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The President Must Personally Make His Case for War
Townhall.com ^ | September 3, 2013 | Kurt Schlichter

Posted on 09/02/2013 9:23:34 PM PDT by Kaslin

The grossly obese Syrian officer was coming in the door of the King Khalid Military City exchange while I was coming out. I saw instantly that this was no soldier; this was a thug, a threat only to the unarmed civilians that are his kind’s prey. My eyes fell downward from his cruel face to the piece of flair gracing his olive green fatigues.

“Nice Assad button,” I sneered. Real warriors don’t wear pictures of dictators on their uniform. He glared back at me with his dark, rat eyes, not understanding my words but fully appreciating my contempt. Though Syria was a putative coalition partner, I knew I was staring at an enemy.

Not much has changed since Operation Desert Storm. The Syrian regime’s “soldiers” are still just punks fit only to oppress the defenseless, unable to even hold their own against a ragged band of barely-armed insurgents. But like the vast majority of Americans, I have grave concerns about attacking them.

The President was right to belatedly call for a vote of Congress. Unlike many people who I greatly respect, the Constitution’s carefully-written text appears to me to leave only the power to react to sudden threats with the president. By investing the power to declare war in the Congress, the Constitution places the decision to enter wars of choice squarely with the people’s representatives. As a veteran, I also understand the importance to the troops of knowing that they have voted to support you.

The President must now tell us why we should make the choice for war. And he needs to do it personally by addressing the nation before a joint session of Congress.

There can be no dodging this responsibility, no clever attempts to secure credit in case of success while shifting the blame in case of failure. We are talking about war, and the President is the Commander-In-Chief. As the commander, he – and only he – is solely responsible for everything the military does and does not do.

The toxic atmosphere of suspicion engendered by the President’s radical liberal governing style has left him no well of trust from which to draw. Sadly, but not without cause, the first unspoken thoughts that arose when the President reversed course were that this was some sort of trick designed to saddle his political opponents with the blame for a policy that was already in tatters. That was a natural consequence of five years of political choices by the Administration – when support is suddenly required, don’t expect to instantly receive it from the people you and your mainstream media pals have spent half a decade demonizing.

The Administration is full of smart people, but what it needs are wise people who understand something about human nature. Scorched earth politics burn away the relationships and trust one will need to lean on after he unilaterally draws a red line and then finds himself needing support from his opponents when the enemy steps across.

But that cannot be helped now – we are where we are, and that is on the brink of yet another war. If the President truly believes this is the right course of action, he must literally step up to the podium and place his credibility behind it. He must personally take on the responsibility for this war.

There can be no voting present. Like George W. Bush, the President himself must ask the Congress to go to war over an Arab dictator’s weapons of mass destruction. And he must, alone, bear the responsibility for the consequences.

He must answer the questions that naturally arise from his request. What form will this war take? How long will it last? What is the end state this war seeks to achieve?

These questions are basic queries that any strategist would ask. That we have no answers yet raises serious questions in and of itself.

Assad’s gang of murderers are scum, and they fully deserve whatever we might do to them. They used chemical weapons against civilians, a ghastly crime which justifies whatever penalty we choose to impose. That is not the point.

The point is whether chastising these degenerates is in our national interest. How will doing so be to the advantage of the United States of America?

That is the only standard by which we must measure our strategy. Sarin gas is horrific. So are bombs and bullets and bayonets, and their innocent victims are just as dead. We cannot punish every dictator who butchers his own people because if we tried to do so we would be doing nothing else.

Mr. President, how will it support American interests to attack Syria? This is not about our revulsion at brutality. It is about how much treasure and how many lives – especially American lives – we will sacrifice in order to attain … what? What is the goal? What conditions do we seek to establish that make mothers weeping over their son’s and daughter’s caskets worthwhile?

Assad’s regime, through its support of terrorists in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere, have caused hundreds, even thousands of American deaths. If it was simply a matter of destroying the likes of the bloated Syrian officer I met in Saudi Arabia the answer would be clear: Take them out.

