In House of Cards, Frank Underwood brings up FDR and Wilson when saying that he wants to declare war on ICO (fictional terrorist group possibly related to ISIS). What's the relation please? I mean, every president presumably has to deal with terrorism in some way so why those presidents specifically?




What's the relation of FDR and Wilson to War on Terror/terrorism in House of Cards?

  • 11
    Please don't post the same question on multiple Stack Exchange sites.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 31 at 22:22
  • 8
    That movie comunity is defenetly the most suitable place for this question.
    – convert
    Aug 31 at 22:28
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    @wrod based on the answer here in or in history SE I guess you don't really need to have seen the show?
    – BCLC
    Sep 1 at 1:05
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    Best scene in the series, by far. Sep 1 at 11:53
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    That's not to say, that I think it's a bad question - it's a great question, definitely related to politics, but if you want to keep it in politics, then I would rephrase the question, without mention of fictional characters or scenarios. For instance - "Can a country formally declare war on a terrorist organization?" or "Does declaring war on an organization (terrorist or not), imply declaring war on the country it is based in?"
    – MishaP
    Sep 2 at 11:47

1 Answer 1


From the transcript, House of Cards, Season 5, Episode 1, Frank Underwood, addressing the House of Representatives.

One of the murderers who killed Mr. Jim Miller is still out there.

At large.

How much proof do you need?

I demand that every member of this House take a stand.

Like FDR before, and Wilson before him.

I demand that this Congress declare a formal declaration of war against ICO, both here and abroad.

Congress, for Wilson (WWI) and FDR (WWII), passed formal declarations of war under the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Frank Underwood is demanding the same — a formal declaration of war — as was provided Wilson and FDR.

In a case of art imitating life, a Joint Resolution was introduced in the US Senate, S.J.Res.46 - Declaration of War against the Organization known as the Islamic State, more that two years before the referenced House of Cards episode aired.

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    Which is complete and utterly nonsensical, since you can only formally declare war against a country. So, such a declaration would implicitly upgrade the ICO from "terrorist group" to "state", and grant their member protection under the Geneva conventions and other treaties. Which further shows that this kind of questions belongs to the TV stackexchange and not here.
    – SJuan76
    Sep 1 at 6:31
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