If anything proves that being an Establishment tool is a bi-partisan, equal opportunity, Obama’s Insane Clown Posse does. King Fahd is an honorary member of the Posse.
Fascist governments make for strange bedfellows. The fact of the matter, however, is that none of the ‘bedfellows’ we’re going to be hearing from and looking at here, are in any way strange to one another. They are all birds of the same feather that just happen to have a different consonant after their name. Even the parties those consonants represent, are largely serving the same masters. The illusion that there is any meaningful difference between John McCain and Harry Reid, can only be accountable to the skills of the myth makers in the legacy ‘industrial media complex’. The same can be said concerning John Kerry and Lindsey ‘Lohan’ Graham and so many other similar couplings. Lovely image, isn’t it?
In order to make the lack of distinction more obvious – as if that is necessary, one only needs to look at the common objectives they share. I could devote several pages to that, but a brief outline should be sufficient. What are the basic obligatory policy objectives that the servants of the ruling elite must maintain subscription to? Among other things, supporting legislation that expands the size and the control of government in people’s lives. One example would be government intervening and dictating the extent of choices available to consumers. You see this in energy policy – requiring you to purchase gasoline containing ethanol, in gun control laws, in the heavy hand of regulation, reaching out to crush natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals and in the enacting of legislation such as the Monsanto Act, which nullifies judicial decisions based on findings that genetically modified crops may be dangerous to consumers.
But that’s just the beginning. There is a bi-partisan gentleman’s handshake that Wall Street must be allowed to operate in the same fashion as the worst crime syndicate owned LasVegas Casino and if the gaming establishment goes bust, you (taxpayers) are obligated to make them whole again. Which, by the way is what has happened. The investment class has rebounded once again, thanks to the Treasury Dept., the Fed Reserve and the implicit cooperation of Congress. On their way there, they stopped off to pick up some of the assets they imploded at bargain basement prices. They’ll also throw you under the bus for cheap labor from waves of illegal immigrants.
As I said, I could continue to recite the litany, but since the item that has been dominating the news cycle for the last two weeks is Obama’s stated intention to attack a country (Syria), that has not attacked us, why don’t we put that on the table and look at it from the motives of the elites that dictate to their paid errand boys (and girls) on Capitol Hill. I’ll start off with an interesting quote from Senator Lindsey Lohan-Graham:
“You know, there’s probably a reason 225 times Presidents didn’t come to Congress. I don’t know if I’d come to talk with us. Quite frankly. The President has mismanaged this from day one about what we’re trying to do, the goals we’re trying to achieve. I think he made an unbelievably compelling case that we need to act here and compare that to the unbelievably small response we’re going to give. So at the end of the day, if I were the President I would act after this speech if diplomacy fell apart and I wouldn’t come back to Congress.”
Oh no, Mr(?) Graham, there is not “probably a reason” – there is absolutely a reason that these Presidents didn’t come to Congress 225 times. The reason is, that limiting use of the military to only circumstances where they are needed to fulfill the narrow and circumscribed role of defending America, is not profitable enough to the Military Industrial Complex. Limited Constitutional government does not support the corporatism of global policing. Notice I didn’t use the term ‘law enforcement’. The distinction is that global policing violates the bedrock principles of the foundation of our system of laws, as does the rogue actions of an Imperial President the likes of which Graham so dearly admires. True enforcement of our laws would negate the brand of military adventurism that we’ve been practicing for a century.
It’s not as if these bi-partisan violators of their sworn oath of office are ignorant of the fact that what they are advocating is unlawful. Consider this statement by John McCain:
“There are times when the President of the United States has to act in the national interest and that clashes with my view we are a Nation of laws, governed by the Constitution and the separation of powers. I do believe there are times, particularly prior to World War II, we have the example of Franklin Roosevelt taking actions that Congress would never have approved … Abraham Lincoln acted unilaterally in the Civil War,”
This is remarkable. John McCain admits that his exhortation of the President to ‘act in the national interest’ “clashes with his view that we are a nation of laws, governed by the Constitution”. So McCain’s convictions are so atrophied that when it comes down to a President’s judgment as versus the law – screw the law and go flank.
It’s worth clarifying under what circumstances, the Constitution does provide for the independent and proprietary fiat of military action, so we can discern whether Senator McCain and his cohorts are judicious in their observations or encouraging criminal behavior on the part of the Chief Executive. Here is the controlling clause in the Constitution:
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such IMMINENT Danger as will not admit of delay. – U.S. Constitution., Article I. Section. 10. Clause 3
So there it is – imminent danger. The notion of imminent danger in our nation’s first century of existence was practically limited to responses to a foreign nation’s declaration of war or an unprovoked attack on an American ship, a port, a military fort or an invasion. In the instance of Abraham Lincoln and his decisions regarding battle commands in the context of the Civil War, McCain is being very disingenuous. The insurgency of the Confederate Army was a continuous ‘imminent danger’, requiring Lincoln to act and react in as close to real time as existed, given the state of communications.
