Just after the Paris terror attacks last week, I wrote about how I thought they could go down in history as the catalyst that coalesced countries in the West and beyond into a World War III. Since then, other nations’ responses and increased terror attacks have only confirmed that we’ve entered into an unprecedented time in human history and war.
Pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle criticize both the U.S. Congress and President Obama for not officially doing more to fight ISIS. Constitutionally speaking, as commander in chief of the armed forces, the president has the power to repel invasions. But the Framers of the Constitution bestowed the power to declare war upon Congress, unless it comes to invasion– like how the FBI has recently warned us that ISIS has presence in all 50 states of our union?
Dr. John Yoo, professor of law at the University of California-Berkley, explained for the Heritage Foundation, “Advocates of congressional power contend that the president cannot initiate hostilities because the Constitution expressly vests the power to ‘declare War’ in Congress. In support of that view, they note that, according to his notes from the Constitutional Convention, James Madison successfully advocated that Congress be given the power, not to ‘make’ war but to ‘declare’ war, to “leav[e] to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.” In 1862, the Supreme Court opined that the president ‘has no power to initiate or declare a war,’ but if there were an invasion, ‘the president is not only authorized but bound to resist force by force … without waiting for any special legislative authority.’ Prize Cases (1863).”
Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul told Congress this past Wednesday, “ISIS is now responsible for more than 60 terrorist plots against Western targets, including 18 in the United States. Here at home, we have arrested more than 70 ISIS supporters over the last year. That’s on average more than one per week, and the FBI says it has nearly 1,000 ISIS-related investigations in all 50 states. If this is not a war, then I don’t know what is.”
Is it really any surprise that 30 governors across the country have publicly requested from our president that the resettlement of Syrian refugees into the U.S. stop until security concerns about ISIS infiltration can be adequately addressed?
To add insult to injury, the president not only disregarded the respectful request from the majority of the governors in our union, he mocked their gubernatorial protection of a Trojan horse by ISIS as “based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks”!
In the end, I believe both Congress and President Obama are being weak-kneed about declaring and fighting the war against ISIS. That is why I propose this week above every other – Thanksgiving week – that all of Washington, the governors across our nation and indeed all citizens drop to our knees, especially in light of global terror threats and our federal government’s ineptness and gridlock.
When at a loss for how to proceed, President Abraham Lincoln– no stranger to war – said, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
Just as the Continental Congress faced foreign powers in the Revolutionary War, so we can also use their work and words to apply to our own battles with Islamic terrorists. Toward that end, before we give thanks and pray this Thanksgiving, I suggest that our Founders’ following proclamation and prayer from the first national day of thanksgiving in America (set for Dec. 18, 1777), declared by the Continental Congress on Nov. 1, 1777, be read from congressional corridors to American dining tables across our country.
FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common Providence, but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please GOD, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessing on the governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE; That it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yet yield its Increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing Hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”