Maybe this time the law DOES matter —

The United States (Government) hasn’t been legally at war since September 12, 1945, when the Japanese forces in Southeast Asia surrendered to Allied Commander Louis Mountbatten in Singapore, ending World War II.

That’s right, the Korean “War,” the Vietnam “War,” the first Iraq “War,” the second Iraq “War” (euphemistically named Operation Iraqi Freedom), Libya and the Afghanistan “War” aren’t wars. At least not according to the U.S. Constitution — which document explains how wars are supposed to happen. This way:

ARTICLE. I. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States… Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power… Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water The United States Constitution

The U.S. President doesn’t do it alone. In fact, as founding father James Madison explained, “...the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.”

So, how do they get us into these non-wars? Maybe this explains it – – –

“I think it is a fact of modern history that declarations of war are gone. I think they are anachronistic. Clearly the Constitution assigns the declarations of war function to Congress and only to Congress. But declaring war has consequences in a technologically advanced world that nobody wants to face. Instead what you do is you call it a police action, as we did in Korea, or you call it something else, but you do not formally take that giant leap of declaring war.” –Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), June 7, 1995

The first “war” after WWII, the Korean “War,” was executed without any explicit Congressional authorization what-so-ever, declared and carried out under the auspices of Mr. Harry S. Truman, mostly on his own recognizance. Similarly, in an early iteration of Rep. Hyde’s dictum — which has become Standard Operating Procedure — even though North Vietnam officially declared war on the U.S., the U.S. never officially declared war on North Vietnam.

Congress wanted to avoid that “giant leap” of declaring war. As per Rep. Hyde above, they wanted to do it by any other name. But, paradoxically, they wanted to do it in a way so they wouldn’t lose their Constitutionally mandated prerogative — so Congress passed The War Powers Act of 1973. Over President Richard M. Nixon’s veto.

In this act, there are three excuses for the President to send U.S. forces into “harm’s way.” It gives three ways and three ways only to a war — or a non-war as the case may be. Specifically (text directly from the document itself):

Section (c), clause 1. a declaration of war, [the Constitutional way –l.r.white]

Section (c), clause 2. specific statutory authorization [Congress passes a specific law –l.r.white]

Section (c), clause 3. a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces

Clearly clause 1. won’t apply since even Mr. Obama and those who are apparently pressuring him behind the scenes, haven’t even hinted at declaring war.

clause 3. is handy for war mongering because by invoking “national emergency,” whomever currently inhabits the Oval Office has 60 days to get clause 2. blessings from Congress and then keep going or, theoretically, get out.

Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, clearly, clause 3. doesn’t apply to Syria either. No one — not even someone grossly over-indulging in Colorado’s newly legalized crops — could claim the Assad Administration is attacking U.S. territories or possessions. Or U.S. armed forces.

That leaves clause 2.

So, if the law matters this time, as Jerrold Nadler, ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice recently pointed out — Mr. Obama has to go to Congress and convince the members to give him statutory authorization to attack the men, women and children in Syria — who, some might say, are already being attacked by plenty of people already.

And then there’s this: Lacking an official U.N. Resolution, even with Congressional approval such an attack on the Syrians would be a violation of international law. Since Russia and China, not to mention most of the rest of the realInternational Community,” don’t support such action, the U.N. won’t pass such a resolution.

Not even U.S. dominated NATO will get behind this turkey.

If the Nobel Peace Prize winning President somehow goes ahead anyway, that’s by definition another U.S. war crime.

And given that only 29% of Americans — voters among them — favor attacking the Syrians, I’m tempted to bet against Mr. Obama and the War Party getting even that War Powers clause 2. fig leaf for cover. What do you think?

Given the circumstances, I’d say the odds of Mr. Obama successfully instigating a U.S. military “message” to Syria are about 50/50.

On the other hand, the Administration has been telegraphing they’ll attack Syria with or without Congressional approval.

So, does the law matter this time? Or doesn’t it? Can the next U.S. President, following in the footsteps of Hitler, Harry S. Truman, Mussolini, Saddam, and Barack Obama in Libya, etc. go to “war” whenever he or she pleases?

