Well, according to the Executive and Legislative branches of the United States government, we're sure as Hell at something.
This is the text of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists:
PreambleJoint ResolutionTo authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.Whereas, on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States and its citizens; and
Whereas, such acts render it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to self-defense and to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad; andWhereas, in light of the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by these grave acts of violence; and
Whereas, such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States; and
Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1 - Short TitleThis joint resolution may be cited as the 'Authorization for Use of Military Force'.Section 2 - Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.
Is this essentially a blank check which permits any President of the United States to kill or capture virtually anyone -- "nations, organizations, or persons" -- virtually anywhere?
Yes it is.
Does it make the August, 1964 Tonkin Bay Resolution --
Joint Resolution of U.S. Congress: Public Law 88-408, August 7, 1964, Approved on August 10, 1964To promote the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia.Whereas naval units of the Communist regime in Vietnam, in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law, have deliberately and repeatedly attacked United States naval vessels lawfully present in international waters, and have thereby created a serious threat to international peace; andWhereas these attacks are part of a deliberate and systematic campaign of aggression that the Communist regime in North Vietnam has been waging against its neighbors and the nations joined with them in the collective defense of their freedom; andWhereas the United States is assisting the peoples of southeast Asia to protect their freedom and has no territorial, military or political ambitions in that area, but desires only that these peoples should be left in peace to work out their own destinies in their own way: Now, therefore, be itResolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.Sec. 2. The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the South-east Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.Sec. 3. This resolution shall expire when the President shall determine that the peace and security of the area is reasonably assured by international conditions created by action of the United Nations or otherwise, except that it may be terminated earlier by concurrent resolution of the Congress.
-- look like a war powers bundling bag by comparison?
Yes it does.
And it was passed by Congress of the United State as follows:
The Congress of the United States created the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists and is free to revise or rescind it whenever it wishes.House of RepresentativesOn September 14, 2001 bill House Joint Resolution 64 passed in the House. The totals in the House of Representatives were: 420 Ayes, 1 Nay and 10 Not Voting. The Nay was Barbara Lee, D-CA. Lee is notable as the only member of either house of Congress to vote against this bill.SenateOn September 14, 2001 Senate Joint Resolution 23 passed in the Senate by roll call vote. The totals in the Senate were: 98 Ayes, 0 Nays, 2 Present/Not Voting (Senators Larry Craig - R and Jesse Helms - R).
I wish it would.
... Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.