch military action against ISIS. The president is using as his pretext the 2001 Congressional resolution authorizing force against al Qaeda. Here’s what is said:
The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate forcethose nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.
But ISIS is not al Qaeda. In fact, it is enemies of al Qaeda. And its main leaders and likely the vast majority of its members, were not part of al Qaeda in 2001. It’s leaders appear to have been mainly whelped on jihad during the resistance to U.S. troops in Iraq during the Bush years.
The administration also cites the 2002 resolution allowing war against Iraq. But that one is specifically targeted at the government of Iraq. It’s meant for Saddam Hussein, not ISIS ten years later.
So what Obama is doing is illegal, as Constitutional experts have noted. The 2001 resolution did not give the president permanent authority to fight wars against terrorists everywhere.
But he’s also morally wrong. Given this is a new war that could cause many casualties as Obama slowly escalates it, it is very important for him to have the approval of the people through Congress, and for the government to be acting in unison, as the Founders intended.
Instead, for THE SECOND TIME – Libya being the first – Obama intends to simply declare war on his own.
Obama may get authorization for bombing Syria, even though he says he doesn’t need it, even though he said he DID need it last year when he wanted to bomb Syria because of it’s chemical weapons.
You can see the lack of principle operating here.
But he also needs authorization to attack ISIS in Iraq. It doesn’t appear there will be any vote before the election. And if Republicans don’t push for it, just because they want ISIS taken care of, then they’d better stop complaining about the unilateral Obama executive actions they oppose.