How Presidents Announce Wars: From Reagan to George W. Bush

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For a generation, presidents have announced new military adventures from the Oval office, often in prime time and hours after the first bombs fall. It is a formula for projecting American power (the President at his desk) and humanity (the family photos on desk behind him). As the White House mulls a possible military strike on Syria, the Obama message experts have no doubt been preparing a public announcement that could go with it.

Here’s a quick guide to how it’s been done.

October 27, 1983: Ronald Reagan on Grenada and  Lebanon 

April 14, 1986: Reagan on Libya

December 20, 1989: George H.W. Bush on Panama

January 16, 1991: George H.W. on Iraq and Kuwait

December 16, 1998: Bill Clinton on Iraq

March 24, 1999: Bill Clinton on Kosovo

March 19, 2003: George W. Bush on Iraq

20 comments
PattiRotoliMelfi
PattiRotoliMelfi

So So So So WORTH the 45 minute investment.  7 Videos.  Hundreds of amazing comments.  

ZHU_DE
ZHU_DE

@maxpradera No declararon la guerra, declararla tiene consucuencias jurídicas que esta gente no asume, fueron actos de pirateria.

BalderGot
BalderGot

The UN Security Council is less important than the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Nobel peace prize winner, Barack-Bandar.

Palerider1957
Palerider1957

Oh, and did I mention, the Presidents you did show, you forgot to mention that they ALL did it LEGALLY, by the Constitution; THROUGH CONGRESS. Obama, well, he doesn't need Congress, he can do whatever he wants. In fact, he may even dissolve Congress since he never listens to them or enforces the laws anyway.

Palerider1957
Palerider1957

I notice that you do not have one video of Obama declaring war, excuse me "kinetic military actions", even though he has done it more than any sitting President EVER! Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Qatar, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (Drone war), Somalia)
And this from a "Nobel Peace Prize" winner. What a joke!

glennra3
glennra3

The sad thing is that we, the American people, no longer recognize that everyone of those announcements represented a betrayal of our Constitution.


Just as we no longer seem to care if our government spies on us, reads our emails, and listens to our phone conversations, we also no longer care that the Framers intended the awesome and terrifying power of taking a nation to war would rest in the hands of the representatives of the people - Congress. 


Article 1, section 8, clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution - "The Congress shall have the Power to declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water."


I guess it is time to just take a red pen and draw a big X through it.

jmac
jmac

@Palerider1957 He's gone to Congress.   Unlike George W., he didn't wait until an election was looming.  W. Wagged the Dog so hard its tail flew off.  

The funny thing is now an election wouldn't make any difference  - the Republicans are so discombobulated they are divided on even their war talk.   The party that's willing to take down the economy deliberately just to win it's right-wing base - there's no telling how they will vote, but America won't be on their minds when they vote - their jobs will.   




glennra3
glennra3

@Palerider1957 

Not legally. 


Congress has abrogated its responsibility to declare war, handing it over to a single person since December of 1941.