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Obama on Syria

ClassicRobert
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8/31/2013 3:27:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Today, Obama made a speech about Syria.

He essentially said that Syria messed up, he's ready to go to war, but he's just going to be waiting on congressional approval.

From what I saw, it seemed like the perfect thing for Obama, as the POTUS, to do. In doing this, he shifted the responsibility to those that actually have the ability to take action, and in doing so, he put it at the top of congress' agenda.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com...

Discuss
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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/31/2013 4:16:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is the proper tone for the POTUS to have, rhetorically, but we'll have to see to what degree it's only political posturing. If Congress votes and disapproves of any form of intervention, and the President chooses to abide by it, we may be seeing new precedent for the hierarchy of consultation for US military action.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
FREEDO
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8/31/2013 4:22:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I suspect that he has only decided to consult congress because he knows they will approve.

He is already no stranger to unapproved intervention.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
YYW
Posts: 36,287
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8/31/2013 4:58:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 3:27:26 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Today, Obama made a speech about Syria.

He essentially said that Syria messed up, he's ready to go to war, but he's just going to be waiting on congressional approval.

From what I saw, it seemed like the perfect thing for Obama, as the POTUS, to do. In doing this, he shifted the responsibility to those that actually have the ability to take action, and in doing so, he put it at the top of congress' agenda.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com...

Discuss

He's waiting for congressional approval because he knows that there is almost no chance Congress will authorize his response. He knows further that if Congress explicitly directs him not to do something, then he will cloud the constitutionality of his warmaking power to such an extent that he might be able to say something like:

"I tried to intervene in Syria. Intervening in Syria was the right thing to do! But, congress wouldn't let me!"

It's absurd.
Tsar of DDO
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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8/31/2013 5:27:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's a cowardly move. Congress should approve, but he explicitly called for urgent action, which does NOT include waiting for another week. There is an interesting opposition from the Republicans on this matter, so obviously there's a high chance that there will be no approval for intervention. To which he can say that he made an attempt, it isn't his fault. What else do you expect from an incompetent bimbo in the WH.
000ike
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8/31/2013 5:54:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 4:58:46 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 3:27:26 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Today, Obama made a speech about Syria.

He essentially said that Syria messed up, he's ready to go to war, but he's just going to be waiting on congressional approval.

From what I saw, it seemed like the perfect thing for Obama, as the POTUS, to do. In doing this, he shifted the responsibility to those that actually have the ability to take action, and in doing so, he put it at the top of congress' agenda.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com...

Discuss

He's waiting for congressional approval because he knows that there is almost no chance Congress will authorize his response. He knows further that if Congress explicitly directs him not to do something, then he will cloud the constitutionality of his warmaking power to such an extent that he might be able to say something like:

"I tried to intervene in Syria. Intervening in Syria was the right thing to do! But, congress wouldn't let me!"

It's absurd.

No, this sentiment is absurd. If he disregards Congress's vote of approval and acts with the authority defined by the war powers resolution, he'd be relegated to the ranks of Bush and Johnson as yet another war monger who, even worse, lied about seeking to avoid war (at least, now outside a libertarian audience). Now that he has shown some reluctance to act alone, that's a problem too? I'd like to know what it is you'd rather he had done.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
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8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 5:54:51 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 4:58:46 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 3:27:26 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Today, Obama made a speech about Syria.

He essentially said that Syria messed up, he's ready to go to war, but he's just going to be waiting on congressional approval.

From what I saw, it seemed like the perfect thing for Obama, as the POTUS, to do. In doing this, he shifted the responsibility to those that actually have the ability to take action, and in doing so, he put it at the top of congress' agenda.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com...

Discuss

He's waiting for congressional approval because he knows that there is almost no chance Congress will authorize his response. He knows further that if Congress explicitly directs him not to do something, then he will cloud the constitutionality of his warmaking power to such an extent that he might be able to say something like:

"I tried to intervene in Syria. Intervening in Syria was the right thing to do! But, congress wouldn't let me!"

It's absurd.

No, this sentiment is absurd. If he disregards Congress's vote of approval and acts with the authority defined by the war powers resolution, he'd be relegated to the ranks of Bush and Johnson as yet another war monger who, even worse, lied about seeking to avoid war (at least, now outside a libertarian audience). Now that he has shown some reluctance to act alone, that's a problem too? I'd like to know what it is you'd rather he had done.

The War Powers Act (it is not a resolution, it was passed) requires the president only to consult with, not to seek the approval of, congress before using military force. There is NOTHING in the comprehensive legislative history of congress, nor in the span of supreme court jurisprudence, nor in the constitution, nor any other source of legal authority in the United States which would constrain Obama's power to launch missiles on the Assad regime.

Because I'm fairly sure you won't take my word for it, let me lay it out for you. Here's a fairly brief explanation of why your (and, generally, the lot of most American's) understanding of the WPA is in error:

This is a Justice Department Memo...

The President's Power to Defend the United States and its interests:

"The President's constitutional power to defend the United States and the lives of its people must be understood in light of the Founders' express intention to create a federal government "cloathed with all the powers requisite to [the] complete execution of its trust." The Federalist No. 23, at 122 (Alexander Hamilton) (Charles R. Kesler ed., 1999). Foremost among the objectives committed to that trust by the Constitution is the security of the Nation. (1) As Hamilton explained in arguing for the Constitution's adoption, because "the circumstances which may affect the public safety are [not] reducible within certain determinate limits, . . . it must be admitted, as a necessary consequence that there can be no limitation of that authority which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community in any matter essential to its efficiency." Id.

