- In Washington, hypocrisy and duplicity substitute for
resolute action to obey international and constitutional law. In fact,
they're mere artifacts long ago discarded to advance America's imperium.
- All Washington's wars are illegal. International law
permits them only in self-defense. Constitutional law only lets Congress,
not the president, declare or wage them overtly, covertly or any other
way for any reason unless America was attacked.
- Moreover, the principle of non-intervention (a cornerstone
of international law pertaining to national sovereignty) prohibits meddling
in the internal affairs of other countries as stipulated in the UN Charter's
Article 2 (7), stating:
- "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall
authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially
within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members
to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this
principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under
Chapter VII," pertaining to threats to peace, its breaches, or acts
- These issues don't apply to America's wars against Iraq,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and numerous proxy ones. Congress
can easily stop them with a simple up or down vote to end funding, as well
as another with teeth, holding the president accountable unless hostilities
are immediately halted.
- Moreover, so-called "humanitarian intervention"
is modern-day colonialism dressed up in rhetorical mumbo jumbo to justify
aggression. As a result, when America intervenes, it's for policy goals,
not human rights, civil liberties, democratic values, or humanitarian priorities,
presidents and lawmakers don't give a damn about and never did, abroad
or at home.
- Nonetheless, on June 15, Obama claimed legitimacy for
America's war on Libya, telling Congress:
- "The President is of the view that the current US
military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution
and do not under that law require further congressional authorization,
because US military operations are distinct from the kind of 'hostilities'
contemplated by the Resolution's 60 day termination provision."
- Calling America's role "constrained," he added
other duplicitously reasons for another illegal war against a nonbelligerent
- Moreover, claiming War Powers Resolution authority is
a red herring. It applies only to legal wars in self-defense as defined
under international and constitutional laws. No exceptions apply. Presidents
can't subvert them. Congress can hold them accountable by cutting off funding
and impeachment for usurping illegal executive supremacy.
- In fact, failure to do so violates the Constitution's
Article VI, Clause 3 Oath of Office provision. The first Congress instituted
a binding pledge, stating:
- "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support
the Constitution of the United States."
- In April 1861, Lincoln expanded it to include all federal
civilian employees. In 1884, the modern version was enacted, stating:
- "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support
and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign
and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that
I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose
of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of
the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."
- Virtually all congressional members violate constitutional
law, governing contrary to this oath, rendering it null and void, thus
making them complicit in presidential crimes, their rhetorical posturing
- For example, on June 13, House members, in an amendment
to a military appropriations bill, voted to prohibit funding operations
for Libya without congressional authorization. It was political posturing
as Senate follow-through is unlikely, giving representatives for it a safe
- In an earlier June 3 one, House members said Obama "failed
to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States
national security interests for current United States military activities
regarding Libya." However, the measure lacked teeth, merely stating
- "Congress has (but won't enforce) the constitutional
prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the United
States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya."
- Moreover, in a separate vote, members defeated a Homeland
Security Appropriations bill amendment to prohibit funding it.
- On June 15, 10 congressional members (3 Democrats, 7
Republicans) sued Obama in the US District of Columbia District Court for
unilaterally waging war on Libya.
- Calling for "Injunctive and Declaratory Relief,"
the complaint said in part:
- This measure challenges "Defendant Barack Obama,
President of the United States, (for) go(ing) to war in Libya and other
countries without the declaration of war from Congress required by Article
I, Section, 8, Clause 11 of the US Constitution."
- It further challenges his violation of the War Powers
Resolution, requiring congressional authorization, as well as "commit(ting)
the United States to a war under the authority of (NATO) in violation of
the express condition of the North Atlantic Treaty ratified by Congress."
- In fact, rhetorical posturing, toothless congressional
measures and ineffective lawsuits aside, most members of Congress support
wars by passing defense authorization bills and supplemental appropriations
with comfortable margins.
- In addition, since WW II, they never challenged presidential
war making authority without congressional approval, as well as for failing
to follow international and constitutional law. Nor have they demanded
domestic accountability for fundamental democratic rights they, in fact,
also spurn with impunity.
- Instead they support imperial wars and corporate privilege
for their own self-interest. As a result, they benefit greatly at the public's
expense, especially during hard times when federal aid more than ever is
needed, not austerity cuts leaving millions on their own sink or swim.
- A Final Comment
- America's media wholeheartedly support US imperial wars,
no matter how lawless, mindless, destructive and counterproductive. In
fact, they revel in them, cheerleading daily slaughter, mostly affecting
noncombatant men, women and children, defenseless against American-led
- In Libya, for example, non-military targets are struck,
including ports, schools, hospitals, houses, civilian infrastructure, a
university, a Brega peace conference killing 16 imams and wounding dozens,
Gaddafi's personal compound to kill him, instead murdering his son and
three grandchildren, as well as daily attacks killing and injuring hundreds
- Nonetheless, a June 16 New York Times editorial wants
more, headlined "Libya and the War Powers Act," saying:
- "It would be hugely costly - for this country's
credibility, for the future of NATO and for the people of Libya - if Congress
were to force (Obama) to abandon military operations over Libya."
- The Pentagon planned, leads, and directs the war for
an estimated $1.1 billion through September, yet The Times calls America's
involvement "limited," adding:
- "We support the Libya campaign....(W)e have no doubt
that if NATO had not intervened, thousands more Libyan civilians would
have been slaughtered."
- In fact, clear evidence shows America and other Western
powers recruited, funded, armed, and support Libyan mercenaries to help
oust Gaddafi's regime. Moreover, no humanitarian crisis existed until NATO
- Nonetheless, The Times said, ending America's involvement
would cause NATO's campaign to "unravel." As a result, "relations
with Europe and the unity of the military alliance (would be enormously
harmed), likely felt all the way to Afghanistan," another illegal
war The Times supports, urging Obama to fight on, adding:
- "Congress....needs to authorize continued American
support for NATO's air campaign over Libya," no matter the body count
it causes. America's entire corporate media establishment agrees.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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