Tuesday, March 22, 2011

United States Hasn't Had a Legal War Since WWII

The Middle East is disintegrating right before our eyes, and now, President Obama has authorized air strikes over Libya to bring down Moammar Gadhafi, or not?

Believe it or not, there are several liberal Democrats calling for Obama's impeachment because he did not go to Congress to get Constitutional authorization for the attack.

Surprise, Surprise.  None of our presidents since World War II have sought an official Congressional Declaration of War before sending our troops into harm's way.  It is my belief, and the belief of many who truly believe in the Constitution, that all of our wars since World War II have been illegal.  Nevertheless, the news media in this country does little to address the Constitutional argument, and the United States Supreme Court has seemingly done as much as possible to avoid the argument.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution clearly states that "Congress shall have power to declare war."  Did Obama get a declaration of war to send fighter jets to Libya? No.  Did George W. Bush get a declaration of war to send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan?  No.  Bush did get a Congressional resolution authorizing force, if necessary, to remove Saddam Hussein, but that is not a Constitutional declaration of war.  What's the point of having a Constitution if no President since World War II wishes to follow it?

Karl Rove, the former advisor to President George W. Bush, was on Fox News on Monday, March 21, claiming that President Bush didn't even need the Congressional resolution to begin hostilities in Iraq.  He cited Article 2, Section 2, of the Constitution that states "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into the service of the United States."  According to Rove, Article 2, Section 2, gives any President unilateral decision-making powers to send our troops into battle. What?  How does he read that into the Constitution?

I have always believed that we do our armed forces a tremendous disservice by sending them into battle without a full Congressional Declaration of War.  We should not ever send our troops into war without the full support of the American people as we did in Vietnam and Iraq.

As for the term "exit strategy" that our modern news media uses in reporting wars, I have never heard a more ridiculous way to describe ending a war.  Can you imagine a reporter daring to ask General Dwight Eisenhower what is our exit strategy in World War II? 

If all out victory isn't the goal, then the United States should not go to war at all.  Doing everything possible to win a war also means never saddling our troops with rules of engagement that would appease The New York Times editorial board. 

The old term that "War is Hell" is true to anyone who has fought in one.  Our politicians and media shouldn't try to sanitize the issues involved in engaging in military battle, and we better be sure we are going to battle for a damned good reason if we are going to sacrifice our soldiers' lives.

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