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Congress micromanaging its way out of accepting responsibility

Congress micromanaging its way out of accepting responsibility

Rand Paul: Congress “getting too involved on how we execute war.”

Rand Paul was on Hannity last night.

He makes a point I completely agree with, that Congress should not, by way of authorization, try to micromanage any military action against or regarding Syria.  Either authorize the President to use force as necessary with regard to the use of chemical weapons in, to or from Syria, or don’t.

I made this point the other day, Authorize the Use of Force:

Congress is not asked to approve a “plan” or a “strategy” or how many missiles get fired, if at all, at what time of day and on what targets.  I don’t understand — militarily or politically — why some people want to take on that burden….

Whether, when and how to use force with regard to Syria, and the success or not, then will and should be on the President, and the President alone as Commander-in-Chief.

The micromanaging is portrayed as an attempt to accept responsibility for the authorization, but in fact it’s an attempt to evade responsibility.  It’s an attempt to provide a political way out if things go poorly,  so Congress can say “well, we didn’t authorize that.”

Here’s his point, at the 5:15 mark:

Sen. Paul told Sean Hannity that he doesn’t believe there’s a good outcome if the U.S. bombs Syria. Furthermore, he said there is no clear friend for the U.S. within the rebels.

He criticized the resolution put forth by the Congress because it restricts the power of the president to execute the war. “So while I think the president is limited on initiating the war, I think the president has most, if not all, of the power on how to execute the war.”


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PersonFromPorlock | September 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

It occurs to me that if the Congress approves, and the executive branch performs, military strikes without even the pretense of a national interest, that individual members of both branches could be prosecuted for waging aggressive war. It’s not likely to happen, of course, but is there the legal possibility of a Pinochet-like arrest of, say, a yea-voting congressman in foreign parts?

“step down”, I believe was stated by obama.
First there was Egypt, I was not Egypt and said nothing…

The old “step down” trick is soon to become another U.S. involvement in A Middle East War. THAT is total BS, obama!

Obama already blaming Congres and …
“First of all, I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama. “The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for. So, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air. There’s a reason for it.”

The Syria Accountability Act of 2003 is based on the same intelligence that got us into Iraq …

According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s ‘‘Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions’’, released January 7, 2003: ‘‘[Syria] already holds a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin but apparently is trying to develop more toxic and persistent nerve agents. Syria remains dependent on foreign sources for key elements of its [chemical weapons] program, including precursor chemicals and key production equipment. It is highly probable that Syria also is developing an offensive [biological weapons] capability.’’

… of course, “It’s Bush’s fault !

I listened to John McCain being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly. John made a clear and (if believed) convincing case for action, but not the action the President says he is going to take. I also listened to part of the US Senate Foreign Relations hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry.

John McCain said there is no doubt at all that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its people, that such action can and must be prohibited, that the whole world (Particularly Iran) is watching, and that the unintended consequences of inaction are intolerable, especially because this is a test case for Iran, which is developing nuclear capabilities. He said the difference between the case of Iraq and Syria is that chemical weapons were actually used in Syria.

He also said that Syria is not in danger of taking a radical turn because it is not an Islamist country. He acknowledged that Al-Qaeda is there, but is not an important factor because the Syrians don’t want them. (I believe that in part: they’re there, and if the Syrians get a good look at them in power, they’ll hate them as much as the Iraqis do — after few rounds of bloodbaths.)

If I had as much certainty about the facts as Sen. McCain and and Mr. Kerry seem to at this point, I’d have to support them. Unfortunately, I’ve watched John F’n Kerry for most of his public life, and that man is always certain, and very nearly always wrong. As for McCain, I can understand his positioning based on his position as a former prisoner of war, but I cannot ignore my experience in dealing with 1) Iraq, 2) Afghanistan, and 3) this President.

This is the President that did his best to sabotage the long-term outcome in Iraq, and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Afghanistan. His Secretary of State is the man who acted exactly as Osama bin Laden predicted in his contemptuous summation of what Americans would do in Iraq, thereby emboldening Al-Qaeda and Iran, impeding the effort, an raising the body count for both Americans and Iraqia.

McCain is telling us that he views intervention as necessary, AND that the President’s proposal is the worst possible way to go about it.

I don’t see how I can in good conscience approve a proposed Presidential action to do the worst possible thing.

This is the President is careless of the lives of his people.

    (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the U.S. Congress had no right to approve the use of force against Syria without a decision from the U.N. Security Council, and that doing so would be an “act of aggression”.

    Putin also accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of lying to Congress about the militant group al Qaeda’s role in the Syrian conflict when seeking the approval of U.S. legislators for military action against Syria’s government.

    He said the difference between the case of Iraq and Syria is that chemical weapons were actually used in Syria.

    I see no difference. There were documented cases of Saddam Hussein using chemical weapons on Iraqi people.

    JayDick in reply to Valerie. | September 4, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Good analysis, Valerie. However, even if I believed everything McCain and Kerry said (I don’t), I couldn’t support attacking Syria because of Obama. The attack he will conduct is designed to accomplish little or nothing, this by his own words. As long as he’s in charge, an attack is fruitless and probably counterproductive. And, of course, Obama has no credibility at all.

    Observer in reply to Valerie. | September 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    He said the difference between the case of Iraq and Syria is that chemical weapons were actually used in Syria.

    Hundreds of Kurds beg to differ with McCain on this point — or at least they would, if they could, but they can’t since they were gassed to death by Saddam Hussein.

    But it wasn’t morally imperative for the U.S. to make a military strike against Hussein, as it is now against Assad, because . . . er . . . well, we need to send a message that we won’t tolerate the use of these types of weapons . . . except when a Republican is president, in which case . . . er, whatever . . . I need to get back to my online poker game. I’ve got a great hand — a deuce and an eight!

When Bush went to Congress it was not for a brief “police action”. It was for boots on the ground.

It seems Kerry was using weasel words to assure Congress that we would not put our forces at risk, saying something like “no boots on the ground … in the civil war activity.” But of course if scuds send gas to Israel, or there are other fronts opened, all bets are off.

Approval from congress is only superficial since Obama claims the power is his alone anyway. If POTUS has the power, Congress does NOT have the power (over limited action, they do over war, afaik).

So if this is just a brief action, Obama should have acted already, and still should on his own, but he chooses to play politics with national security. Obama should act alone since he stated he has the authority. With that goes the responsibility. He wants Congress to cheer lead for him, denying them any authority.

Since congress is going to vote on something, Boehner should just vote to confirm Obama has the power to decide on his own, but not to expand to a larger war past 90 days (or whatever the War Powers Act says). “Obama stated he has authority to act, so we vote to confirm that this indeed is the president’s authority AND responsibility.” If it becomes a war, get back to us.

Congress is under no obligation to green light executive branch foolishness. Maybe if Obama had developed a record of NOT being foolish the argument could be made that he deserves the support of the people’s representatives. Such has not been the case.

He isn’t looking for patriots to line up behind him, he’s looking for fodder to line up in front of him. How many Dems facing reelection in 2014 want to line up in front of this guy? The fact that this all boils down to a no-confidence vote is nobody’s fault but Obama’s.

This administration has always been about micromanaging and well, when you have no management skills, one can quickly understand why the country is in the mess that it is.

So why not let Congress join in and finish the job? Hell, I’ll give ’em so pointers on what to do so that they can do the opposite.

What is it going to take to put this country on some sort of stable path back to greatness? Sorry folks, I’ve run out of ideas that would be listened to…