The best illustration of ‘imminent danger’ in the post Nuclear age is perhaps the President’s ‘Football’, or alternately known as the ‘Atomic’ or ‘Nuclear’ Football. Should a President be advised that, for example, Russia or China had launched an ICBM strike with a Nuclear warhead – or via any other delivery system, (submarine, Tu-95 bomber, etc.) – he would open the ‘Football’, a Halliburton attache case and with the assistance of the Secret Service agent detailed to carry it, insert the codes shown on the ‘Biscuit’ (plastic card) and send the command to the Joint Chiefs to launch a retaliatory strike. That’s an example of what ‘imminent danger’ is. Syria is an example of what imminent danger is not. Syria did not attack the United States and there was no intelligence reported that indicated that Syria planned to do so.
Next question. Is it Constitutional for the President to enter into hostilities based on nothing more than an interpretation on his part that doing so is in our nation’s “vital national interest”? Going back to the previously cited clause in the Constitution, the answer is clearly no. Does this prevent Imperial Presidents from going ahead anyway? Obviously not, but Congress, if it were acting as the guardian of the rule of law, would be obligated to impeach such rogue Chief Executives. Not a likely impediment in the case of Obama, or prior to him, Bush and Clinton. Especially not when you have a Speaker of the House like John Boehner:
“I’ve supported every president that I’ve served under for the last 23 years when it comes to the use of military force. There’s one person who speaks for the United States of America when it comes to foreign policy, and that’s the president of the United States.”
If that’s the case, then Congress is certainly playing the role of potted plant, with great aplomb. That was until House Member Scott Rigell of Virginia, and over 100 of his colleagues sent a letter to the White House, strongly urging Obama to halt his plans and present his case to Congress. Here are a few select paragraphs from this brief letter:
“Mr. President, in the case of military operations in Libya you stated that authorization from Congress was not required because our military was not engaged in “hostilities.” In addition, an April 1, 2011, memorandum to you from your Office of Legal Counsel concluded: “…President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization.”
We view the precedent this opinion sets, where “national interest” is enough to engage in hostilities without congressional authorization, as unconstitutional. If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute “hostilities,” what does?”
Indeed, what does Obama think all those armaments propelled into Libya were – bottle rockets and Roman Candles? The letter had an impact. It spurred a re-calculation of the gains versus losses of this particular aspect of the political end-game. A decision was made to agree to the Congressional review requested in Congressman Rigell’s letter. The ostensible reason? Before Obama leaves office, an attack on Iran is in the plans. That, in and of itself is no secret, but the reasoning on Syria was that Obama might have a nest of complications to deal with if Congress gets brushed aside here.
Another remarkable aspect of this situation, beyond the bi-partisan consensus that has developed between the warmongering set, is the evidence that they all know these kinds of unilateral military actions are illegal. Take Joe Biden for example. Presidential Candidate Joe Biden in an interview with Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe on December 20, 2007, makes an articulate argument against Imperial President Obama. The whole interview is remarkable and I’m linking it here, but this answer alone, makes every bit as good a case as I could, against Obama’s actions as Commander-In-Chief:
Savage: “In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)”
Biden: “Let’s not kid ourselves: any military conflict with Iran is likely to become major. A so-called “surgical” strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would probably require thousands of sorties by our air force, over two to three weeks. It would mean bombing Iran’s radar sites and air force, repeatedly striking multiple targets across the country, securing the Straits of Hormuz and oil facilities throughout the Persian Gulf, and preparing for attacks against our troops, citizens, allies, and interests across the region and beyond. What looks “limited” to us almost certainly would be seen as something much bigger by the Iranians and could spark an all-out war. There’s only thing worse than a poorly planned, intentional war: an unplanned, unintentional war.
It is precisely because the consequences of war – intended or otherwise – can be so profound and complicated that our Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not the President, the power to initiate war, except to repel an imminent attack on the United States or its citizens.”
Of course he’s referring to Bush and this may be why ‘Say it aint’ So, Joe’ has been curiously mum during the debate about the Syria attack. What Biden outlined could be equally applied to Obama’s actions in Libya also. Nancy Pelosi seems to have selective amnesia about her previous positions regarding Presidential use of force:
“What the Bush administration was asking the country to do on the basis of a false premise was to go to war,” Pelosi said. “This isn’t about going to war. This is about a limited, tailored strike, of short duration, for a purpose, which is the use of weapons of mass destruction.”
