Bomb, bomb, bomb, Bomb Syria


#101

That’s not going to happen.


#102

Republicans to Obama: “If you attack, all hell will break loose!”/"If you don’t attack, all hell will break loose!"
Obama to Republicans: "OK, you clowns. YOU decide."
Republicans: “Oh shit!”


#103

Im not an Obama lover or hater being British I don’t really care but it really annoys me when he says he speaks for the world " the world drew the red line" for example, how bigheaded and egotistical is that, its not just him Bush was the same, if some Americans ever wondered why their country is hated that much just look at how your presidents come over when they are speaking " We are doing this for the world" and then you hear it was all a pack of lies anyway they were only in it for the oil or the gas or the minerals or the drugs. If Obama gets the vote he wants whatever action he takes is not going to make things any better, it will be the start of yet another pointless war. Well done the world police!


#104

Probably nothing. Several presidents have blatantly violated the War Powers Resolution since it was passed in 1973 (Congress overrode President Nixon’s veto), and Congress has never done anything other than complain. Clinton got impeached for fooling around with an intern, but not for bombing Kosovo, despite the fact that the Serbs posed zero threat to the US (and more specifically, none of the three conditions in the War Powers Resolution were met).

As I said, some members of Congress went so far as to criticize Obama for asking Congress to get involved at all, claiming that he has weakened the power of future presidents. Well, yeah, that’s what the separation of powers is all about! The President commands the military, but Congress decides who we fight - that’s how it works. We’re a democracy, not a military dictatorship. The people’s representatives in Congress decide when and if we engage any other nation in hostilities, regardless of whether there is a formal declaration of war.

One of the most popular misconceptions about the War Powers Resolution is that it gives the president the right to attack any nation, so long as he notifies Congress within 48 hours and hostilities end within 60 days. That just refers to the reporting requirement. At least one of the three conditions for engaging in hostilities to begin with must still be met. Those conditions again are:

[quote]50 U.S.C. § 1541 - Purpose and policy

© Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation
The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to

(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. [/quote]

President Obama would be within his rights to bomb Syria without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization (basically the congressional green light without a formal declaration of war), so long as Syria created a national emergency by attacking the US. So far as I know, Syria has not attacked the US. If Congress gives the green light, fine, but otherwise, Obama should keep the US out of the Syrian civil war.


#105

Here’s a prediction. Congress votes no. The Senate may vote yes, though I doubt it, but the House will definitely vote no.


#106

Apparently lawmakers who have been privy to top secret, closed sessions concerning the evidence about who used what chemical weapons haven’t found it any more conclusive than those of us who have had to take it entirely on faith.


#107

[quote=“Gao Bohan”]For anybody interested in serious discussion, the President does NOT have any authority to attack Syria. The War Powers Resolution clearly states:

[quote]50 U.S.C. § 1541 - Purpose and policy

© Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation
The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. [/quote]

There has been no declaration of war. There has been no specific statutory authorization. There is no national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. As much as I admire and respect President Obama, he is simply WRONG that he has the authority to bomb Syria without congressional approval. He does NOT have the authority to do whatever he wants with the military. Unless the US is under attack, then Congress must either formally declare war or pass a specific statutory authorization to attack. Congress has done no such thing.[/quote]
First, you stated that presidents that enter hostilities without declaration of war is unconstitutional. That is definitely not. And now you’re talking about a law passed by Congress in 1973 trying to redefine the balance of powers in a way that the Constitution doesn’t mention. The law is good as impotent anyhow. Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton had all violated them, often multiple times without consequence.

Then 911 changed the legal perspective on that law with the passing of the AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force against Terrorists), which in effect restores powers back to the President (as though Congress has the Constitutional power to take away in the first place or restore them).

Setting aside the controversies of dubious Congressional laws, Constitutionally speaking, Congress has the power only to declare war. The only power Congress has to actually limit the president, however, is the power of the purse. They can limit resources available to presidents.

But the Republicans (Boehner) are so weak in Congress that they would never confront this president by government shutdowns or defunding military because they are afraid it looks too acerbic and not getting along and singing Kumbayah. But that is their constitutional prerogative. They need to roll up their sleeves and duke it out with this wayward president.

I don’t agree with the president’s discretionary use of his power to strike Syria, but I believe he owns it as commander-in-chief. He was elected and elections have consequences. I say he was elected, he should have the opportunity, as any president does, to show his mettle, show what a fool he is. He’s doing a mighty fine job so far. You get what you vote for.


