When Obama gave his speech on September 10, promising to “degrade and destroy” ISIS, it was interesting for what it said and didn’t say. Obama laid out a four part strategy for defeating ISIS. The most notable thing it didn’t say was that Obama intended to ask Congress for authority to wage a war against ISIS that would, at a minimum, encompass two countries, one of which, Syria, doesn’t want us operating on their territory.
“My administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home. I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL, but I believe we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. So I welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.”
Later in the speech he does recognize the need for limited congressional action:
“Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I call on Congress again to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters.”
Before the speech, Obama told congressional leaders much the same thing:
Ahead of the speech, Obama met for nearly two hours with the top four congressional leaders on the threat posed by the group also known as ISIS and ISIL. The lawmakers left the meeting without speaking to the media.
However, a White House statement released after the session made it clear the president would not be asking for a congressional vote to authorize military force. “The president told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against ISIL in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow night,” the statement said in part. It added that he would
Isn’t that sweet? That nice Mr. Obama doesn’t want to trouble those over-worked, underpaid Congress-critters with petty questions about going to war. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, given the number of times he’s demonstrated his contempt for the Constitution and laws of the land.
You may recall that the last time he donned his Superman suit and bombed the crap out of Libya, he also didn’t bother checking in with Congress. As Americans now appreciate, that didn’t exactly work out all that well – just ask Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty – and Libya has morphed into a lawless terror state. Things there have degenerated to the point where the Smartest Man in the History of the World was forced to surrender the American Embassy to terrorists, who turned the Embassy swimming pool into a delightful photo op.
With a track record like that, why on earth would Obama want to trouble Congress about going back to war in Iraq?
Syria, you may recall, is allied with Iran and Russia…what could possibly go wrong if we bomb them?
Iraq is somewhat better, as long as you disregard the fact that half the Iraqi army isn’t suitable for combating Sunni terrorists, and the other half won’t fight. There are, at least, the Kurds, who are occupied with protecting their turf, and probably lack the resources to defend all of Iraq.
Although Obama won’t ask Congress for permission to play Generalissimo in Iraq, he was thoughtful enough to inform the enemy that he wouldn’t be putting American boots on the ground (although American boots are already on the ground) which I’m sure the Islamic State found comforting.