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Congress Must Recapture Its Lost War Powers


"It was a damn near-run thing," said the Duke of Wellington.

The Iron Duke was speaking of Waterloo.

And for the United States, it was a damn near-run thing that we are not now in a major war — with an enraged Arab and Muslim world viewing sickening videos of dead and dying Syrian women and children from U.S. missile strikes.

Next time, we may not be so lucky. Next time, we may not have Vladimir Putin to pull our chestnuts out of the fire, as he did by seizing on yet another gaffe by John Kerry and converting it into a Russian plan to have Syria identify and surrender its chemical weapons.

Putin pulled President Obama back off the ledge. He saved Obama from having either to ignominiously climb down from his "Assad must go!" and "red line" bluster — or act on his ultimata and plunge us into a war the American people and U.S. military do not want to fight.

Putin was acting in Russia's interests. But in preventing a U.S.-Syrian war, Putin's interests and ours are one.

Russia does not want a confrontation over U.S. missiles falling on its Syrian ally. Do we? Russia does not want a wider Mideast war, which is what a U.S. strike would bring, with Russia and Iran racing to support and re-equip their stricken Syrian ally. Do we want that wider war?

Russia does not want Assad to fall, not only because that would mean a defeat for Russia, but because of the awful consequences.

Is Putin wrong when he writes in the New York Times of the rebels:

"The United States State Department has designated Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations.

"Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all."

Is Putin wrong? Even Obama seems to fear what Putin fears.

Thus Obama says any U.S. strike would not be intended to bring down Assad. But if he does not want regime change, why is Obama funneling weapons to rebels who are fighting for regime change?

Almost no one fears Assad would use chemical weapons on the United States.

But if he falls, some of these weapons would surely fall into the hands of jihadists who would relish dispatching suicide bombers with nerve gas against Americans.

Putin's policy makes sense. It is Obama's policy that is incoherent.

We demand proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" before we hang murderers. Yet we threaten to kill Syrians for war crimes no one has yet been able to pin directly on Bashar Assad.

Why not prove he ordered the strikes, before we start the war?

John McCain comes out of a meeting with Obama boasting a robust attack is coming. Other senators say they have assurances no such attack is in the cards.

One day John Kerry is facing down Hitler in the Rhineland. The next he is promising the world that any U.S. strike will be "unbelievably small."

Obama has to correct him: The U.S. military does not do "pinpricks."

Yet, no one seems able to point to a strategic benefit America will derive, other than feeling better about ourselves, from launching missiles into the middle of what Obama calls "someone else's war."

The natural instinct of the American people — Keep us out! — is correct.

Yet the War Party, though temporarily routed, has not given up on its goal — war on Syria, followed by war on Iran.

Lindsay Graham is urging Obama to attack Syria even without Congress's authorization. Bibi Netanyahu, after a call from Obama, is pushing Congress to back a U.S. strike on Syria. Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor have saluted and signed on to war.

Neocon apparatchik William Kristol is urging Republicans to give Obama a blank check for war on Syria — and for war on Iran. Daniel Pipes of The Mideast Forum has an op-ed in the Washington Times and the title says it all: "Forget Syria, Target Iran."

"We have scorched the snake, not killed it." The War Party is not dead.

House Republicans who oppose a U.S. war on Syria speak for the people and should seize this moment to dump Obama conscripts Boehner and Cantor and replace them with leaders who will stand resolutely against Obama's war, against Obamacare, and against amnesty.

The House should then pass a resolution instructing the president:

—Absent an attack on this country, you have no authority to take us to war against Syria, Iran, or any other nation.

—We are taking back from you the war powers the Fathers gave us.

—We are going to restore our constitutional republic.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at



3 Comments | Post Comment
Total victory on both the domestic and foreign fronts is the essence of Anglo-Saxon American exceptionalism. I would take the same initial position but after impeachment I would propose a seven-year moratorium on all immigration in exchange for passage of the Ethnocultural Sovereignty Amendment.
There would be seven years to get our domestic house in order. Internationally- and domestically-recognized individual and collective human rights are never negotiable. Their implementation would occur over the seven years.
Proposed Ethnocultural Sovereignty Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America
I. No citizen shall be denied or deprived of the natural right to an ethnoracial (kinship) group identity.
II. No citizen shall be denied or deprived of the natural right to membership in an ethnoracial group.
III. No ethnorace or ethnoracial kinship group shall be denied or deprived of the natural right to ethnocultural sovereignty.
IV. No ethnorace shall be denied or deprived of the democratic right to proportional political representation.
V. The English and Spanish languages are the official languages of the United States of America.
< European American Heritage Day >
< Christopher Columbus Day >
< America's Day of Discovery >
< October 12, 1492 to October 12, 2013 >
< 521 years of European American Art, History, Science and Human Progress >
Comment: #1
Posted by: Luis Magno
Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:55 PM
Have to agree here. Putin seems to have saved our Prez from certain crash and burn. Perhaps it's no different than offering a kamakaze an alternative to flying into the ship.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Masako
Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:27 PM
I have to say, I saw Mr. B on McGlaughlin Group, and he acquitted himself well. He is quite willing to take the heat that comes along with pointing out how much Putin has made sense lately, which is not easy politically given how "pure" Putin is. It is truly pathetic to watch and hear most of these whore pundits and politicians criticize what Putin says by trashing him instead of facing up to the truth of what he says.

McGlaughlin really ought to dump the idiotic Obama prostitute Eleanor Clift. We get enough of that whitewashed crap already from Jay Carney and Dana Perino, and to their drivel Clift adds just about ZERO.

Then there's that born-on-third-base-thinks-he-hit-a-triple nitwit Mort Zuckerman, who I thought was going to blow a gasket this time around, exercised as he was about all the evil in the world he doesn't lift a finger to do anything about with his billions of dollars. How nauseatingly outraged and self righteous he purported to be. He can buy his way into the media and apparently into McGlaughlin Group, but he obviously can't buy intellect or credibility.

Admittedly, it's easy to look good next to featherweights like those two, but Buchanan did a good job. I disagree with him most of the time, but every once in a while, particularly on war issues, he zings them right in there.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Masako
Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:56 PM
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