Will Military Veterans Support Obama's "Retreat and Declare Defeat" Strategy?

March 3, 2008

As things now stand, it appears that Barack Obama, if nominated by the Democrats and elected in November, may very well become the commander-in-chief of America's military force. As commander-in-chief he would have the Constitutional authority, under existing legislation passed by previous Congresses to implement what he has unconstitutionally tried to force President Bush to do-pull out of the war on terror. His bill S 433, introduced in January 2007, would redeploy the Armed forces in Iraq and implement a "political settlement in Iraq, thereby ending the civil war in Iraq." That sounds like a recipe for surrender to me.

The U.S. Constitution gives no authority to Congress to tell the commander in chief where to send the troops, once they have been called up. That is clearly defined in Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution which states: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices."

At this point President Bush has the authority, under the Constitution, to ask a senator for his or her opinion. He does not, of course, need to agree with that senator nor has the senator or the Congress as a whole have the constitutional authority to tell the president what to do as commander-in-chief. On the other hand, the president, in his role as commander-in-chief, does have the responsibility under Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

Basically, Obama's bill, S 433, would require the president to ignore laws passed by previous Congresses. While Congress can de-fund a war, as it did in the Vietnam War, it has no authority to pass a law ordering the President to ignore existing law. Public Law 105-235, signed in August of 1998 by President Clinton requires that the president "take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations." Public Law 107-243, signed October 22, 2002 by President George W. Bush authorizes the president "to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

It is the president, not the senators, under the law who determines what is needed to defend the country's national security and enforce UN resolutions. In 2007, there was a remarkable increase in the number of suicide bomber attacks in Iraq. Eighty percent of those attacks were within 30 miles of Baghdad. Based on the laws on the books, and the Constitution, President Bush had not only the authority to increase the number of troops to address the heightened threat from those attacks, but also the constitutional responsibility to give orders to the troops without interference from Congress - or the media. It was his decision - not that of the Congress.

Having failed to undermine the Constitution as one of 100 senators, Barack Obama apparently decided to try to run for president so he could have the authority to pull out of the war on terror in Iraq by claiming there was no security risk. If elected, what can the American people expect to happen in the war on terror? In 2007 suicide bombers managed to kill thousands of Iraqis and Americans in Iraq. Who were those suicide bombers?

A recent study identified that of 124 of the suicide bombers in Iraq, 53 (42 percent) were from Saudi Arabia. The remaining bombers were from countries as disparate as Italy (8) and Syria (8) as well as Iraq itself (18). While there are obvious differences of opinion, politically and religiously, among the Iraqi people, as there are in every other nation, only a minority of the people involved in the violence in Iraq are from Iraq. A whopping 84.5% of the suicide bombers are not citizens of Iraq, but citizens of 18 other nations. It isn't a civil war as Obama claims when 19 nations are involved in it. It is a world war.

Clearly, there is someone or some organization that is involved in waging this new world war. Who, do you suppose, that might be? Someone has the money and the contacts and organizational ability to purchase the needed weapons, train their warriors, assign and transport them into other nations to blow up commuter trains, pizza parlors, shopping areas, churches, embassies, government and other buildings.

When Mitt Romney ended his race for the presidency, he identified that organization as follows: "Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat, declare defeat and the consequence of that would be devastating - it would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that would make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child's play - about this I have no doubt. Now I disagree with Sen. McCain on a number of issues, as you know, but I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq and finding and executing Osama bin Laden."

Is anyone stupid enough to think that, of those 124 bombers, 106 of them could have the ability, money, knowledge and the valid passports and visas to travel hundreds or thousands of miles from their homelands-Italy, India, Britain, France, Spain, Belgium, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco and the Sudan - to kill strangers and themselves?

Spain, hoping to end terrorism on its soil, voted to bring its troops home from Iraq after the March 11, 2004 suicide bombing of a Madrid commuter train. Three years later Spain supplied two of the 124 suicide bombers. Nothing attests to the worldwide nature of the war in Iraq more than the nationalities of those 124 suicide bombers.

It makes me wonder how many of nearly the 25 million military veterans in the USA will be able to hold their nose and actually vote for a man (or a woman) as their next commander in chief who "would retreat, and declare defeat" in the War on Terror.

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Copyright ©2008 Mary Mostert