President Obama says he doesn't need congressional authorization to go to war in Syria

The president will go on TV tonight to lay out his case for attacking the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Here are a couple of items that you won't hear Mr. Obama speak about:

When President Obama addresses the nation on Wednesday to explain his plan to defeat Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, it is a fair bet he will not call them the “JV team.”

Nor does he seem likely to describe Iraq as “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” with a “representative government.” And presumably he will not assert after more than a decade of conflict that “the tide of war is receding.”

As he seeks to rally Americans behind a new military campaign in the Middle East, Mr. Obama finds his own past statements coming back to haunt him. Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.

Being senile, the press has forgotten these little gems of wisdom from our commander in chief. But there's no hiding this president's indifference to the growth of Islamic State until it became too late to do much of anything about.

Now we're about to start another war in Syria. It's not enough that we have become known as the "Shiite Air Force" in Iraq, now we will become de facto allies with Bashar Assad and his murderous regime. Say what you want about IS as a regime, the fact is, they have been the most effective fighters against Assad to date. Destroying them helps Assad - period.

Congress should have a say in whether we expand the war into Syria. But a combination of Congressional cowardice and administration hubris makes that permission very unlikely.

Washington Examiner:

President Obama told congressional leaders in a meeting Tuesday that he has the authority to launch broader attacks against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, downplaying the prospect of a Capitol Hill vote on his military plan ahead of his prime-time address to the nation Wednesday night.

Obama “told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against [the Islamic State] in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting that included Obama, Vice President Joe Biden; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

 

“The president told the leaders that he would welcome action by the Congress that would aid the overall effort and demonstrate to the world that the United States is united in defeating the threat from" the Islamic State, the White House added.

Some lawmakers have called on the president to seek congressional authorization for airstrikes in Iraq and potentially Syria, but the White House says the president is under no obligation to do so.

However, other lawmakers have little interest in taking such a controversial vote ahead of the November midterm elections.

Boehner’s office, for example, made no mention of a possible vote in its account of the meeting.

“The speaker made it clear that [the Islamic State] is preparing to fight us, and that as we learned in Syria, the longer we wait, the more difficult our choices become,” a Boehner aide said. “The speaker stated he would support the president if he chose to deploy the military to help train and play an advisory role for the Iraqi Security Forces and assist with lethal targeting of [Islamic State] leadership.”

Various actors from the EU, the UN, the Arab countries, and even religious leaders are calling on the "international community" to do something about IS. Let me translate that for you: "Get your butt in gear, America, and blow them to smithereens." Any appeal to the international comnunity is a direct appeal to the United States to take action - because no one else can do it. Of course, the kibbitzers on the sidelines reserve the right to criticize the US if a goat is accidentally killed or civilians unlucky enough to be used as human shields by IS die.

But past presidents have shrugged this sort of thing off and went ahead to do what was necessary.Will Obama? The man is so enamored with the idea that Americans should play second fiddle to some nebulous international coalition - while not soiling our hands by commiting ground troops - that it's likely any actions he takes will be too little, too late, and generally ineffective.

If Islamic State is to be crushed - and surely they must be - it will take many tens of thousands of professional army troops to do the job. Air power alone won't bring victory. Unless the Arab countries are willing to commit large numbers of their soldiers to the fight, it will be left to the US - as always, with token contributions from NATO countries - to bear the brunt of the fighting and fulfill the desire of the "international community" to wipe IS from the face of the earth.

 

 

The president will go on TV tonight to lay out his case for attacking the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Here are a couple of items that you won't hear Mr. Obama speak about:

When President Obama addresses the nation on Wednesday to explain his plan to defeat Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, it is a fair bet he will not call them the “JV team.”

Nor does he seem likely to describe Iraq as “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” with a “representative government.” And presumably he will not assert after more than a decade of conflict that “the tide of war is receding.”

As he seeks to rally Americans behind a new military campaign in the Middle East, Mr. Obama finds his own past statements coming back to haunt him. Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.

Being senile, the press has forgotten these little gems of wisdom from our commander in chief. But there's no hiding this president's indifference to the growth of Islamic State until it became too late to do much of anything about.

Now we're about to start another war in Syria. It's not enough that we have become known as the "Shiite Air Force" in Iraq, now we will become de facto allies with Bashar Assad and his murderous regime. Say what you want about IS as a regime, the fact is, they have been the most effective fighters against Assad to date. Destroying them helps Assad - period.

Congress should have a say in whether we expand the war into Syria. But a combination of Congressional cowardice and administration hubris makes that permission very unlikely.

Washington Examiner:

President Obama told congressional leaders in a meeting Tuesday that he has the authority to launch broader attacks against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, downplaying the prospect of a Capitol Hill vote on his military plan ahead of his prime-time address to the nation Wednesday night.

Obama “told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against [the Islamic State] in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting that included Obama, Vice President Joe Biden; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

 

“The president told the leaders that he would welcome action by the Congress that would aid the overall effort and demonstrate to the world that the United States is united in defeating the threat from" the Islamic State, the White House added.

Some lawmakers have called on the president to seek congressional authorization for airstrikes in Iraq and potentially Syria, but the White House says the president is under no obligation to do so.

However, other lawmakers have little interest in taking such a controversial vote ahead of the November midterm elections.

Boehner’s office, for example, made no mention of a possible vote in its account of the meeting.

“The speaker made it clear that [the Islamic State] is preparing to fight us, and that as we learned in Syria, the longer we wait, the more difficult our choices become,” a Boehner aide said. “The speaker stated he would support the president if he chose to deploy the military to help train and play an advisory role for the Iraqi Security Forces and assist with lethal targeting of [Islamic State] leadership.”

Various actors from the EU, the UN, the Arab countries, and even religious leaders are calling on the "international community" to do something about IS. Let me translate that for you: "Get your butt in gear, America, and blow them to smithereens." Any appeal to the international comnunity is a direct appeal to the United States to take action - because no one else can do it. Of course, the kibbitzers on the sidelines reserve the right to criticize the US if a goat is accidentally killed or civilians unlucky enough to be used as human shields by IS die.

But past presidents have shrugged this sort of thing off and went ahead to do what was necessary.Will Obama? The man is so enamored with the idea that Americans should play second fiddle to some nebulous international coalition - while not soiling our hands by commiting ground troops - that it's likely any actions he takes will be too little, too late, and generally ineffective.

If Islamic State is to be crushed - and surely they must be - it will take many tens of thousands of professional army troops to do the job. Air power alone won't bring victory. Unless the Arab countries are willing to commit large numbers of their soldiers to the fight, it will be left to the US - as always, with token contributions from NATO countries - to bear the brunt of the fighting and fulfill the desire of the "international community" to wipe IS from the face of the earth.