#108

As I said, some members of Congress went so far as to criticize Obama for asking Congress to get involved at all, claiming that he has weakened the power of future presidents. Well, yeah, that’s what the separation of powers is all about! The President commands the military, but Congress decides who we fight - that’s how it works. We’re a democracy, not a military dictatorship. The people’s representatives in Congress decide when and if we engage any other nation in hostilities, regardless of whether there is a formal declaration of war. [/quote]
No, Congress doesn’t decide who we fight, and then the President just does their bidding like their servant – that’s way off. That’s making the president like Congress’s pitbull or something. Maybe you’re confusing the Constitution with the Article of Confederation, which didn’t have a president – Congress decided it all.

The first congressional declaration of war was in 1812. Before then, Jefferson had quickly engaged in the Barbary Wars in around 1801 before he asked Congress permission, after which Congress opened up the purse to him.

Congress has declared war only 5 times, and the number of times presidents have used the military abroad – well, it would be silly for Congress to declare war that many times.


#109

Jotham, you seem to be under the impression that the President IS America. Gao Bohan has clearly stated several times for you with constitutional backing that the separation of powers is there for a reason. The United States clearly should not be functioning as practical dictatorship. 9/11 changed nothing. The President still needs approval through the democratic process to engage the military against a country that as of now poses no threat to the US or it’s allies.

What kind of message would it send if the President acted like a dictator to attack another dictator? Wouldn’t it then just mean we are arrogant enough to think that our dictators are better than theirs? Talk about a slippery slope that I for one hope we never start sliding down…


#110

[quote=“BrentGolf”]The United States clearly should not be functioning as practical dictatorship. 9/11 changed nothing. The President still needs approval through the democratic process to engage the military against a country that as of now poses no threat to the US or it’s allies.

What kind of message would it send if the President acted like a dictator to attack another dictator? Wouldn’t it then just mean we are arrogant enough to think that our dictators are better than theirs? Talk about a slippery slope that I for one hope we never start sliding down…[/quote]

This really overstates the case. It may be a fine ideal, but it does not reflect reality. The President has done it often enough, in the complete absence of any pressing national emergency, without any domestic repercussions. The President is an elected executive, not a dictator.

Obama is going beyond precedent here. Personally, I think that is well recommended in this case for various reasons, but I don’t expect it will necessarily set any precedent. I think global realities are influencing our actions; it’s not that that Obama is conforming to any kind of constitutional constraint.


#111

So if former Presidents have breached the separation of powers then Obama can too? Ok got it :thumbsup: I sometimes wonder, are Americans even aware of just how undemocratic the country is becoming? You think an election every now and then with dismal turnout and two choices which really amounts to the same choice makes everything ok? I mean it’s not like you actually get any say in the Economy, foreign policy, laws, rights, or anything else. All you have is a vote every now and then. If that elected leader doesn’t follow the system or blatantly goes against his election platform, you’ve got shit in the end. What’s the practical difference between that and a dictatorship? Semantics really…

I can’t believe that Obama correcting a past mistake and deciding to honor the democratic process and separation of powers has been met with such childish criticism. What does that say about the country? You really think that being wrong and strong is better than getting it right in the end? Who cares why he changed his mind. Who cares if it has anything to do with the constitution or not. All that matters is that NOW he is on the correct path. Good for him…


#112

Gee thanks for the civics lesson, lol. How illuminating. But wait, you said, and I quote “The President still needs approval through the democratic process”. If I take your word about how undemocratic the country is becoming, then which democratic process are you referring to exactly?

I’m merely pointing out that the President has assumed this responsibility often enough without any constitutional crisis. Also, for a democratically-elected executive to make such decisions is not in any way inherently undemocratic.

Fine, but don’t be naive. If you think Obama is doing this out of some high ideals of constitutional propriety, I think you’re very wrong. When it suited him in Libya he didn’t take that road, and if something pops up again, who knows what he’ll do.


#113

Very well said. :thumbsup: I’m not shocked to hear it from the peanut gallery here, but I am shocked to hear it from members of Congress, who supposedly should be honoring the separation of powers and protecting the legislature’s institutional interest.

One of the most popular misconceptions, widely held among virtually all Americans, is that the President can order an attack against any nation, any time, for any reason, so long as the start of action is reported to Congress within 48 hours, and hostilities end within 60 days. It’s been done enough times without any legal or political consequences, that people believe it. The media repeat it every time there’s a conflict. But that’s not what the War Powers Resolution says! Yes, there is a 48 hour reporting requirement and 60 day limit, but to start with at least one of three conditions must be met before hostilities begin.

By tradition, no president has ever recognized the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution. But it’s the law! It’s one of the most important laws on the books, in my opinion. And yet it is widely misunderstood by the public and completely ignored by every president since its passage. And even though Obama has agreed to consult Congress on Syria, he still insists that he can bomb Syria without congressional approval.

