Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 10, 2014

Obama Asks Congress For Unlimed War Authority

In August 2046, after three years of space travel, thirteen divisions of U.S. Marines landed on Mars to fight remnants of the Islamic State who recently started to spread through the colonies there. Confronted with protests over the costly measure the president pointed out that the U.S. Congress Resolution for Unlimited War, adopted in February 2015, gives him the sole authority to determine the location, size of force and length of the war against ISIS.

The above may sound a little crazy but it definitely could happen should Congress provide Obama with the authorization he is now asking for:

Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress on Tuesday not to preclude the use of ground forces to fight the Islamic State as lawmakers consider setting limits on the nature and extent of American involvement in the military campaign against the group.
Mr. Kerry said that any congressional resolution should not impose geographic limitations, reasoning that the Islamic State might try to attack American forces or facilities outside of Iraq and Syria.

Mr. Kerry said that a three-year time limit would be acceptable, as proposed by Senator Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who is chairman of the committee. But Mr. Kerry said the resolution should include a provision that would allow that time limit to be extended.

No limit of the size and type of application of force, no geographically limit, no real time limit. Obama is asking Congress to permit him to wage completely unlimited war.

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) given by Congress on September 14 2001 was arguably more limited than the authorization Obama is now asking for. That AUMF has been and still is abused by Bush and Obama to bomb or invade 7 or 8 countries, to torture and kill. Obama uses it to justify his killing of more than 3,000 mostly unknown people through drone strikes.

With the new unlimited war authority (and as usually ignoring international law) Obama and any future president could turn the full U.S. military might onto any place where some crazy dude waves an ISIS flag.

Congress should not give such an authorization. But think of the tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars that can be made by the military-industrial complex should Congress authorize unlimited war. Think of the many millions which will flow back to representatives, senators and their families and friends.

Is there any reason to believe that Congress will not give Obama exactly what he is asking for?

Is there any reason to believe that Obama and his successors will not abuse such an authorization?

Posted by b on December 10, 2014 at 16:54 UTC | Permalink


I assumed he already had it. In effect he does (or more precisely the executive office does), so this is just a formality. Now he and Putin will be equal in this regard, just as they were effectively equal in this regard prior to this request and its granting. This just makes it "official" and in-your-face.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Dec 10 2014 17:34 utc | 1

CnH: Do you have a Putin fetish? Just curious? You certainly mention that name over and over

Posted by: Penny | Dec 10 2014 17:48 utc | 2

No, and no.

Posted by: W.H. Brewer | Dec 10 2014 17:53 utc | 3

$US supremacy is unsustainable without sustained war.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 10 2014 18:14 utc | 4

Obama makes Dorian Gray look good.

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 10 2014 18:52 utc | 5

If 0 is still potus in 2046 shouldn't he be called ruler for life?

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 10 2014 22:15 utc | 6

UN reveals Israeli links with Syrian rebels

Reports by UN observers in the Golan submitted to 15 members of Security Council detail regular contact between IDF officers and armed Syrian opposition figures at the border.

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 10 2014 22:16 utc | 7

I'm surprised, b, though you're right, that you publish this at a moment when the US seems very constrained with regard to ISIS. The US has all the permissions and all the air-power, but somehow ISIS doesn't disappear.

Perhaps it's the politics (no clearance for US planes from Turkey), or perhaps it is that ISIS have discovered how to hide themselves from the only US tactic of bomb, bomb, bomb.

But the US is not looking all-powerful at the moment, whatever they permit themselves.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 10 2014 23:05 utc | 8

Giving such power to Obama is bad enough. But setting the time frame for three years is, of course, enough to give the next psychopath free reign as well.

Of course... the idea that we might just support our Iraqi allies and get a clue about who is right in Syria... I don't suppose that's in the cards.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 11 2014 0:16 utc | 9

Russian patriots out the American-Israeli-ISIS axis against Putin's Eurasian project.

Posted by: truthbetold | Dec 11 2014 1:19 utc | 10

b - typo in your subject header "..For Unlimed War.." Unlimited is what i think you are aiming for.

cold@1 - more bs from the bs master, lol..

Posted by: james | Dec 11 2014 1:51 utc | 11

US politicians and other assorted armchair wingnuts can't get over the fact that Russia is not waging total war in Ukraine in reality to match the one going on in their minds.
You wish Putin was president of AmeriKa.

Posted by: farflungstar | Dec 11 2014 5:13 utc | 12

I heard a Sussex professor speak to a reporter about the Ukraine and western propaganda. The Ukraine is in dire need of another €15bn [$18bn] or it will face bankruptcy. The IMF has reached its limit and the costly war in Eastern Ukraine has emptied the federal reserves. The EU is not in a position to continue funding a bottomless pitt [Greece, Italy and France] and he urged the Ukraine to look eastward and make a deal with Putin's Russia.

Interesting views from the emeritus professor with perspective of class warfare to neoliberal economics:
Global and local rivalries in NATO's push towards the Caucasus - 2009

Posted by: Oui | Dec 11 2014 8:14 utc | 13

@farflungstar: what would be the difference? A spy runs Russia with the collaboration of oligarchs, spies run the USA at the behest of the capitalists.

My first instinct hearing this says that besides the MIC angle, this is a sop to the Saudi/Israel/Turkey axis who still have a hard on for attacking Syria. ISIS has been suffering a number of setbacks recently, and the hardcore Anti-Assad brigade may be seeing their window of opportunity closing. It has been unusually quiet on that front in the American MSM. Especially with the recent revelations about Turkey and Israel openly aiding IS...

Posted by: Almand | Dec 11 2014 9:27 utc | 14


Where did you heard it and what professor was that?

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 11 2014 12:05 utc | 15

Interview Dutch radio (BNR Business News)

Because all news in Holland about the Ukraine is pro-neocon and the Atlantic Council, driving NATO further east. This was one of the few voices giving an alternate opinion.

Here is his Sussex webpage: Kees van der Pijl is a Fellow of the Centre for Global Political Economy and Professor Emeritus at the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. His articles are published at the newleftproject.

Posted by: Oui | Dec 11 2014 12:27 utc | 16

2 years down the line and the yankee scum are preping for unlimited war, using the viciousness of their proxy forces as the excuse

Gee b

Definitely time for another Schwerpunkt article wherein you once again announce the imminent demise of the headchoppers at the hands of the ineffective SAA

You and your fellow wankstains could quote Santa Clausewitz in a weak pretence that you lot know what you're talking about, and you could invite your bff Col Pat Mustard to hand out medals for the most pointless Santa Clausewitz quotation of the evening. You'd probably win that one, b

Posted by: ah yes | Dec 11 2014 13:00 utc | 17

ah no, chip nikh reverted to ah yes to throw tantrum & insults without losing his main account, quite the cheap nick :)

Posted by: zingaro | Dec 11 2014 14:56 utc | 18


dumber than a bag of rocks . . . . as usual

completely previously unknown commenter, and obvious sockpuppet for some other asshat clueless regular commenter, "zingaro" accuses Chip Nikh of what "zingaro" is doing

What's so refreshing about you knobheads is your total lack of hypocrisy /serc

Posted by: ah yes | Dec 11 2014 15:14 utc | 19

Obama and any future president could turn the full U.S. military might onto any place where some crazy dude waves an ISIS flag.

Try "will" for "could." Strike the sentence after "where" and replace with the following: "where some allegedly crazy due waves a flag that is reported in a 'Government Assessment' as having something to do with ISIS."

Or more simply: "Under cover of the requested authorization, Obama etc. will kill anyone anywhere that they see fit, with no oversight and accountability." And due process? Forget it.

