Senators-in-Chief

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Jan 25, 2007.

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  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009572

    Senators-in-Chief
    Congress has no Constitutional power to micromanage a war.

    Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

    To understand why the Founders put war powers in the hands of the Presidency, look no further than the current spectacle in Congress on Iraq. What we are witnessing is a Federalist Papers illustration of criticism and micromanagement without responsibility.

    Consider the resolution pushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday by Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel, two men who would love to be President if only they could persuade enough voters to elect them. Both men voted for the Iraq War. But with that war proving to be more difficult than they thought, they now want to put themselves on record as opposing any further attempts to win it.

    Their resolution--which passed 12-9--calls for Iraqis to "reach a political settlement" leading to "reconciliation," as if anyone disagrees with that necessity. But then it declares that the way to accomplish this is to wash American hands of the Iraq effort, proposing that U.S. forces retreat to protect the borders and hunt terrorists. The logic here seems to be that if the Americans leave, Iraqis will miraculously conclude that they have must settle their differences. A kind of reverse field of dreams: If we don't come, they will build it.

    The irony is that this is not all that far from the "light footprint" strategy that the Bush Administration was following last year and which these same Senators called a failure. It is precisely the inability to provide security in Baghdad that has led to greater sectarian violence, especially among Shiites victimized by Sunni car bombs. The purpose of the new Bush counterinsurgency strategy is to provide more security to the population in the hopes of making a political settlement easier.

    SNIP

    If they were serious and had the courage of their convictions, they'd attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq effort. But that would mean they would have to take responsibility for what happens next. By passing "non-binding resolutions," they can assail Mr. Bush and put all of the burden of success or failure on his shoulders.

    SNIP

    In addition to being feckless, all of this is unconstitutional. As Commander-in-Chief, the President has the sole Constitutional authority to manage the war effort. Congress has two explicit war powers: It has the power to declare war, which in the case of Iraq it essentially did with its resolution of 2003. It also has the power to appropriate funds.

    There is a long and unsettled debate over whether Congress can decide to defund specific military operations once it has created a standing Army. We lean toward those who believe it cannot, but the Founders surely didn't imagine that Congress could start dictating when and where the 101st Airborne could be deployed once a war is under way.
     
  2. The Galatian

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    Don't see any management at all from Congress. Nothing they are doing is binding on the president. Now, if they tried to cut off money for the war, that would be macromanagement.

    What the neocons find so outrageous is that Congress is not agreeing with them. Some have even argued that this gives the warring factions a reason to be more intransigent.

    That, of course, is refuted by this, after Congress began to criticise Bush on the war, and scheduled a vote to disapprove of sending more troops...

    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. officials said they were surprised by the sudden cooperation of the Iraqi movement led by radical anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Sadr.

    Abdul-Hussein Kaabai, local council leader of the Shiite-dominated Sadr City neighborhood in Baghdad, said Thursday Sadr and his followers plan to cooperate with U.S. President George Bush's new Iraq security plan, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

    "We will fully cooperate with the government to make the plan successful," Kaabai said. "If it is an Iraqi plan done by the government, we will cooperate."

    Sadr's group in recent weeks has also ceased threats to quit the Iraqi government and representatives of the group have met with U.S. officials.

    http://washingtontimes.com/upi/20070126-110721-4208r.htm

    Exactly the opposite of what they've been telling us.
     
  3. carpro

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    Not yet. Just threats. That's kinda the same thing.

    Do it the way we want you to or...
     
  4. The Galatian

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    Maybe Congress will become exasperated enough to pull the plug on these fools.

    If so, they'd be one step behind the American people, who have already voted to do so.
     
  5. carpro

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    Not a chance.

    "If they were serious and had the courage of their convictions, they'd attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq effort. But that would mean they would have to take responsibility for what happens next. By passing "non-binding resolutions," they can assail Mr. Bush and put all of the burden of success or failure on his shoulders."

    It's all about politics and the blame game, holding foreign policy hostage and using our troops as pawns.
     
  6. The Galatian

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    Neocon argument against Americans who oppose the war:
    "If they were serious and had the courage of their convictions, they'd attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq effort. But that would mean they would have to take responsibility for what happens next. By passing "non-binding resolutions," they can assail Mr. Bush and put all of the burden of success or failure on his shoulders."

    Bush insists he's the one who will decide. Being responsible entails being responsible. It's a concept he has trouble with, as you'd know if you read his rap sheet.

