In 2005, the 2,000th serviceman died in Iraq and the media was there to tell us. Vigils were setup all across the United States to protest the deaths. It controversial to discuss the dead coming home, the left was outraged, demanding to film the caskets as they rolled off of the airplanes. Yes, this past month the 2,000th serviceman died in Afghanistan, 1,500 of them since President Obama took office, and there was barely a mention of it in the news and no protests visible from the progressive websites that were once filled with outrage over an ‘endless war’. Where did those Democrats and Progressives go?
Simply stated, a president of their party was elected and war is good now. Not just Afghanistan, no, wars in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Libya, all good things for the country! Of course, this is the exact opposite opinion he expressed while running for office and getting praise from the progressives in his party for his anti-war views.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, the Boston Globe asked Obama about the president’s constitutional authority to use military force without congressional approval in “a situation that does not involve stopping an imminent threat.” Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer who opposed the Iraq war, told the Globe in a candidate Q&A that was published Dec. 20, 2007, that the president has no such authority unless there is “an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Question: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)
Obama: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.
However, when President Obama attacked Libya, he did so without any actual or imminent threat to the nation. He did not seek approval from congress as he is constitutionally required to do so. He has since expanded the ‘War on Terror’ to Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, that we know of. The result of these actions are the deaths of innocent civilians as they have been accomplished using drones.
I often wonder what the people who once stood for peace within the Democratic Party are thinking. Do they still feel the same way, disgusted by the president from their own party being more of a warmonger than the one he replaced, but not willing to say anything so that they can keep control of the White House? Or was their original peaceful views simply not legitimate but rather a way to attack a president of an opposing party? Or did they have a change of heart?
Unfortunately I haven’t heard a good response from one about the support of the President in this case. Usually I get a deflection when I ask what has happened. I am not at all expecting to get any either, after all, being grounded by an overriding principle is not something that progressives seem terribly keen on doing.