Asking Congress the right thing to do

The U.S. Constitution can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to wars and foreign policy.

The constitution specifically reserves the right to declare war to the Congress, yet it gives the title of Commander-in- Chief and the right to decide on foreign policy issues to the President.

Throughout the years - and especially since World War II, that has created some conflicts. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson got the U.S. involved in a war in Vietnam that cost thousands of lives and tore the country apart. After the conflict was over, Congress passed the War Powers Act, which limited the President’s power to involve the U.S. in a foreign conflict. Nearly every president since then has tried to skirt around the law, with most believing it is unconstitutional.

In the buildup to the U.S. attack on Iraq, there were those in Congress who were opposed to U.S. intervention. Among those was a young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. He was among those who insisted that Congress approve any action in Iraq.

Now here it is, 2013, and Barack Obama is our president. He wants to bomb a foreign country - Syria - due to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons in putting down a protest.

Obama’s first reaction was to prepare to attack, but Congress wanted a say in the matter. Obama’s words of 11 years ago helped persuade him to put the issue to a vote in Congress.

Regardless of how that vote turns out, asking Congress is the right thing to do. In recent days, there has been talk of a diplomatic solution. Here’s hoping that one can be worked out, and that no more U.S. servicemen are placed in harm's way. Ever since the 9-11 attacks 12 years ago this week, this nation - has seen way too much of that. Our elected representatives need to make this decision.