Who Among US Casts The Stone?

I’ve occasionally gotten “carping comments” accusing me, directly or indirectly, of only paying “lip service” to the notion that I’m “not a conservative”. One sits in “moderation jail” right now as I figure out what to do with it.

(Dealing with such things is last on my “to do” priority list… there is also a “carping comment” from the same source bitching about the ‘delay’ in their posts… Well, that’s what you get when first you practice the art of being a bottom sucking filter feeder carp(er). No, not sorry. It’s just a fact) Were a conservative agenda being shoved down my throat against my will, I’d be saying more against it. Since it isn’t, and won’t be for years (decades?) I see no reason to toss rocks at them.)

But something has come up that gives me a chance to Throw Stones at both sides (and perhaps in some small way demonstrate that my contempt for un-truth has no sides…)

Ron Paul

He’s painted as a ding-bat coo-coo-bird “Right Wing Conservative” by the “Loony Left” (and not by my Democrat Texas Uncle nor by my Democrat Florida Friend…) and he’s painted as just a ding-bat by the Radical Right.

(Oh, I also had, in the letter in “Moderation Jail”, a complaint that I used “Dimocrat” – which I reserve for the most Dim of them… i.e. not my Texas Uncle who has a lot of clue nor my Florida Friend who is also richly endowed with clue, nor even Lieberman who’s clue drove him away from the Dimocrats… more on that later- but did not similarly insult Republicans. Apparently either being completely unable to read “Radical Right” or more likely being so in agreement with the positing that he simply could not see it as an insult to those on the right… But such is life in the middle of the road, being run over from both sides…)

So Ron Paul has said many things with which I agree (at this moments all the Dimocrats will be painting me as a “Bright Red REPUBLICAN MONSTER DING-BAT WHO LOVES RON PAUL!!!!”; not being capable of getting out of their hedge-hog rut long enough to realize that I might simply look for truth and that even a stopped clock “tells the truth” twice a day… [at this moment all the Radical Right who Loves Ron Paul will be painting me as a “Bright Blue DEMOCRATIC MONSTER DING-BAT WHO HATES RON PAUL!!!”. Such is life in the middle of the road…] but I digress) and he has said some things that I think are a bit nutty (repeat above parenthetical digression but swap the two words “REPUBLICAN” and “DEMOCRAT” and swap attribution of the “who hates whom”…).

But, by and large, he follows a Libertarian Agenda, so I find I agree with more of his stuff than that which I find to be trash. (Now both sides will commence tossing verbal grenades at me…)

OK, his latest missive is one with which I am in complete agreement. I can find nothing in it that is not correct, and accurate. I’m reproducing it here, in full, as found in a link (that I suspect also had no rights to it… then again, I’ve never heard of a politician complaining that someone promoted their speech…)

From (h/t R. de Haan):

http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-libya-airstrikes-unconstitutional-only-congress-can-declare-war.html

Ron Paul: Libya Airstrikes Unconstitutional – Only Congress Can Declare War

Ron Paul
Prisonplanet.com
March 18, 2011

Mr. Speaker: I rise to introduce a resolution expressing the sense of the Congress that the President is required to obtain in advance specific statutory authorization for the use of United States Armed Forces in response to civil unrest in Libya. As many in the administration, Congress, and elsewhere clamor for the president to initiate military action to support those seeking to overthrow the Libyan regime, Congress sits by, as usual, pretending that Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution does not exist. According to this long-ignored section, ‘‘The Congress shall have Power To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”

This is black letter law, not some aspirational statement by our Founders. Their intent was indisputably clear: Congress alone, not the Executive Branch, has the authority and the obligation to declare war if hostilities are to be initiated against a foreign state that has not attacked the United States.

Let us be clear about one thing: for the US to take action to establish a “no fly” zone over all or part of Libya would constitute an act of war against Libya. For the US to establish any kind of military presence on the sovereign territory, waters, or over the airspace of Libya is to engage in a hostile action that requires Congressional authorization.

Whatever we may think about the Gaddafi regime, we must recognize that this is a coup d’etat in a foreign country. What moral right do we have to initiate military action against Libya? Libya has not attacked the United States. Neither the coup leaders nor the regime pose an imminent threat to the United States and therefore, as much as we abhor violence and loss of life, this is simply none of our business.

