Thursday, February 15, 2007

You say Iraq, I say Iran; let's call the whole thing off

The reprobate editor of The Outpost, having singularly failed to stop one Mideast war, waves his tiny sword in a futile gesture aimed at fending off another.


Get the facts said...

Tiny sword? That was more like one of those promotional keychain penknives they give out at NPR seminars.

Funny you should quote Lincoln on the war power. He presided over the bloodiest war in American history, and I do not remember him asking Congress if it was OK to blockade Southern ports, seize international shipping on the high seas, suspend habeas corpus across America, and institute military tribunals in all states. I don’t know. Maybe when Gen. Irvin McDowell crossed Bull Run Creek with 30,000 troops in July of 1861 he had something written on a scrap of paper that Congress had given him.

Your editorial was patently simpleminded and evinced a near total ignorance of the war power in American history and constitutional law.

Anonymous said...

There is indeed historical precedence for what the Presidunce Bush is doing. I mean, just take a quick looksie back through history. There have been many, many deranged, inbred, halfwit monarchs who have destroyed their own counties through senseless wars. And King Georgie is simply the latest. For that is essentially what the Congress has allowed the Retard in Chief to become. Sad, so sad to see what is happening to our country. Of course, there is always a silver lining. Corporations like Halliburton, etc., and all Georgie's friends are making HUGE profits off the "war". Hopefully, some of that will trickle down into the economy. But I doubt it. There is kind of a sad poetic justice to all this. As we in the United States allow a certifiable imbecile to squander our national wealth, he talks about "rebuilding" Iraq. Wow! We broke it. Now we own it. So we must rebuild it!, while destroying our own country to do it! Sad, so sad, that there are people as stupid as Stapleton who believe that this is what America's all about.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

David said...

Get the facts,
I can see why you wouldn't want to attach your name to what you wrote. I would be embarrassed, too.

Nothing in the Constitution that I know of explicitly requires congressional approval of any of the things you mention. But it definitely requires that Congress declare war (which would not apply in any case to the Civil War since the Confederacy was not, in Northern eyes, a sovereign nation). So nothing you wrote has any bearing on the issue at hand.

And even if Lincoln did violate the Constitution with any of those actions, that still wouldn't change the argument. Past misdeeds don't justify current errors.

I welcome further evidence of your "near total ignorance."

Get the Facts said...

You wrote: “I can see why you wouldn't want to attach your name to what you wrote. I would be embarrassed, too.”

The only embarrassment I fear is having my name associated with your blog.

Here is an example of near total ignorance: calling the American Civil War not a war because Lincoln did not recognize the Confederacy as a “sovereign nation.” I have never heard the American Civil War referred to as the “American Civil Disagreement” or the “American Effort to Put Down Rebellion.” If we subscribe to your quibbling over the legal status of the belligerents, then “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is not a war, either, because Saddam Hussein was not the legally elected president of Iraq. He seized power in a coup d’├ętat. At least Jefferson Davis was voted into office.

Hello? This is a discussion of the war power and about who has the authority to exercise it. That is, who has the authority to send this nation’s armed forces into combat, be it combat on the high seas or in a foreign land, in space, or in a territory or other state.

My enumeration of Lincoln’s actions merely served to put you on notice that, first, you picked a pretty bad example for your little essay on constitutional law; and, second, there is a long tradition of US presidents exercising the war power without the advice or consent of Congress.

Whether such presidential actions are in violation of the US Constitution, according to your interpretation, is of no consequence. The Supreme Court has never settled the question and likely never will. But in your near total ignorance, it is an open and shut case.

David said...

Get the facts,
Get the facts straight. I didn't say the Civil War wasn't a war. Of course it was a war. I said that it wasn't, from the Union standpoint, a war between two sovereign states. A formal declaration of war would have implied that the North recognized the South as a separate nation. That wasn't going to happen.

Nor did I cite Lincoln as a perfect example of wartime behavior. I quoted his explanation of why the founders believed that the power to declare war belonged to the Congress, not to the president. On that point, he was right on the money.

History is, indeed, full of examples of presidents stretching or even disregarding the constitutional requirement. My point is that a decision to wage war in Iran would clearly fall within the authority of Congress, not the president. You can dissemble all you want, but you can't change that fact. And the Supreme Court can't change it either.

Please assure me, if you choose to respond again, that you aren't Mellon. If you are, then this thread will follow a familiar pattern: Every point you make will become increasingly obscure, irrelevant and abusive; eventually you will be reduced to racist posturing. Don't waste my time with that.