Obama Violates Constitution
Again—With War in Iraq
Aug. 12—With its overwhelming July 25 vote declaring that "the president shall not deploy or maintain United States Armed Forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific statutory authorization for such use," the U.S. Congress reasserted its constitutional authority to decide on questions of war and peace by passing House Concurrent Resolution 105, which, in compliance with the War Powers Act, mandates consultation. On Aug. 8, President Barack Obama thumbed his nose at the Congress and the Constitution, and announced a campaign of bombing in northern Iraq.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) has been the only federally elected official to unequivocally condemn Obama's unconstitutional, unilateral re-bombing of Iraq. He immediately sent out a tweet declaring, "There is no such thing as humanitarian bombing, in Iraq or anywhere else." He followed up with an op-ed published Aug. 11 in USA Today, entitled "Mr. President, When It's Our Money, and It's Our Blood, Then It's Our Decision."
Citing recent opinion polls showing fewer than 40% approve the bombing, and 55% oppose, Grayson says he is siding with the American people, and against the President. "We all know the history: U.S. soldiers invaded and occupied Iraq, looking for 'WMDs' that weren't there. That 10-year war cost us the lives of 4,425 American soldiers, left roughly 250,000 with permanent brain abnormalities from IEDs, etc., and cost us $2 trillion—approximately 2.5% of our national net worth, accumulated over 200 years. Isn't that enough?"
Obama's decision "makes a mockery" of the so-called "Powell Doctrine," Grayson said, since "no national security interest is threatened, we don't have a clear strategy, we're not using overwhelming force, and we have no way out."
But neither Grayson, nor any other Congressman, has called for Congress to reconvene to assert its authority in the only way which would be effective—impeachment of a lawless President. Apparently, it's the American people, who overwhelmingly reject Obama, who will have to light a fire under their elected representatives to get them to do so.
For months prior to this decision, Obama had declared that he did not need to have Congressional authority to take military action in Iraq. The Narcissist-in-Chief meant what he said.
In his public statements on the reasons for the bombing, Obama declared that he was authorizing airstrikes both in order to defend American personnel in the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil, and to avert a humanitarian disaster ("genocide") among the Yazidis, an ethnic group which is under mortal threat from the spread of the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadis. Obama also reiterated that he did not believe that a solution for Iraq could be achieved by military intervention, and that he had absolutely no intention of putting "boots on the ground."
Yet, Obama already has approximately 1,000 "boots on the ground," and the U.S. airstrikes, of which there have now been at least nine, are a de facto initiation of a U.S. war in the region.
The intervention fulfills the condition of HCR 105, in being "sustained combat." In his Aug. 9 press conference on the South Lawn of the White House, Obama declared: "I don't think we're going to solve this problem in week. I think this is going to take some time," prompting the New York Times to headline its coverage, "Iraq Strikes May Last Months."
Indeed, military experts have noted that the "pinprick" bombing strategy being carried out by U.S. forces appears to presage greater U.S. military involvement down the line, as the strikes were followed by a simple repositioning of the Islamic State forces, often with more people and weapons.
Obama has also made clear that another major objective of his new war in Iraq is regime change, which he characterized as forming an "inclusive government" in Baghdad. A new Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, was nominated over the weekend by the new President, thanks to U.S. pressure.
After initial threats to oppose the nomination militarily, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has apparently backed down, and merely threatened to challenge the appointment in court.
"Regime change" has been the watchword of Obama Administration and British war efforts—including in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Russia itself, where the major target of U.S./NATO hostility to President Vladimir Putin. In the first three cases, the Obama Administration has succeed in sparking a "humanitarian" civil war of barbaric dimensions, as is now taking place in Iraq, in part, due to the administration's support for the Saudi sponsorship of Islamic terror.
When Will Congress Act?
Despite the dominance of warmongering idiots in Congress (such as Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham), and of pro-war talks in the dominant media, Congress is fed up with Obama spitting in its eye. But it needs to be forced to act.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), initiator of HCR 105, released a weak statement hours after Obama dropped the first bombs on Iraq, saying that Obama's action "goes beyond protecting our military and diplomatic personnel. I am concerned that we are already seeing these different missions blur into one in the press and in Congress. That is deeply troubling."
McGovern didn't call for the military action to stop immediately, but said the "strikes do involve the United States directly in hostilities, regardless of how limited they are and regardless of whether there's a humanitarian purpose involved." Therefore, he added, Congress must act according to the powers of its office if the combat is still going on when Congress returns in September. That is much too late.
He also reiterated that "370 Members of the House voted for my amendment last month [in which] we made it very clear that we believe Congress has a significant constitutional role to play."
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hi.) was more direct. "Getting involved in airstrikes moves us a dangerous step closer to direct involvement in Iraq's sectarian civil war, an entanglement we must avoid." the Wall Street Journal reported her saying. "[W]e cannot allow a humanitarian crisis to draw us into a war that would again cost the Iraqi people far too much in destruction and lives lost."
The current state of murderous chaos in Libya, where the U.S. has been forced to pull out of its embassy, is a constant reminder to the Congress that Obama's unconstitutional wars of regime change and so-called humanitarian intervention are disasters. The author of a petition calling for Congress to make the decision on this war, Robert Naiman, noted that the Libya war was also launched during a Congressional recess.
Congress should have listened to LaRouche and stayed on the job. But they still have the mandate to act, before it's too late.