I would remind my colleagues that we have been here before. In the 1990s we established “no fly” zones and all manner of sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in attempt to force him from power. When that did not work — at a high cost in Iraqi lives — the US ultimately went to war to achieve these ends. The costs of this war, I do not need to remind my colleagues, was much higher even, in US military lives, in Iraqi civilian lives, in our diminished moral standing in the world, in our economy. Yet none of us seem able to learn from an enormous mistake made only a few years ago. Once again a bad man is doing bad things thousands of miles away and once again irresponsible voices are demanding that the US “do something” about it. Will we ever learn? We continue to act as the policemen of the world at our own peril, and as we continue we only accelerate our economic collapse.

Let the supporters of yet another war in the Middle East come forth to make their case for a US attack against Libya. I will strongly oppose such a move, but it should be very clear that if a war against Libya is to be initiated it must be declared by the proper Constitutional authority: the US Congress.

OK, some housekeeping just so not TOO many rocks are headed my way:

1) Being in agreement with the points a person makes does not make you a blanket supporter of the person. Mussolini had the trains run on time and Stalin advanced the Russian economy greatly. I admire both for those things. They were both power hungry bastards that I would assassinate in a heartbeat as a C.I.A. operative and would gladly pull the trigger myself with zero remorse. Is that clear enough? (For some reason many folks, especially those on the more loony side of left and the more radical side of right, start with “the agenda” and if you don’t fit it, you must be “evil”, so being both pro and anti an “evil person” must mean you are evil (and lying)… If you start instead from “did a thing work” and leave out the agenda, it all ‘fits’, but they can not leave out the agenda, for it drives all… I’d say “all thought” but that would require “facts not in evidence” from both ends…)

2) “The facts just are. -E.M.Smith” so Ron Paul makes some statements about what the constitution says. Easy enough to check. Read it. That IS what it says. Don’t like that? Go pound sand. There is no constitutional right to be happy or have everything be what you like. (Though you can pursue happiness…)

3) “The ends do not justify the means”. That really bad stuff will happen from what is going on in Libya does not justify ANY “means” to ANY “ends”. There is zero value or importance of the outcome toward any agreement (or lack of agreement) with “the facts” and it does not justify changing the process. See #2 again.

4) There is a process to reach “consensus” as to the “means” to be applied. The “ends” and expected outcomes ought to be presented to that process and, well, processed. Then you can bitch about the events being so horrible that someone ought to do something… IFF the consensus on Libya is “something needs to be done and we ought to do it” they I’m ready to join-up and “do the doing”. Until then, “Not My Problem”. The Dimocrats are SOoooo fond of “consensus” just right up until it might blow up in their collective faces…

5) Not being susceptible to an “Ends justifies the means” argument does NOT mean either that I agree with “the other side” nor does it mean I’m “an evil heartless bastard”. It does mean that I see the “need” as saying “Go to Point #4 and do the approved path”.

My Evaluation

So I find myself, at this point, in 100% agreement with Ron Paul on this speech. We ought not to delegate our responsibility to others just because it is unpleasant. Let those who would send the children of this nation (and of particular families and parents); let those who would send the parents of young children, the children of those soldiers; let them stand up and defend their reasons and be known and counted.

If they can’t muster the guts to do that, they need to resign right now. They are not fit to “serve” and deserve nothing more than to lick the boots of those soldiers they would send to death. Republican AND Democrat alike.

Under the Republicans, we did the same stupid dance. They are just as bad as the Dimocrats on this score.

The whole POINT of the mandate for congress to declare war is to make it hard and painful to go to war. When you can, with impunity, send someone else to die for your aggrandizement, the only result is evil. We have a congress of cowards on both sides unwilling to even show the courage of a vote, but quite willing to send good soldiers to their death on the chance they would personally benefit; as long as they have “plausible deniability”. Not Good Enough.

So “man up” congress. Stand up and say, in public and for the record, just why any sons and daughters of others ought to go die for your cause.

Otherwise, STFU; sit down and keep those folks at home with their families.

Sidebar on Lieberman

Some time back, we had an election or three… At one time Lieberman was running on one ticket and John McCain was running on another. Since then, Lieberman has become an “Independent” (meaning he told the party bosses to go pound sand… gotta love that…).

WHILE Lieberman was a Democrat, I was talking with my Florida Friend and lamenting my choices.