I am amazed that people want to quibble about the phrase “declare war”. So it’s OK for a president to go to war with any nation he chooses, so long as he doesn’t call it a war? While we’re at it, if the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional (despite never being declared so by the courts), why should the president bother reporting the matter to Congress, or better yet, end the war in 60 days? Oh sorry, I mean end the “hostilities” in 60 days?

It’s worth taking a step back every now and then asking ourselves what the intent of the separation of war powers is all about. Simply put, its purpose is to keep presidents from taking the nation to war without the consent of its people (via their representatives in Congress). I hope that Congress gives the green light on Syria. This isn’t about Obama, or his “credibility”. It’s about America’s credibility. Obama, speaking for us, set a red line. Syria crossed it, so it’s Go Time. That’s just my opinion. But if Congress says, no, then that’s it, there should be no war.


#114

It sounds to me like a lot of Americans need one, and yes based on some of your comments here it sounded like you needed one too, so sarcasm aside you’re welcome :slight_smile:

Um… the one in the event that Obama attacked Syria without congressional approval? :doh:

Yes I know what you’re “merely” pointing out, and I’m “merely” pointing out right back to you that just because the United States has a long history of horrendous foreign policy that completely ignores the separation of powers and the very basis of a representative democracy, that doesn’t mean that Obama shouldn’t try his very best to FINALLY get something right. Which it seems in a round about way he might have just done with his latest back peddling job here. Far from graceful, and one could even say not very Presidential, but commendable none the less. W would have just hit the accelerator.

I don’t think that at all. Like I said, I don’t really care why it is happening as long as it is. This has to be voted on. If Congress votes to ok a strike in my opinion that would be the WRONG decision, but at least it would be the democratic process at work. Lest we forget, there have been a few leaders in the days of old that came to power democratically and then decided, well I’m the elected leader now so I guess I can forgo that little “voting” thing from here on out :astonished:


#115

It sounds to me like a lot of Americans need one, and yes based on some of your comments here it sounded like you needed one too, so sarcasm aside you’re welcome :slight_smile: [/quote]

You probably should read more of my comments. Anyway, save yourself the trouble next time.

Um… the one in the event that Obama attacked Syria without congressional approval? :doh: [/quote]

Um, but if the whole system is undemocratic as you say, what difference does it make which branch of government makes the decision? :unamused:

Yes I know what you’re “merely” pointing out, and I’m “merely” pointing out right back to you that just because the United States has a long history of horrendous foreign policy that completely ignores the separation of powers and the very basis of a representative democracy, that doesn’t mean that Obama shouldn’t try his very best to FINALLY get something right. Which it seems in a round about way he might have just done with his latest back peddling job here. Far from graceful, and one could even say not very Presidential, but commendable none the less. W would have just hit the accelerator.[/quote]

I’m glad you know. It’s barely commendable I suppose. He could hardly have done anything else, if you ask me.

I don’t think that at all. Like I said, I don’t really care why it is happening as long as it is. This has to be voted on. If Congress votes to ok a strike in my opinion that would be the WRONG decision, but at least it would be the democratic process at work. Lest we forget, there have been a few leaders in the days of old that came to power democratically and then decided, well I’m the elected leader now so I guess I can forgo that little “voting” thing from here on out :astonished:[/quote]

That doesn’t say much. I agree with you that it should be happening. In the big picture of this long-standing contest between executive and legislative branches, I don’t think Obama’s decision makes a big difference. It may reflect that the world as we know it is changing, which is significant, but Obama is reacting to that and not driving the bus.


#116

From the atrocity baiting Uncle Sam files:
m.youtube.com/watch?v=pR4cgeJJPq … R4cgeJJPqg


#117

Repubiclan dilemma:


#118

Chris, why do you keep making this out to be a Republican issue? Obama wants to bomb Syria. Whatever the Repubs want is fairly irrelevant. They aren’t pushing the president.


#119

Not now it isn’t. It’s extremely unlikely Obama will go ahead if Congress disapproves. Republicans hold the majority in the House and a blocking minority in the Senate, so it becomes an issue for both parties, and both parties are split, with liberal interventionists and neocons (the"center") in favor and a left-wing Democrat/ libertarian Republican grouping opposed.

I believe that the only reason Obama even went to Congress was that Cameron put the question to Parliament. Otherwise Obama would have stood up there with the British PM beside him and claimed that this was “Western” support (a la Libya), and just gone ahead and and done it.


#120

You are missing the point I am making to my liberal friend. :wink: