Thursday, February 12, 2015


        Let’s see if we can make sense of a complicated issue.
        President Obama has asked Congress to give him authority to take military action against ISIS, with whom we have already been at war for months. It is a carefully drafted resolution that he hopes will be a fair starting point for a thorough discussion and debate by Congress.
        The resolution has received strong reactions from both sides of the aisle. Some Republicans argue that the President already has the power to deploy troops as he sees fit under the War Powers Act. Being more hawkish than the Democrats, they don’t want to limit the President’s authority to use ground troops. At present more than 3,000 American troops are employed in an advisory and supportive capacity, but are not engaged in direct combat.
        The somewhat hazy language of the resolution allows for the use of combat troops for special purposes but not for “enduring offensive ground combat operations.”
Many Democrats are worried about the meaning of the word “enduring” How long is enduring? They are adamantly opposed to the America’s being drawn into another ground war. Some would much prefer the use of diplomacy over military force.
        So the President is getting it from both sides. But his critics in both parties are missing his main point. He knows he doesn’t need Congress’ permission to defend the United States of America against its enemies. As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces he is doing just that. What he wants is the support of Congress in doing so. As he has stated before, “We are strongest as a nation when the President and congress work together.” I believe most reasonable Americans would like to see the two branches of government present a united front.
        Congress has let themselves off the hook. It’s easy for them to criticize and second guess the President. It’s time for them to step up to the plate and fulfill their own responsibility. They need a good healthy debate on the subject, and every member needs to have the guts to put himself or herself on the line. Yes, there is plenty of disagreement, but let the majority rule. They need to act fast and really try to come up with a workable decision, so that the President and the Congress can present a united front to our nation and to the rest of the world, our enemies as well as our friends.
        Good for President Obama to force the issue!

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