Whatever the problem, the ever-eager Bill Kristol believes that other people dying can solve it. The ardent cheerleader of our invasion of Iraq, where more than 4,400 U.S. soldiers died for a cause yet to reveal itself, now champions that same “solution” for Iran, a much more difficult problem. And in a piece in the Weekly Standard, complete with requisite Churchill quote, he and co-author Jamie Fly argue that if President Obama doesn’t do it, Congress should intervene:
“President Obama says a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. The real and credible threat of force is probably the last hope of persuading the Iranian regime to back down. So: Isn’t it time for the president to ask Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iran’s nuclear program?
Instead of running away from it, administration officials could be putting the military option front and center and ensuring it is seen as viable. And if the administration flinches, Congress could consider passing such an authorization anyway. While any commander in chief has the constitutional authority to take urgent action to protect Americans and their interests, such legislation would give weight to the president’s commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It would strengthen the president’s hand. It would show Tehran that America’s policy of preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon is a credible one. Bipartisan support for such an authorization would remove the issue as much as possible from the turmoil of election year politics. And the authorization could also make clear that the United States would come to Israel’s aid in the event that it decides it needs to take action….
We don’t expect the Obama administration to request an Authorization for Use of Military Force. But Congress can act without such a request. By doing so, it would serve the nation’s interest, and, indeed, the administration’s, if the administration means what it says.
Surely it is time for a concentration of congressional opinion and force capable of lifting our efforts to the level of emergency. The Obama administration may be committed to leading from behind, but Congress can choose to lead from the front.
– Jay Bookman