by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz
According to many Obama supporters, pretty much all criticism of Obama is racist; you can add the New York Times, that arm of the VRWC (Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy) to the racist list: Today they have Bruce Ackerman in the op-ed page,
Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution
PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.
That was the opening salvo; Ackerman ends with,
He is acting on the proposition that the president, in his capacity as commander in chief, has unilateral authority to declare war.
In taking this step, Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he swore to uphold.
You could argue, as some of the NYT commenters, that Obama has not declared that the U.S. is going to war against a nation, just that “We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”
Whatever that means.
For now, Obama’s sending only “an additional 475 servicemembers to Iraq,” but “these American forces will not have a combat mssion” to fight “terrorists [who] are unique in their brutality.”
I guess that explains why the Turks, the Germans, and the Brits are not joining in Obama’s broad coalition of partners. Germany will provide support to the Kurds, but Germany and the UK won’t be providing airpower for American airstrikes. They are not nuanced enough.
Then there’s Obama’s line, delivered with a distinct lack of affect, about
This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
Yemen and Somalia, two failed, strategically marginal, states, with active untamed insurgencies, while, as Dr. Krauthammer points out,
The Islamic State controls a vast territory in the heart of oil-rich Mesopotamia, threatening everything of importance in the Middle East.
This is by design because no matter what President Obama and the Democrats say, the only way to beat ISIS is boots on the ground and they know it. However they are determined to avoid that responsibility.
Richard Fernandez is gloomy, “My own view on the matter can be summarized in a word: Libya. Libya on a gigantic scale.”
Clearly, the Islamic State is Islamic. What is not clear is whether the Commander in Chief realizes that the Constitution does not grant him unilateral authority to declare war . . . because, nuanced or not, war is war.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s blog.