Mason Bradley III, ‘Doah Staff Writer
September 17, 2014
President Obama declared that the United States would lead an attack on the terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The mission would entail airstrikes, ground forces and giving resources to the Syrian opposition in order to assist in the destruction of ISIL.
Obama asked Congress to approve the plan of supplying the Syrian opposition with resources and training. There are some dangers with this plan. The past has proven that giving another country our resources and our training tends to backfire like it did in Iraq.
This danger is a reason that Congress could vote against Obama’s request, so what would happen then?
On Sept. 2, 2014 the President stated that he doesn’t need them to approve it anyway. He can use his executive order from the USA Patriot Act of 2001 to go ahead with the plan against Congress’ wishes. That sounds slightly abusive.
This idea is also shown through the wording of Obama’s declaration against ISIL. While it seems like a nitpicking issue, take a deeper look. Obama refused to use the word “war” in his speech when referring to his action plan. Airstrikes and ground forces resemble war fairly well though. Why is the wording significant here? If he wants to declare war, he has to go to Congress again. But if he says he will “destroy” the terrorists or defend the Iraqis, he has the authority to carry out his mission without the consent or help of Congress.
Why is war not a good idea here? From all of the reports gathered, the ISIL seems to be more dangerous than al Qaeda. Former U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker, who served in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, told CNN, “They are more numerous; they are better armed; they are far better financed, and they are better experienced, and perhaps most critically there are several thousand of them who hold Western passports, including American passports. If we don’t think we’re on their target list, we are delusional.” We cannot think we can just send some troops to train other countries to protect ourselves. If we do not end this, it could come to our front door very soon.
President Obama is correct: Actions must be taken. However, he isn’t going about it the right way. Instead of threatening to bypass Congress, there needs to be cohesion amongst the people determining how this country will defend itself. With pressure from Republicans and some Democrats, hopefully Obama and Congress can get on the same page to help defeat a severe terrorist threat.