"It is 'obvious and unarguable' that no governmental interest is more compelling than the security of the Nation." Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280, 307 (1981) (citation omitted). Within the limits that the Constitution itself imposes, the scope and distribution of the powers to protect national security must be construed to authorize the most efficacious defense of the Nation and its interests in accordance "with the realistic purposes of the entire instrument." Lichter v. United States, 334 U.S. 742, 782 (1948). Nor is the authority to protect national security limited to actions necessary for "victories in the field." Application of Yamashita, 327 U.S. 1, 12 (1946). The authority over national security "carries with it the inherent power to guard against the immediate renewal of the conflict." Id.

The President's constitutional authority to use military force:

Constitutional Text. The text, structure and history of the Constitution establish that the Founders entrusted the President with the primary responsibility, and therefore the power, to use military force in situations of emergency. Article II, Section 2 states that the "President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." U.S. Const. art. II, " 2, cl. 1. He is further vested with all of "the executive Power" and the duty to execute the laws. U.S. Const. art. II, " 1. These powers give the President broad constitutional authority to use military force in response to threats to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. (3) During the period leading up to the Constitution's ratification, the power to initiate hostilities and to control the escalation of conflict had been long understood to rest in the hands of the executive branch. (4)

By their terms, these provisions vest full control of the military forces of the United States in the President. The power of the President is at its zenith under the Constitution when the President is directing military operations of the armed forces, because the power of Commander in Chief is assigned solely to the President. It has long been the view of this Office that the Commander-in-Chief Clause is a substantive grant of authority to the President and that the scope of the President's authority to commit the armed forces to combat is very broad. See, e.g., Memorandum for Honorable Charles W. Colson, Special Counsel to the President, from William H. Rehnquist, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: The President and the War Power: South Vietnam and the Cambodian Sanctuaries (May 22, 1970) (the "Rehnquist Memo"). The President's complete discretion in exercising the Commander-in-Chief power has also been recognized by the courts. In the Prize Cases, 67 U.S. (2 Black) 635, 670 (1862), for example, the Court explained that, whether the President "in fulfilling his duties as Commander in Chief" had met with a situation justifying treating the southern States as belligerents and instituting a blockade, was a question "to be decided by him" and which the Court could not question, but must leave to "the political department of the Government to which this power was entrusted." (5)

To be continued in a later post...
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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8/31/2013 6:44:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Some commentators... argue that the vesting of the power to declare war gives Congress the sole authority to decide whether to make war. (6) This view misreads the constitutional text and misunderstands the nature of a declaration of war. Declaring war is not tantamount to making war - indeed, the Constitutional Convention specifically amended the working draft of the Constitution that had given Congress the power to make war. An earlier draft of the Constitution had given to Congress the power to "make" war. When it took up this clause on August 17, 1787, the Convention voted to change the clause from "make" to "declare." 2 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 318-19 (Max Farrand ed., rev. ed. 1966) (1911). A supporter of the change argued that it would "leav[e] to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks." Id. at 318. Further, other elements of the Constitution describe "engaging" in war, which demonstrates that the Framers understood making and engaging in war to be broader than simply "declaring" war. See U.S. Const. art. I, " 10, cl. 3 ("No State shall, without the Consent of Congress . . . engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."). A State constitution at the time of the ratification included provisions that prohibited the governor from "making" war without legislative approval, S.C. Const. art. XXVI (1776), reprinted in 6 The Federal and State Constitutions 3247 (Francis Newton Thorpe ed., 1909). (7) If the Framers had wanted to require congressional consent before the initiation of military hostilities, they knew how to write such provisions.

Finally, the Framing generation well understood that declarations of war were obsolete. Not all forms of hostilities rose to the level of a declared war: during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Great Britain and colonial America waged numerous conflicts against other states without an official declaration of war. (8) As Alexander Hamilton observed during the ratification, "the ceremony of a formal denunciation of war has of late fallen into disuse." The Federalist No. 25, at 133 (Alexander Hamilton). Instead of serving as an authorization to begin hostilities, a declaration of war was only necessary to "perfect" a conflict under international law. A declaration served to fully transform the international legal relationship between two states from one of peace to one of war. See 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries *249-50. Given this context, it is clear that Congress's power to declare war does not constrain the President's independent and plenary constitutional authority over the use of military force.

Constitutional Structure. Our reading of the text is reinforced by analysis of the constitutional structure. First, it is clear that the Constitution secures all federal executive power in the President to ensure a unity in purpose and energy in action. "Decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch will generally characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number." The Federalist No. 70, at 392 (Alexander Hamilton). The centralization of authority in the President alone is particularly crucial in matters of national defense, war, and foreign policy, where a unitary executive can evaluate threats, consider policy choices, and mobilize national resources with a speed and energy that is far superior to any other branch. As Hamilton noted, "Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks." Id. at 391. This is no less true in war. "Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand." Id. No. 74, at 415 (Alexander Hamilton). (9)

Second, the Constitution makes clear that the process used for conducting military hostilities is different from other government decisionmaking. In the area of domestic legislation, the Constitution creates a detailed, finely wrought procedure in which Congress plays the central role. In foreign affairs, however, the Constitution does not establish a mandatory, detailed, Congress-driven procedure for taking action. Rather, the Constitution vests the two branches with different powers - the President as Commander in Chief, Congress with control over funding and declaring war - without requiring that they follow a specific process in making war. By establishing this framework, the Framers expected that the process for warmaking would be far more flexible, and capable of quicker, more decisive action, than the legislative process. Thus, the President may use his Commander-in-Chief and executive powers to use military force to protect the Nation, subject to congressional appropriations and control over domestic legislation.

