Skip to comments.Let Congress Vote on Iraq War III
Posted on 08/15/2014 2:34:03 PM PDT by Kaslin
Last week, we were told there were 40,000 Yazidis on Sinjar Mountain facing starvation if they remained there, and slaughter by ISIS if they came down.
But a team of Marines and Special Forces that helicoptered in has reported back that, with a corridor off the mountain opened up by U.S. air strikes, the humanitarian crisis is over. The few thousand who remain can be airdropped food and water. The rest can be brought out.
The emergency over, President Obama should think long and hard about launching a new air war in Iraq or Syria. For Iraq War III holds the promise of becoming another Middle East debacle, and perhaps the worst yet.
America would be entering this war utterly divided. We are not even agreed on who the enemies are. Hillary Clinton thinks we should be tougher on Iran and that Obama blundered by not aiding the Syrian rebels when they first rose up to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
Veteran diplomats Ryan Crocker, William Luers and Thomas Pickering argue that Assad is not the real enemy. The Islamic State is, and we should consider a ceasefire between the Free Syrian Army and Assad.
"It makes no sense for the West to support a war against Assad as well as a war against the Islamic State," they write, "Assad is evil but ... he is certainly the lesser evil."
Crocker-Luers-Pickering also argue that the crisis calls for the United States to accept the nuclear deal with Iran that was on the table in July and work with Tehran against ISIS. Iranians and Americans are already rushing weapons to the Kurds, who have sustained a string of defeats at the hands of the Islamic State.
"A new strategic relationship between the United States and Iran may seem impossible and risky," the diplomats write, "yet it is also necessary and in the interests of both. While an alliance is out of the question, mutually informed parallel action is necessary."
If we could work with the monster Stalin to defeat Hitler, is colluding with the Ayatollah beyond the pale?
Other arguments shout out against a new American war.
How could we win such a war without the U.S. ground troops Obama pledged never to send, and the American people do not want sent?
Air power may keep ISIS from overrunning Irbil and Baghdad, but carrier-based air cannot reconquer the vast territory the Islamic State has occupied in Iraq. Nor can it defeat ISIS in Syria.
If Obama did launch an air war on ISIS in Syria, our de facto ally and principal beneficiary of those strikes would be the same Syrian regime that Obama and John Kerry wanted to bomb a year ago, until the American people told them no and Congress refused to vote them the authority.
For such reasons, the demand of Sens. Tim Kaine and Rand Paul -- that before Obama takes us back to war in Iraq, or into a new war in Syria, Congress must debate and authorize this war -- is a constitutional and political imperative.
The questions Congress needs to answer are obvious and numerous.
Who exactly is our enemy? ISIS only, or Assad, Hezbollah and Iran as well? Will our involvement be restricted to air power -- fighter-bombers, gunships, cruise missiles, drones? Or should the president be authorized to send U.S. ground troops to fight?
If we are to be restricted to air power, is it to be confined to Iraq, or can it be used in Syria -- and against Assad as well as ISIS?
If U.S. combat troops cannot be used, what are the prospects of expelling ISIS from Iraq? And if we should drive them out, what is the probability they will come back as soon as we leave, especially if we have left them in control of northern Syria?
Is annihilation of ISIS the only permanent solution? How long and bloody a war would that require?
Will the president be authorized to coordinate war planning with Tehran? And if Assad is to become our de facto ally, should we end our support for the Free Syrian Army and negotiate an armistice and amnesty for the FSA?
Congress must be forced to debate and vote on this war, first, so we can hold them accountable for what is to come. Second, so we can force them to come to consensus on just what kind of outcome in this region is acceptable, and attainable, and at what cost.
What will victory look like? What will be the cost in blood and treasure? How long are we prepared to fight this war, an end to which does not today seem to be anywhere in sight?
How reasonable is it to expect that the Kurdish peshmerga and an Iraqi Army that fled Kirkuk, Fallujah and Mosul, will be able to recapture the Sunni regions of Iraq?
Finally, why is this our fight, 6,000 miles away, and not theirs?
I disagree. I think Congress should not give him cover for the inevitable failure. I’m not hoping for that failure. Our men and women in uniform deserve better, but they also deserve better than Obama as commander in chief.
Congress declares war. If they do, the the POTUS as the executive is to carry that out. And I know that I will get some flak for this, but go ahead and flak away! It is what it says in the Constitution.
They sure do deserve better than that arrogant, lazy lying pos occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave as Commander in Chief
“Our men and women in uniform deserve better, but they also deserve better than Obama as commander in chief.”
Going to war with Obama as Commander in Chief is like going deer hunting with bagpipes. However, Democratic wars are good. It’s only Republican wars that are bad. Notice that the woman who literally stalked GWB, Cindy Sheehan, disappeared from the news the moment Obama took office. This wasn’t because she stopped protesting, although she did finally when nobody showed up to film her, it was because she was only being used by the prestitutes to embarrass GWB.
Who put that pic of Ferguson, Mo on there?
No flack from me, because you are correct. That’s the way it is supposed to be. Unfortunately WWll was the last time that war was declared by Congress.
They got palm trees in Ferguson, MO?
It would be best if we could stop the Islamist State in it’s tracks, but any realistic plan for doing that would involve our government not being full of Islamist sympathizers. As it stands, we can’t stop them, so we shouldn’t go though the motions and pretend we are going to. What we can and should do is heavily support the Peshmerga so that they can create and hold an independent Kurdistan. With Iranian support, Baghdad should be able to hold the Shiite areas.
What congress should vote for is authorization to disintegrate ISIS. It would be foolhardy to give Obama permission to mess up any more established countries.
Because ISIS is far more brutal than Hitler's SS?
View some of ISIS' "recruiting videos", Pat.
Last week, we were told there were 40,000 Yazidis on Sinjar Mountain facing starvation if they remained there, and slaughter by ISIS if they came down. But a team of Marines and Special Forces that helicoptered in has reported back that, with a corridor off the mountain opened up by U.S. air strikes, the humanitarian crisis is over. The few thousand who remain can be airdropped food and water. The rest can be brought out. The emergency over...