“Limited, tailored strike”? Excuse me, Nancy, but what do seamstresses have to do with launching missiles? I wasn’t aware that you are qualified as a military strategist, Nancy. Maybe you should have gotten a shot at Secretary of Defense. I’ll remind you of your friend Joe Biden’s words, “What looks “limited” to us almost certainly would be seen as something much bigger by the Iranians and could spark an all-out war.”
Democrats have a long tradition of supporting Constitutionally dubious, if not patently illegal use of military power. Conors Friedersdorf of the Atlantic, explains:
“Their ideology leaves them strangely unequipped to grapple with power abuses by a man whose personality they like and whose political philosophy they largely embrace. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has observed uncritical progressive hero worship for Woodrow Wilson and FDR. Progressives and neoconservatives share a proclivity for romanticizing the ability of powerful presidents to heroically and unilaterally push through the energetic policies they favor.
If you want to understand why Glenn Greenwald so often clashes with his fellow progressives, it is partly because he believes much more than they do that concentrated power is always dangerous — that process and formal limits on power are always important. You’d think that the sorry civil-liberties records of bygone progressive politicians would make today’s progressives more attuned to their ideology’s most dangerous proclivities.”
As I have pointed out, though – enthusiasm for the injection of the United States armed forces in situations lacking the requisites of imminent danger, links arms across the aisles in the House and Senate. One more example of this is Congressman Peter King (R – NY). King said Monday evening that he believes Obama can take military action without congressional authorization. “I believe as commander in chief he has the right to take the action,” King told CNN. “It’s in his interest in consult with the leadership in the House and Senate, but I don’t believe he has to.” I only refer to this buffoon because he is the first to announce his intentions of running for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016. God help us.
What is most deliciously ironic about Obama’s current stance on Presidential Unilateralism, is the support he’s getting from the former advisers to the very President (Bush) that Candidate Obama used as an example of illegitimate use of power during his campaign.
“I absolutely congratulate President Obama for finally realizing that our U.N. allies are nothing more than a bunch of dithering, yellow-bellied, Chardonnay-sipping cowards,” said Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for the Justice Department in Bush’s first term. “I further congratulate him for finally growing up and understanding that there are bad people in the world and sometimes they earn, by their evil, the action of a great superpower. So yippee-kai-ay, cowboy.”
and this, from an interview with Paul Wolfowitz – (the former deputy secretary of Defense for George W. Bush and one of the chief architects of the 2003 Iraq War), with Eli Lake of the Daily Beast:
“People are saying this is not Iraq, and it’s correct. We are not talking about sending American troops in to change a regime. The administration seems to be talking about a low-risk military operation, one that involves putting very few American lives at risk.”
I’ve described this mentality before in the terms of Mark Twain’s great quote: “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. To an Imperial President, with a vast military arsenal at his disposal and a powerful backstairs cabinet of special interests imploring action – everything looks like an immediate target.
Full disclosure here. I am no different than millions of Americans who have been steeped in the thinking that America is the world’s policeman. When CNN was televising the 1991 Iraq War, I found myself among the majority of Americans who found entertainment value in the depiction of scenes of American troops blowing up buildings, enemy troops and bridges, particularly one segment you’ll remember as ‘The Luckiest Man in Iraq’. I love old war movies. The reason, I suppose, is the same reason I love old Westerns. The good guy clobbers the bad guy ultimately. Simple and basic.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that whatever problem arises in the world, American military force is the solution. What we weren’t told, when they were soliciting us to buy War Bonds in between those wonderful cinema double features of the 1940′s, was that Wall Street bankers were providing enormous loans to Hitler, as they did earlier to prevent the failure of Soviet Russia in the 1930′s. That probably would have been counterproductive because it would have caused people to reflect about what’s behind most of the wars, not just in the last century – the bloodiest in mankind’s history – but stretching back nearly a millennium. Someone profits richly and gains more power and someone else’s son dies.
What I’m telling you now, is something that I confess that I’ve come to the party fairly late on. I’d heard it before myself and rejected it. More than the message, I resented the messengers – leftists and pacifists. I found the message distasteful because I found the messengers distasteful. But the truth is not dependent on the attractiveness of those delivering it. Then along came Ron Paul. I still dismissed the wisdom he was heralding initially, but I found I could not escape a growing sense within myself that I was rejecting it emotionally without applying reason.
For the record, I’m not a pacifist. I believe that maintaining a strong military in a posture of defense, is one of the most, if not the most critical role of the national government. But I also believe in the separation of powers as a counterbalance to tyrants and usurpers. That’s what I believe we’re dealing with when it comes to Imperial Presidents and their backers. From what I’ve seen in the last few weeks, Americans have grown up a little and have become more resistant to the seductive allure of shoot first and ask questions later. That may not be good for the DefCons, for K Street or Wall Street, but it’s good for Main Street.