We Need a Congressional Declaration of War
Nobody wants war, but war has been thrust upon us – exactly what FDR said after Pearl Harbor. Under the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8), there is one and only one provision for times like this. No president can be allowed to ignore the constitutional power of the U.S. Congress to declare war. No Congress can evade its responsibility to take a public position – and having just four senators and four representatives act on behalf of all the others is the worst kind of evasion of responsibility. The Founders wrote Article I, Section 8 because they understood that a declaration of war was the most serious responsibility. The Congress must recover its constitutional power and responsibility.
If the U.S. Congress declares war against ISIS and its kind, the usual media hysterics will accuse us of aggression. Well, now they also have to accuse François Hollande, Vladimir Putin, and even B.H. Obama, who has been waging war for seven years without being asked to take responsibility for it.
The usual media targets – conservative Americans and Israelis – have turned out to be right. This is a watershed moment. "There is a time in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads to fortune." This is such a time.
It's a fair guess that a lot of Muslims have been living in fear of the fanatics next door and would be secretly glad to see the United States and the civilized world act decisively. Our vacillation and weakness have empowered the killers and weakened the rest. But we have to take an unmistakable stand, and the U.S. Constitution, in its wisdom, gives us the right way to do it.
In the Middle East, Jordan and Egypt will join a credible coalition against ISIS-type jihad, because they themselves are threatened with extinction. India, the biggest democratic nation in the world, has suffered from almost 1,000 years of jihad attacks. Under decent American leadership, the anglosphere can come together again and join the fight against the worst abusers of human rights since the Nazis and Stalin. We may not agree on much with Vladimir Putin, but we have a common enemy.
That is the emerging alliance. You can raise questions about any of countries. It's safe to assume that self-interest is the bottom line. Putin and China have waged serious war on their domestic jihadis, the Chechens and Uighurs. ISIS is reported to have many Chechens and Uighurs in its ranks, and Russia and China want them neutralized and never going back home.
That is in their best interest and ours.
Israel has fought its domestic jihad and a large Fifth Column, which always acts in cahoots with the Western left-jihadist alliance that is making war.
There is no way to win without naming and shaming the Fifth Column.
The single strongest step is for the United States Congress to reclaim its constitutional power to declare war.
1. When Obama, in cahoots with Nicolas Sarkozy, decided to overthrow Libya's Gaddafi, there was no decent explanation to Americans or the world.
Mr. Obama just giggled in a reporter's face when he was asked about the War Powers act, which requires explicit notification to Congress within 60 days of any U.S. military action.
That moment of presidential contempt should stay in our minds forever.
It means the end of effective constitutional government if it is allowed to stand. The U.S. government must come back to a sane balance of power, and any official who resists that must be impeached.
A declaration of war defines the enemy, who has been attacking us since 9/11 and before. It provides legal grounds for defining "treason in time of war." It divides the sheep from the goats and puts them all on notice.
American tradition is to avoid legal accusations of treason when possible. The betrayal of U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviets was one case that actually came to trial. But we never want to risk destroying the national consensus, except in the worst cases. Normally we follow Lincoln's advice: with malice toward none, with charity toward all.
And yet, a declaration would spell out a genuine dividing line and proclaim to the world that we now recognize allies and enemies "foreign and domestic."
Naming and shaming is an essential step, because we have been deeply penetrated by jihadist enemies, as four-star USN (ret.) Admiral James Lyons has said at the National Press Club, in an unmistakable warning to the nation.
For our friends who are in deep denial, Adm. Lyons's brief talk is a must. It says all we need to know. The admiral is not a caricature of the left – he does not love war, but he does love truth, and he has dedicated a life of service to this country.
Every one of us can watch the video and read the words. It is the very least we can do.
2. We have a scofflaw president and administration. Because a sitting president can always count on about a third of the voters, impeachment is not going to happen.
What is happening today is the first stage of telling the truth. To prepare for national recovery, we must keep explaining the real situation every time another jihad attack happens – every time the savages commit another crime against humanity. Liberals are always playing dumb, pretending they don't get why the latest massacre was committed.
The answer is always the war theology. Always, always, always. It's not poverty. It's not the unfairness of life. It's not any of the usual rationalizations. For jihad killers, it is always God's command, and that's all there is to it. Listen to them say it every single time.
Jihad is one of the five Pillars of Islam, and it's a strict obligation for all believing Muslims. The only "out" is to interpret jihad as an inner struggle. But that doesn't apply to ISIS, al-Qaeda, or Iran.
Violent jihad cannot be tolerated by civilized peoples.
Don't let anybody get away with John Kerry's blabber that you can "rationalize" some jihad murders but maybe not some others. There are good crimes against humanity and bad ones. No. Kerry is a clown, still desperately running after that Nobel Prize. For the U.S. SecState to utter such words makes us the laughingstock of the world. Hillary, too. They are dangerous fools in office.
There is no substitute for telling the truth, and you have the most powerful tool to do so at your fingertips. Failing to use your personal power is a dereliction of responsibility.
This means you and me, and all of us.
3. A New Media is standing up, with worldwide reach. Give them your strong support, and keep them honest. They are our foremost tool to bring down the Bodyguard of Lies.
Americans have allowed the Old Media to turn against our national security, but today you have the tools to resist them. We are not helpless. This is no time to abandon the struggle.
4. A declaration of war proclaims a national consensus.
Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is an eloquent model. Jefferson did not name Britain in the Declaration. He appealed to decent human opinion everywhere. As a political document, the Declaration worked magnificently. Its majestic language appealed to readers in both Britain and France. We did not label England as the enemy – the complaints were aimed at King George – and as a result, many Englishmen had no qualms about supporting us.
Edmund Burke responded to the Declaration by speaking up on behalf of the colonies in the English Parliament.
If we declare war against ISIS and its ilk, all the other jihadist gangs will have to take heed, including the nuke-hungry mullahs. The Constitution give us a powerful symbolic tool to draw a line, one that friends and enemies must take seriously.
Obama's red lines are a joke. A U.S. declaration of war is not.
5. A Declaration does not automatically commit us to any particular military action. It says that we are dead serious, and by direct implication, that any group is either for us or against us.
In World War II, the U.S. declared war on Hitler and Imperial Japan. But soon as the enemy surrendered, we treated them "with malice towards none, with charity toward all." Think of the Marshall Plan, and the economic success of Germany and Japan, supported by the United States.
By the same token, if the Saudi faction that has been funding and supporting jihad against us continues on its murderous path, a Declaration of War defines it as the enemy.
Even the Iranians are bound to see a declaration of war as a threat to their secretive killing of American soldiers. The mullahs are a different branch of jihad, but we don't have to care. Point a gun at us in time of war, and our military will act.
We can stop endless hair-splitting by liberals and enemy propagandists, who secretly want this country to be defeated. After a declaration of war, is doesn't matter what they call themselves. What matters is what they do. For the United States, it made no difference if the enemy was Nazis, Italian fascists, or Japan. They were enemies.
In the same way, a constitutionally serious America doesn't have to split hairs about this or that enemy label. Jihad has a thousand names, but we don't care which kind of hat they are wearing today.
The Founders understood there would be times like this. Thomas Jefferson sent U.S. Navy ships to put down the Muslim pirates of Libya. Article I, Section 8 was written for these exact circumstances. It is badly needed, and Congress must do its job.