Third, the constitutional structure requires that any ambiguities in the allocation of a power that is executive in nature - such as the power to conduct military hostilities - must be resolved in favor of the executive branch. Article II, section 1 provides that "[t]he executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States." U.S. Const. art. II, " 1. By contrast, Article I's Vesting Clause gives Congress only the powers "herein granted." Id. art. I, " 1. This difference in language indicates that Congress's legislative powers are limited to the list enumerated in Article I, section 8, while the President's powers include inherent executive powers that are unenumerated in the Constitution. To be sure, Article II lists specifically enumerated powers in addition to the Vesting Clause, and some have argued that this limits the "executive Power" granted in the Vesting Clause to the powers on that list. But the purpose of the enumeration of executive powers in Article II was not to define and cabin the grant in the Vesting Clause. Rather, the Framers unbundled some plenary powers that had traditionally been regarded as "executive," assigning elements of those powers to Congress in Article I, while expressly reserving other elements as enumerated executive powers in Article II. So, for example, the King's traditional power to declare war was given to Congress under Article I, while the Commander-in-Chief authority was expressly reserved to the President in Article II. Further, the Framers altered other plenary powers of the King, such as treaties and appointments, assigning the Senate a share in them in Article II itself. (10) Thus, the enumeration in Article II marks the points at which several traditional executive powers were diluted or reallocated. Any other, unenumerated executive powers, however, were conveyed to the President by the Vesting Clause.

There can be little doubt that the decision to deploy military force is "executive" in nature, and was traditionally so regarded. It calls for action and energy in execution, rather than the deliberate formulation of rules to govern the conduct of private individuals. Moreover, the Framers understood it to be an attribute of the executive. "The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength," wrote Alexander Hamilton, "and the power of directing and employing the common strength forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority." The Federalist No. 74, at 415 (Alexander Hamilton). As a result, to the extent that the constitutional text does not explicitly allocate the power to initiate military hostilities to a particular branch, the Vesting Clause provides that it remain among the President's unenumerated powers.

To be continued in a later post.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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8/31/2013 6:47:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Fourth, depriving the President of the power to decide when to use military force would disrupt the basic constitutional framework of foreign relations. From the very beginnings of the Republic, the vesting of the executive, Commander-in-Chief, and treaty powers in the executive branch has been understood to grant the President plenary control over the conduct of foreign relations. As Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson observed during the first Washington Administration: "the constitution has divided the powers of government into three branches [and] has declared that the executive powers shall be vested in the president, submitting only special articles of it to a negative by the senate." Due to this structure, Jefferson continued, "the transaction of business with foreign nations is executive altogether; it belongs, then, to the head of that department, except as to such portions of it as are specially submitted to the senate. Exceptions are to be construed strictly." Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Powers of the Senate (1790), reprinted in 5 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, at 161 (Paul L. Ford ed., 1895). In defending President Washington's authority to issue the Neutrality Proclamation, Alexander Hamilton came to the same interpretation of the President's foreign affairs powers. According to Hamilton, Article II "ought . . . to be considered as intended . . . to specify and regulate the principal articles implied in the definition of Executive Power; leaving the rest to flow from the general grant of that power." Alexander Hamilton, Pacificus No. 1 (1793), reprinted in 15 The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, at 33, 39 (Harold C. Syrett et al. eds., 1969). As future Chief Justice John Marshall famously declared a few years later, "The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations. . . . The [executive] department . . . is entrusted with the whole foreign intercourse of the nation . . . ." 10 Annals of Cong. 613-14 (1800). Given the agreement of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Marshall, it has not been difficult for the executive branch consistently to assert the President's plenary authority in foreign affairs ever since.

In the relatively few occasions where it has addressed foreign affairs, the Supreme Court has agreed with the executive branch's consistent interpretation. Conducting foreign affairs and protecting the national security are, as the Supreme Court has observed, "'central' Presidential domains." Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 812 n.19 (1982). The President's constitutional primacy flows from both his unique position in the constitutional structure, and from the specific grants of authority in Article II that make the President both the Chief Executive of the Nation and the Commander in Chief. See Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 749-50 (1982). Due to the President's constitutionally superior position, the Supreme Court has consistently "recognized 'the generally accepted view that foreign policy [is] the province and responsibility of the Executive.'" Department of the Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518, 529 (1988) (quoting Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. at 293-94). "The Founders in their wisdom made [the President] not only the Commander-in-Chief but also the guiding organ in the conduct of our foreign affairs," possessing "vast powers in relation to the outside world." Ludecke v. Watkins, 335 U.S. 160, 173 (1948). This foreign affairs power is exclusive: it is "the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations - a power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress." United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S. 304, 320 (1936).