What I opined then, and hold to, to this day, was that we had the wrong tickets from both sides. What I wanted, what I would love to vote for was a McCain / Lieberman ticket.

I wasn’t sure, then, if it ought to be a “Lieberman / McCain” ticket, but thought it would be “well worth the fun” to have a Jew as VP so the “nutter radical Muslim Arabs” (who had recently attacked us) could decide if they wanted to attack the President and have a Jew with his finger on the nukes… I thought there was certain “poetic justice” in the scenario…

FWIW, while I usually avoid directly Political topics and prefer to stay in the Economic and Technical, my present political preference would be to vote for exactly that ticket. Though given recent events I’m leaning a bit more toward “Lieberman / McCain”…

So, back at Now

So, who among us is really ready to stand up and say “I vote for casting the First Stone.”? Clearly, it’s nobody in Congress. The only person who even wants to stand and be counted is Ron Paul, and he is against.

Given that, exactly why are we busy setting about to cast a “boat load” of stones?

Hmmm?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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36 Responses to Who Among US Casts The Stone?

  1. Kurt says:

    Just a note that what’s happening now is different in that we garnered support from NATO and the Arab League prior to taking the matter before the Security Council, where approval was unanimous.
    Technically, Paul is correct, but on this one, he’s whistling against the wind.

  2. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “The whole POINT of the mandate for congress to declare war is to make it hard and painful to go to war. When you can, with impunity, send someone else to die for your aggrandizement, the only result is evil. We have a congress of cowards on both sides unwilling to even show the courage of a vote, but quite willing to send good soldiers to their death on the chance they would personally benefit; as long as they have “plausible deniability”.

    Yes! Absolutely!
    Carl Worden wrote a very interesting article on this exact subject http://www.newnation.org/Archives/NNN-Guest-Column-28.html when Congressman Paul asked for a vote and declaration before the US went into Iraq.

    The fact is, both parties support and vote for the same agendas of bigger and more intrusive government; the only big difference is the nature of the speeches they give. The Democrats talk about caring, more compassionate government, while the Republicans talk about stronger, more efficient government — but they both do the same thing.

    When I see people argue about Republican vs Democrat, or even Left vs Right, I am reminded of an argument I witnessed while I was still a child. I saw two playmates almost come to blows over who would win if there were a fight between Mighty Mouse and Popeye.

  3. R. de Haan says:

    Good evaluation.
    I am following Ron Paul for some time now and I like him for his fast thinking, his humor and common sense.

    That said I have received a lot of flack for posting this link. A part of the flack is directed at Ron Paul. Remarks like: “Do you know what an AH this guy really is?” or
    “You are betting on the wrong horse, Ron paul is no presidential material”. Most of the flack however is directed at Prison Planet.

    I leave those comments for what they are because I am only interested in the content of the message and I too think Ron Paul is right about his claim that Congress should decide if the US is going to war or not.

    This stands completely separate from the question if we should or shouldn’t go to war with Libya.

    The US Congress decides, not the UN.

    Now we have heard that the big switch that lead to the 10-0 vote in the UN Security Council became a reality because the Arab League decided in favor of a No Fly Zone I really think Europe and the US should stay out of this conflict.

    I think that if the Arab League is in favor of a No Fly Zone over Libya and ‘Regime Change’ they should act on their conviction and do the job themselves.
    If the Arabs want to be taken seriously and remain their independence, please be my guest.

    They have the hardware (most delivered by us) and the manpower and I wish them good luck.

    As for the EU, there is absolutely no unity among the Europe nations about an active participation in the enforcement of UN 1973. Germany for example wants to stay out because a war with Libya can’t be sold to the German public. For Angela Merkel who is walking on the last legs of her political life only the proposal for participation would be equivalent of political suicide.

    The UK and France think they can benefit. France has some new Mirage jets that will sell better if they they are battle tested and Sarkozy thinks that his country will gain more influence within the EU. Cameron can very well use the diversion of a war with Libya to take the focus from his failing government.

    None of the motivations have anything to do with saving the innocent Libyan civilians from a massacre.

    It’s all stinking politics for which we continue to pay an ever rising price as the majorities of our citizens remain apathetic.

    NATO reflects the same diverse positions of her members.

    THE USA is already up to it’s neck in war and relief (Japan) efforts.

