Krauthammer: "Constitutionally Indecent" For Obama Not To Seek Authorization For War


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, technically, you can make a case that the resolution to go to war against al Qaeda in 2001 would cover this because ISIS is a descendant of al Qaeda. Of course it didn't exist at the time but it isn't as if al Qaeda issues membership cards or passports, so there's no way to have a straight definition of a country. So you could say this is an element of al Qaeda. You can also do it on the basis of the Iraq War resolution by arguing that the border between Syria and Iraq no longer exists in the real world so any war to defend Iraq or to get the bad guys out of Iraq, which was authorized in 2002, would necessarily extend into what is now a no man's land. You can do that, but the president, even though he might have the authority to go ahead and act unilaterally, it's constitutionally indecent.

And the two Bushes, the one that did the first Iraq war and the second Iraq war, both claimed and tried to preserve the authority of the office in saying I don't need the authorization that already exists but they nonetheless went ahead and got it, and that is the constitutionally decent thing to do. Obama should be the one -- he's the president, he came up with a strategy, he's asking for a commitment of the nation into a war, a war which incidentally he won't even name the operation, which is really a way of declaring his sort of ambivalent again. He is the one responsible for bringing the resolution and getting it done. And he shouldn't wait for elections, he always uses elections as an excuse of not doing things. It's one of the great deficits of his administration.

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