A few days before Congress sees President Obama’s request for a “limited and limited” response against the Syrian regime, it is time to think about the factors involved in the choice of military forces.
There are five considerations that have a heavy weight on the president’s mind as well as congressional debates: the central interests of the United States, our responsibility to humanity, our unique place in the world, the military response itself (proportionate, adequate, significant), future risks and costs.
Unfortunately, the discussion in Washington focused on the first four. As long as the last reason comes to our attention at this time.
The Iraq era
We entered Iraq for all the wrong reasons – ghost weapons of mass destruction, bad intelligence (perhaps “cooked”), impatience and a little hubris. We have shown again that decisions made in the context of increased emotions are often flawed. The result was a war whose final weight and cost did not cross the previous director’s mind. Too bad. There were many unexpected costs: Too many soldiers and women were sacrificed. ($ 3 trillion if current and future liabilities are incurred.) Rising federal debt, many of which still refuse to be recognized, was partly caused by a short-sighted military trip (as well as simultaneous tax cuts for the rich) .)
I have no advice for the Congress on how to vote. Let’s wait for the next full discussion and the related facts. But I know what needs to be done to protect our future selves: Fix the War Powers of 1973 resolution (commonly referred to as the War Powers Act). As it stands today, the President is required to notify Congress within 48 hours of the introduction of hostilities by our armed forces. The president must then ask for Congress approval to continue 60 days. My suggestion is to amend the law, so that after 120 days from the beginning of the fighting, a war ploy will be automatically imposed on the board. Historical wars have been funded by new taxes. Civil War, World Wars I and II, even Vietnam brought with them new approaches to taxation. Iraq and Afghanistan were outstanding exceptions. It is time to stop deceiving ourselves: wars are expensive and it is time to confront this reality and plan it. Not only to Syria, but to all future conflicts.
A simple congressional action?
This simple congressional action will have several benefits. First, he will give further impetus to the president to consider more carefully his options. The president will have to build broad support among the American public – not an easy task for tired, perhaps cynical citizens. It should be noted that the British House of Representatives recently rejected Prime Minister Cameron’s request to participate with the participation of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Second, it will continue to open, billion dollar trillion wars in our credit card. (Maintaining the cost of the war from the books was something the Bush administration was particularly adept at). And thirdly, an amended war forces law may only restore Congress’s authority to wage war. Congress has accepted that authority and responsibility in the constitution for a reason – so that the people, through their representatives, can decide when it is in the national interest to commit foreign entanglements.
What would I do if I was in Congress – to go with the president as a loyal Democrat or refuse him authority in this case? I certainly know this: in the future, I would not vote “yes” if there was not the first vote on my Powers Amendment Act.
There are many ways around Congress. My point is to make it harder to be more honest with the American people.
Martin Long, the Democratic candidate in the special institution of the House of Representatives, the fifth district, finally replied. After 20 minutes of negotiations, the Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts gave him two minutes on the stand. Long, it was a hard win.
He tried for weeks to appear with five candidates, who was selected in advance by the PDM. Although he was on a note, Long said that only those “with a serious chance to win a seat” were invited to attend.
The forum took place on Thursday night, September 12, at Leslie University, Cambridge.
Long criticized the Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts for trying to control the appointments process. “I’m as liberal and progressive as anyone in this room, I always thought that progressivity meant openness and integration.”