Conducting military hostilities is a central tool for the exercise of the President's plenary control over the conduct of foreign policy. There can be no doubt that the use of force protects the Nation's security and helps it achieve its foreign policy goals. Construing the Constitution to grant such power to another branch could prevent the President from exercising his core constitutional responsibilities in foreign affairs. Even in the cases in which the Supreme Court has limited executive authority, it has also emphasized that we should not construe legislative prerogatives to prevent the executive branch "from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions." Nixon v. Administrator of General Servs., 433 U.S. 425, 443 (1977).

In Overview of the War Powers Resolution, 8 Op. O.L.C. 271, 275 (1984), we noted that "[t]he President's authority to deploy armed forces has been exercised in a broad range of circumstances [in] our history."

In Presidential Power to Use the Armed Forces Abroad Without Statutory Authorization, 4A Op. O.L.C. 185, 187 (1980), we stated that

[o]ur history is replete with instances of presidential uses of military force abroad in the absence of prior congressional approval. This pattern of presidential initiative and congressional acquiescence may be said to reflect the implicit advantage held by the executive over the legislature under our constitutional scheme in situations calling for immediate action. Thus, constitutional practice over two centuries, supported by the nature of the functions exercised and by the few legal benchmarks that exist, evidences the existence of broad constitutional power.

In light of that understanding, we advised that the President had independent constitutional authority unilaterally to order "(1) deployment abroad at some risk of engagement - for example, the current presence of the fleet in the Persian Gulf region; (2) a military expedition to rescue the hostages or to retaliate against Iran if the hostages are harmed; (3) an attempt to repel an assault that threatens our vital interests in that region." Id. at 185-86. See also Presidential Powers Relating to the Situation in Iran, 4A Op. O.L.C. 115, 121 (1979) ("It is well established that the President has the constitutional power as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief to protect the lives and property of Americans abroad. This understanding is reflected in judicial decisions
. . . and recurring historic practice which goes back to the time of Jefferson.").

Finally, in the Rehnquist Memo at 8, we concluded that the President as Commander in Chief had the authority "to commit military forces of the United States to armed conflict . . . to protect the lives of American troops in the field."

As Justice Joseph Story said long ago, "[i]t may be fit and proper for the government, in the exercise of the high discretion confided to the executive, for great public purposes, to act on a sudden emergency, or to prevent an irreparable mischief, by summary measures, which are not found in the text of the laws." The Apollon, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 362, 366-67 (1824). The Constitution entrusts the "power [to] the executive branch of the government to preserve order and insure the public safety in times of emergency, when other branches of the government are unable to function, or their functioning would itself threaten the public safety." Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304, 335 (1946) (Stone, C.J., concurring).

To be continued in a further post...
Tsar of DDO
000ike
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8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
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8/31/2013 6:52:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The historical record demonstrates that the power to initiate military hostilities, particularly in response to the threat of an armed attack, rests exclusively with the President. As the Supreme Court has observed, "[t]he United States frequently employs Armed Forces outside this country - over 200 times in our history - for the protection of American citizens or national security." United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 273 (1990). On at least 125 such occasions, the President acted without prior express authorization from Congress. See Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331. Such deployments, based on the President's constitutional authority alone, have occurred since the Administration of George Washington. See David P. Currie, The Constitution in Congress: Substantive Issues in the First Congress, 1789-1791, 61 U. Chi. L. Rev. 775, 816 (1994) ("[B]oth Secretary [of War] Knox and [President] Washington himself seemed to think that this [Commander in Chief] authority extended to offensive operations taken in retaliation for Indian atrocities.") (quoted in Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331 n.4. Perhaps the most significant deployment without specific statutory authorization took place at the time of the Korean War, when President Truman, without prior authorization from Congress, deployed United States troops in a war that lasted for over three years and caused over 142,000 American casualties. See Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331-32 n.5.

Recent deployments ordered solely on the basis of the President's constitutional authority have also been extremely large, representing a substantial commitment of the Nation's military personnel, diplomatic prestige, and financial resources. On at least one occasion, such a unilateral deployment has constituted full-scale war. On March 24, 1999, without any prior statutory authorization and in the absence of an attack on the United States, President Clinton ordered hostilities to be initiated against the Republic of Yugoslavia. The President informed Congress that, in the initial wave of air strikes, "United States and NATO forces have targeted the [Yugoslavian] government's integrated air defense system, military and security police command and control elements, and military and security police facilities and infrastructure. . . . I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive." Letter to Congressional leaders reporting on airstrikes against Serbian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), 1 Pub. Papers of William Jefferson Clinton 459, 459 (1999). Bombing attacks against targets in both Kosovo and Serbia ended on June 10, 1999, seventy-nine days after the war began. More than 30,000 United States military personnel participated in the operations; some 800 U.S. aircraft flew more than 20,000 sorties; more than 23,000 bombs and missiles were used. As part of the peace settlement, NATO deployed some 50,000 troops into Kosovo, 7,000 of them American. (15) In a News Briefing on June 10, 1999, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen summarized the effects of the campaign by saying, "[t]hree months ago Yugoslavia was a heavily armed country with a significant air defense system. We reduced that defense system threat by destroying over 80 percent of Yugoslavia's modern aircraft fighters and strategic suface-to-air missiles. NATO destroyed a significant share of the infrastructure Yugoslavia used to support[] its military with, we reduced his capacity to make ammunition by two-thirds, and we eliminated all of its oil refining capacity and more than 40 percent of its military fuel supplies, Most important, we severely crippled the military forces in Kosovo by destroying more than 50 percent of the artillery and more than one-third of the armored vehicles." (16)

...

