CONGRESS TO LIMIT THE SYRIAN STRIKE BY GIVING OBAMA A BLANK CHECK?
September 6, 2013
I apologize if I gave you whiplash when reading the title of this column. Yes, our Congress will grant authorization to Barack Obama to strike Syria and will probably add that there be no boots on the ground and that it be limited to ninety days. But that "limited" authorization has no Constitutional bearing whatsoever!
State Secretary John Kerry, speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday, said "There will be no boots on the Ground. The President has said that again and again, and there is nothing in this authorization that should contemplate it."
Nothing that should contemplate boots on the ground? Interesting use of words. Judge Andrew Napolitano, appearing on Fox's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" program Wednesday said these words give the President a "tremendous amount of wiggle room." There are two reasons to believe there is cause for concern.
As a practical matter, when you send missiles into a country, you need boots on the ground to guide the missiles where they're going to land. So Secretary Kerry may very well shrewdly have been mincing words. The government considers military troops out of uniform, or CIA in their non-uniform garb not to be ‘boots on the ground.’
My question for the Secretary is will the American military or will American intelligence agents be on the ground, whether you consider them boots or not? It’s inconceivable that we can send the type of missiles over there that the president and his Republican allies in Congress now contemplate without some American human beings, whether they’re wearing boots or not, to be on the ground. I strongly believe Secretary Kerry is misleading the Congress.
Then there is the Constitutional issue. The Constitution says only the Congress can declare war but the president wages it. The president can't declare war and Congress can't wage it.
What does that mean? That means that once the Congress gives authorization for the president to bring down either the chemical weaponry of the Assad regime, or as Senator John McCain wants, the Assad regime itself, the Congress can't pull the president back. The Congress can't tell the president how to wage war. This would violate the separate of powers mandated in the Constitution between the legislative and executive branches.
Now catch the significance of this. With the Congress putting a ninety day time limit on the authorization, Obama may not be able to accomplish the objective and goal for the strike and he needs more time, the Congress can's take it back. In other words Congress will have given approval to go to war and that's as far as it can legislate, Obama can wage it as long as he likes and as effective or ineffective as he likes.
If the Congress gives Obama the authorization to send missiles he can put troops on the ground and the Congress can't bring those troops back. The Constitution merely says Congress can declare, but mentions nothing about ending or stopping a war. If he stay beyond the ninety days, it would require a 2/3's vote of both houses of Congress to get those troops off the ground.
The Congressional authorization will be like a Pandora's box in which if a full-scale war results because or in spite of our involvement, it would be hard to undo the mess.
And the worst part: Barack Obama will be leading the war! He is a community organizer and a nation destroyer, not a leader.
Another quagmire is how two different people will look at this authorization bill. Take for instance John Kerry's statement that there will be "no boots on the ground." John McCain says there must be "regime change." Notice the same language in the bill give rise to two radically different interpretations. The answer: The language of the bill is intentionally vague spo as to unleash this incompetent President to do whatever he wants to do not withstanding Congress, all in the name of waging the war effort.
Theoretically, Congress will authorize providing the capability for the rebels to change the regime, but we won't be doing ourselves. But that's theoretical. Care to bet that Obama won't put troops on the ground and keep them there until they are either slaughtered or bring Al Qaeda into power there?
Our conversation now is largely hypothetical. Think about this: no judge is going to say, ‘oh, the president violated this resolution; I’m going to sign a piece of paper enjoining the president.’ No American judge will do that.
But the president, once unleashed by Congress will be free to put all the boots on the ground he wants no matter what the resolution says. John McCain knows that, John Kerry knows that, and the president knows. The American people need to know it.
So far, most Americans don't want the United States to launch military strikes against the Syrian government. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll says 59% of the American people oppose such an intervention, while 36% support it. Even more oppose supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels, with 70% against and 27% in favor. Pew Research found that 48% oppose entering Syria to 29% in favor and the Huffington Post/YouGuv polls has it at 41% in favor to 25% opposed.
I don't trust this President. And Congress is about to give him a blank check all the while telling Americans he will be limited to the scope of the resolution. This President, who has shown utter contempt for Congress (when not in Democratic hands), the Constitution, the law and the American people as a whole, will do whatever the hell he wills and if it goes wrong and a disaster evolves from our involvement, he will blame it on the Republicans, or possibly George Bush. After all, our President has never made a mistake in his life, giving Jesus Christ a run for his money in the "sinless" department.
We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.