Saturday, 7 September 2013


Following World World War II President Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex and exercised US military power in measured ways.

President Johnson embarked on a different course in Viet Nam. The only Congressional authorization Johnson ever sought for that calamity arose from the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident which he wildly exaggerated. Thereafter, he set about trying to fight his war in a way the American people might hopefully not notice too much. (“Drift, the Unmooring of American Military, Power” Rachel Maddow Crown Publishers NY)

President Reagan was involved with Operation Urgent Action to liberate a few sheep and students in Granada. As an encore he narrowly avoided impeachment in the Iran Contra affair. In both instances his advisers'  purpose  was to keep Congress from meddling in the government.

The United States and the rest of the world has paid an enormous price for its unconstitutional involvement in wars since WW II.

As George H.W. Bush prepared for Gulf War I, Federal District Judge Harold H Greene decided the case of Dellums v. Bush, 752 F. Supp. 1141 (1990), Fifty four members of Congress sued Bush in 1990. They were trying to halt a military buildup in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The plaintiffs argued that military action without a declaration of war would be unlawful under 
U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 11. The District Court denied a preliminary injunction because it was premature  The President, he held, had not yet initiated war-like actions.

The following portion of the reasons for judgment should be inscribed as an appendix on all of the monuments to War in Washington:

“ Article 1, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution grants to the Congress the power "to declare war." To the extent that this unambiguous direction requires construction or explanation, it is provided by the framers comments that they felt it would be unwise to entrust the momentous power to involve the nation in the war to the president alone; Jefferson explained that he desired "an effectual check to the dog of war" James Madison similarly expressed the expectation that the system would guard against hostilities being initiated by a single man. Even Abraham Lincoln while a congressman said more than a half-century later that "no one man should hold the power of bringing war upon us.

Now President Obama is trying to do it again.

Syria’s President, Assad gassed thousands of civilians including Children 
in a Damascus suburb. President Obama wants to  set the tall Syrian ophthalmologist straight by bombing Syria for 60 days or so. The American’s have smart bombs but they have not yet been developed to the point that they miss the innocents. 

There is no situation in the world today that one President or another cannot make worse. If the Assad government falls there will be a massacre of men women and children. If the Assad government remains the same thing will happen. In either case Israel will be blamed and j
ustice will not be done nor seen to be done. 

At the end of the 60 day war does anyone really believe the American’s will be able to withdraw? Whether they withdraw or not no good will come of it. 

If the President wants war it is the job of Congress to carefully debate, consider and declare it. 

President Obama taught Constitutional Law at Harvard. He should re-read his predecessor, President James Madison’s rationale for Article 1, Section 8: 

 "The Constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrate "that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the legislature."

No comments:

Post a Comment