Obama’s Flimsy Legal Case For War

The Obama Administration's legal justification for war against ISIS is laughably flimsy.

 

Obama ISIS Speech

As I noted prior to the President’s speech on Wednesday night, outside of a small group of dissenters, Congress apparently has no desire at all to weigh in on the issue of military action against ISIS/ISIL/IS notwithstanding the fact that it seems clear that, as a matter of law, they really ought to be doing so. For its own part, the Administration is unsurprisingly willing to accept this Congressional deference and, when confronted with questions about the legality of whatever military actions the President may authorize over the coming months and years, the Administration is asserting that it has all the legal authority that it needs thanks to the Authorization For Use Of Military Force that Congress passed nearly thirteen years ago in the wake of the September 11th attacks:

In the space of a single primetime address on Wednesday night, Barack Obama dealt a crippling blow to a creaking, 40-year old effort to restore legislative primacy to American warmaking – a far easier adversary to vanquish than the Islamic State. Obama’s legal arguments for unilaterally expanding a war expected to last years have shocked even his supporters.

Ahead of Wednesday’s speech the White House signaled that Obama already “has the authority he needs to take action” against Isis without congressional approval. Obama said he would welcome congressional support but framed it as optional, save for the authorisations and the $500m he wants to use the US military to train Syrian rebels. Bipartisan congressional leaders who met with Obama at the White House on Tuesday expressed no outrage.

The administration’s rationale, at odds with the war it is steadily expanding, is to forestall an endless conflict foisted upon it by a bloodthirsty legislature. Yet one of the main authorities Obama is relying on for avoiding Congress is the 2001 wellspring of the war on terrorism he advocated repealing only last year, a document known as the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that few think actually applies to Isis.

(…)

According to several administration officials over the years, Obama has been wary that Congress will offer up new laws that entrench and expand an amorphous war that, in his mind, he has waged with the minimum necessary amount of force. Obama last year advocated the eventual repeal of the 2001 authorisation – as well as the 2002 congressional approval of the Iraq war – to aid in turning a page on a long era of US warfare.

Yet on Wednesday a senior administration official told reporters that the 2001 authorisation covered the war against Isis. Legal scholars have already debated its coverage of al-Qaida affiliates that did not exist in 2001. Isis, however, is not an al-Qaida affiliate, having been specifically disavowed by al-Qaida’s leader, Ayman Zawahiri. Ken Gude of the liberal Center for American Progress, a thinktank close to the administration, tweeted that he was “utterly shocked” the administration would contend the 2001 authority applied – an argument he had earlier in the day called “laughable.

Asked to explain the administration’s reasoning, a different senior US official acknowledged the “split” between al-Qaida and Isis but indicated the administration considered it legally immaterial. In an email, using the administration’s preferred acronym for Isis, the official wrote:

Based on ISIL’s longstanding relationship with al-Qa’ida (AQ) and Usama bin Laden; its long history of conducting, and continued desire to conduct, attacks against U.S. persons and interests, the extensive history of U.S. combat operations against Isil dating back to the time the group first affiliated with AQ in 2004; and Isil’s position – supported by some individual members and factions of AQ-aligned groups – that it is the true inheritor of Usama bin Laden’s legacy, the President may rely on the 2001 AUMF as statutory authority for the use of force against Isil, notwithstanding the recent public split between AQ’s senior leadership and Isil.

When I first heard that the Administration was relying upon a Bush Administration era AUMF as the legal justification for expanded military activity against ISIS, for some reason I thought that the correspondent on the news was referring to the AUMF that authorized the 2003 Iraq War. Given the fact that this authorization was specifically directed at Saddam Hussein and the issue of weapons of mass destruction, such an argument would be legally convoluted to say the least. The situation isn’t much better, though, with the Administrations reliance on the authorization that was passed nearly unanimously in the wake of the September 11th attacks. As noted above, that authorization specifically mentioned the organizations and person responsible for the attacks themselves as well as the nations that harbored them. In the 13 years that have followed, that broad grant of authority has been used to justify action far beyond Afghanistan, including attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. Since the resolution did not specifically limit the President’s authority to war in Afghanistan, and since there has been at least some tangential connection between the targets attacked in those countries and the “core al Qaeda” that was behind the September 11th attacks, one could at least say that there was some legal veneer to what the President was doing, although it’s worth noting that even the President himself has suggested as recently as a year ago that perhaps it was time for Congress to reconsider the broad grant of authority given in that original AUMF passed in the wake of a terrorist attack.

