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'The Weight of War'

5:01 PM, Aug 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The New York Sun editorializes: 

If the way this administration wages — or fails to wage — war just isn’t the damnedest thing our aging eyeballs have ever seen we don’t know what is. We’re put in this dudgeon by the news reports that the White House that it is “weighing” air strikes in respect of Iraq. The Congress has long since given the president the right to go to war in Iraq. There have been all sorts of editorials and opinions in the public press advising the repeal of the authorizations, but the Congress has decided not to repeal them. The commander-in-chief doesn’t have to ask anyone’s permission, neither Congress nor the United Nations. What is the logic of all this public “weighing”?

We comprehend that sometimes a warring party does want to telegraph its moves. Israel leafleted Gaza before it attacked. It’s motive was clearly to reduce civilian casualties. But what is the logic of an American commander-in-chief letting it be known that he is weighing an attack on the ISIS. It is in the middle of a blitzkrieg against our side. It is slaughtering its prisoners. It is tearing crosses off churches. Christians are fleeing; they will be lucky to get out of the way of this army. If ever time were of the essence, this strikes us as the moment. And if ever surprise were needed in an attack, this would be one of them. All this public “weighing” can be discounted as dithering.

No doubt, we’re old school; we came up through combat reporting at Vietnam, where every correspondent carrying a Department of Defense press card had to sign an agreement not to report our military actions in advance. We understand the president of America isn’t a correspondent but the commander-in-chief and can decide the ground rules. All the more mystifying is all this public palaver about what he is going to do. The ISIS might be barbaric, but its officers can read. For the President to let it be known that he is “weighing” air strikes can be but helpful to their cause.

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