Finding a president asking Congress for permission to go to war is about as rare as finding a liberal Republican. So it was a surprise to read that President Obama has formally asked Congress to authorize military operations against the Islamic State ("Obama seeks war powers," Feb. 12).
Of course, ISIS is a savage war machine, and its beheadings are beastly. So why aren't we just as incensed that Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, also flogs and beheads people?
The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the past 12 years of war and occupation opened the door for ISIS. In fact, ISIS is using captured U.S. weaponry. Our involvement in Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster, so why would anyone believe our government would be the answer to counter ISIS? Why not instead an effort organized by the United Nations?
U.S. bombings and drone attacks have killed thousands of innocent people. This has resulted in hatred toward America. How about making a serious effort at diplomacy instead?
We could come to an amicable diplomatic agreement with Iran, then work together on the ISIS crisis. Warmongering by the U.S. has only created more enemies. Diplomacy and peacemaking are the ways to gain the respect of the Arab people.
Max Obuszewski, Baltimore