    Now the UK and France want to take the lead.
    I wish them all the luck in the world to but I think it will be business as usual, to little too late.

    In the mean time Gadaffi made a brilliant move declaring a cease fire and the G8 meeting on the libya ended with disappointment.
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/16/european_governments_completely_puzzled_about_us_position_on_libya

    Back to Ron Paul.
    I know how Ron Paul thinks about the EU, NATO, the UN and their quest to establish a Global Government.
    I also know his opinion on subjects like energy policy and climate change. I share his views and contrary to opinion of many I do think he is Presidential material.

  4. I have not had time to study his message in detail, but I too see some refreshing glimmer of hope in Ron Paul.

    Thanks for having the courage to have and to voice politically incorrect ideas too.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver

  5. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Don’t be picken on Ron Paul, He may be our crazy uncle, but he is entertaining and generally right. Besides Obama has proved any one can be president, no experience necessary. pg

  6. Level_Head says:

    There is no political speaker today, or in history, that I agree with 100%. But I could also say that there is no politician, so far as I know, who hasn’t said something I could agree with.

    In the case of Ron Paul, it’s not a large percentage; perhaps half. But I go along with the speech you’ve quoted. Congress does indeed have the authority he describes — though Paul’s isolationism is not realistic, it seems to me. And his goal in this regard seems to be to stop all conflict by walking off the playing fields, thinking that this is all it would take to make the jihadists like us. That’s a surprisingly naive view in my opinion.

    You were talking about odd tickets: I put one together a few days ago as a thought experiement: Hillary/Sarah. It would cause explosions (of heads!), but if the media bought it the result would be unbeatable. The old media would suddenly find Sarah Palin acceptable, and both sides might hold their noses and vote for them.

    Now, what happens after they get in office would be another story … and I am no fan of Mrs. Clinton, or Mr. Clinton for that matter.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  7. grayman says:

    Speaking as an American and someone who was in Tripoli at the time that Gadafi took over, i would like nothing more than a regime change there. But the last thing that we need to do is go over there and meddle in thier affairs. The middle east peoples have been saying for years that we should stay out of thier bussiness. Well we should, and let them do it themselves. We have been playing the part of the worlds police for to long and if other countrys want to do it i say let them it is none of our concern. We have enough problems of are own to deal with and if the other arab countrys want somthing done then they should be the ones to do it. It is after all thier problem not ours!

  8. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I wouldn’t wish Hillary on anyone. Mrs. Palin does not deserve such a handicap. Besides Hillary has to protect her and Bills money in Dubi. pg

  9. George says:

    Paul says some things that make quite a bit of sense. He also says some things that are just bat crap nuts. But more importantly it isn’t often what HE says so much as the conduct of his supporters at times. It is as if the entire Lyndon Larouche crowd has found a new following. The Larouchies and such organizations as Stormfront.

    Sorry, but I just don’t want to align with such people.

    Though his son, Rand, is someone I tend to align with more closely.

  10. Malaga View says:

    Wonderful posting… thank you.

    Life is full of contradictions… on the one hand I am really interested in Politics… on the other hand I have no interest in Party Politics or Power (aka government)… when I am exposed to politicians and the main stream media I usually say to myself: Beam me up Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here…. occasionally I stumble across individuals who make me think: There’s some intelligent life down here… E.M. Smith is one of those individuals… and so is Ron Paul… and I never thought I would be able to say that about a politician.

    The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again

  11. pascvaks says:

    As the sun begins to set; as the circle of my life begins to close; and as I crawl ever so slowly now toward my end of days… I’m a little amused at the way things are, how we came to be here, and where the world seems it will be heading after I’m gone…

    We Americans have changed so much over the past 200+ years. That’s life. That’s the way it’s suppose to be. When the topic turns to “oughta’be” and “is” I’m now of the opinion that we talk too much and do too little. But I’m not at all convinced that it hasn’t always been that way. I just get the impression that it’s more true today than ever. People are just a might too “civilized and law abiding” it seems to me. And there’s a resulting big tendency to let things be handled by “those in authority” without even taking a moment to send them an e-mail about how we feel they ought to get off their fat dumb ass and do just that.