But it is not so simple. Our regime enemies are engaged in a death struggle with our al-Qaeda enemies. Do we want to tip the scales from one set of psychotic criminals toward another, possibly worse, set of psychotic criminals? Why shouldn’t we just sit back and watch as our sworn enemies kill each other?

Only the President can answer those questions. And he must do so, personally, alone on the podium, before a joint session of Congress and before the American people whose sons and daughters will fight this war.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: basharalassad; dictator; nationalinterest; redline; syria

1 posted on 09/02/2013 9:23:35 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
The potus if he wanted to go at war why let him using the Indonesian machetes and challenge Assad on personal combats. Of course that if truly had a guts.
2 posted on 09/02/2013 9:26:29 PM PDT by macguiredelaporte
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To: Kaslin

I don’t think Obama is up to it.


3 posted on 09/02/2013 9:30:24 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (The Presidency is broken.)
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To: Kaslin

Another speech from Der Führer? Nein, Danke!


4 posted on 09/02/2013 9:31:30 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I aim to raise a million plus for Gov. Palin. What'll you do?.)
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To: Kaslin

‘Let Allah sort it out’


5 posted on 09/02/2013 9:35:09 PM PDT by yadent
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To: macguiredelaporte
That arrogant pos having guts? Ha, all he has is a big mouth. the whole world disrespects him like he does the Oval Office


6 posted on 09/02/2013 9:36:00 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: yadent

Right on


7 posted on 09/02/2013 9:36:53 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: macguiredelaporte

Let the savages sort it out among themselves. We see how well being the World Police has worked out for us so far. We’re on the verge of complete economic collapse and can’t afford it anyhow though I’m sure military weapons manufacturers will paint a completely different picture of how it will miraculously jumpstart the economy and create new jobs. That won’t do us a lot of good if we end up being nuked into oblivion...


8 posted on 09/02/2013 9:38:19 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; vette6387; flat; gonzo; justiceseeker93; MamaDearest; seekthetruth; ZULU; ...

Absolutely “no one” and I do mean “no one” I talk to wants American soldiers or aircraft anywhere near this OBayMe disaster. If OBayMe wants us there, let him go and he can take the RATs in Congress with him along with Linda Graham and McLame.


9 posted on 09/02/2013 9:38:54 PM PDT by ExTexasRedhead
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To: Kaslin

With a compliant, rubber stamp congress (of both parties), the president doesn’t have to “make his case” for anything these days.

He merely has to state whatever horse sh*t nonsense he wants, and everyone in the government genuflects in his direction.

The constitutional separation of powers means nothing anymore.


10 posted on 09/02/2013 9:40:35 PM PDT by Jack Hammer (American)
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To: Kaslin

The republicans will cover for obama for two reasons. One, they don’t want to be called racists. Two, obama has dirt on them.


11 posted on 09/02/2013 9:43:43 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: Kaslin
The grossly obese Syrian officer was coming in the door of the King Khalid Military City exchange while I was coming out. I saw instantly that this was no soldier; this was a thug, a threat only to the unarmed civilians that are his kind’s prey.

Really? Are Assad's thugs slaughtering Christians?

No, I seem to recall that its our jihadist allies that are doing that.

But the writer reserves his ad hominem for the ones who are "not" slaughtering Christians.

12 posted on 09/02/2013 9:46:28 PM PDT by marron
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To: Kaslin

But he won’t because he is a politician and politicians are as dishonest and insincere about their foreign policy positions and motives as they are about their positions and motives on domestic fiscal and social issues.


13 posted on 09/02/2013 9:47:18 PM PDT by maxtWorkler
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To: Kaslin
I don't support getting involved in Syria. I think we need to learn from Iraq. When the powers that be there are gone, who replaces? Is the new boss worse than the old. Who will win not only the war, but the peace?

Now that that's been said, I believe politics stops at the border. Once the decision is made to go, I'll keep my mouth shut because lack of support at home costs American lives. I only hope that if the decision is made to go to war, that the powers that be actually go to war and not some BS "police action", nation building, handcuffed rules of engagement, halfway jobs, and political correctness that have plagued these decisions of the past 50 years.