Major recent deployments have also taken place in Central America and in the Persian Gulf. In 1994, President Clinton ordered some 20,000 United States troops to be deployed into Haiti, again without prior statutory authorization from Congress, in reliance solely upon his Article II authority. See Deployment of United States Armed Forces into Haiti, supra. On August 8, 1990, in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the consequent threat to Saudi Arabia, President Bush ordered the deployment of substantial forces into Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Shield. The forces were equipped for combat and included two squadrons of F-15 aircraft and a brigade of the 82d Airborne Division; the deployment eventually grew to several hundred thousand. The President informed Congress that he had taken these actions "pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct our foreign relations and as Commander in Chief." Letter to Congressional Leaders, 2 Pub. Papers of George Bush 1116 (1990). President Bush also deployed some 15,000 troops into Panama in December, 1990, for the purpose (among others) of protecting Americans living in Panama. See 2 Pub. Papers of George Bush 1722 (1989); see generally Abraham D. Sofaer, The Legality of the United States Action in Panama, 29 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 281 (1991).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Further, when Congress has in fact authorized deployments of troops in hostilities, past Presidents have taken the position that such legislation, although welcome, was not constitutionally necessary. For example, in signing Pub. L. No. 102-01, 105 Stat. 3 (1991), authorizing the use of military force in Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, President Bush stated that "my request for congressional support did not, and my signing this resolution does not, constitute any change in the longstanding positions of the executive branch on either the President's constitutional authority to use the Armed Forces to defend vital U.S. interests or the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution." Statement on Signing the Resolution Authorizing the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, 1 Pub. Papers of George Bush 40 (1991). (21) Similarly, President John F. Kennedy stated on September 13, 1962, that congressional authorization for a naval blockade of Cuba was unnecessary, maintaining that "I have full authority now to take such action." Pub. Papers of John F. Kennedy 674 (1962). And in a Report to the American People on October 22, 1962, President Kennedy asserted that he had ordered the blockade "under the authority entrusted to me by the Constitution as endorsed by the resolution of the Congress." Id. at 807 (emphasis added). (22) Thus, there is abundant precedent, much of it from recent Administrations, for the deployment of military force abroad, including the waging of war, on the basis of the President's sole constitutional authority.
Tsar of DDO
cybertron1998
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8/31/2013 6:53:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 6:52:34 PM, YYW wrote:
The historical record demonstrates that the power to initiate military hostilities, particularly in response to the threat of an armed attack, rests exclusively with the President. As the Supreme Court has observed, "[t]he United States frequently employs Armed Forces outside this country - over 200 times in our history - for the protection of American citizens or national security." United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 273 (1990). On at least 125 such occasions, the President acted without prior express authorization from Congress. See Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331. Such deployments, based on the President's constitutional authority alone, have occurred since the Administration of George Washington. See David P. Currie, The Constitution in Congress: Substantive Issues in the First Congress, 1789-1791, 61 U. Chi. L. Rev. 775, 816 (1994) ("[B]oth Secretary [of War] Knox and [President] Washington himself seemed to think that this [Commander in Chief] authority extended to offensive operations taken in retaliation for Indian atrocities.") (quoted in Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331 n.4. Perhaps the most significant deployment without specific statutory authorization took place at the time of the Korean War, when President Truman, without prior authorization from Congress, deployed United States troops in a war that lasted for over three years and caused over 142,000 American casualties. See Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331-32 n.5.

Recent deployments ordered solely on the basis of the President's constitutional authority have also been extremely large, representing a substantial commitment of the Nation's military personnel, diplomatic prestige, and financial resources. On at least one occasion, such a unilateral deployment has constituted full-scale war. On March 24, 1999, without any prior statutory authorization and in the absence of an attack on the United States, President Clinton ordered hostilities to be initiated against the Republic of Yugoslavia. The President informed Congress that, in the initial wave of air strikes, "United States and NATO forces have targeted the [Yugoslavian] government's integrated air defense system, military and security police command and control elements, and military and security police facilities and infrastructure. . . . I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive." Letter to Congressional leaders reporting on airstrikes against Serbian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), 1 Pub. Papers of William Jefferson Clinton 459, 459 (1999). Bombing attacks against targets in both Kosovo and Serbia ended on June 10, 1999, seventy-nine days after the war began. More than 30,000 United States military personnel participated in the operations; some 800 U.S. aircraft flew more than 20,000 sorties; more than 23,000 bombs and missiles were used. As part of the peace settlement, NATO deployed some 50,000 troops into Kosovo, 7,000 of them American. (15) In a News Briefing on June 10, 1999, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen summarized the effects of the campaign by saying, "[t]hree months ago Yugoslavia was a heavily armed country with a significant air defense system. We reduced that defense system threat by destroying over 80 percent of Yugoslavia's modern aircraft fighters and strategic suface-to-air missiles. NATO destroyed a significant share of the infrastructure Yugoslavia used to support[] its military with, we reduced his capacity to make ammunition by two-thirds, and we eliminated all of its oil refining capacity and more than 40 percent of its military fuel supplies, Most important, we severely crippled the military forces in Kosovo by destroying more than 50 percent of the artillery and more than one-third of the armored vehicles." (16)

...