While you can make at least a plausible argument that American military action in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia has some legal justification under the 2001 AUMF, though, you cannot say the same thing about military action against ISIS/ISIL/IS. While it’s true that, in some sense, the group has root connections with al Qaeda in that it has evolved out of what used to be known as al Qaeda In Iraq, which was one of the main combatants during the chaos of post-war Iraq, at this point in time there is absolutely no connection between al Qaeda and ISIS and, indeed, as Ankit Panda notes in The Diplomatthe two groups have fundamentally different strategic goals:

The two groups have a deep philosophical disagreement about the priorities of global jihad (as even the official in the above email notes). To oversimplify, Al Qaeda sees its first target as Western governments and others who prop up secular Arab dictators, Israel, and other non-Sunni leaders in the Muslim world. ISIS, meanwhile, has focused its efforts on establishing a caliphate first and using its strength to directly fight the governments it deems unfit for rule (this includes Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Iraq’s deeply Shia-dominated government). Yes, ISIS was at one point known as “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” but in September 2014, it is an entirely separate entity that is diametrically opposed to Al Qaeda in many ways-even engaging in skirmishes with Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda’s wing in Syria. It is simply not an “associated force” in terms of the 2001 AUMF.

Given this, using the 2001 AUMF to authorize further military action against ISIS is an act of legal legardamain equivalent to the best work that the Bush White House did to justify everything from warrantless wiretapping, waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, and endless detention of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. One could even say that, in this case, the Obama Administration has gone beyond the Bush Administration in its efforts to pervert the law to justify military action, while at the same time explicitly rejecting the idea of obtaining authorization from Congress, authorization that would likely be granted giving the frenzy of panic that currently exists in the United States over the alleged threat that ISIS poses to the United States.

Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman calls the President’s unilateral decision to go to war against ISIS a betrayal of the Constitution:

President Obama’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.

Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.

This became clear when White House officials briefed reporters before Mr. Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday evening. They said a war against ISIS was justified by Congress’s authorization of force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that no new approval was needed.

But the 2001 authorization for the use of military force does not apply here. That resolution — scaled back from what Mr. Bush initially wanted — extended only to nations and organizations that “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks.

(…)

Senators and representatives aren’t eager to step up to the plate in October when, however they decide, their votes will alienate some constituents in November’s midterm elections. They would prefer to let the president plunge ahead and blame him later if things go wrong. But this is precisely why the War Powers Resolution sets up its 60-day deadline: It rightly insists that unless Congress is willing to stand up and be counted, the war is not worth fighting in the name of the American people.

If Mr. Obama changes course, as he did last September, and submits to the commands of the War Powers Resolution, Congress can demonstrate that, despite all its dysfunction, it can still rise to the occasion. There are hawks and doves on both sides of the aisle, and leaders of both parties havesignaled a willingness to engage in a serious debate.

But for now the president seems grimly determined to practice what Mr. Bush’s lawyers only preached. He is acting on the proposition that the president, in his capacity as commander in chief, has unilateral authority to declare war.

In taking this step, Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he swore to uphold.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the President has acted without Congressional authorization, of course. Three years ago, he committed the United States to supporting the NATO effort to intervene in the Libyan civil war based solely on a series of United Nations Resolutions, and while he did provide Congress with the notices required under the War Powers Act, it was clear that the Administration intended to ignore the calls that they seek specific Congressional authority for the mission. One year ago, the President was on the verge of ordering air strikes against the Assad regime in Syria based on the use of chemical weapons, only to back down amid complaints from Members of Congress from both parties, widespread public disapproval for the mission itself and for the President’s decision to bypass Congress. This time around, it doesn’t appear that the President will face the same public pressure. Thanks largely to the beheading of two Western journalists and the reports of ISIS attacks on religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, the American public seems to be strongly behind the idea of expanding the attacks on ISIS and convinced that ISIS represents a clear and present danger to the United States itself even though there is no evidence of that at all. Despite that support, though, the President makes a mistake by ignoring the clear Constitutional and legal authority here that makes it clear that he needs to seek Congressional approval before proceeding further.

This is not to suggest, of course, that Presidents must always seek Congressional action before acting. If American military forces, American diplomats, or Americans citizens are attacked overseas or if there is clear evidence of an imminent threat to the homeland, the Constitution gives the President broad authority to act as Commander in Chief, and even the War Powers Act recognizes this reality. This isn’t the situation that we find ourselves in, however. Even if we accept the President’s rationale for the initial round of attacks on ISIS targets that it was necessary to prevent harm from coming to the American diplomats and others in the area around Mosul, what is being suggested now is an expansion of our military mission far beyond protection of Americans. This is evidenced quite clearly by the President’s own pledge to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. In another time, that would be considered a declaration of war, and declarations of war rather obviously require Congressional authorization.

