View Full Version : Let Congress Vote on Iraq War III

08-18-2014, 09:48 AM
Let Congress Vote on Iraq War III


Let Congress Vote on Iraq War III

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Friday - August 15, 2014

Last week, we were told there were 40,000 Yazidis on Sinjar Mountain
facing starvation if they remained there, and slaughter by ISIS if they
came down.

But a team of Marines and Special Forces that helicoptered in has
reported back that, with a corridor off the mountain opened up by U.S.
air strikes, the humanitarian crisis is over. The few thousand who
remain can be airdropped food and water. The rest can be brought out.

The emergency over, President Obama should think long and hard about
launching a new air war in Iraq or Syria. For Iraq War III holds the
promise of becoming another Middle East debacle, and perhaps the worst

America would be entering this war utterly divided. We are not even
agreed on who the enemies are. Hillary Clinton thinks we should be
tougher on Iran and that Obama blundered by not aiding the Syrian rebels
when they first rose up to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Veteran diplomats Ryan Crocker, William Luers and Thomas Pickering argue
that Assad is not the real enemy. The Islamic State is, and we should
consider a ceasefire between the Free Syrian Army and Assad.

“It makes no sense for the West to support a war against Assad
as well as a war against the Islamic State,” they write,
“Assad is evil but … he is certainly the lesser

Crocker-Luers-Pickering also argue that the crisis calls for the United
States to accept the nuclear deal with Iran that was on the table in
July and work with Tehran against ISIS. Iranians and Americans are
already rushing weapons to the Kurds, who have sustained a string of
defeats at the hands of the Islamic State.

“A new strategic relationship between the United States and Iran
may seem impossible and risky,” the diplomats write,
“yet it is also necessary and in the interests of both. While an
alliance is out of the question, mutually informed parallel action is

If we could work with the monster Stalin to defeat Hitler, is colluding
with the Ayatollah beyond the pale?

Other arguments shout out against a new American war.

How could we win such a war without the U.S. ground troops Obama pledged
never to send, and the American people do not want sent?

Air power may keep ISIS from overrunning Irbil and Baghdad, but
carrier-based air cannot reconquer the vast territory the Islamic State
has occupied in Iraq.

Nor can it defeat ISIS in Syria.

If Obama did launch an air war on ISIS in Syria, our de facto ally and
principal beneficiary of those strikes would be the same Syrian regime
that Obama and John Kerry wanted to bomb a year ago, until the American
people told them no and Congress refused to vote them the authority.

For such reasons, the demand of Sens. Tim Kaine and Rand Paul —
that before Obama takes us back to war in Iraq, or into a new war in
Syria, Congress must debate and authorize this war — is a
constitutional and political imperative.

The questions Congress needs to answer are obvious and numerous.

Who exactly is our enemy? ISIS only, or Assad, Hezbollah and Iran as
well? Will our involvement be restricted to air power —
fighter-bombers, gunships, cruise missiles, drones? Or should the
president be authorized to send U.S. ground troops to fight?

If we are to be restricted to air power, is it to be confined to Iraq,
or can it be used in Syria — and against Assad as well as ISIS?

If U.S. combat troops cannot be used, what are the prospects of
expelling ISIS from Iraq? And if we should drive them out, what is the
probability they will come back as soon as we leave, especially if we
have left them in control of northern Syria?

Is annihilation of ISIS the only permanent solution? How long and bloody
a war would that require?

Will the president be authorized to coordinate war planning with Tehran?
And if Assad is to become our de facto ally, should we end our support
for the Free Syrian Army and negotiate an armistice and amnesty for the

Congress must be forced to debate and vote on this war, first, so we can
hold them accountable for what is to come. Second, so we can force them
to come to consensus on just what kind of outcome in this region is
acceptable, and attainable, and at what cost.

What will victory look like? What will be the cost in blood and
treasure? How long are we prepared to fight this war, an end to which
does not today seem to be anywhere in sight?

How reasonable is it to expect that the Kurdish peshmerga and an Iraqi
Army that fled Kirkuk, Fallujah and Mosul, will be able to recapture the
Sunni regions of Iraq?

Finally, why is this our fight, 6,000 miles away, and not theirs?

08-18-2014, 03:17 PM
There is no need to start Iraq War 3, because technically they are still fighting Iraq War 1.

There is a common misconception that 2003 was a different "war" than 1990-91 because most troops left in 1995, but the US never officially closed the theatre formally/legally, such as when WW1 and WW2 were officially declared over in 1918 and 1945.

That is why in 2003 there was no requirement for the US government to put anything to a vote; they still had an open agreement from 1990-91 to be at war in Iraq, supported by most of the free world.

As to your last point as to why the fight is not theirs, sometimes wars are just. I'm not saying Iraq is or isn't, but if "Have" countries always pull the "Not my problem" card, we will continue to have Rwandas and Auschwitzs, but arguably we have a moral responsibility to protect our fellow man, especially when they are innocent and being slaughtered.