An editorial by The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING, W.Va. — One of President Barack Obama’s most important requests of Congress, made during his State of the Union address, seemed to draw relatively little notice by lawmakers and the press. It deserves – needs urgently, in fact – more consideration.
After emphasizing Americans “stand with people around the world who have been targeted by terrorists,” the president noted battling them “will take time. It will require focus.”
Then, he said this:?”… I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL. We need that authority.”
Obama’s reference to Islamic State terrorists drew applause. But precisely what does he have in mind? How much military force beyond what he already has deployed against the Islamic State does the president want to use?
Islamic State terrorists control large swaths of Syria and Iraq, in part because the White House was slow to recognize and respond to the intensity of their assault.
Like other Islamic terrorists elsewhere in the world, the Islamic State group consists of vicious butchers. They have massacred people by the thousands, often using methods such as beheadings and even crucifixion. Some Americans have been among their victims – and their leaders vow to attack us in our homeland.
Perhaps because of their brutality and strength, the Islamic State fanatics have been viewed by some as a special threat.
Obama already is using U.S. warplanes to attack Islamic State positions and has sent military “advisers” to Iraq. Though they have scored some successes, the Islamic State remains a serious concern.
Again, exactly why is the president seeking congressional authorization for use of force against the Islamic State? It seems unlikely he wants to send an army to Iraq to eliminate the terrorists, but clearly, he wants to ramp up the amount of U.S. force in the field against them.
In all likelihood, Obama wants to dodge sole responsibility for whatever he has planned, just in case something goes wrong. The American people have a right to know just what he has planned that would raise such a concern in his mind.