    The democrats and republicans who are fed up with the war are quite aware that cutting off funding would only exacerbate things, but they also want to make it clear that they stand with America against repeating the same failed strategies that killed thousands of our troops.

    Bush would very much like to shift some of the blame for this disaster onto others. He would love to claim that the deaths of all those troops were the fault of others. Apparently, Congress has decided not to let him slip out of his responsibility. He called the shots, and so the burden of success or failure is entirely on his shoulders until he passes the responsibility on to someone else. He's finally in a mess that Daddy can't help him out of.

    Indeed he is. But Congress isn't about to let him get away with it.
     
  7. church mouse guy

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    The Democrats want to cut and run as they did in Korea and as they did in Viet Nam. The American culture does not want to do the difficult work of winning the war. What will we do when China shoots down all our satellites and starts dropping the atomic bomb all over the orient?

    If the Democrats want an Islamic world with Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Saudia Arabia joining Iran with nuclear weapons, then cutting and running is the right thing to do. Atomic scientists have said that it is five minutes until doomsday so the Democrats can say that they are merely want to go with the flow.

    The American people voted for divided government again, as they often have since the end of World War II. However, the Democrat Party has no clear mandate in any direction since the Mormon Reid called for troop increases before the election.

    We learned in Korea that there was no substitute for victory as MacArthur said so many years ago. If Truman had followed the advice of his military and sought victory in Korea, then we would not be facing a nuclear North Korea now. If we have a military victory in Iraq, hopefully we will not have to face a nuclear Iran with clear intentions of dropping the atomic bomb on Jerusalem and on European capitals such as Paris, Madrid, Rome, Athens, etc. The Democrats should be quiet until 2008 when there will be a time and a place for their defeatist talk of cut and run.
     
  8. The Galatian

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    Eisenhower was president when we signed the cease-fire. He's not a democrat, and he didn't "cut and run."

    Nixon was president when we retreated from Vietnam. He wasn't a democrat, and it wasn't completely "cut and run," although you might be able to make a case for that.

    They've figured out that Bush and his croneys are incapable of winning a war. The democrats were behind the curve on this one. The public got sick of Bush's war first.

    You might want to go back and read up on recent American history.
     
  9. carpro

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    More spin.

    I have never seen a President more willing to take responsibility for his war strategy.

    He has recently requested that the whiners and complainers put forth a plan and they have naturally refused.

    Of course, he's going to want a plan out of them that leads to success and all they would ever come up with, I'm quite sure, will be a plan of abject and total surrender.
     
  10. The Galatian

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    Nonsense. Bush has repeatedly either claimed things are going well in Iraq, or alternately blamed others.

    He'd love to have someone to blame. But who's going to be stupid enough to take any responsibility, if they have no control? If he's tired of being held responsible, he'll have to resign, or wait for the next election. That's why they say the buck stops there.

    You greatly underestimate the American people. But then so did Bush. This is one of the reasons you guys have made such a mess of things. Like Bush, you insist that the alternative to doing more of the same thing that got us into this mess, is "abject surrender."

    I suspect that you aren't that dumb.
     
  11. hillclimber1

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    I agree with this. I have to admit the liberals have managed their war on America/President Bush, masterfully, and I think even the majority on here now hate him. And I don't think he's told a single lie nor stopped asking for non-partisan co-operation in this war on terror. I'm truly amazed at the direction this nations taken, due to political treason by the liberals.
     
  12. church mouse guy

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    Galatian, it's time for your history lesson.

    Galatian, you are a hard-core liberal and your ideology prevents your giving your opponents an iota of fairness.
     
  13. The Galatian

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    (Mouse claims that democrats "Cut and ran" in Korea and Vietnam)

    Barbarian observes:
    Eisenhower was president when we signed the cease-fire. He's not a democrat, and he didn't "cut and run."

    So you're claiming that Ike cut and ran because it was too late? Truman, as you may know, approved the Inchon landings and the offensive that retook the territory lost earlier by McArthur.

    But it was Ike who approved the cease fire. If you call that "cut and run", it's your look-out.

    Barbarian points out:
    Nixon was president when we retreated from Vietnam. He wasn't a democrat, and it wasn't completely "cut and run," although you might be able to make a case for that.

    And Congress forced Nixon to leave Vietnam, which then fell to the communists? Show us.

    [quiote] After Watergate, the Democrats abandoned Viet Nam when they had landslide majorities in the Congress.[/quote]

    Too late. Nixon had already retreated from Vietnam.