    There was a time when all politics was said to be “local”. Has anyone noticed that what folks think “local” means has really changed a lot in the past 100 years and the rate of change seems to be picking up a bit? There was a time when neighbors used to rely upon each other and borrow cups of sugar. Today, most folks don’t even know their neighbor’s name, and wouldn’t think about talking to them. I think it’s the damn clothes dryers. With them the divorce rate has skyrocked because wives only talk to their husbands about some stupid thing on TV. Chatting with your neighbor over the back fense is a lost art.

    Anyway… (oh yes!)… casting stones.. the Old Cold War kind’a changed everything in this department and it’s like before and after FT Sumter all over again; in fiscal matters and social welfare, it’s like before and after LBJ. Every generation must stand up for itself, or not. Relying on history is poor insurance of any kind of worthwhile future. Write an e-mail. Picket. Work in a campaign for a candidate you like. Vote. (After the election, scream and hollar via e-mail or picket or demonstration or whatever — life’s a beach, keep it clean;-)

    PS: I always had a soft spot for “characters” in congress, especially if they made the idiots sitting next to them mad.

  12. Jason Calley says:

    @ pascvaks Ha! :) You may be on to something about the clothes driers! And the air conditioners as well — we used to have our windows open and knew which spouses and offspring were arguing, and why!

    I think you are right that things have always been this way — or more accurately, people have always been this way, but “things” have changed. We still have all the appropriate emotional and mental wiring for living together in small bands of perhaps a few hundred, but our “things”, our tools, have changed enormously. We are aggregated into packs of millions, of hundreds of millions, and seem to be on a meandering line toward global something-or-other. Centuries ago, dangerous memes would be naturally confined to relatively small areas and burn themselves out before spreading too far. Now we find ourselves in a large ship with all the flood control bulkheads removed, but we are no better at dodging ice bergs than we were before. We are practicing human monoculture and we do not know when the next big mental virus is going to sweep through. It was Hobbes, I think, who said that “the evil man is the child grown strong.” There may be an analogy between men and nations.

  13. H.R says:

    Re dimocrats vs democrats

    I’ll say that about… oh… 10 or so years ago I I started noticing that there essentially was no difference between most of the politicians in the two political parties if you look at actions instead of listening to what they say. I started using the terms “Demlicans” and “Republicrats.” (Then there’s the more familiar acronym ‘RINO’ which is similar to my choice of terms.)

    It was about 35 years ago that I wondered; why were so many of the politicians lawyers before they ran for office? Why would someone give up a lucrative career as a lawyer to take some lousy part-time State Representative job that barely paid anything? Of course it didn’t take long to hit on the answer; politics was where the real money was. No one gives up a $150,000/yr job to take a $38,000/yr job unless they expect to make more than $150,000/yr at the new job via $38,000 in salary and the rest in “benefits.”

    Which brings me to career politicians where the old saw holds true. The number one job of a politician is to get elected. The number two job of a politician is to stay elected. All actions (typically – although painting with a broad brush isn’t too inaccurate here) politicians take support jobs one and two. It is a rare politician who doesn’t give a rat’s patootie whether or not they are going to get re-elected.

    We used to have citizen representatives. Now we have career politicians – some even seeing it a a family business to pass down – with predictable results.

    (OK, OK… marginally on topic. Rant over… move along to the next comment, please.)

  14. mitchel44 says:

    Being a Canadian, we are stupidly playing along with this process.

    I find it galling that in the interests of “realpolitik” we treat with these known despots and tyrants on the world stage as equals, breaking bread and shaking hands for the latest photo-op.

    Then, as soon as their internal power structure begins to fail, we quickly cast them aside and declare our “moral and ethical” requirement to intervene on a humanitarian basis.

    The G8 won’t act, surprise, with China and Russia as members, how could they.

    The UN manages to get a resolution from the security council, only by 1/3 of the 15 members abstaining from voting, but hey that’s good enough for my government, send in some planes.

    The “humanitarian” line would fit the narrative a lot better if they applied it to every place where governments are killing their own people, and stopped playing footsie with despots, tyrants and dictators altogether, not just when it’ becomes politically convenient.

  15. Ed Forbes says:

    So..is the USA nearing (at) the end of the republican era and approaching (in) the start of the imperial era?

    If Congress continues to pass the power to declare war to the president, the Republic can not stand.

    The parallels for the USA between the late Roman Republic and Imperial Rome is scary. Many of the same issues and solutions applied are very similar.

