From Lewinsky to Libya

Just as Rahm Emanuel in the late ’90s was the gritty stuff on the shoe sole of the Clintonites, Max Boot plays the same role today among the neocons. Here he is in Commentary on the Boehner resolution that was passed by the House on June 3, explaining that the War Powers Act is of no effect, that any congressman who thinks it does is simply acting out of “pique,” and that the president has the right to wage war whenever and however he pleases:

I can understand why House Republicans are mad. I have my own questions about the Libya intervention. Its admirable goal (Qaddafi’s toppling) has not been matched by suitable military means. And Obama has not helped his own cause by not asking for congressional authorization, as Bush did before intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan. The time-limit of the War Powers Act, which mandates that the president get authorization from Congress within 60 days for a use of force, has already expired, and Obama hasn’t even bothered to argue that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional, as all of his predecessors have done. He’s simply ignored it, by trying to pretend that the U.S. isn’t really at war (it’s a NATO action, you see) without actually repudiating it.

At the end of the day, though, Obama is the commander-in-chief and he is acting well within his rights to commit U.S. forces to stop Qaddafi’s slaughter and even to depose him. No declaration of war on the part of Congress is necessary—presidents have used force hundreds of times since 1789 without it. Moreover, the U.S. does have backing from NATO and the UN from this mission, even if not from Congress. Lawmakers should put aside their personal pique and think of the greater good of the country, which will be served by bringing this war to a speedy and successful conclusion. Their actions today only make the job of American military personnel harder, dishearten the country’s closest allies, and embolden Qaddafi to resist more.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 05, 2011 04:10 PM | Send

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