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18 June 2011

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Ken Hoop

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0611/Kristol_Abrams_Kagan_letter_presses_House_GOP_to_back_Libya_mission.html#

The neocons also back the war, led in part by William Kristol.

arbogast

There is a lot of oil in Libya. A lot. None in Syria.

You need a lot of oil, a real lot, to fight wars continuously to keep the people back home supporting you.

J

I fully support Obama's impeachment and removal from office over this Presidential snafu, but that's my opinion. I also fully support the criminal prosecution and removal of several sitting Members of Congress for not enforcing the War Powers Act during Obama's immediate predecessor's two terms. And I support the prosecution of past Presidents who have gotten U.S. into unnecessary messes.

If they get paid the big bucks, then they need to be held to the fire.

But again, all the above is my personal opinion, and depending on the topography a $1.50 plus will buy you a hot cup of joe.

J

A correction/addendum to my previous post. IN ADDITION to prosecuting previous Presidents for getting U.S. into unnecessary messes. Retired/no longer serving Members of Congress who were culpable also need to be held criminally accountable as well.

Fitzhugh

My understanding, and I believe that of candidate Obama's, is that Congress must declare war in all cases, the only caveat being that in an emergency the President may defend the Republic as he sees fit without delay. In the latter case, the dust having settled slightly, he has 60 to 90 days to ask Congress for a declaration of war. I understand too that the courts will note that should Congress decide that its power has been usurped, it can exercise the power of the purse and end any military operation; but this doesn't answer the root problem and serves to reveal a tendency of all parties to do what is convenient. I imagine the constitution seems antiquated to the masses eager to pave over the old and live in the now; but the soundness of this old document should be evident today as we see regime after regime spend our riches abroad on so many adventures, like so many kings of old. Perhaps if we lived longer we'd all be wiser; but we needn't wish for this when we have constitutions, and libraries, and national parks on battlefields... people with an absence of appreciation for such things would at one time have rudely or accurately been called peasants. Now they can run for any office they like, and win. I only wish they'd make a joke of some other Republic.

Fred

J,

It's almost bad enough to run again even though I couldn't get the powers that be to support me the last time out. At least I have a clear conscience about my choices then. The leaders of the 'opposition' in Michigan are unfortunately tired old men out of both energy and ideas. Sadly for this state it will get far worse before the populace wakes up to how those in office have truly betrayed them.

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

It's interesting that our Tidewater congressmen of the party that decried congressional meddling with the "Unitary Executive" in the past are now whining about Obama not following the WPA.

J

Fred,

Obama, Past Presidents, Sitting and former Members of Congress need to be criminally prosecuted for their --'T'reason against our Republic.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/treason
Definition of TREASON
1
: the betrayal of a trust : treachery

optimax

Congress needs to take the WPA back, no president will give it back as long as money buys the eye of the pyramid.

Redhand

I liked Fitzhugh's comment. Obama's dismissal of the WPA is perfectly consistent with his policy -- contrary to the rhetoric of his campaign -- to institutionalize rather than roll back the executive abuses of the Bush "era." It's another reason why I see Obama as just another "say anything to get elected" politician.

Colin

Col,

I must reluctantly agree with you. I too support the action in Libya but believe Obama should go to Congress for a resolution and then abide by the result.
However, politically I must say it is disingenuous and hypocritical for conservative, imperialistic Republicans to make so much noise about this issue simply because they hate anything Obama does. For Obama’s part he should put their feet to the fire and make them vote on what is right.

Roy G

Apparently, there is also a bipartisan consensus of 'senior lawyer' types who will dutifully make up whatever they are told, and Obama's shysters are no different than Yoo, Bybee, etc. This includes the Supreme Court, and the DOJ as well.

It's really fascinating to watch 'the best and the brightest' come up with ever more tortuous ways of screwing the Constitution.

Ken Hoop

I see John McCain, who was wrong from 2002-2009 in his predictions and assurances about every essential of the Iraq War, is still being touted as a go-to expert on the supposed "isolationism" of the leading GOP contenders.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/19/senators-blast-gop-isolation-lybia_n_879947.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl1|sec1_lnk2|71602

None of whom save Ron Paul qualify as being trustworthy to EVER do anything of substance to impede any of the wars, current or future, if they seem to benefit Israel or the Empire.

rj

Col. Lang, I agree with you. This is a low for Obama's handling of the presidency. I'm not a big fan of the WPA, but it's the law, and an important one. Republican presidents generally get congress to along with their adventurism. Obama and his advisers, IMO, are afraid to approach congress. So they .... what? Walk away from it? I'm not against our policy toward Libya -- although I'm not crazy about it either. However, the expediency of avoiding congress by the executive troubles me.

Jane

The Constitution contains it's own definition of treason:

Article III
Section. 3. Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Patrick Lang

Jane

You are "around the bend." The president is sworn to see that the laws of the United States are executed. Not to do so is an impeachable offense. pl

Mark Logan

rj,

I agree with this being wrong, but I'm beginning to think that he may have made the best of three bad choices.


