Obama, Libya, and the UN… oh my.
Remember the good ol’ days, the days of Calvin Coolidge? Well, I don’t actually remember them either, having not yet been born. Coolidge is often criticized as a “do-nothing” president. What I wouldn’t give for a do-nothing president today. We’re more than halfway through our fourth War President in recent history, with no clear end in sight. Our Founders advised us against going abroad in search of monsters to destroy, but that seems to be our foreign policy in a nut-shell.
American support for military action in Libya is next to nothing, Iraq has been a loser since the get-go, and now that Osama bin Laden is dead… why are we in Afghanistan? And Yemen, and Pakistan… Don’t we still have troops in Germany and Japan from WWII? Korea?
I’m against the national healthcare debacle on two grounds, intellectual and moral. However, if we put US foreign policy in line with something resembling a Constitutional one, we could pay for that liberal pipe dream easily. Oh well. I guess the liberals are only against “the war” when there’s a Republican in the White House.
Ironically, during the Bush years, I was often called a liberal because I had questions like, “What did Iraq have to do with 9/11?” “How does the PATRIOT Act mesh with the Nill of Rights?” “What happened to the Constitution?”
Now, the media tells me I’m a right-wing extremist. If I didn’t know my principles, it’s enough to cause one to have an identity crisis.
A few weeks ago, the deadline set by the War Powers Act (which allows the President to move and direct troops for up to 60 days with Congressional authorization, among other things). Congress sort of nudged the White House, giving a polite, “When do you plan to ask for permission?” hint. Obama, in slightly different words, said, “I don’t intend to. I’m operating under UN and NATO directives.” Congress, lacking the testicular fortitude to do their duty caved by granting a two-week authorization, and now seeks to limit the amount of money to go to the Libya Operation. Weenies.
UN and NATO directives.
If you were looking for something to point your finger at and think “Treason” this would be it. Now, the Constitution’s definition of Treason is very strict. It is solely in “levying War against [the several States.]” Although Obama seems to have taken our national sovereignty and done something impolite with it, it seems to not quite yet meet this very strict Constitutional definition… yet.
It might be an impeachable offense, however.
If I were a Congresscritter, I would be seriously concerned about the very real possibility of an American dictator. Maybe not this term, maybe not next, but there are precedents. Under King George W. we allowed a policy where a person could be declared an “enemy combatant,” even American citizens, and taken to foreign countries as prisoners. Obama, who ran an “I’m anti-W” campaign has not surprisingly re-affirmed this doctrine, and even claims the authority to have American Citizens assassinated abroad if they are connected with terrorism. That seems like a slippery as hell slope to me.
As an American who has occasionally gone abroad, I’m not convinced such “authority” is safe from abuse.
So, what are we doing in Libya? Some talking-heads in the media suggest we’re actually funding
Al Qaeda [Correction, Robert Gates said they are “Shiite extremists”] to fight against Gaddafi. If it weren’t so damn serious, that’d be pretty funny. But it is serious, deadly serious. Did we learn nothing from funding the Taliban in the ’80s to fight the Soviets?
I swear, my goldfish has a longer working memory than the suits in Washington.
UN and NATO directives.
I wonder how many US Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airman considered that they might be ordered to put on a blue helmet or beret, wear a UN Flag, and effectively fight for a foreign power. Do they tell you that at the Recruiter’s Office?
Our fighting men and women take an Oath to the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights. Where does your loyalty lie as a “United Nations Fighting Person?” I imagine that there would be a serious conflict of interest if American military personnel were ordered to strap on a Blue Helmet and enforce the UN Small Arms Treaty here at home; but would the Italians, or the Russians, or the Chinese have such qualms?
Well, no matter what, we do now know what the absolute worst job as a UN-toady is, “Civilian Disarmament Specialist, USA.”
If I were Military, I would seriously have to think about the moral and practical implications of putting on a UN flag. It’s probably better to think these things through now, so you don’t end up like the National Guard at Katrina, having been given illegal orders and not enough time to figure out what to do about it; excepting these guys.
If the UN Small Arms Treat gets ratified by the US Senate, it is in our best interest that they send foreigners to do the dirty work. That would cause all of these fence-sitters to pick a side, and quick!
If Libya is a sign of the times, I hope everyone is paying attention. Things will get worse before they get better.
2012: Liberty or Death.
Long live the Republic,
– Cato, the American.