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Dec 11 2014 16:05 utc | 20

Kerry demands open-ended Mideast war resolution

By Patrick Martin
11 December 2014

In an extraordinary appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry outlined the Obama administration’s demand for a congressional resolution to authorize military action in Iraq and Syria that would be unlimited in scope, time frame and methods.

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 11 2014 21:43 utc | 21

@ 21.
Paper Tigers have to say dopey stuff like that.
After hearing Dick Cheney's asinine claptrap about torture, the spin-tankers have probably advised Kerry to bore everyone to death with any topic EXCEPT torture.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 12 2014 4:01 utc | 22

I don't mind Obama having increased war powers if that means ISIL is going to be eliminated in short order and we vacate Syria. Of course any increased military presence must be in coordination and approved by the Syrian government.

What I do have a problem with is the time aspect. The uber military powers should expire after the operation is completed. There is no reason for the presidency to have this type of power being passed on to future presidents. Each military operation is unique and should be treated as such and debated and voted on by the congress.

Posted by: really | Dec 12 2014 9:09 utc | 23

Obama needs zero more power to 'stop ISIS'. One phone call to Riyadh would do it.

Neither Obama nor the Saudis want to stop ISIS and are cooperating on the devastation of any kind of order in Iraq or Syria ... and they'd love to have Iran in ruins too. And/or Turkey, now that its TIAA. too.

It is, as b says, the POTUS' ticket punched, officially, for the ride across the Rubicon.

But it's war if its granted. And war if its not.

Official. Or in your face and unofficial.

No difference to the dead and devastated.

Americans will watch it all on TV.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2014 10:20 utc | 24

It seems to mean that Obama - thus, part of the US PTB - wants to get rid of the need to invent pretexts (terrorism, moderate rebels who need support, staunch allies who are yet unreliable, etc., people infested with lice or whatever ..) as well as furnish rationales, justifications, explanations after the fact.

US Foreign Policy has become so shifting and incoherent, by-the-seat-of-your-pants lunacy, unlimited … will help. Goes hand-in-hand with secrecy and propaganda, one form of which was explicitly allowed way back in….2013.


business insider

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 12 2014 15:39 utc | 25

Its not about Presidential war making power cos we all know the president has it. Its about US presidential election campaigning for 2016 with the Republicans being hyper militaristic and the Democrats attempting to be slightly less so to appear rational. The results will be more or less the same though. sorry about that.

Posted by: heath | Dec 12 2014 19:16 utc | 26

White House Rejects Senate ISIS War Bill as ‘Too Limiting’

After passing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a 10-8 vote along party lines, the White House has publicly repudiated the authorization for the use of military force against ISIS as “too limiting.”

Press secretary Josh Earnest said the bill was “limiting the flexibility of the commander in chief,” in particular by banning the use of ground troops, even though he insisted the president still does not envision using ground troops.

He further objected to the three-year time limit for the war, saying the president would only accept such a limit if it were possible to extend it without further votes in the future.

The complaints and the bill are irrelevant anyhow, as the bill is not going to get to the Senate floor, nor is there a version in the House that will get a vote by year’s end. The assumption is that the new Senate will have a new, more hawkish war bill in January, and one more suited to Obama’s ambitions.

US Senate Passes Lethal Aid to Ukraine Bill: Sanctions against Russia may also now be expanded

US tanks, APCs, Humvees Roll 300 km from the Russian Border

Looks like WW III will definitely be starting in Ukraine right after the New Year, 2015 ค.ศ. or 2558 พ.ศ., the year of the Great Extinction.

Due 100% to our USA, and to our demented vision of ourselves as Masters of the Universe.

The millennials will still be failing to answer the question, "How could you have let that happen, Grandpa. What, were you thinking?"

Posted by: jfl | Dec 13 2014 1:29 utc | 27


Posted by: james | Dec 13 2014 6:12 utc | 28

Lets hope for best this coming Year 2015.No war Pls.

Posted by: John | Dec 24 2014 4:13 utc | 29

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