War Machine, Wrecks, War Powers!!! Hey, those are just the facts.
Let’s talk about Iraq or as you may know it as the girlfriend that America has been trying to breakup with for 11 years. Like most relationships, it started with one partner thinking the other had something intrinsically special about the other. Maybe it was their sense of humor, thinking they have weapons of mass destruction, or the willingness to start a family; but whatever it was everything was great and the future looked bright.
Then came those nagging questions.
What if they’re not marriage material? What if they don’t want kids? Ok seriously, where are those fucking weapons of mass destruction?!? Then before you know it you’re in a vicious cycle of violence and misery within this geo-political paradox that has NO ESCAPE!!!
You know, relationship stuff.
As you may know, a lot of this has less to do with Iraq and more to do with Islamic extremists groups in the region. That’s right, I’m talking about ISIS. The group that even al Qaeda is like “we might be monsters that perpetuates sectarian violence and unrest, but those mo-fos are crazy!”
ISIS has been a problem for the US since its creation back in 2010 and only gaining more and more clout within the region. Over the past year or two, due to the unrest in Syria caused by a civil war, ISIS has started to gain supporters within that nation as well.
As the map from the BBC shows, even specified airstrikes within areas where ISIS is known to have support hasn’t necessarily deterred them from spreading. Not to mention new US intelligence reports state that ISIS is gaining a steady stream of recruits which amount to around 20,000 from all over the world!
So with ISIS gaining more control in Iraq and Syria, plus designated airstrikes no longer being effective, what is President Obama to do? He calls on Congress to enact him with the power to use WAR MACHINE!!!
That’s right ISIS, you have got it coming to you now! President Obama is bringing in the big guns, LITERALLY! Sure in these situations you would want Iron Man for the job, but Tony Stark is a busy man. Also let’s face it, the amount of arsenal that is put on War Machine, he’ll have this conflict wrapped up in a week…
Now what!? What do you mean I’m confused?
While true, the War Powers Resolution is not nearly as cool as War Machine, that doesn’t mean they aren’t as effective. The list of war powers that President Obama would have – if given to him by Congress – would include, providing no geographic limits to engage ISIS and the ability to target specific groups and individuals if needed.
Great so open-and shut case, right? ISIS is gaining clout in the region and President Obama needs these powers to thwart ISIS influences abroad. On top of that, Congress would look competent in passing a bipartisan legislation in the eyes of the American people, which would be a nice change of pace from how people usually view Congress. This is a win-win for everyone involved!
SO LET’S DO THIS!!!
Well not so fast. Like everything else in Washington, it isn’t that simple.
President Obama’s war powers plan isn’t necessarily getting the warmest reception in Congress, which honestly isn’t that big of a surprise. While both Democrats and Republicans are sounding off various reasons why they are hesitant to approve the plan, the best reason actually comes from Republican Representative Ed Royce of California in which he says,
“[President Obama] needs to make the case to the American people… this won’t be easy.”
And that’s the complication here.
The chart above is from a Pew Research study last September that shows more than half of those surveyed (51%) believe the US will “go too far getting involved” with fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq. So the American people – along with Congress, who would like to be re-elected – are wary about giving another US President war powers once again.
Because the last time Congress and the American public granted war powers to an administration was to these guys.
What ended up happening? Two prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, between $4-6 trillion in cost to fund both wars, over 6,700 service men and women killed, and countless other consequences that we still have yet to feel the effects of.
Look at it this way. Say if your college boyfriend had gone to Daytona Beach for spring break. Then a month later you find out that you got crabs due to your now ex-boyfriend having a quickie in the back of the Senior Frogs with Karen, who tends to get “very friendly” with just about anyone after seven tequila shots, while on spring break.
Now fast-forward to a year later. The itching has finally subsided and your new boyfriend is great! But now he tells you that he’s going to spring break at the SAME place in Daytona Beach and going to be partying at the SAME Senor Frogs with Karen, who’s going to be bringing her own bottle of tequila.
And this isn’t to say that your new boyfriend is going cheat on you, but you’re lying to yourself if your crotch isn’t starting to get a little itchy once he tells you what his plans are.
Now it’s important to note that what George W. Bush proposed and what President Obama is proposing here isn’t the same thing. For one President Obama doesn’t plan on putting troops on the ground and wants the war powers to last for three years.
Still Americans know there is a great cost to war. It makes sense why we, along with Congress, are so hesitant about granting them to any president after what happened the last time. Do I think President Obama will eventually be granted the expansion of his military power to fight ISIS? Absolutely. But I also feel great thought should be given before doing so.
You know who doesn’t need to think things over when it comes to combat operations?
Damn straight, War Machine. Damn straight.
(Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov, Wikipedia, BBC News, Marvel Comics, Pew Research Center, Vanity Fair, Google Images)