  16. j ferguson says:

    How many “acts of war” by Mr. Paul’s and E.M.’s reasonable standard have been conducted (initiated) by the executive branch over our history without benefit of declaration by Congress?

    Are we at war with Pakistan or Yemen? Were we at war with Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Iran (Mosadek?), Iran more recently?, Grenada, Somalia?

    Was war declared when Reagan zapped Libya the first time?

    How many of these ventures were authorized by full Declarations?

    I don’t like at all what we’re proposing to do in Libya. Our history in adventures like this one isn’t good. I’m surprised that the action has so much international support which would suggest that I don’t understand the thing.

    ah well….

    Cheap war is the concept that leads to disaster almost every time. “Over by Christmas.”

    It isn’t generally known but I think true that the fellow with the compact moustache didn’t put Germany on a full-war domestic economic plan until 1943 – before that, it was to be a cheap war.

    I still think the wonderful thing about the draft was that it made war expensive.

  17. Level_Head says:

    @j ferguson

    Oddly enough, the only recent involvements of US military that did go through the “proper channels” were the declarations of war against Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2002). These are technically called AUMF resolutions (Authorizations to Use Military Force) — and while some would quibble that they don’t say “declaration of war” in their titles, they certainly authorize war in their contents. As you point out, the use of military force IS war.

    The Iraq war, the one declared “illegal” by so many including the UN, also has the odd distinction of being perhaps the only war in all of human history which was agreed upon in advance, among the world’s countries (including the UN), with explicit permission given by Iraq for other countries to attack it. Such were the terms of the 1991 cease-fire agreement and UN resolutions. Thus, it may be the world’s only “legal” war.

    That certainly doesn’t mean that it was wise, necessary, or well-executed (I don’t know anyone who would give it three-for-three) — but legal it was.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  18. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Well said Chiefio.

    Can it be said that if the US Constitution is willfully ignored – then the rule of law is dead in the USA?

    A sad day for all.

  19. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    on 19 March 2011 at 4:16 am R. de Haan said “I also know his opinion on subjects like energy policy and climate change. I share his views and contrary to opinion of many I do think he is Presidential material.”

    The secret service would have their hands full keeping Ron Paul alive.

    I can’t imagine a President more likely to challenge the status quo more than Ron Paul – and too attract serious and effective enmity as a result.

    You could only wish him god speed if he did in fact make it. Strangely enough I would not be surprised if Obama got a 2nd term – it kinda fits the trend.

  20. George says:

    (4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course of—
    (A) declared war;
    (B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or
    (C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin

    US Code TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113B > § 2331

  21. R. de Haan says:

    Don’t you love this?

    MARCH 19, 2011
    OBAMA: ‘Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world’…

    MARCH 19, 2003
    BUSH: ‘American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger…

    Different year, different President, different location, same month, same date, same content, similar conflict
    ……….outcome.

  22. George says:

    Over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

  23. j ferguson says:

    I am profoundly perplexed that the guys presently running the US think this adventure is a good idea. How can we, as a country, possibly benefit by so visibly supporting insurrections?

    I can imagine that the international support for this is based on disdain and apprehension of Quadaffi. But surely he isn’t the only petty tyrant who should be deposed.

    In 2000, one of my concerns about the possibility of Gore reaching the presidency was my belief that he was immature, childish even and that reaching office he would try to prove that he was a big boy now. Generally presidents trying to prove themselves “big boys” do it with our troops and our treasure. And they never really fool anyone, except maybe the other little boys.

    Does any of you suppose that we’re supporting an Arab revolt to show that our heart really is in the right place after so many years of supporting various Arab tyrants?

    Maybe that’s it.

    If by chance someone reading this thinks that there is any real hope of a positive ending to this mess in Libya, I’d love to read your thoughts.

  24. Jason Calley says:

    @ Level_Head You are certainly correct that the Congress authorized the use of military force by the President, such force to be undertaken at the President’s discretion. Remember though, that Congress — and only Congress — is authorized to make that decision. They are not authorized to delegate the decision of “war or no war” to the Executive Branch.

    I would quote James Madison: “The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war [and] the power of raising armies. A delegation of such powers [to the president] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments. The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.”

