Two choice citations:
"I think the constitutional scheme does give Congress broad authority to terminate a war," said Bradford Berenson, a Washington lawyer who was a White House associate counsel under Bush from 2001 to 2003.
"It is ultimately Congress that decides the size, scope and duration of the use of military force," said Walter Dellinger, former acting solicitor general -- the government's chief advocate before the Supreme Court -- in 1996-97, and an assistant attorney general three years before that.Ted Koppel's opinion piece on NPR this morning calls into question the honesty on both sides of the debate. Perhaps, as he intimates the world (or more precisely, "the oil-rich Persian Gulf" in Koppel's words) is a more dangerous place today than it was before our invasion, and perhaps a hasty retreat would not in the end change that fact. But time moves in one direction. The question is not what we might or should have done, but what to do from now. I am neither in a position to affect nor know that proper course, but elected officials are.
On the one hand, I'd like to see the decision-making ripped unceremoniously from the administration, yet that would create a dangerous precedent. In real times of crisis, decisions need to be made rapidly and clearly, rather than by committee. That is the role of our President. Yet, this one? I don't trust him. I don't respect him. I feel the world is today a far worse place than the one it was when he took office, and in large part because of his disastrous decisions. Perhaps the best thing would be to impeach him if cause enough could be found (but first Dick Cheney, who's arguably far more dangerous as a leader)... but is that really practicable? Would it really solve anything today and tomorrow? Would it possibly set yet another bad precedent, and perhaps worse enmire this nation into wasted effort, which better could be spent on positive action?
These dilemmae, sad to say, are the result of democracy. Conspiracy theories of stolen elections aside, I credit the majority of the American voting public with failure, in electing (or at least re-electing) this awful team of morons to lead our nation and the world into the maelstrom.
So, I say to the congress, take the reins as best you can, not precipitously, nor callously, nor carelessly. But take the reins out of the hands of those who steer our cart, and find a direction that works. You have been entrusted with great power. Use it, wisely and good.