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Mr. President, Let's Start Using the Arrows of Presidency

Mr. President, Let's Start Using the Arrows of Presidency


Hugh Dugan By Tuesday, 20 February 2024 10:12 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

President Biden claims that without Capitol Hill legislation, he cannot fix the crisis on our southern border.

This is a dodge.

But to the extent that it buys him time, will he attempt the same excuse for not having rescued American hostages in Gaza?

Sen. Tim Scott. R-S.C. won't have it.

Sen. Scott’s draft resolution of Feb. 14 reminds that the White House has all the law it needs to launch rescues now.

Specifically, the Constitution empowers the president to use military force in defense of its citizens.

There are at least six Americans — with others rumored dead — held by terrorists in Gaza now over four months.

Yes, military force is our go-to tool in terrorist hostage taking.

It has been affirmed by White House policy set in 2015: we do not negotiate with terrorists.

In that policy is the term "hostage" which is a person taken by terrorists or non-state actors.

If taken by a state, Russia for example, the term is "wrongful detainee."

In that case, negotiation is allowed because efforts to repatriate are backstopped by international law.

In contrast, terrorists have no standing in international law. They are outlaws and are motivated and constrained by only one thing: force.

To restate: our fellow Americans languishing in Gaza are hostages taken by terrorists by force.

So, Mr. President, where is our force for freeing our compatriots?

Israel just proved that it can be done, the Israel Defense Force actively recovered two Israeli hostages out of Gaza last week.

Information from that rescue is needed immediately toward recovering the other hostages estimated at 125.

More such rescues would pressure Hamas against its coldly calculated, relentless refusal to surrender up to the last man standing.

A Hamas surrender would be the quickest and surest means for an immediate ceasefire the region.

Instead, most statements and comments are fixated on tempering Israel, exclusively, in this multi-sided conflict.

Holding Israel as a sovereign state to international law is appropriate, of course. Excusing terrorist Hamas as a victim of its Oct. 7, 2023 bloodbath, as a non-state actor feral to international legal frameworks, is perverse.

But antisemites want the world to overlook this double standard.

They want Hamas to continue drawing fouls against an overwrought Israel and Israel to overreact.

Why? So that Israel’s self-defense rampages would continue to exceed the spirit of international law in 24/7 filmed coverage.

To Iran’s plan, this would make a pariah of Israel leading to a calculated banishment of Zionism and its defenders, i.e., the United States, from the region – finally.

With this lesson fully digested, the international order must require that Hamas and its Iranian overlords cease terrorism as a condition of a cease fire — and no longer vice versa.

Senator Scott’s plan is to make terrorism too expensive for Hamas, "The president has the authority — and the responsibility — to consider the use of all appropriate tools at his disposal to secure their safe release. It is past time to bring them all home."

This would display our force capacity and willingness as a major factor toward recovering the hostages.

It would hasten resolution.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., joined Scott on the measure and Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was the first to co-sponsor, stating "Our military has special operations forces trained in hostage rescue."

I can attest to our capacity when I personally inspected these operations as acting special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

With a practicable plan, all could launch within minutes.

The draft resolution does not authorize the use of military force but offers our negotiators and interlocutors a sense of Congress that it is fully aware that military force is on the table for immediate use, as necessary.

Perhaps the word is getting heard.

The FBI announced it is working with Israel "to combat the threats posed by Hamas, Hizballah, Iran and others and to provide services to U.S. victims of the attack."

Hmmm . . . this sounds too business-as-usual.

It offers no immediacy of forceful action.

It reminds of Biden’s approach to the southern border crisis: let’s study the systemic roots of the problem and keep the cameras off the human suffering.

The camera was on — 10 years ago for the merciless beheading of American Jim Foley by ISIS terrorists. We are reminded in the forthcoming book "American Mother" that Diane Foley was as destroyed by Washington’s fumblings as by the treachery in Syria.

The hostage family’s shared outrage led to the creation of a hostage recovery bureaucracy. Let us put its all-of-government mission to even more obvious use.

Mr. President, look at the Great Seal of the United States.

The eagle holds, in equal measure, olive branches on one side and arrows on the other.

Let us start focusing on the arrows.

Hugh Dugan served as acting special presidential envoy for hostage affairs and senior director for international organization affairs at the national security council after having advised 11 U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations since 1989. Read Hugh Dugan's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Mr. President, look at the Great Seal of the United States. The eagle holds, in equal measure, olive branches on one side and arrows on the other. Let us start focusing on the arrows.
cotton, gaza, isis
Tuesday, 20 February 2024 10:12 AM
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