In the video above, then Senator Barack Obama gave his thoughts on the Bush administration’s possible military action in Iran that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, later introduced in the Senate for Mr. Obama on November 1, 2007. Mr. Obama is making his speech, on September 12, 2007 in Clinton, Iowa. According to a CNN report, Mr. Obama said:
“George Bush and Dick Cheney must hear loud and clear from the American people and the Congress: You do not have our support, and you do not have our authorization, to launch another war.”
The article continues:
U.S. forces have conducted two rounds of naval exercises in the Persian Gulf this year. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., questioned Tuesday whether Petraeus needs the authorization to strike targets in Iran “in order to protect America’s troops in Iraq.” And administration officials have refused to say whether they believe they have that authority now.
Obama said he would use “tough and sustained diplomacy backed by real pressure” to limit Iranian influence, reminding Tehran that it faces further isolation - “including much tighter sanctions” - if it continues to defy international demands regarding its nuclear programs and to support violent elements in Iraq.
“As we deliver this message, we will be stronger, not weaker, if we disengage from Iraq’s civil war,” he said.
Earlier, Obama told CNN that Congress needs to send President Bush a “clear message” that change is needed in Iraq. He said that unless Congress forces the president to accept a timetable for withdrawing American troops, “We are essentially engaging in a bunch of symbolic action there.”
Below is an excerpt from a Senate resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, for Mr. Obama: (bolding is mine)
Mr. REID (for Mr. OBAMA) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations…
Whereas any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that nothing in the… resolution [amendment] previously adopted, or any other provision of law.. shall be construed to authorize, encourage, or in any way address the use of the Armed Forces of the United States against Iran.
Currently, President Obama is receiving criticism for not getting Congressional authorization to take military action in Libya. The administration is touting solely authorization from the United Nations Security Council that allows the United States to take action in the war torn country of Libya.
President Obama told the Boston Globe’s Charlie Savage in a 2007 interview regarding Iranian nuclear plants that, “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
He continued: “As commander-in-chief, the president does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the president would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”
The U.S. Constitution’s Article 1 Section 8, it gives the power of Congress the power to declare war, but Congress has not used this power in a number of decades.
Campaigning against the previous administration’s military action in Iraq, the Obama White House finds itself trying to justify the current action in Libya. However, previous interviews, legislation, and quotes from both Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden (video of Biden below) has not made the task of convincing the American public that America’s involvement in Libya is good policy.