    Consider this analogy. Suppose the Supreme Court had before it a case which they did not wish (for whatever reason) to take responsibility for ruling on. Suppose instead that they issued a statement to the following effect: “We the Judges of the Supreme Court hereby give President Obama the power to find the defendant in this case either guilty or innocent, to either punish and imprison the defendant in this case or to set him free, all judgements being made as he, President Obama, sees fit.”

    Can the Judicial Branch cede its power to the Executive Branch? Can the Legislative Branch?

  25. Ken McMurtrie says:

    Fair comment EM.
    Besides being strongly on your side regarding truths and untruths, your assessment of Ron Paul seems quite fair.
    To me, he stands out as a congressman with guts, ability to think for himself, apparently uncorrupted by outside influence, and a rare patriot of the US country and constitution.

  26. Level_Head says:

    @Kurt

    Just a note that what’s happening now is different in that we garnered support from NATO and the Arab League prior to taking the matter before the Security Council, where approval was unanimous.

    Ah, yes — this vote was ten to five to zero, which is MUCH better than the fifteen to zero we had with Resolution 1441 on Iraq. ;)

    There were Arab league members involved in each case. But last time, EVERY member of the Security Council agreed — this time, five bailed out and abstained.

    The trouble I have with Libya is that we are in the odd position of helping (by force) jihadists to take over a country (by force). It seems counter-intuitive. If we were just simply defending innocent people, why did we tolerate jihadists killing millions of Sudanese, not to mention all of these other African and Middle Eastern nations where such slaughter is far more widespread.

    Or North Korea, which kills about 60,000 of its subjects per year by working them to death in its political prison camps.

    Why pick on Qadaffi? He became a “good guy” for a while, back in 2003 — we went into Iraq, and within days he was calling for negotiations to give up his WMDs. Those discussions were started within ten days of the coalitions’ attack on Iraq.

    And just months ago, he was treated with high respect in the US and at the UN and in the EU, as recently as December.

    So what’s different now? Why remove him?

    Because, it seems, he is the next domino in the Muslim Brotherhood’s (helped by Iran) march across the Middle East. But why would we encourage such a thing. The UN does this as a matter of course — but the US?

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    112 reported in the link I saw… and they are talking about it as “The kinetic Action” and is only to last a ‘few days’…

    So Orwellian… it’s not a war, it’s just a Kinetic Action…

    @R de Haan:

    Now that is just spooky…

    Don’t ever plan a middle east vacation for March 19th…

    @tckev:

    Well, now we know what a Kadaffy cease fire is all about…

  28. j ferguson says:

    “kinetic action” is really choice.

    At last we’re moving away from “impacted” although this may have been one of the few opportunities where this overused word might have been apropos.

  29. Level_Head says:

    @R. de Haan:

    I borrowed your comparison of 2003 versus 2011 and expanded it into something of a mini-history of the beginnings of four US-Middle East conflicts.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  30. R. de Haan says:

    Ron Paul again:
    Obama moving us towards One World Government
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-obama-moving-us-toward-one-world-government.html

    He only has to bankrupt the USA to achieve this.

  31. Hugo M says:

    @R. de Haan,

    Annex B of the Rambouillet “aggreement” was kept secret until March 19, 1999, with the bombing campaign starting five days later, then.

    Besides I’ve been told that a full moon isn’t exactly ideally suited for starting air raids. Nevertheless, the attack on Libya began when a super moon was at maximum brighthness.

  32. George says:

    Optimal moon depends on your opponent and the mission profile. US invasion of Iraq was full moon because they had a lot of units that had to cover a lot of ground at night and you want to be able to see. By the time these major units began to close on Baghdad, the moon is waning. So if you need to cover a lot of ground in a hurry at night over a period of several days, do it with a lot of moon.

    If you are going to be engaged in close combat with an ill-equipped opponent, do it with no moon because “we own the night” due to technology. If you are against a technologically equal enemy, moon doesn’t matter.

  33. Thank you, R. de Haan, for the link to Ron Paul.

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-obama-moving-us-toward-one-world-government.html

    Usually I stay completely away from politics, but Ron Paul and I have independently arrived at essentially the same conclusion about plans to subvert our constitution in order to establish one world government.

    I am not even opposed to one world government, if the people themselves were consulted. But I am opposed to one world government that is imposed on people by tyrants.

    A tyrannical, one-world government seems to be the direction we are headed.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

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