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Maybe this time the law DOES matter —”

  1. "'It became necessary to destroy [Syria] to save it', a United States major said today."

    Suggest we find a modern-day Gandhi, before 9Sep'13.

    "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"

    Where are the decent people; why are they so silent?

  2. So far, no decent people piping up, outside you & me.

    IF the law did matter, THEN the ICC could think about this:

    means: robots of death & destruction; bullets, bombs, drones & rockets.

    motive: Assad disobedience/intransigence; Golan Heights, pipeline routes, and road to Tehran.

    opportunity: a) stage a false-flag, (most likely Mossad, but CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or just Al-Qaeda/jihadis would fit), then b) misreport it, repeating "the big lie" = Assad did it (zero proof, and Assad apparently not suicidal, and "the big lie" itself sourced from a more than (self-)interested counter-party, namely Israel – known world's worst liars).

    premeditation: frus1945v08 pp45 "stupendous source of strategic power" and then see [1].

    presence: now five Tomahawk-equipped ships + sundry submarines (including some D-provided to IL, nuke-missile capable) and planes, etc..

    modus operandi: 6&9Aug'45, before, during and after 29Nov'47, N. Korea, Vietnam (see Blum's "Killing Hope"), … Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, now Syria and Iran next. Check-mate after Russia and China go the same way.

    cui bono: rogue-regimes US + Zs, beneficiaries of the M/I/C/$4a†-plex.

    [1] Wesley Clark: About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon … "This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."

    Me [POD]: conspiracy n. (pl. -ies) 1 secret plan to commit a crime; plot. 2 conspiring. [Latin: related to *conspire]

    QED; foreman of the court: "Guilty, your honour; suggest hanging all perpetrators by the neck until dead."

  3. The first “war” after WWII, the Korean “War,” was executed without any explicit Congressional authorization what-so-ever, declared and carried out under the auspices of Mr. Harry S. Truman, mostly on his own recognizance.

  4. @L. Reichard White: "Can [any] President … go to “war” whenever he or she pleases?"

    «"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."
     "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
     "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master – that's all."»

    Me: As for Humpty's words, so psychopath's/rogue representatives' laws.

    I had a face-to-face chat with one of my so-called 'representatives,' and asked him: How does he propose to establish the consensus of his electorate, on a particular topic?

    He boldly told me: "I won't; as an elected representative, I have a mandate to [get this!] vote any way I want."

    I suspect he learned it, as perhaps most others, in some 'representative school,' as I've seen the same idea manifested elsewhere.

    In the 'democratic covenant' in an "of, by, for the people" democracy, voters delegate their sovereignty to elected representatives, who govern for the majority, respecting minorities. The voters trust the representatives to earnestly and accurately follow the electorate's consensus. One result of this is laws drafted in society's best interests, or so the theory.

    IF psychopaths infiltrate then dominate the representatives, OR the representatives otherwise go corrupt (by selling-out to the highest bidder, usually the <1% and/or 5th-column traitors, say) OR just simply ignore the electorate's consensus THEN the covenant is violated, and such representatives lose the electorate's delegated authority. This means that the now *non*-representatives may no longer act on our behalf; amongst other things, no taxation without valid representation, say, and no action corrupt politicians take has any 'sovereign protection,' so IF they offend THEN they should be prosecuted. In this context, no *non*-representative may validly send a country to war.

    I think that in the US democracy, as so-called 'world leader,' election is taken as total carte blanche, to the point of a) aggressively propagandising the electorate, often with lies (especially war-related lies) then b) aggressively ignoring the public's opinion when the lies fail to convince.

    It is then only a short step to ignoring/violating the laws of the land, like the constitution, say, i.e. in doing whatever they want, even if 'against the rules' = illegal.

    Hence Obama: "I *am* the law; I do what *I want* – which is to be master – that's all."

    However, betraying the electorate is the "supreme democratic crime" which must be appropriately punished – by a) de-election = being sacked then excluded, and b) prosecuted for any/all criminal acts, where crime is defined as violating the 'universal' law = "Thou shalt not lie, cheat, steal or kill," a formalisation of the moral basis "Do unto others …" and "Do no harm."

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