Major recent deployments have also taken place in Central America and in the Persian Gulf. In 1994, President Clinton ordered some 20,000 United States troops to be deployed into Haiti, again without prior statutory authorization from Congress, in reliance solely upon his Article II authority. See Deployment of United States Armed Forces into Haiti, supra. On August 8, 1990, in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the consequent threat to Saudi Arabia, President Bush ordered the deployment of substantial forces into Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Shield. The forces were equipped for combat and included two squadrons of F-15 aircraft and a brigade of the 82d Airborne Division; the deployment eventually grew to several hundred thousand. The President informed Congress that he had taken these actions "pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct our foreign relations and as Commander in Chief." Letter to Congressional Leaders, 2 Pub. Papers of George Bush 1116 (1990). President Bush also deployed some 15,000 troops into Panama in December, 1990, for the purpose (among others) of protecting Americans living in Panama. See 2 Pub. Papers of George Bush 1722 (1989); see generally Abraham D. Sofaer, The Legality of the United States Action in Panama, 29 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 281 (1991).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Further, when Congress has in fact authorized deployments of troops in hostilities, past Presidents have taken the position that such legislation, although welcome, was not constitutionally necessary. For example, in signing Pub. L. No. 102-01, 105 Stat. 3 (1991), authorizing the use of military force in Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, President Bush stated that "my request for congressional support did not, and my signing this resolution does not, constitute any change in the longstanding positions of the executive branch on either the President's constitutional authority to use the Armed Forces to defend vital U.S. interests or the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution." Statement on Signing the Resolution Authorizing the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, 1 Pub. Papers of George Bush 40 (1991). (21) Similarly, President John F. Kennedy stated on September 13, 1962, that congressional authorization for a naval blockade of Cuba was unnecessary, maintaining that "I have full authority now to take such action." Pub. Papers of John F. Kennedy 674 (1962). And in a Report to the American People on October 22, 1962, President Kennedy asserted that he had ordered the blockade "under the authority entrusted to me by the Constitution as endorsed by the resolution of the Congress." Id. at 807 (emphasis added). (22) Thus, there is abundant precedent, much of it from recent Administrations, for the deployment of military force abroad, including the waging of war, on the basis of the President's sole constitutional authority.

either you type crazy fast or your cping
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
YYW
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8/31/2013 6:54:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Several recent precedents stand out as particularly relevant to the situation at hand, where the conflict is with terrorists. The first and most relevant precedent is also the most recent: the military actions that President William J. Clinton ordered on August 20, 1998, against terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan. The second is the strike on Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters that President Clinton ordered on June 26, 1993. The third is President Ronald Reagan's action on April 14, 1986, ordering United States armed forces to attack selected targets at Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya.

(A) On August 20, 1998, President Clinton ordered the Armed Forces to strike at terrorist-related facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan "because of the threat they present to our national security." Remarks in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Military Action Against Terrorist Sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, 2 Pub. Papers of William J. Clinton 1460 (1998). The President stated that the purpose of the operation was "to strike at the network of radical groups affiliated with and funded by Usama bin Ladin, perhaps the preeminent organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today." Address to the Nation on Military Action Against Terrorist Sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, 2 Pub. Papers of William J. Clinton 1460 (1998). The strike was ordered in retaliation for the bombings of United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which bin Laden's organization and groups affiliated with it were believed to have played a key role and which had caused the deaths of some 12 Americans and nearly 300 Kenyans and Tanzanians, and in order to deter later terrorist attacks of a similar kind against United States nationals and others. In his remarks at Martha's Vineyard, President Clinton justified the operation as follows:

I ordered this action for four reasons: first, because we have convincing evidence these groups played the key role in the Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; second, because these groups have executed terrorist attacks against Americans in the past; third, because we have compelling information that they were planning additional terrorist attacks against our citizens and others with the inevitable collateral casualties we saw so tragically in Africa; and fourth, because they are seeking to acquire chemical weapons and other dangerous weapons.

Id. In his Address to the Nation on the same day, the President made clear that the strikes were aimed, not only at bin Laden's organization, but at other terrorist groups thought to be affiliated with it, and that the strikes were intended as retribution for other incidents caused by these groups, and not merely the then-recent bombings of the two United States embassies. Referring to the past acts of the interlinked terrorist groups, he stated:

Their mission is murder and their history is bloody. In recent years, they killed American, Belgian, and Pakistani peacekeepers in Somalia. They plotted to assassinate the President of Egypt and the Pope. They planned to bomb six United States 747's over the Pacific. They bombed the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan. They gunned down German tourists in Egypt.

Id. at 1460-61. Furthermore, in explaining why military action was necessary, the President noted that "law enforcement and diplomatic tools" to combat terrorism had proved insufficient, and that "when our very national security is challenged . . . we must take extraordinary steps to protect the safety of our citizens." Id. at 1461. Finally, the President made plain that the action of the two targeted countries in harboring terrorists justified the use of military force on their territory: "The United States does not take this action lightly. Afghanistan and Sudan have been warned for years to stop harboring and supporting these terrorist groups. But countries that persistently host terrorists have no right to be safe havens." Id.

...