The position that President Obama takes today is far different from the one that he took as a candidate, when differentiating himself from the unpopular policies of the Bush Administration were a high priority.  In December 2007, for example, the President had this to say:

2. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Similarly, in an August 2007 speech,  he said that the American people had the right to know before military action is taken in their name, and the man who would become his Vice-President said that a President who took non-defensive military action without Congressional authorization would be a candidate for impeachment. As with many people who have run for President, though, Barack Obama changed his views on Executive Power significantly once he actually came into office. One wonders what Senator Obama would think about that. At the very least, I had have to think that he would be skeptical of the Administration’s efforts to use a Congressional resolution drafted in the wake of a terrorist attack that took place thirteen years ago yesterday to justify an escalation of American military involvement that even Administration officials are saying could take years, likely lasting well into the term of Mr. Obama’s successor. What the President is doing now is an affront to the law and the Constitution.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Law and the Courts, Military Affairs, National Security, Politicians, Terrorism, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    slight correction
    What the President and Congress are is doing now is an affront to the law and the Constitution.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    I would love to see Congress forced to vote. It might require sending marshals to round them up, because Congress really, really doesn’t want to do this. But would it be better if Congress accepted its responsibilities and did the job we pay them to do? Yes, it would.

    But what is the executive to do when what Congress is telling them secretly is “Don’t make us vote, do whatever you want, just don’t make us vote?” Are we at the point where the head of the Executive Branch is now responsible for seeing that the Legislative Branch shows up for work?

    If Congress doesn’t think the AUMF covers this, and the Executive thinks it does, then quite clearly the means to resolve the issue is in Congress’ hands. If POTUS says “X” and Congress says “Y” and Congress has full power to take a vote deciding the issue, then the responsibility lies primarily on Congress.

  3. Tillman says:

    I don’t really expect a Cincinnatus in the modern age, but I would hope a legislative branch would get its collective asses together at some point.

    They moan about tyranny, but they have yet to see a real tyrant.

  4. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    Congress gave the President these powers, and only Congress can yank them back. The courts seem to be terrified of intervening.

    But what is truly disheartening is 61% of Americans think ISIS is a mortal threat, they are willing to invade Iraq yet again to accomplish it. It will also require an invasion of Syria, with Assad smiling with every dropped bomb.

    The dreadful price America pays for its empire continues unabated.

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/poll-americans-support-action-against-isis

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But what is the executive to do when what Congress is telling them secretly is “Don’t make us vote, do whatever you want, just don’t make us vote?” Are we at the point where the head of the Executive Branch is now responsible for seeing that the Legislative Branch shows up for work?

    Hear, hear. Exactly right, dead on.

    The Republican Party can go back to complaining about the president’s “abuse of power” and Democrats can breathe a sigh of relief that they don’t have to go back to their districts and be accused of being weak on terrorism – Obama gave them the cover they needed. And … legislators in both parties can say “don’t blame me” if this doesn’t work out. Just another congressional profile in courage.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    I thought that the correspondent on the news was referring to the AUMF that authorized the 2003 Iraq War. Given the fact that this authorization was specifically directed at Saddam Hussein and the issue of weapons of mass destruction, such an argument would be legally convoluted to say the least.

    But the 2002 AUMF doesn’t mention Saddam Hussein, and here’s a legal opinion:

    Also note that, in contrast to some previous AUMFs, the 2002 AUMF has no geographical limitation. It authorizes force not in Iraq, but rather “against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.” To the extent that the “continuing threat posed by Iraq” is today constituted by ISIS forces operating in tandem (and under a single military structure) in Iraq and Syria, the statute arguably authorizes the use of force against ISIS in Syria. Put another way, the 2002 Iraq AUMF arguably authorizes force against ISIS in Syria if the President determines that such force is necessary and appropriate to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq. It is not hard to imagine that the President could make that determination.

    Obama described ISIS as “formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, [which] has taken advantage of sectarian strife [in Iraq] and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.”

  7. gVOR08 says:

    dazedandconfused https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/obamas-isil-speech-first-reaction/#comment-1970214 picked out the message to congress in Obama’s speech.

    “I understand, Congress Critters, the risk to your political careers by voting to support me in this. An act of treason in some parts to support me on anything, and I get that. Therefore, I am making it real easy, I say I have the authority so all you have to do is not vote on this if you support it, leaving you free to go on the news shows and bitch about how concerned you are about the power I am grabbing. You’re welcome.” That’s pretty much right.