Do what needs to be done, or don't go.

14 posted on 09/02/2013 9:57:52 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: VerySadAmerican

Three. Too many neoconservatives.


15 posted on 09/02/2013 9:58:18 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: Darren McCarty

Four. Saudi $$$$$$$


16 posted on 09/02/2013 10:00:05 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Kaslin
Assad’s gang of murderers are scum, and they fully deserve whatever we might do to them. They used chemical weapons against civilians, a ghastly crime which justifies whatever penalty we choose to impose. That is not the point.

And where do we draw this authority to impose penalties upon other people?

The US ratified the UN Charter which makes it, whether we like it or not, the Law of the Land. Under that Charter, the UN is the sole arbiter of whether action can / should be taken. IOW, it would be unconstitutional for the Congress to declare war / authorize force (which is a declaration in and of itself) ...

17 posted on 09/02/2013 10:18:46 PM PDT by An.American.Expatriate (Here's my strategy on the War against Terrorism: We win, they lose. - with apologies to R.R.)
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To: Kaslin
The author's questions are basic to any military operation much less the onset of war. The one that baffles me is, what is the objective, the desired end state? Regime change is not an end state unless we are willing to let subsequent events be driven by Russia and Iran, who are most certainly in a position to do so. Will we be stuck, as in Iraq, with imposing a democracy in the face of a people even less suited to, or willing for that change than the Iraqis were?

If we are sucked into nation-building in Syria the strategists responsible deserve to be the first ones on the ground, rifle in hand. And so short of that, what? Lobbing a few missiles at already-vacated locations and declaring victory? This is absolute insanity. Any Congressman or Senator who votes in favor should be tarred, feathered, and run out of office on a rail.

18 posted on 09/02/2013 10:31:07 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Kaslin
We are talking about war, and the President is the Commander-In-Chief. As the commander, he – and only he – is solely responsible for everything the military does and does not do.

100% do not agree.

19 posted on 09/02/2013 10:44:30 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: marron

Does the author point out that the other side is Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood??


20 posted on 09/02/2013 10:45:42 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: Kaslin
“Nice Assad button,” I sneered. Real warriors don’t wear pictures of dictators on their uniform. He glared back at me with his dark, rat eyes, not understanding my words but fully appreciating my contempt. Though Syria was a putative coalition partner, I knew I was staring at an enemy.

Nice anecdotal evidence that there is at least one thug in the military. But has the writer met with the rebels? You know, the ones who kill Christians and burn their churches; the ones caught with sarin gas a few years ago; the members of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Did the writer further identify the soldier, or elaborate on his role in the government? Or did the writer just use that passage to convince us that Assad is bad? ...but not a word about the atrocities being committed by the rebels and their brotherhood handlers?

21 posted on 09/03/2013 3:03:53 AM PDT by olezip (Time obliterates the fictions of opinion and confirms the decisions of nature. ~ Cicero)
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To: Kaslin

The Congress is like a dog who has been whipped for 5 years,afraid of its master,but the faithful dog will beg for mercy when the master throws him the bone trying to gain favor,only to be whipped again when the master gets bored with the the whimpering.


22 posted on 09/03/2013 3:51:56 AM PDT by ballplayer
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To: Kaslin

All things considered, it is very foolish to let Obama lead us into another war. The man is a one person wrecking crew.

He is not wise enough to lead. He will tie our troops hands behind their backs and get more people killed.

Common sense tells us to stop this war now. There will be nothing at all good come from it. It is a civil war and it will turn into a regional war installing the Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.


23 posted on 09/03/2013 4:07:55 AM PDT by dforest
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To: VerySadAmerican

Noobie: You are projecting your third party whatever it is.


24 posted on 09/03/2013 4:14:40 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: dforest

Exactly and like Sarah Palin said Let Allah sort it out


25 posted on 09/03/2013 4:18:57 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: ballplayer

You notice already that the dems are coming out vocally against a war.