The executive branch consistently "has taken the position from the very beginning that section 2(c) of the WPR does not constitute a legally binding definition of Presidential authority to deploy our armed forces." Overview of the War Powers Resolution, 8 Op. O.L.C. at 274. (28) Moreover, as our Office has noted, "even the defenders of the WPR concede that this declaration [in section 2(c)] - found in the 'Purpose and Policy' section of the WPR - either is incomplete or is not meant to be binding." Deployment of United States Armed Forces into Haiti, 18 Op. O.L.C. at 176; accord Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 335 ("The executive branch has traditionally taken the position that the President's power to deploy armed forces into situations of actual or indicated hostilities is not restricted to the three categories specifically marked out by the Resolution."); Presidential Powers Relating to the Situation in Iran, 4A Op. O.L.C. at 121 ("[T]he Resolution's policy statement is not a comprehensive or binding formulation of the President's powers as Commander-in-Chief."). Nonetheless, section 2(c)(3) correctly identifies one, but by no means the only, Presidential authority to deploy military forces into hostilities. (29) In the present circumstances, the statute signifies Congress's recognition that the President's constitutional authority alone would enable him to take military measures to combat the organizations or groups responsible for the September 11 incidents, together with any governments that may have harbored or supported them.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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8/31/2013 6:55:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Further, Congress's support for the President's power suggests no limits on the Executive's judgment whether to use military force in response to the national emergency created by those incidents. Section 2(c)(3) leaves undisturbed the President's constitutional authority to determine both when a "national emergency" arising out of an "attack against the United States" exists, and what types and levels of force are necessary or appropriate to respond to that emergency. Because the statute itself supplies no definition of these terms, their interpretation must depend on longstanding constitutional practices and understandings. As we have shown in Parts I-III of this memorandum, constitutional text, structure and practice demonstrate that the President is vested with the plenary power to use military force, especially in the case of a direct attack on the United States. Section 2(c)(3) recognizes the President's broad authority and discretion in this area.

...

To be sure, some interpreters of the WPR take a broader view of its scope. But on any reasonable interpretation of that statute, it must reflect an explicit understanding, shared by both the Executive and Congress, that the President may take some military actions - including involvement in hostilities - in response to emergencies caused by attacks on the United States. Thus, while there might be room for disagreement about the scope and duration of the President's emergency powers, there can be no reasonable doubt as to their existence.

...

http://www.justice.gov...
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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8/31/2013 6:56:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.

You should read the rest of what I posted.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
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8/31/2013 7:09:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 6:56:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.

You should read the rest of what I posted.

I skimmed it, and all I saw were iterations of the legal irrelevance of Congress's consent. Unless I missed it, where is it that you answer why his cognizance of public opinion, as vested in Congress, is objectionable or inappropriate?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
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8/31/2013 7:15:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 7:09:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:56:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.

You should read the rest of what I posted.

I skimmed it, and all I saw were iterations of the legal irrelevance of Congress's consent. Unless I missed it, where is it that you answer why his cognizance of public opinion, as vested in Congress, is objectionable or inappropriate?

Congressional approval does not necessarily indicate public approval; and more often than not the two invariably diverge.

This is where Obama needs to go to determine public approval:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com...

http://www.usnews.com...

But the problem is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

...So, there are considerably conflicting numbers.

That being the case, he want's to be able to blame congress either for intervening, or for not intervening, because he knows that he will loose no matter what he does.

It is inappropriate for him to do because he, and only he, is the commander in chief.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/31/2013 7:22:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 7:15:27 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:09:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:56:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.

You should read the rest of what I posted.

I skimmed it, and all I saw were iterations of the legal irrelevance of Congress's consent. Unless I missed it, where is it that you answer why his cognizance of public opinion, as vested in Congress, is objectionable or inappropriate?

Congressional approval does not necessarily indicate public approval; and more often than not the two invariably diverge.

This is where Obama needs to go to determine public approval:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com...

http://www.usnews.com...

But the problem is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

...So, there are considerably conflicting numbers.

That being the case, he want's to be able to blame congress either for intervening, or for not intervening, because he knows that he will loose no matter what he does.

It is inappropriate for him to do because he, and only he, is the commander in chief.

How can he blame Congress if it supports intervention and the intervention is unsuccessful? I doubt that's his intention. You could either interpret his actions as genuine respect for the opinions of Congress, or at worst an opportunity to diffuse blame by making the intervention a national decision. The former is honorable and the latter is not objectionable.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
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8/31/2013 7:29:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 7:22:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:15:27 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:09:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:56:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.

You should read the rest of what I posted.

I skimmed it, and all I saw were iterations of the legal irrelevance of Congress's consent. Unless I missed it, where is it that you answer why his cognizance of public opinion, as vested in Congress, is objectionable or inappropriate?

Congressional approval does not necessarily indicate public approval; and more often than not the two invariably diverge.

This is where Obama needs to go to determine public approval:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com...

http://www.usnews.com...

But the problem is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

...So, there are considerably conflicting numbers.

That being the case, he want's to be able to blame congress either for intervening, or for not intervening, because he knows that he will loose no matter what he does.

It is inappropriate for him to do because he, and only he, is the commander in chief.

How can he blame Congress if it supports intervention and the intervention is unsuccessful?

It's about spreading the blame. He can say "we were all wrong," which is less damning than saying "I, and only I, made a big mistake."

I doubt that's his intention. You could either interpret his actions as genuine respect for the opinions of Congress, or at worst an opportunity to diffuse blame by making the intervention a national decision. The former is honorable and the latter is not objectionable.

I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Obama is probably as afraid of making a mistake as he is of having to be held accountable for any mistake he could potentially make. Given that he's in a no-win situation in Syria, which -largely- is the result of his own inaction, it makes sense that he would defer to congress in either case, or if both were the case.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/31/2013 7:32:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 7:29:45 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:22:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:15:27 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:09:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:56:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.

