Thomas Massie: If we are going to go to war, we must follow the Constitution
In case you missed it, here and below is Representative Thomas Massie’s excellent statement in support of H.Con.Res. 105., a resolution passed by the House of Representative on Friday forbidding the President from deploying combat troops in a “sustained” combat role in Iraq without specific authorization from Congress.
Be sure to catch Representative Massie and other leaders of the freedom movement at LPAC 2014.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Con. Res. 105. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war, not the President.
The situation in Iraq is deteriorating as we speak. Isis, a group of violent fundamentalist Islamic thugs, is terrorizing the people of Iraq and destroying the ancient culture of Mosul.
Some have called for the U.S. to once again intervene. But if we are to do so—and send our brave young men and women into harm’s way overseas—we must honor the Constitution. Congress must authorize any such military action. It would be illegal for the President alone to do so. Any future military action in Iraq would constitute a new war, with a new enemy (Isis), and would require a new congressional authorization of force. The President cannot use the 2002 authorization for the use of force in Iraq to justify any new action.
It is important for those who are so quick to rush into another war to remember that wars often have unintended consequences. Iraq is a prime example of this principle. In a recent article in the Telegraph, historian Dr. Tim Stanley pointed out that prior to the 2003 Iraq war, there were 1.5 million Christians living in Iraq. Today there are only 400,000. As Dr. Stanley writes, “The lesson is: ‘either leave other countries alone or, if you must intervene, do so with consistency and resilience.’ The consequences of going in, messing things up and then quitting with a weary shrug are terrible for those left behind.”
If we are going to go to war, we must follow the Constitution, have Congress declare it, and fight to win. Anything else is illegal, unconstitutional, and likely to lead to unintended horrific consequences. This is why I support H. Con. Res. 105, and I urge my colleagues to do the same. Thank you.