    Doug, this is like, “We shouldn’t bail out banks.” Well, sometimes we have to. The correct lesson is – Don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll have to bail out banks. The correct lesson in this is that we shouldn’t have spent the last fifty years creating a situation in which the President has do do what he’s doing. But we did. And the adults are trying to deal with it. Yes, we should correct the situation, but perhaps we should wait for some brief respite between crisis, not in the middle of one.

  8. stonetools says:

    Frankly, I’m now at the point where I want Obama to toss it into Congress’ laps. I suspect that after a month of Congressional blabbering, Obama’s popularity would be sky high and people would be begging the President to take action.

  9. James Pearce says:

    Then impeach him already.

    I’m in my second decade of wondering why Congress doesn’t implement this helpful policy or doesn’t end that destructive practice. I don’t wonder anymore. They’re a useless vestigial appendage. If we really wanted to do something useful, we’d send better people.

  10. Scott says:

    What I can’t quite understand is why the President doesn’t want to force Congress to vote on something. Politically, it doesn’t make sense to me.

    BTW, as for public approval ratings at this point in time, I suspect they are quite ephemeral and will be heading down very soon (like next week).

  11. Scott says:

    Probably too gloomy today (and I watched Star Wars way too many times) but…

    I wonder under which President

    The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away forever

  12. Moosebreath says:

    @Scott:

    “What I can’t quite understand is why the President doesn’t want to force Congress to vote on something. Politically, it doesn’t make sense to me.”

    Because it would be a tougher vote for Democrats than Republicans. Democrats are more divided on this, and Obama doesn’t want to get a significant portion of the Democratic base angry at their Congresspersons (whichever way they vote) a couple of months before Election Day.

    Like Michael Reynolds, I would like them to vote, but they don’t want to.

  13. KM says:

    @michael reynolds :

    It might require sending marshals to round them up

    I would pay good money to see that. I suspect Fox News would sell every employee’s kidneys (and probably some lungs for good measure) for the rights to be embedded with these teams – CNN doesn’t have that kind of capital 🙂

  14. SalVito says:

    @Scott:

    i think LOTR is a better analogy that Star Wars. Now that was a coalition. In Star Wars, the Empire just wanted to rule and control everything. In LOTR, Sauron just wanted to kill everyone.
    He had no tolerance for anyone and only wanted to cover the whole world in darkness which is similar to ISIS. Ah, where are those Giant Eages when you need them?

    Seriously, people need to chill a bit about this. It;s like you all just woke up and realized we’re not a democratic republic. We have always been a Plutocracy. There’s nothing more important here than protecting oil fields, especially the Saudis.

  15. Grewgills says:

    authorization that would likely be granted giving the frenzy of panic that currently exists in the United States over the alleged threat that ISIS poses to the United States.

    Thanks for my morning laugh, even if it was a wry one.

  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott:

    Here’s what’s happening there, I suspect. Dems in tight races are saying, “Look, I don’t know how this will land politically, I’m holding on by my fingernails, I could lose ground with some core constituents.” And Republicans are thinking, “If I give Obama any kind of vote I’m going to have Tea Party creeps all over me, plus when I run for President I want to be able to attack Obama’s foreign policy.”

    And the White House, seeing all this, thinks, “Why push it if we have tacit acceptance?”

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Mr: Mataconis:

    Three years ago, he committed the United States to supporting the NATO effort to intervene in the Libyan civil war based solely on a series of United Nations Resolutions, and while he did provide Congress with the notices required under the War Powers Act, it was clear that the Administration intended to ignore the calls that they seek specific Congressional authority for the mission.

    False. Obama simply ignored the War Powers Act, and “explained” that it didn’t apply because he said it didn’t.

    Hell, you yourself said that they were flouting the War Powers Act.

    But on to the actual discussion at hand, let me put it in very simple terms: these are very bad people. They are doing very bad things. (Things so bad that even Al Qaeda is saying “whoa, that’s too extreme for us.” This is like Miley Cyrus calling someone an attention-seeking exhibitionist.) They are threatening us, and they are acting on those threats. So going after them now is entirely justifiable.

    And here’s a fun point: the Constitution doesn’t go into great detail about how declarations of war have to be passed, unlike, say, taxation issues. Either House can propose a declaration (or, to use the more modern jargon, AUMF). And Obama could easily call for it. So the Senate could start it, the House could start it, or Obama could have his people draft up one and have one of his Congressional allies (if he hasn’t alienated all of them) introduce it in either House.

    So any “cowardice” is not partisan, but institutional.

  18. rudderpedals says:

    I think this is a political question, not a legal question.

  19. al-Ameda says:

    @munchboxgrad:

    0bama has been sh!ting on the constitution for years….and now it’s an issue?! Liberals are so useless. Hear hear!

