Monday, November 16, 2015

Declaring War

John Ellis Bush has laid down the gauntlet... thrown a hail Mary pass... gone for the gold.

Submit your own cliche.  The man who calls himself JEB! has done what no other Republican (or of course, Democratic) presidential candidate has done.  Responding to the terrorist attacks in Paris, Lindsey Graham stated "I'm trying to protect America from another 9/11, and without American boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, we're gonna get hit here at home.  And if you don't understand that, you're not ready to be commander-in-chief in my view."

Graham had already called for American ground troops in the Mideast but even on Sunday he didn't go as far as Bush did.  To be sure, the former Florida governor took no risk when on Sunday's Meet the Press he contended that President Obama should

Declare a no-fly zone over Syria. Directly arm the Peshmerga forces in Iraq. Re-engage with the Sunni tribal leaders. Embed with the Iraqi military. Be able to create safe zones in Syria. Garner the support of our European allies and the tradition Arab states. Lead. That's what I want him to do. I want him to lead.

A moment earlier, however, he had gone where no other man (or woman) had gone when he declared

You don't see ISIS and Assad fighting each other. What they, the fight is with the remnants of the Syrian Free Army, we need to build that force up, which is not what's happening. This is viewed as a law enforcement exercise by the Obama administration.

We should declare war and harness all of the power that the United States can bring to bear both diplomatic and military, of course, to be able to take out ISIS. We have the capabilities of doing this, we just haven't shown the will. 

Whoa! Mr. Bush has recommended the United Staes of America declare war on ISIL (at beginning of video below).  That is a bold statement, one which probably will garner him little support- among politicians, the public, or (especially) the Pentagon.  It's safer, as all of the GOP candidates (except Rand Paul) who have addressed the issue have done, to flex muscles, blame President Obama for everything, and let the testosterone flow.

So give John Ellis Bush credit. Don't, however, give him a pass.  Don't let him slide by for declaring at a mid-August forum in Iowa “I’ll tell you, taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal" or for arguing at the first GOP debate  "As it relates to my brother, there's one thing I know for sure: He kept us safe. I don't know if you remember, Donald -- you remember the rubble? You remember the firefighter with his arms around him? He sent a clear signal that the United States would be strong and fight Islamic terrorism, and he did keep us safe."

Even John Ellis Bush, the man who forgot about the Twin Towers attack fourteen years ago when he contended he knew his brother "kept us safe," should have remembered that same brother ordered the invasion of Afghanistan and of Iraq without a declaration of war.

For another cliche: Bush has opened Pandora's Box.  If his GOP rivals and the presumptive Democratic nominee don't slam it in his face, it will be only because they have decided he has become irrelevant.

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