Obama’s War In Syria Is Illegal Because Congress Is Yellow

I have posted two articles in the past week or so denouncing President Obama’s unilateral escalation of the war in Syria: Obama Can’t Ramp Up The War in Syria Fast Enough! and Obama Finds His Own Private Viet Nam.

Now it seems that the president’s war may be totally illegal but he is able to get away with it because the GOP, although in favor of the war, are unwilling to commit to a new war powers bill. Instead they allow President Obama to continue to wage war in the middle east under the authorization given President George W Bush after September 11, 2001. A law a little long in the tooth:

In the battle against the Islamic State group, members of Congress talk tough against extremism, but many want to run for cover when it comes to voting on new war powers to fight the militants, preferring to let the president own the battle.

The U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Syria is creeping forward, putting more pressure on Congress to vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force. It would be the first war vote in Congress in 13 years.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a leading force in the Senate for a new authorization, said the reluctance to vote runs deep and that many in Congress prefer to criticize President Barack Obama’s policy in Iraq and Syria without either authorizing or stopping the fight.

“There is sort of this belief that if we do not vote, we cannot be held politically accountable. We can just blame the president,” Kaine said.

To fight IS, Obama has relied on congressional authorizations given to President George W. Bush for the war on al-Qaida and the invasion of Iraq. Critics say the White House’s use of post-9/11 congressional authorizations is a legal stretch at best. And they note that the battle has grown exponentially.

“I think we are seeing an example of mission creep right now,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who signed the letter calling for a new AUMF. “I think we should go ahead. We are gradually ceding over our war-making authority to the president. Big mistake. No matter which side you are on, you ought to want Congress to do this. And you ought to be able to hold your member accountable for how they ultimately vote.”

On Friday, a bipartisan group of 35 House members called on new Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule and debate on a war authorization as quickly as possible in light of the United States’ “deepening entanglement in Syria and Iraq.”

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has asked the Obama administration to brief committee members as early as next week on the legal justifications for recent deployments to Syria and elsewhere.

Generally, conservatives want Congress to approve broad authorities for the president to fight IS militants with no limits on ground troops. They say banning U.S. combat troops or restricting the fight to just Iraq and Syria only emboldens the militants, who would seek safe haven elsewhere. Other lawmakers want to give the president authority to train and equip local forces and conduct airstrikes but not launch a combat mission on the ground.

Well I hope they do bring this to a vote…and I hope the deny the president the right to continue to wage this war…and I hope they call him out on it and force him to bring our troops home from Syria and Iraq.

I lived through the Viet Nam war era…I grew up with a disabled veteran of WWII…I see the thousands of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan struggle to re-enter their way of life…I see the newly disabled…and I don’t want one more American to sacrifice for a war we can’t win.


Related Articles

4 thoughts on “Obama’s War In Syria Is Illegal Because Congress Is Yellow

  1. Our policy should be directed to protecting and helping the innocent, the refugees, the civilian population. Unfortunately that leads us to the use of force. There is no easy solution if the UN does not intervene.

  2. You are not taking into account the vast numbers in this nation that are concerned about ISIS, or the number Dems in congress who know this is a fight that can not be turned away from, even if they stay under the radar at times to not ignite the type of anger that comes from the left over this type of matter. The fact is we saw what ISIS is capable of with the downing of an aircraft last week. We know full well that as much as the regional powers should lend their aid to the cause–for a variety of reasons will not or can not. So that leaves the matter not up for debate about if something should be done–but how. Who must do the heavy lifting is part of the responsibility that comes with being a world leader. I might also add that had the left been tougher and stood along with President Obama when it came to dealing with his red line remark and made a stand against Assad when we had the chance the dynamics in that nation would be different. There are consequences for lacking the toughness when it is called for. We see that now, and must be determined not to falter again when called to our duty. I am a liberal and proud of my stands. But I am also pragmatic about the world in which we live. I also know there is a stinging wound for the war in Iraq that should never have been fought. I also know many feared that when a real need for our troops was demanded we would harken back to the lies of Iraq. But we must be better than that and know what must be done and act. I know this is long and with surety has made some have a grimace. But it needed to be said. As Democrats we must not allow Bush’s actions take away the work we still must do.

  3. I don’t have time to go into greater detail tonight…but if we had taken out Assad we would be in the same predicament that we are today…except ISIS would control all of Syria, maybe all of Iraq, and we wouldn’t be facing down the Russians in Syrian airspace but probably in Eastern Europe instead.

    And if you think I am wrong on Assad…take a look at the mess we left in Iraq after taking out Saddam and Libya after Gadhafi. All reprehensible men but we were totally unprepared to cope with the vacuum left by their overthrow.

    1. There was a moral reason–and an international legal reason–to strike a hard blow at Assad after his use of chemical weapons. Had we done so and followed what the CIA strongly felt was the element in Syria that could be used as a lever to then oust Assad things very well could be better today. No one knows for sure, but one never does. What we do know however is that the lack of a strike against Assad simply allowed ISIS to consolidate in Syria and that Assad has used that to his advantage. He makes it out as a warning about what the alternative to his own horror would look like. Notice that he never used his forces to tackle ISIS but instead bombs his own people. Over 200,000 have dies and Europe is looking at ways to house countless others. We should have placed a no-fly zone over parts of Syria. I also want it noted that while it is very true that Iraq is a total mess that nation is one that should never have been carved out that placed the various factions forced into a union. Biden had it right at least a decade ago when thinking it needed to be broken into three parts.

Comments are closed.