    And yet … fewer signing statements than George W Bush.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @munchboxgrad:

    0bama has been sh!ting on the constitution for years….and now it’s an issue?! Liberals are so useless. Hear hear!

    And yet … fewer signing statements than George W Bush.

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: And yet … fewer signing statements than George W Bush.

    Bush used the signing statements to lay groundwork for future challenges that he ended up not actually using. Obama, on the other hand, has signed them.

    Kind of like “Bush had more bullets, but Obama actually pulled the trigger.” Not much of a defense if you’re arguing about who shot someone.

    If you’d like an example, Obama signed the law that made the release of the Taliban terrorists for Bergdahl without notifying Congress in advance illegal.

  22. Hal_10000 says:

    But what is the executive to do when what Congress is telling them secretly is “Don’t make us vote, do whatever you want, just don’t make us vote?”

    A number of things beside go to war on his own. At the risk of repeating myself, the “Congress are bunch of fools” excuse doesn’t work for me in this context or in any other. If Congress won’t give the President the authority — either by active refusal or by not doing their damned jobs — that doesn’t mean he gets to take action on his own. We are not under imminent threat. This is a war of choice. The power to start wars lies with Congress. It doesn’t say, “Unless they are being a bunch of idiots, in which case go ahead.”

    (And I remind people, as I did when Bush was President, than any powers this President assumes will be assumed and expanded by his successor. Obama isn’t going to be President forever. Unless you want President Rubio attacking Iran without Congressional approval, you need to oppose the President bypassing Congress on this.)

    I said this in 2003 when the Bush people floated the idea of using the 2001 AUMF to go into Iraq without Congressional approval: if there is any doubt about whether the President has the authority, that doubt should be resolved in favor of going to Congress. Finding verbal trickery to somehow connect this to the post-9/11 AUMF is just ridiculous.

  23. walt moffett says:

    Waiting to see what the international law deep thinkers come up with when they tire of recent Israel/Palestinian events. Though since we never ratified the Rome Treaty and have a Security Council veto, it will only increase greenhouse gas levels.

    FWIW, believe as CinC, Obama can send the Armed Forces where he wills, while Congress can decide not to pay for it.

  24. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    If we really wanted to do something useful, we’d send better people.

    Better people wouldn’t want to go.

  25. Tillman says:

    @Hal_10000: This is around the same time in Bush’s second term that I realized Bush wasn’t at fault the way his detractors wanted to make him out to be. The way the system is set up, Congress is the dominant branch of government. It’s clear as day in the Constitution that Congress wields the majority of the powers of government if they but utilize them. The Bush administration proposed the Patriot Act, but it was Congress that signed off on it. We can cry about the executive trampling the Constitution and circumventing the legislature all we want, but it’s all done with Congressional consent or at least a lack of meaningful condemnation.

    Yes, ignoring Congress to engage in a war of choice (inasmuch as this is a war) is ridiculous, but apparently it’s not ridiculous enough for Congress to act. Much like the Israeli-Palestinian cluster****, I hate them all but I direct my ire at the entity most capable of acting.

    I hold Congress responsible for obstructing a good deal of the president’s proposed agendas, and I hold them responsible for not obstructing genuinely bad ideas he has. 🙂

  26. Robin Cohen says:

    Everything Obama has done has raised serious legal questions. He must have been one lousy Con Law Professor and now he is a lousy President. Too bad we didn’t sit in his class before we nominated him for President. His so called brilliance seems to be more a matter of repeating what he learned from a book rather than his development as a thinker which is supposed to be one result of a college education.

  27. Mikey says:

    @Robin Cohen: Obama’s no different from every other President. All have taken as much power as they’ve been allowed to get away with taking.

  28. Robin Cohen says:

    @Mikey: While I agree with your comment, that doesn’t stop me from being disappointed and angry. Now this idiot wants to begin yet another war and it appears that some, like Abdullah, will not help us, even though the battle will be near his country. In my mind, Obama has been a fraud-the President is NOTHING like the candidate and I do not want THIS President leading another goddamn war.

  29. stonetools says:

    @Robin Cohen:

    I’m sure that Presidents MCain and Romney would have done SOOO much better. Time to repost something that will NEVER go out of date:

    Let me see if I can explain it this way:

    Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.

    You don’t live there.

    Grow the f##k up.

  30. Robin Cohen says:

    @stonetools: They would not have been better. We keep choosing lousy candidates on both sides. That doesn’t change the fact that Obama is incompetent and scarily ignorant. Oh, and one more thing: I enjoy a good debate but not nastiness. It is unnecessary, doesn’t impress me one bit and in future I will not respond.