ISIS

Obama Seeking Long War With ISIL—Who Needs Authorization? (Amash Does!)

If it's a rock-paper-scissors war Obama wants, it's a rock-paper-scissors war he'll get.

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Justin Amash
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Obama will announce later today his strategy for a long-term campaign to defeat ISIL. The battle plan will include airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria, according to a New York Times report:

In a prime-time address on Wednesday evening, Mr. Obama is to explain to Americans his strategy for "degrading and ultimately destroying the terrorist group," the White House said in a statement. People briefed on the president's plans described a long-term campaign far more complex than the targeted strikes the United States has used against Al Qaeda in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Mr. Obama has resisted military engagement in Syria for more than three years, out of fear early on that arming the rebels who oppose Mr. Assad would fail to alter the balance in the civil war while more direct military intervention could have spillover effects in the volatile region.

When he threatened Syria with a missile strike last year after Mr. Assad's forces used chemical weapons, implacable opposition in Congress led him to shelve the plan. Now, however, the threat from ISIS has changed both the American political climate and his calculations.

Going to war with a terrorist group that is already fighting a dictatorship that the U.S. wanted gone just two years ago seems like folly. But if it's a rock-paper-scissors war Obama wants, it's a rock-paper-scissors war he'll get. That's because few in Congress seem interested in requiring the president to obtain Congressional approval for this campaign. According to the NYT:

Jane Harman, the president of the Woodrow Wilson Center, said that while the Assad government was a major topic of discussion, she and other participants told Mr. Obama that he could order military action in Syria without fear of helping Mr. Assad, since ISIS was occupying ungoverned territory that his forces were unlikely to reconquer.

But Ms. Harman, a former Democratic representative from California, said she made a fervent case that Mr. Obama should obtain congressional authorization for any action. Her call was not picked up [by] many of the Democrats currently in Congress.

Sen. Rand Paul, a likely Republican presidential contender, previously expressed support for an escalated campaign against ISIL, but believes Obama should ask Congress first. On Tuesday, however, the White House expressed confidence that Obama already had all the authority he needed to carry out his plans, according to the Associated Press.

That sentiment drew a rebuke from Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Twitter:

WH says lots of untrue things. RT @AP: BREAKING: White House says Obama has authority he needs to take action against Islamic State group.

— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) September 9, 2014

We shall see what the president really has to say about all this when he gives his address tonight.

More on ISIL—and what libertarians think about the situation—here.

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NEXT: Jacob Sullum on Obama's Shotgun Rationale for War Against ISIS

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  1. We shall see what the president really has to say about all this when he gives his address tonight.

    Oh, I expect not.

    1. “Some say, we should simply give free reign to terrorists to kill Americans and invade our nation. I will not allow that to happen, which is why I have instructed our forces to drop bombs in Iraq.”

      1. That’s pretty good.

        “And because there are those who have crossed a red line, indeed, uh, *two* red lines, as it were, I have instructed our forces to drop bombs in Syria.”

        1. Obama’s plan is to kill them all, and then let himself sort them out.

      2. And it’s “free rein”, not reign. And no one is saying that — it’s called a strawman.

  2. But if it’s a rock-paper-scissors war Obama wants, it’s a rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock war he’ll get.

    FTFY

  3. I really like Amash,but,the only time I hear about or from him seems to be here.Not on CNN,FOX,OR MSNBC.

    1. They’re hoping he’ll go away.

    2. comment doubleplusungood refs unperson revise fullwise upsub antefiling

      1. Down the Memory Hole!

  4. Before Bush the lessor, I would have said “why wouldn’t you want a vote? If they vote yes you have cover if the action fails and if they vote no you can wash your hands of responsibility.” Now I know if you are a republican, congressmen can retroactively revoke their consent and if you are a democrat you are only responsible for good things.

  5. Now I know if you are a republican, congressmen can retroactively revoke their consent and if you are a democrat you are only responsible for good things.

    I see you’ve gotten your hands on the NYT style book.

    1. I don’t know what that means.

      1. stylebook
        Noun
        1.
        a publisher’s guide for presenting material, used by writers and editors

        So, it was a joke about how the NY Times presents material regarding Rs and Ds.

  6. But Ms. Harman, a former Democratic representative from California, said she made a fervent case that Mr. Obama should obtain congressional authorization for any action. Her call was not picked up [by] many of the Democrats currently in Congress.

    They don’t want to have ‘Voted to authorize Gulf War IV’ on their records months before the election.

    1. (I’m counting Afghanistan as GWIII even though it’s not on the Persian Gulf, but how many Americans really know that?)

      1. Most of them learned geography in public school. Doesn’t that answer your question?

    2. They don’t want to have ‘Voted to authorize Gulf War IV’ on their records months before the election.

      Since Obama is nearly certain to turn it into a giant cluster fuck, I can’t say I blame them.

      1. Surely the guy can’t fuck up every single program or plan he attempts, statistically something he attempts has to turn out well…..doesn’t it ?

  7. This is why we roll with the punches dude.

    http://www.Crypt-Tools.tk

  8. I was under the impression that ISIL (is ill?) was at war with the US. That we intend to avoid reciprocation does not seem long term tenable

  9. President Obama will announce later today his strategy for a long-term campaign to defeat ISIL

    “Now I understand everyone’s shit’s emotional right now. But I’ve got a 3 point plan that’s going to fix EVERYTHING…”

  10. Mr. Obama has resisted military engagement in Syria for more than three years…

    When he threatened Syria with a missile strike last year after Mr. Assad’s forces used chemical weapons, implacable opposition in Congress led him to shelve the plan…

    Anyone else see the problem here? Fucking NYT Pravda can’t keep their story striaght. I mean, if we’re going to have propogandists lieing right to our faces it’s not asking too much that may be marginally competent at it. This is just sad…

  11. Hi Robby,

    What’s the definition of parsing, again? Justin amash has said he’ll support air strikes against ISIS, but he wants Congress to approve it. Shrugs. Hmm, this is probably to protect the Constitution. Quick question: Libertarians think this is important? As a libertarian, I don’t think slaver documents should be afforded any respect.

    This is the best candidate that a website who went anti war in 2006 can support? Sad. I can easily find Leftists who mean what they say…http://www.answercoalition.org

    1. american socialist|9.10.14 @ 10:41AM|#
      …”As a libertarian, I don’t think slaver documents should be afforded any respect.”…

      Since you aren’t anything like libertarian, and you are a lying slimy parasite, why don’t you tell us what they think?

  12. But supporting closed shop laws in Michigan, Amash’s home state, somehow makes this a more appealing publication to a “libertarian” such as yourself?

    Nice try troll.

  13. We shall see what the president really has to say about all this when he gives his address tonight.

    I’ll need at least a six pack of something decently potent if I’m going to sit through this.

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  15. …few in Congress seem interested in requiring the president to obtain Congressional approval for this…

    Fortunately then, a previous Congress already made it a requirement. Now we just need somebody to start the impeachment proceedings, for real.

  16. Of course he wants a long, drug out war .. what better way to bankrupt the Nation ..
    We have to hit them hard and fast .. then we need to start putting this Nation back together .. we can do it starting in November .. get out and VOTE .. put Honest Conservative Christians in to Congress ..

    1. “.. put Honest Conservative Christians in to Congress ..”
      Yeah Man Dude Ah ams WITH yew!!!
      The AMISH are the most honest and conservative Xtians yew are a gonna find on the planet, and Rep. Amash is ONE of them!!!
      Amish / Amash / Amish / Amash / Amish / Amash / Amish / Amash , needs ah to say more??!?!

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