    Barbarian observes:
    They've figured out that Bush and his croneys are incapable of winning a war. The democrats were behind the curve on this one. The public got sick of Bush's war first.

    In fact, a majority of the public wants out in a few months, far more strict approach than taken by the democrats.

    Actually, I approved of the war initially. I trusted Bush's claims that Saddam was harboring terrorists, and had WMD. I also figured that he was going to let the military do what they considered best in conducting the war and pacifying the country. Turns out he lied to us.

    You're fond of picking heros for me, Mouse. Wouldn't honesty be a better policy for you?

    Did he, now? So he's on your side?

    Imagine that.

    Barbarian on mouse's somewhat confused reading of Vietnam and Korea:
    You might want to go back and read up on recent American history.

    (Mouse apparently still thinks that Congress is commander-in-chief, and that Nixon and Eisenhower were democrats)
     
  14. hillclimber1

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    That's why the framers put this issue at the sole discretion of the CIC, and not Congress, or "the people". And the point could be argued that Congress should not be constitutionally able to "Pull the plug" on ongoing presidential decisions like this.
     
  15. church mouse guy

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    Galatian, the Inchon landings were in 1950 and were General Douglas MacArthur's idea. http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/kowar/50-unof/inchon.htm

    President Truman fired General MacArthur in April of 1951 so I don't know what your point about the Inchon landings was, Galatian. http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/58.htm

    Truman wanted to fight a limited war and not bomb the Chinese staging areas in Manchuria--the railheads where men and supplies were assembled for invasion into Korea. With the Democrats in control of Congress, they clearly were the ones that made the decision. Ike went to Korea to broker the truce because he was so popular that he was all but President after the election. The American people thought that you could cut and run and be okay. It is true that North Korea is a Chinese extension but that place would not exisit if the American military had had their way. There would be no nuclear North Korea today if General MacArthur had been allowed to win the victory.

    As for Viet Nam, the US became involved after the French defeat but it was Kennedy and Johnson who escalated the war. However, Johnson insisted upon calling the shots himself and once again refused to attack except under specific rules of engagement. The Democrats controlled Congress all through this period. By the time that Nixon was elected, one could say that the war was 14 years old. Once again, Nixon never had a Republican Congress and the Democrats were calling Viet Nam a quagmire. After Watergate, the Democrats refused to honor their promises to Viet Nam and the communists murdered tens of thousands in Viet Nam when they came to power. After Viet Nam, American military promises had to be re-examined by the world because we seemed unwilling to fight till victory in Korea and Viet Nam.

    Galatian, you accuse Bush and Clinton of lying to you. That is false. Neither Bush nor Clinton lied. They simply made an error based upon poor information. Why do you make false accusations?

    It was the Democrats under Senator Frank Church, a name that will live in disgrace, that destroyed the CIA so that it was just a question of time until we were led to war because we no longer were capable of getting good information to prevent war.

    If the Democrats, who are divided between the mormon Reid who wants to increase troop levels and the leftists who want to cut and run, decide to insist upon defeat in Iraq then we will face a nuclear Iran, a nuclear Jordan, a nuclear, Turkey, a nuclear Egypt, as well as other Islamic terrorists and a China that has the ability to destroy US satellites in space. What chance do the Democrats think that we have?
     
  16. carpro

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    I never underestimate the American people.

    More to the point, I understand American politicians. Democrats are looking for a chance to bail and are working to be sure that happens.

    The only consequences they are concerned with are political consequences. Beyond that, they couldn't care less what the American people think or want.
     
  17. carpro

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    He's also an historical revisionist. Mixed in with a few facts are many warped perceptions of how he wished it had happened disguised as facts.
     
  18. church mouse guy

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    Thanks, Carpro!

    I happened to stumble onto this board a couple of years before you so I can say that Galatian has not been changed much by his long experience of debating with Protestants. Carpro, Galatian has always been an historical revisionists with warped perceptions. Maybe it is time that he converted to the historic orthodox Baptist faith and left the confines of the Roman Catholic Church in order to see better on all points.
     
  19. KenH

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    I heard an interesting call on C-SPAN's Washington Journal program this morning. The caller pointed out that in World War II that Churchill "cut and run" at Dunkirk and Hitler "stayed the course" at Stalingrad, and the rest is history.

    Maybe the caller has a point.
     
  20. KenH

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    Yes, the president is the commander-in-chief but we also live in a representative democracy called a republic. A president doesn't get to be a dictator during a time of war.
     
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