06 Jun 2011

Rules Are for Suckers

Foreign Policy 15 Comments

Glenn Greenwald has an interesting post titled, “The War in Libya Growing More Illegal by the Day.” I was curious what he could mean by that, and was surprised to learn:

To the extent that the War Powers Resolution (WPR) authorized President Obama to fight a war in Libya for 60 days without Congressional approval — and, for reasons I described here, it did not — that 60-day period expired 12 days ago.  Since that date, the war has been unquestionably illegal even under the original justifications of Obama defenders, though I realize that objecting to “illegal wars” — or wars generally — is so very 2005.  After making clear that they intended to contrive “some plausible theory” to justify this illegal war, the White House finally settled on the claim that the war in Libya — despite featuring substantial U.S. military action with the goal of destroying a foreign army and removing that nation’s leader — is too small and limited to be a real “war” under the Constitution and the WPR.

Even the White House seemed to recognize the absurdity of that excuse — the WRP explicitly appliesin any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced (1) into hostilities” — and the President thus subsequently requested a Resolution from Congress approving the war.  That authorization, however, never came…

Also, GG has a neat post summarizing the budding anti-war alliances among the “far” left and Tea Party right in Congress.

15 Responses to “Rules Are for Suckers”

  1. Bob Roddis says:

    During his recent appearance on ABC’s “Sunday Morning” this past Sunday, Krugman once again made the Keynesian declaration that war is good for the economy:

    “If we had the threat of war, had a military buildup, you’d be amazed at how fast this economy would recover.”

    Our foreign policy is an illegal big lie, just like our domestic economic policy.

    • Jonathan M. F. Catalán says:

      This reminds me of Robert Hilbroner’s comment on the Soviet Union, where he points to the stagnation that capitalist societies were facing during the 1930s and the “industrial boom” that the Soviets were enjoying at the same time. I rather live in a stagnating economy than in a “booming” economy, where the majority of the population is living in what would now be considered “under the poverty line”.

  2. ekeyra says:

    You know, everyone throws out the rascist card on the teapartiers for showing up and shouting about their liberties when a black guy gets elected, after having sat quietly through the 8 year police state buildup under dubya. Theyre probably right to some extent, the timing is extremely suspicious. Yet what I never hear is what happened to all those anti-war protests? I mean it isnt like we stopped shooting people in iraq, even though obama declared that war over, or something. It was a pretty vague announcement. Then we escalated afghanistan. Hell they gave him a nobel peace prize while he was doing it. Then we start carpet bombing libya, and you could hear crickets. Wheres all those people who thought murdering foriegners was a heinous crime. I guess it must be ok as long as its a democrat ordering drone strikes and killing children. Ill never understand those wacky hipster kids. Peace is too mainstream.

    Also love the concept of a 60 day murder-pass for the commander in chief.

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      I guess you missed the part (1541c) in the War Powers Resolution that states:
      (c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation
      The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
      (1) a declaration of war,
      (2) specific statutory authorization, or
      (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

      It seems that the President does not have the authorization to just start bombing a nation for 60 days unless that nation has attacked us or Congress has given such authority by statute (i.e. a bill).

      • knoxharrington says:

        Your forgetting that “territories and possessions” means the entire world.

    • Jeremy says:

      Don’t forgot about all the “peace” we’re dropping on Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. They don’t get the press of Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya, but we’re killing people all the same.

  3. Bob Roddis says:

    Mindless partisanship is a major problem. Vast armies of people love Hillary/Bill/Obama while hating Dubya and the Bushes and vice-versa. No amount of evidence that their policies are all quite similar makes any dent in their little minds.

    • RFN says:

      As a recovering mindless partisan, I heartily second your comment, Bob. I was never a big proponent of going into Iraq, but I understood the reason behind it (show them democracy, blah, blah, blah). But, sometime around 2006, I started to think what the hell are we still doing in here and about that same time I was exposed to the Ludwig Von Mises Institute and fine fellows like Robert Murphy, Thomas Woods, etc…Now, I really can’t see a damned bit of difference between the two major parties. Statists to the left of me, statists to the right. Here I am.

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        How do you think I felt, I joined the Navy right after 9/11. Trust me, it is quite hard to voice your opinion when everybody around you is high-fiving each other as Tomahawks rain down on innocent people. However, one thing that I was able to do is actually talk to some Arabs and come to a greater understanding of the feelings on the other side. Let me tell you, even though he gets a lot of crap for it, Ron Paul isn’t too far off from the truth of our foreign policy… The only part he doesn’t mention is that dealing with Israel, but I also understand why he doesn’t.

        In many ways I wish that I had not come to learn the true dynamic of our policies and actions, and that I was still lost in the forest of ignorance. But, then I would still be supporting our actions and the murder of innocent people who had done nothing to us. In the end, I am glad that I found out, and I hope that more people open their eyes to it, because that is the only way to stop it.

        I do not have many regrets in my life, and considering what happened in 2001, I thought that I was doing the noble thing. But, in hindsight I do regret that I was an active participant in this whole mess. It is probably the only thing that ever keeps me up at night, and it is exacerbated when I see more young people without a clue going into the armed forces never realizing that they will be following the orders of some truly evil men. These young people are being told that they are doing the noblest thing for their country while never realizing that they are merely serving the selfish interests of those in power.

        Whenever somebody finds out that I served in the GWOT, they always say “thank you for your service”. My response to them is “to whom”?

  4. Silas Barta says:

    I thought I was on Gene Callahan’s blog when I saw the topic title…

    • bobmurphy says:

      I am still waiting for him to say, “Surprise! This was a 3-year joke. I wanted to see how many of you guys I could shake.”

      • Silas Barta says:

        In fairness, I’ve thought the same thing about you on several issues 😉

  5. Bob Roddis says:

    Isn’t it odd that an MMT critique brings out a horde of 400 commenters but illegal war and slaughter seems to be of little interest?

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      Yep, but it ultimately reveals their fixation on power and inhumanity. I would just call them partisan-statists if I wasn’t afraid that Mr. Kuehn would drop by and give me a tongue-lashing (he would find that quite unsavory). Sure, that is a BIG deal, but dropping bombs on innocent people? Eh, not such a big deal.

      One must truly marvel at the state of humanity today.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Why do we even pretend like we have constitutional limitations on power anymore? War, spying on citizens, indefinite detention, targeting US citizens for assassination (far from any battlefield without a shred of due process), its all FULLY endorsed by both establishment parties. The 5th amendment isn’t some silly suggestion………..