You should read the rest of what I posted.

I skimmed it, and all I saw were iterations of the legal irrelevance of Congress's consent. Unless I missed it, where is it that you answer why his cognizance of public opinion, as vested in Congress, is objectionable or inappropriate?

Congressional approval does not necessarily indicate public approval; and more often than not the two invariably diverge.

This is where Obama needs to go to determine public approval:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com...

http://www.usnews.com...

But the problem is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

...So, there are considerably conflicting numbers.

That being the case, he want's to be able to blame congress either for intervening, or for not intervening, because he knows that he will loose no matter what he does.

It is inappropriate for him to do because he, and only he, is the commander in chief.

How can he blame Congress if it supports intervention and the intervention is unsuccessful?

It's about spreading the blame. He can say "we were all wrong," which is less damning than saying "I, and only I, made a big mistake."

I doubt that's his intention. You could either interpret his actions as genuine respect for the opinions of Congress, or at worst an opportunity to diffuse blame by making the intervention a national decision. The former is honorable and the latter is not objectionable.

I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Obama is probably as afraid of making a mistake as he is of having to be held accountable for any mistake he could potentially make. Given that he's in a no-win situation in Syria, which -largely- is the result of his own inaction, it makes sense that he would defer to congress in either case, or if both were the case.

Well that all sounds like smart and non-corrupt politicking to me, not really something I'd begrudge him with.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
Posts: 36,287
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8/31/2013 7:40:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 7:32:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:29:45 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:22:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:15:27 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 7:09:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:56:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:51:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/31/2013 6:42:35 PM, YYW wrote:

that's all well and good, but I didn't dispute that the president had the power to go through with his preferences if he so chose. I'm saying that it has become almost politically stigmatic for the president to go through with military attacks without approval from congress or the American people, and in the context of having been through 2 long and drawn out wars, it is most appropriate for him to wait and vet his plans. That this too has earned your criticism, is the point of my objection.

You should read the rest of what I posted.

I skimmed it, and all I saw were iterations of the legal irrelevance of Congress's consent. Unless I missed it, where is it that you answer why his cognizance of public opinion, as vested in Congress, is objectionable or inappropriate?

Congressional approval does not necessarily indicate public approval; and more often than not the two invariably diverge.

This is where Obama needs to go to determine public approval:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com...

http://www.usnews.com...

But the problem is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

...So, there are considerably conflicting numbers.

That being the case, he want's to be able to blame congress either for intervening, or for not intervening, because he knows that he will loose no matter what he does.

It is inappropriate for him to do because he, and only he, is the commander in chief.

How can he blame Congress if it supports intervention and the intervention is unsuccessful?

It's about spreading the blame. He can say "we were all wrong," which is less damning than saying "I, and only I, made a big mistake."

I doubt that's his intention. You could either interpret his actions as genuine respect for the opinions of Congress, or at worst an opportunity to diffuse blame by making the intervention a national decision. The former is honorable and the latter is not objectionable.

I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Obama is probably as afraid of making a mistake as he is of having to be held accountable for any mistake he could potentially make. Given that he's in a no-win situation in Syria, which -largely- is the result of his own inaction, it makes sense that he would defer to congress in either case, or if both were the case.

Well that all sounds like smart and non-corrupt politicking to me, not really something I'd begrudge him with.

I begrudge his lack of decisive action. I understand that he doesn't want to get involved, and will even go so far as to say that there are numerous, exceptionally good reasons not to get involved. I also understand that he's conflicted about that because of how genuinely obscene the Assad regime's actions have been -and how guilty he probably personally feels because he hasn't done much thus far. But, he can't both intervene or not intervene.

What he wanted is for Assad to back down when he threatened to intervene under certain circumstances a year ago, but -as I think the world now sees, Assad called his bluff. Now, Obama has to choose between two nearly equally bad choices -and potentially upset a stalemate that is arguably in America's best interest to preserve. And rather than making good on his word, he's trying not to make a mistake -and in the process he's looking indecisive. Trying to figure out the situation is probably the most intelligent thing to do, but the more time he waits, the weaker he looks, and the further he invites intensified aggression both from Assad and Assad's allies.

After his secretary of state essentially called for the same degree of strikes that the French have called for, and his little rant in Aug., 2011, he can't not intervene -unless he can find an excuse not to. That's what he was really doing when he was going to congress -but the implication is that whether congress authorizes intervention or not, Obama comes out better for the exercise on the domestic level while he looks weaker on an international level.
Tsar of DDO
MysticEgg
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9/5/2013 11:09:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/31/2013 3:27:26 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Today, Obama made a speech about Syria.

He essentially said that Syria messed up, he's ready to go to war, but he's just going to be waiting on congressional approval.

He's not going to war, he made that perfectly clear. He wants to strike Syria as a punishment; I'm with him.

P1: The use of chemical weapons is a breach of at least one international treaty signed by Syria.
P2: The UN will do nothing due to China and Russia throwing their weight around.
P3: "The Assad Regime" or the Damascus government was responsible for the attacks carried out on 21st August, 2013, killing ~1450 people, including ~400 children.
P4: A violation of international law deserves punishment at the perpetrator.
P5: This punishment will not come from the UN directly. (From P2)
C: Therefore, Syria should be punished.
C2: America is doing the right thing by punishing Syria with a missile strike, as other options of punishment are not available.