The United States is, we are informed, about to declare war on a third deeply divided, chaotic and violent Muslim country. The Congress has not voted; the president has not explained; a thorough debate has not taken place. On what basis can a president simply decide such a profound question? Is the UN Secretary-General now more important than the American public or Congress? Even Bush held a vote before the Iraq war.

Is Obama proving that, as far as an imperial presidency is concerned, George W. Bush was a weakling?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.