The GOP is being set up to take the fall. That is why Obama is using his GOP warmonger lackeys McCain and Graham to push this potential debacle.

The dems are not going to lose any elections by being for this war. They are going to let the GOP bury themselves with the voters.


26 posted on 09/03/2013 4:27:51 AM PDT by dforest
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To: dforest

Say “NO” to odumbo.

To Odumbo: Get your damn feet off of our desk, you’re not in the hood in Chicago.


27 posted on 09/03/2013 4:38:33 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: Progov

It takes courage to do the right thing. With Obama at the helm, a disaster it will be if we enter into this.

I say vote NO war and if Obama insists on it by ordering it anyway, let him own the whole damn debacle.

By the way, most of the GOP are browbeaten cowards.


28 posted on 09/03/2013 4:49:06 AM PDT by dforest
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To: Kaslin

By the way, have Bill and Cankles Clinton chimed in yet?

I didn’t think so. They know this is toxic. LOL


29 posted on 09/03/2013 4:51:57 AM PDT by dforest
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To: Kaslin

unable to even hold their own against a ragged band of barely-armed insurgents.

Not barely armed and certainly not ragged band of anything. Many are foreign fighters from various terrorist groups. There are no GOOD GUYS to support in this war. Both sides hate us and both would willing kill us if they have the chance.


30 posted on 09/03/2013 5:01:30 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I go to sign for the American Revolution 2013 and the Crusades 2013?)
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To: ExTexasRedhead

I agree 100% & more!!! Please contact your Congress Critters and tell three things, Deny Obama approval to attack Syria, Don’t fund Obamacare and Impeach Obama!!! And...flood McCain & Graham with cries to vote “NO”. The real problem is Obama....impeach him!!!

Please vote, immediately on the Drudge Report poll posted on the Drudge web site to deny Obama approval to attack Syria (92% have voted “No’ aleady, 334,000 people!!!

Please sign & endorse the Lee/Cruz petition to defund Obamacare right now....do it TODAY. It takes all but thirty seconds!!! The time for action, American citizena, all, is right now. (join 1,015,000 folks who have already signed the petition!!!)

- DrudgeReport.com
- www,dontfundobamacare
- www.dontfundit.com

And.....Freepers, etc., please post this information wherever & whenever you can!!! We, the People, can begin the active movement to either force Obama to resign or begin the process to impeach the failed, incompetent, Anti-American POTUS!!!


31 posted on 09/03/2013 6:29:26 AM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX ( My only objective is to defeat and destroy Obama & his Democrat Party, politically!!!)
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To: VerySadAmerican
One, they don’t want to be called racists. Two, obama has dirt on them.

1. The race card expired on 1/20/09 and is non-renewable.

2. They should not have been there long enough to accumulate dirt, or for dirt to matter. TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!

32 posted on 09/03/2013 7:40:26 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: Kaslin

33 posted on 09/03/2013 8:04:12 AM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: Kaslin

There you go again cutting me to the quick! Please stop! It hurts so bad, you OLD POSTIE.


34 posted on 09/03/2013 8:20:06 AM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: Kaslin

Oh, and by the way. Just keep votin’ for them RINOS. That’s your choice. I have a right to choose, too.


35 posted on 09/03/2013 8:20:50 AM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: JLAGRAYFOX

Agree. Obama and this nation have lost one of the most important principles of the offense. The element of surprise. Our “clown in chief” has had a year or more to act in Syria. He has backed Morsiin Egypt and then helped topple Ghadaffi in Libya when neither had done zip to justify US might. Obama had many opportunities to back the sudents and others in Iran when they were ready to take on the mullahs. He did ZIP. Obozzo did zip when our embassy was attacked in Libya and our ambassador was sodomized and killed plus our other men were KIA. Embassies are considered US soil. He does zip about real attacks on us. Zero has had years to blow up the Syrian AF, etc. He has played golf and taken vacation after vacation on our dime. Now that he feels his needs to punish those who do not obey his sorry word/rules, and;he wants to use our military. HELL NO.


36 posted on 09/03/2013 3:03:22 PM PDT by Lumper20
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