Looked over the 35 pages, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/06/16/us/politics/20110616_POWERS_DOC.html?ref=politics

and came to the conclusion that he either had to stop all operations, claim that the WPA is unconstitutional, or claim that it didn't apply. He chose "C", and in a way, it's better than "B". The declaration of the WPA as unconstitutional has been the position of all previous presidents. I believe it is constitutional myself, and so approve of the admission.

At least it's a way to get the ball rolling, isn't it? Congress has a long history of delegating their authority to Presidents in this matter, and tried to do so again. There are 10 hearings and 30 briefings listed, and Congress has had plenty of opportunity to act. I beleive the situation is that Obama has just dared Boehner to do so, and in a way that still would leave the option to "delay by quibbling" a quick cessation of operations.

There are realities on the ground. There would be an unnecessary extension of the conflict if we yanked the aid suddenly. That trumps everything, at this particular moment, IMO.

arbogast

Look at who the supporters of the Libya adventure are:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/world/africa/20powers.html?hp

MQ is clearly a deranged murderer who uses his "army" to murder his own population... much as the "leadership" in Syria does the same thing, etc. etc.

As Col. Lang points out, the question is whether Obama is within his rights acceding to the wishes of the clique who want more American troops in the ME.

He isn't. As stated by Col. Lang.

But one thing is getting clearer and clearer. AIPAC and its friends across the sea have gotten used to American shleppers doing the heavy lifting militarily in the ME. They really need to win the next Presidential election.

The campaign is going to be a doozy.

And I suppose the ultimate question is when will Obama fold and take up their position entirely, which, loosely translated, means bombing Iran.

Will the US military hold Obama back from bombing Iran? I think they are right now. How long can they hold out?

J

arbogast,

And speaking of a 'shlepper for war', one of AIPAC/Israel's bought-n-paid-4-U.S. Senators Sen. Lindsey Graham, is all gaga over U.S. in the Libya fray.

Graham: Congress Should ‘Shut Up’ on Libya
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/269997/graham-congress-should-shut-libya-daniel-foster

Graham a JAG who has never seen combat, seems to love war (any war) for some reason. If Graham had to eat the dusts of war, he might be singing a different tune today. Alas though he hasn't, so we see one of AIPAC's little ballerinas doing his 'lets war everything' unabated, all at U.S. taxpayer expense.

Medicine Man

I'm inclined to agree about Obama's handling of the Libyan intervention. I find Col. Lang's arguments about the use of US military power in Libya persuasive. I find Obama's liberties regarding the politics of war-making depressing and unfortunately utterly in line with the trends supported by US presidents in recent history.

I'm not interested in excusing Obama (or Bush) but it seems to me that part of the problem is that Congress cannot be trusted to make sound judgments on foreign policy anymore. While I'm told that at one point Congress adhered to an unspoken rule, "domestic politics stops at the shores of the ocean(s)", this has not been the observable reality for as long as I've followed US politics.

It is easy to imagine how an open debate regarding the Libyan intervention would resolve in Congress. Another cudgel to bludgeon the President with; an opportunity to hand him a "foreign policy defeat" in advance of the 2012 elections. I can understand why he would sidestep the debate entirely.

None of this justifies Obama's lawlessness on war powers, of course. I'm just saying that I have serious doubts that Congress would be interested in evaluating the importance of the Libyan mission, seeing it to a successful conclusion, and protecting US national interests/prestige invested in the whole episode. Would-be imperial presidents are only half of the problem, in my opinion.

mbrenner

A few propositions intended to advance the discussion.

1. Of course we are engaged in hostilities and therefore our action does fall within the purview of the Act as understood by Congress. Obama is just playing clever word games, as is his habit, to avoid addressing the country on a matter of consequence. (Remember: "it depends on what you mean by IS" - this is in the same category)

2. I believe that our intervention in Libya is justified on strategic as well as humanitarian grounds. We went through this issue a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the White House has not explained why.

3. The Libyan operation has been the most disorganized and inept since the Italian invasion of Abyssinia. Obama's 'hit and run' approach that placed effectiveness second to domestic political convenience invited failure. We should have stayed with it until we were sure of reaching the desired outcome - which would not have been too difficult.

4. No President has accepted the constraints on his action stipulated by the War Powers Act. Most have voluntarily sought Congressional opinion while rejecting the notion that would be bound by the vote.

5. The main concern should not be about Congressional-Executive relations. Rather it should be the absence of a serious and honest public discourse about all manner of foreign engagements. The grave consequence is that we have no intelligent basis for making judgments. We have non-accountable Presidents as a result. This holds for just about all actions taken in the 9/11 decade in cluding illegal surveillance, torture and Guantanamo. Obama has deepened our national dilemma and accentuated the crisis of American politics

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