By now you've probably read that Congress is readying yet another non-binding resolution and even looking ahead to submitting legislation that would prevent the President from sending reinforcements to Iraq because some Democrats don't like the idea of a surge.
What right does Congress have to micromanage a war? Is it in the Constitution? No. Is it in the War Powers Act? No.
Democrat Congressional leaders are thinking about nothing else but expanding their power. They think that the nation wants to exit Iraq and defund the operations there. That's what Murtha and Pelosi want to do. They've said as much.
It's also about potentially setting up a constitutional crisis because the leftists in Congress don't seem to realize that telling the President how to conduct the war via resolutions and bills is a violation of the separation of powers explicitly stated in the Constitution. The Constitution does not give Congress the power of the commander in chief of the military. It gives them the power to appropriate sufficient funds to the military.
If they fail to do so at a time of war, that undermines the nation's national security and the power of the office of the president. It is a dangerous precedent to watch Congress attempting to usurp power from the office of the President.
The one question that goes unasked is how exactly does defunding and limiting the President's ability to function as Commander in Chief during wartime improves US national security? It does not. It cannot. The Consitution recognizes that commanding the military by committee was a horrendous proposition so the power to lead resides with the Executive Branch - the President. These legislators presume to know better than the President that cutting funds to the military operations and follow up operations in Iraq will lead to victory. On what grounds does cutting and running lead to an improved national security posture?
It will only lead to more casualties and deaths among all involved - among US forces, among the Iraqis, and potentially spread the conflict beyond the borders of Iraq because Iraq will become a breeding ground for terrorism elsewhere in the world.
On top of that, even if you believe that the President's powers are constrained by the War Powers Act, this Congress is still overstepping its bounds since the President can act in the best interests of the nation so long as he gives notice pursuant to the Act. So, if he wanted to go ahead and engage in hot pursuits into Iran and bomb Tehran while he's at he because the Iranians are involved in Iraq, he could do so within the terms of the WPA and Congress can complain all it wants without there being any violation of the law. Still, Congress could attempt to defund those measures, but that would show the Democrats for what they are - they have no interest in winning a conflict, but only in constraining this President from taking actions that every other President has considered to be within their Constitutional rights and obligations.
Congress is attempting to micromange the conflict and we know how this ends up - very badly for everyone - for the US, for the Iraqis and for the rest of the world.
Murtha has repeatedly demonstrated that he has no understanding of how to defend the nation, let alone win the conflict in Iraq. He has proposed redeploying to Okinawa, believing that this is sufficient to wage war against al Qaeda that continues to operate inside Iraq. How does removing US forces from Iraq improve US capabilities to eliminate al Qaeda's presence in Iraq? It does not. Democrats would like you to think that if we leave Iraq that al Qaeda will leave as well.
Somalia has proven that to be a lie. The US left Somalia in 1993 and it turned into a safe haven for terrorists and warlords. Failed states are a terrorist leader's dream. Safe haven and the capability to regroup and rearm without worrying about the local government putting a stop to it.
Leaving Iraq would permit not only al Qaeda to thrive and expand due to their ability to claim victory in the media, but it gives Iran and Syria a free hand as well, and that too undermines US national security along with the national security of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and Israel. It would create a power vacuum that the terrorists will enjoy and use to their advantage, all while US forces are not in a position to stop them.
How is any of this to the advantage of US national security? It is not. That the Democrats are concerned about their image tells you all you need to know about what purpose the current debate serves. This has nothing to do with US national security and everything to do with pandering to the base without alienating the rest of the country. The Democrat leadership is trying to cobble together language that is palatable to the leftists and could pass muster with the rest of the caucus, even though it is tantamount to cut and run.
The House passed this nonbinding anti-victory pablum 246-182. Much will be made of the fact that some Republicans went along with this nonsense, but consider this. What will the insurgents and jihadis do with this nonbinding resolution? Will they incorporate it into their propaganda videos? Will they repeat the talking points ad nauseum saying that the US must get out of Iraq to satisfy the left in this country? Does anyone not see a problem with where this is headed?
Here's the roll call of the vote. 17 Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats, while two Democrats (Marshall and Taylor) voted to oppose this measure.
The anti-surge measure has gotten lots of folks talking. Macranger doesn't have nice things to say about Pelosi and company and provides a history and civics lesson. Dan Riehl moves a step ahead and ponders that Democrats will try to spin their position as one of trying to save soldiers from being placed on the battlefield with inadequate or subpar equipment. That's the likely direction given that we were already starting to see these stories earlier in the week.
Others blogging: Powerline, Jules Crittenden, Bill's Bites, Hot Air, and Michelle Malkin.
Trackposted to Right Pundits, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, The Virtuous Republic, 123beta, Right Truth, Maggie's Notebook, Adam's Blog, basil's blog, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, The Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, The Amboy Times, Phastidio.net, Diva Dish - Weekly Celebrity Gossip Round UP, Conservative Thoughts, Pursuing Holiness, Rightlinx, Faultline USA, third world county, The HILL Chronicles, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein... has no mercy, The Uncooperative Blogger ®, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, The Right Nation, Pirate's Cove, and The Pink Flamingo, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.
Labels: Congress, George W. Bush, Iraq, John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, national security