Terrorist group wants to suck U.S.
into religious fight, Kucinich says,
warning against war authorization
WALL opposes congressional rubber-stamping
of ‘unconstitutional’ Obama wars in Iraq & Syria
WALL news & commentary
President Obama’s request to Congress for an authorization of force (i.e. war) against the group that calls itself the “Islamic State” got strong opposition from a vocal member of his own party, ex-Representative Dennis J. Kucinich.
Kucinich went on Alan Colmes’s radio talk show on the Fox network February 25 to warn against giving the “Islamic State” what it wanted from the United States: an official war that it could call a crusade against Islam.
“What ISIS is trying to do is to draw the U.S. into a religious war so that they can claim a position as defender of Islam against crusading foreign invaders,...” Kucinich said. “The U.S. should not be playing into ISIS’s hands…. A military attack on ISIS would bring even more jihadis from all over the world into ISIS ranks.” He saw the administration leading the U.S. into a state of perpetual war.
Kucinich, who served eight terms as a representative from Ohio and an avid antiwar voice in Congress, was preparing an open letter to his former colleagues, giving reasons to reject the president’s request for a formal war measure.
Colmes wondered how much support Kucinich (a Democrat) could get in the current Congress (both houses being under Republican control). “I think that there are people on both sides of the political spectrum who are very concerned about the action the administration is taking,” Kucinich replied.
“I don’t know why the Obama administration would have any credibility left at all once they bumbled the situation in Libya. They misrepresented what happened. They lied to the American people at the cost of the disintegration of a country.” (What was initially presented to the United Nations as a “no-fly zone” for humanitarian reasons soon became a war to overthrow the regime and kill its leader.)
ISIS stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” Obama uses ISIL, which replaces “Syria” with “the Levant.”
Kucinich spoke at WALL’s October 2014 event in San Francisco. (See articles below.)
‘llegal’ wars assailed
The War and Law League called the warfare started by Obama in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere unconstitutional and impeachable. An authority cited for that allegation was Obama himself, some seven years earlier.
To rubber-stamp his actions would be to encourage more lawless wars – and make the U.S. less safe, WALL declared in letters to selected members of Congress. This is the text of the letters:
Should Congress accommodate the President by authorizing more years of war in the Middle East, after some 13 years of U.S. combat there?
We say no: Unilateral, presidential wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya etc. have been unconstitutional and impeachable. Congress should not rubber-stamp such actions. To do so would encourage more of the same.
The President’s request for authorization for his latest wars—his proposed bill appears to be nearly a blank check—implies that he knows they’re illegal. Indeed, in December 2007, then Senator Obama rightly told the Boston Globe in a written statement:
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.
When hostages or other innocents are murdered, law enforcement agencies should find the murderers and bring them to justice.
Military attacks on communities, hitting civilians and fighters indiscriminately, are war crimes, more deadly than the terrorist acts. Our attacks don’t end terrorist groups but gain them recruits. That’s shown by many thousands of bombing raids on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan etc. U.S. wars since 2001 have brought us nothing but a myriad of casualties.
Every action has a reaction. Thus U.S. war in the Middle East makes us increasingly unsafe. Staying out and minding our own business would make us safer.
The question should be fully and openly debated in Congress.
The letters quoted James Madison, who wrote in 1793, “… The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature…. The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.”
WALL’s Legislative Committee sent the letters to 45 senators and representatives by fax on February 11 and 12.
‘Ground combat’ to come
“I have directed a comprehensive and sustained strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL,” President Obama tells Congress in a written memo. “As part of this strategy, U.S. military forces are conducting a systematic campaign of airstrikes against ISIL, in Iraq and Syria.”
That is a war and Congress did not authorize it. In the memo, Obama claims that his authority to launch his “campaign” comes from existing statutes, but he does not cite any statute.
He says his proposed authorization for use of military force (i.e. war) “would not authorize long-term, large-scale ground combat operations” as in Afghanistan and Iraq. But his suggested joint resolution states merely that “offensive ground combat operations” will not be “enduring”; it says nothing about its scale. The authorization lasts three years “unless reauthorized. The enemy includes “associated persons or forces” as well as ISIL (ISIS) itself.
Obama’s proposed resolution begins with 13 “Whereas” paragraphs. They list types of violent crimes by the “ISIL” group, quote its intention to conduct terrorist attacks internationally, and claim that the president’s attacks on Iraq and Syria have been in “self-defense.”
No specific evidence is presented that the group poses an imminent or special danger to the United States or is capable of inflicting great harm to this country — or that international terrorism will succumb to more U.S. warfare abroad after some 13 years of it in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other lands. Of course, nothing is said of any measures taken to prevent war in accord with the United Nations Charter.
The effective provisions of the proposed resolution follow: