June 16, 2011

"Imagine that a country launched a series of bombing attacks on the US to force one of our presidents from office..."

"... and that a second country provided millions of dollars in munitions, fired missiles at our cities via unmanned drones, and refueled the planes of our primary attacker so that they could bomb us more frequently. Would anyone doubt whether that second country was at war with us?"

127 comments:

Seven Machos said...

It's not war. It's just using money and people and military equipment to kill people and break things in order to further political goals.

Hope and change, baby.

kent said...

Vote for a known serial liar, get a known serial liar.

Rialby said...

Why the hell are we doing this anyway?

Kill Khaddafi and his family. Then stop.

Drew said...

We have never been at war with Eastasia.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Off topic, but I just have to note how nice it is to be able to click on an Atlantic link without the fear that it will turn out to be an Andrew Sullivan tantrum.

chickenlittle said...

We could use a man like Robert A. Taft right about now.

A real "Mr. Republican" in the Senate again.

nevadabob said...

Barack Obama is a war criminal.

The Hague.

Fair Trial.

Hang him.

Phil 3:14 said...

Related to this, NPR had a story this am on the growing number of Republican "isolationists". How come Democrats aren't "isolationists"?

(Is "isolationist" a pejorative term?)

Mark O said...

Bill Buckley's dad was a Republican isolationist.

Obama is a liar and he's jut not that smart.

nevadabob said...

"NPR had a story this am on the growing number of Republican "isolationists"

Republicans who want to bring jobs back to America = Isolationist

Democrats who want to bring jobs back to America = Fighting for the little guy.

NPR = Why is this Democrat Party propaganda channel still being funded by Faux Republicans who control the House Appropriations Committee?

Fred4Pres said...

War powers, schomor powers, what this is about is we cannot afford a war, we do not have a lot at stake in Libya, and it was supposed to be a weekend thing that has turned out to be far more complicated and expensive than anticipated.

Can the president do this with out declaring war...yes. Can congress cut off the funding for this shindig (effectively ending it)...of course.

X said...

Imagine that a country launched a series of bombing attacks on the US

I don't have to imagine Iran, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. They exist. And everyone pretends they aren't at war with us.

chickenlittle said...

Can congress cut off the funding for this shindig (effectively ending it without electoral consequences)...of course.

That sounds better!

Carol_Herman said...

Q-Daffy knows the terrain. Libya's just ten miles deep. But it's entire coast all at the water's edge. Would'a been beautiful country. But Q-daffy keep things under control ... by letting his 19 tribal leaders ... rule the locals.

Yes. There is oil. And, there is an over-populated Egypt at one border. But the Libyans don't want the egyptians in.

African nations are not like us.

And, the Saud's are the ones who want Q-Daffy gone. While the military "might" of britain and france are waning. Isn't it best we learn to know that, now?

Q-Daffy hates the Berbers. They once lived in a beautiful enclave, that he emptied out. It's historical value is of major significance. So, I'd guess that's where Q-Daffy has established residence. And, you cannot bomb this stuff! (Sure, Al-Kay-Duh could. But this country wouldn't tolerate something like that.)

Obama? He's trying to fly under the radar. Doubt he accomplishes all that much.

While over in syria, Assad also lives.

Israel learned a long time ago, not to take on the media. And, just to hunker down.

When you've got bull-headed enemies ... just let them tire themselves out.

Eventually? That's the best way to do it. And, by not responding to these crazed types ... you remain ahead.

Obama? I don't think he'll take a one-term presidency as an option. He'd go with the most sour puss man can throw towards his opponents.

While, yes. Obama hopes the GOP remains the stupid party.

The Drill SGT said...

The initial phase of U.S. military involvement in Libya was conducted under the command of the U.S. Africa Command. By April 4, however, the United States had transferred responsibility for the military operations in Libya to NATO and the U.S. involvement has assumed a supporting role in the coalition's efforts. Since April 4, U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts.

Bullet 2 and 3 seem very kinetic to me, but what do I know, oh, I've been to a lot more wars than O'bama...

US lives are clearly at risk in 2). There is no mission riskier than suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD)

nevadabob said...

"Can the president do this with out declaring war...yes. Can congress cut off the funding for this shindig (effectively ending it)...of course."

Will it.

No.

Not as long as Democrats control the Senate.

Keep rockin'.

nevadabob said...

"Obama? I don't think he'll take a one-term presidency as an option."

Barack Obama will be lucky he makes 4 years before he's run out of town on a fucking rail.

Carol_Herman said...

You know, I can't get worked up over Libya. I gave up hope when they didn't modernize. Didn't open any cafes where their people could congregate. And, failed to bring in big casinos. Istead? They went with the russians.

Stupid is as stupid does.

rhhardin said...

I'm not so particular about wars in failed states. They're not sovereign, so we go where we have to to explode the bad guys in their midst.

Obama may or may not have a random policy however.

It can't be worse than his domestic policy though.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I wouldn't think of it as a war. I would just assume it was one of those kinectic thingies.

rhhardin said...

cont

I go with the school that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional.

The funding though has to come from Congress, or a White House garage sale; not funds appropriated for something else.

edutcher said...

Little Zero: It's not a war. It can't be. I'm a holder of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Besides, if somebody gets killed by a drone, it doesn't really count.

Everybody knows that.

Fred4Pres said...

Nevadabob, then let Obama go fight his war and run for reelection on that.

Fred4Pres said...

I am all for the House doing an bill to stop funding and leting the Senate and Obama veto it.

Synova said...

If it were a novel, fantasy or SF or something speaking of power, it would be the power given True Names and the dangers of whatever is False.

There's not a Democrat in office or a Democrat President in History that is not every single bit as prone to military action as any Republican. Being anti-war is a posture, it's a lie, it's a corruption and the results are that maintaining the lie and the posture is more important than dealing with the truth.

Maybe we should go to war with Libya.

I tend to think, no, but I'm not making those decisions. But the person who is making the decision to go to war has made it dishonestly. "It's not war. It's just using money and people and military equipment to kill people and break things in order to further political goals."

Think of any other war, police action, humanitarian mission, kinetic military action we've gotten into without being honest about the nature of the beast? We can start with Viet Nam... Somalia... when else? I'm sure we can get a list. Easing into Bosnia one euphemism at a time.

I don't trust Democrats with the military, (though the first Bush screwed up similarly with Somalia), because they are not honest about it and spend so much time posturing as anti-war that you know they've not seriously considered the nature of military action. Maybe they think their hearts are pure and that means that they can sin just a little bit without consequences. Who knows.

I don't think we should have done a thing, not a thing, in Libya. The question if someone else should have is a different question and may have a different answer.

And I wonder why Obama couldn't see that what the "international community" needed from us was a bankroll and a scapegoat.

But I suppose that would be a bit "meta" for someone famously prone to isolated decision making.

The Drill SGT said...

If you don't believe we have some sheep dipped folks functioning as a TACP then I have a bridge to selll you...

damikesc said...

Obama: Why is it not war? Because...screw you, that's why.

It seems to be his answer for almost all issues these days.

Seven Machos said...

I think Obama's fundamental problem is that he has only scholarly legal experience and no real political experience. As such, he has no other way of dealing with things but to argue out of them. This doesn't work in the real political world where actions have consequences beyond what someone is convinced of.

ricpic said...

It's for the common good. Get with the system, willya?!

nevadabob said...

"Obama: Why is it not war? Because...screw you, that's why. It seems to be his answer for almost all issues these days."

There's a reason for that. It's because Republicans don't have the fucking balls to sue his ass in federal court.

That's changing, maybe. But we'll see.

We have courts for a reason.

Republicans need to quit enabling this lawless bastard and yank his fucking choke-chain.

Lincolntf said...

The Libs are exposed as such lowlifes in the context of Libya. A war with zero debate and we hear crickets from the oh-so principled pacifists and "peace lovers". Here's a clue, you useless hatemongers and blithering ignorami, Bush was doing a good thing for good reasons. This asshole is doing absurd things for no reason.

Seven Machos said...

Nevada Bob is such an idiot. Has to be a moby.

ricpic said...

African nations are not like us.

Speak for yourself. When the mood strikes me I can swan around the house in my dashiki with the best of 'em.

Chip S. said...

It's not war. It's strenuous community organizing.

nevadabob said...

"I think Obama's fundamental problem is that he has only scholarly legal experience ..."

Funny. Because I think his problem is that he's surrounded by a bunch of masturbating pussy-boys who can't even manage their fucking Twitter accounts, much less the entire United States federal government.

Little girly-men who can't even quit their jobs without their fucking wives permission.

I think that may be it.

nevadabob said...

"Has to be a moby."

See, right there you know I hit the nail on the head.

He resoted to name-calling.

Last resort of a Democrat with nothing left to say.

The way you shackle Barack Obama is to sue him in federal court. He is acting unconstitutionally outside the War Powers act and the way you stop him is to have the courts whip him for his lawlessness.

Shouting Thomas said...

Well, all of this bullshit is great, I guess...

But, the president is a Democrat. And, he's black.

So, would you all please shut the fuck up!

I detect subtle racism here.

nevadabob said...

"But, the president is a Democrat. And, he's black."

No, he's not black. He's just a man. I don't see a black man because I don't acknowledge race. I follow the teachings of Martin Luther King before me; I judge a man by the content of his character and not by the tan of his skin. There are no races. Only humans.

Barack Obama isn't evil because he's black. He's evil because he's a Socialist. I wish to see him shackled by a court ... not a man ... whipped in court, not across his back. Enslaved by voters ... not plantation owners.

Big Mike said...

Would anyone doubt whether that second country was at war with us?

As a matter of fact, they wouldn't.

I never have understood why we're messing around in Libya. Historically Qaddafi was a state sponsor of terrorism, but after the invasion of Iraq he seems to have quieted down, not to mention renouncing weapons of mass destruction. Why attack him now? And why not Syria instead?

Do we have notion for certain that Qaddafi won't be replaced by someone no better and probably worse?

So far Obama's justification seems to be that he felt like it, and so there!

It makes no sense from where I sit. Normally I'd consider that the President has access to intelligence information that I and the rest of us do not. But this guy forfeited the benefit of the doubt a long time ago.

mccullough said...

Well, at least Obama has McCain and Lindsay Graham on his side. Putting aside the legalities, why is Obama so bad at the politics here. He came out and said our involvement in Libya would be measured in days not weeks. I suppose we could measure our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan in days as well.

Obama's such a lightweight.

bagoh20 said...

It would be less of a stretch to argue that there is no Libyan nation to be at war with. It's just practice at a firing range where some people are stupidly loitering.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"Vote for a known serial liar, get a known serial liar."

This seems to be a pattern in our choice of recent Presidents.

bagoh20 said...

Also, if MC Q Wad Daffy was ruling my turf, then I would welcome someone bombing him, if they were people with an exceptional history like Americans.

Nothing beats being bombed by Americans in the long run. A prescription for peace, freedom and prosperity, if they win.

Shouting Thomas said...

This seems to be a pattern in our choice of recent Presidents.

The problem is a common failure in humans, magnified by the trappings of power and wealth.

bagoh20 said...

"This seems to be a pattern in our choice of recent Presidents."

If Jesus won the Presidency (Not him, but the real one) someone would still claim him a liar.

Robert Cook said...

"Barack Obama is a war criminal."

Without a doubt. He joins his immediate predecessor in this regard. It's why Obama won't prosecute investigations of the preceding administration for war crimes...he would inevitably be caught up in the investigations himself.

bagoh20 said...

You know who wages war without being a war criminal?

The winner.

Don said...

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Phil 3:14 said...

NevBob said;
He resoted to name-calling. (I presume you meant "resorted")

Previous NevBob, statements;

Barack Obama is a war criminal...hang him

Faux Republicans

Republicans need to quit enabling this lawless bastard

I think his problem is that he's surrounded by a bunch of masturbating pussy-boys ...Little girly-men who can't even quit their jobs without their fucking wives permission.

Barack Obama isn't evil because he's black. He's evil because he's a Socialist. I wish to see him shackled by a court ... not a man ... whipped in court, not across his back. Enslaved by voters ... not plantation owners.

some insight is sorely needed here.

Browndog said...

In a letter to Congress on March 21, Obama cited the War powers Act as his authority to bomb Libya, and said submitting said letter put him in compliance with that Law.

"Days, not weeks" later, this "time limited-scope limited kinetic action" will cost taxpayers $1.1Billion in military assets by the end of September, and another $81 Million in civilian aid....

....thus moving it outside the scope of the War Powers Act.

You can't make this shit up.

Eric said...

Will it.

No.

Not as long as Democrats control the Senate.

Keep rockin'.


Congress won't stop the war in Libya, and it has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. Were the Republicans in charge, even with absolute veto-proof majorities in both houses, they wouldn't stop it either. If Congress steps in, they own whatever happens next.

Imagine what could (likely would) transpire: We pull out, taking our logistical support with us. The Europeans can no longer support air operations and don't have the public support to commit ground troops. Kadaffi regains momentum. He retakes the areas he doesn't control, driving a million penniless refugees into Egypt and puts 200,000 people to the sword. Every night on television there are crying orphans with distended bellies and breathless accounts of the torture and murder of the people "abandoned" by a feckless US Congress.

People in Congress did not get where they are by owning these kinds of volatile situations. They'll criticize and carp from the sidelines, but they won't actually do anything. However it turns out they can claim to have always been on the right side. Either "of course we always supported the operation in Libya, but we had some constitutional concerns" or "we really wish the president had listened when we told him what a bad idea it was, but he was within his powers as commander in chief". Heads I win, tails you lose.

Cedarford said...

mccullough said...
Well, at least Obama has McCain and Lindsay Graham on his side..

===============
The two are about all that remains of the wars of adventure for our Dear Friends, nation-building Neocon Cabal still in office on the Republican side.
It is clear that none of the announced Rep Prez candidates hews to what McCain and Graham and Petreaus worship demanded in 2008. Libya not in our national interest, no "bomb-bomb;bomb!" Iran, no "Save the noble Burmese, Georgians, Darfurans!" humanitarian interventions...and get out of Afghanistan if the Afghans won't step up.

Mark O said...

I know. He's just such a brain that this is a scholarly legal argument. Wrong. It's not much of a legal argument at all. It would lose in any honest court.

Do not underestimate the stupidity of Obama or his untruthfulness. Jesus didn't lie; Obama does.

Hagar said...

No administration is going to admit that the War Powers Act is constitutional, but to give lip service to the Act, while claiming that we are not at war because the U.S. forces and materiel involved is just on loan to NATO, a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, is absurd.

ricpic said...

You know who wages war without being a war criminal?

The winner.


Bingo! Next thread.

Bender said...

US lives are clearly at risk

Just because troops are not on the ground in Libya does not mean that U.S. lives are not at risk. Once you start engaging in acts of war against a country, the entire world becomes the battlefield.

Unlike al-Qaeda, which is out-of-uniform and unattached to a nation and, hence, every member is a war criminal, as the leader of a nation, Khaddafi can act within the laws of war by counterattacking.

But Khaddafi is under no obligation to keep the fight within the borders of Libya. He is now fully justified in taking the fight to Obama elsewhere, attacking U.S. forces anywhere and everywhere.

The lives of U.S. troops everywhere are now "at risk."

Seven Machos said...

I find it ridiculous that anyone seriously believes that a court can quash a war. Truly absurd.

I don't think much of the War Powers Act. There is an obvious political solution. Congress can de-fund the war if it wishes.

Robert Cook said...

"I never have understood why we're messing around in Libya."

Glenn Greenwald has a pertinent column about it here:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/
glenn_greenwald/2011/06/11/libya/index.html

Hint: It involves O - I - L.

Robert Cook said...

"I find it ridiculous that anyone seriously believes that a court can quash a war. Truly absurd."

Why? We're a nation of laws...supposedly. Even the President and Congress are bound by the law...supposedly. (Our last few Presidents have been on a mission to demonstrate they don't need to obey no stinkin' laws.) If we're engaged in military actions that are in violation of the law, why would a court not have legal authority to rule against our continuance of those actions?

"I don't think much of the War Powers Act."

Oh? It's still the law of the land, however much you may disdain it.

traditionalguy said...

We are messing around in Libya to create an oil price spike to bankrupt the US Dollar to replace it with World Governance Money. But the Congress that will not impeach and convict the President by 2/3s Senate vote just needs to let Obama play pretend about Libya like he plays pretend about co2 being a pollutant to justify building an embargo on US energy sources to complete the trap that he is building for us.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I keep rememebring that President Mompants said something about being against dumb wars and....

Seriously how does anyone defend this guy with a straight face?

Guy makes Carter look like Lincoln.

Seven Machos said...

Robert Cook -- Absolutely hilarious that you should mention rule of law. I have been waiting with baited breath for you to tell us under what law any court anywhere in the world is going to try any American political official for all these war crimes you spew about.

Is today the day you tell us about this rule of law?

You are spittle in the wind, dude, signifying nothing.

Seven Machos said...

Guess I'll keep waiting for that rule of law, huh, Robert?

Paddy O said...

I got to thinking about the lend-lease program in WWII. What is especially relevant is the time it started in early (I believe) 1941, before our formal entry into WW2.

We supplied massive amounts of material support in the war against Germany and Japan to nations that were fighting them. So we were no longer neutral (Hitler certainly didn't think so) but we weren't technically at war, either.

Or, opposite, the involvement of Russia and Chinese advisers in Korea and Vietnam. It was a cold war, to be sure, but even though they were active in providing material support, we don't think in terms that Russia and China were actively at war with us.

I'm just thinking out loud, not arguing in behalf of the President, but I'm curious how these issues relate to the present one.

windbag said...

...which is why we don't belong there in the first place. Would we have tolerated an invasion by Canada to stop the abuse of blacks in the 60s? Hardly. What gives us the right to decide who gets to be head of a sovereign nation, shitty as it is?

Seven Machos said...

Don't let separation powers confuse you, people. The president is commander in chief. Congress funds the president's commanding. It's no more complicated.

The president does not have to command any wars. Congress does not have to fund them. Congress is funding this one, so Congress has no basis to complain.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Our last few Presidents have been on a mission to demonstrate they don't need to obey no stinkin' laws

Well if you actually mastered reading comprehension, you would know that Dubya actually did get Congressional authorization for Afghanistan and Iraq. Google is your friend.

Yeah, actually got Congressional authorization like the Consitution requires. Kinda sucks when the facts flush your whole argument down the shitter.

foxtrot said...

It's not in the other countries' best interests to bomb this country and run Obama out of office. Here's why:

Obama is making it to where any country can take advantage of us, both economically and politically.

Why would the Middle East want him out of power, if he is steadfast on not tapping into this country's own sources of petroleum?

Why would Mexico want him out of power, if he is content on allowing Calderón to jettison off his nation's poor by not controlling the borders?

Why would China, India, and other labor providing nations want him out of power, if his severely pro-union mentality are going to push jobs more and more to those countries?

The only possible reason as to why someone would want to perform such a mission would be retaliation for Libya, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

This country is about to fall on its face on its own power, so no need for other countries to waste millions on this project.

Chip S. said...

7M, While you're waiting for RC's answer, here's a question for you.

How does a Congress go about cutting funding for particular military ventures? Certainly in the case of Libya, there can't possibly be a line item in the last budget (esp. since the gov's been operating on the basis of a continuing resolution rather than an actual budget), since it wasn't undertaken at the time of the last budget bill. So that can't simply be repealed.

If the Congress passed a special resolution prohibiting the administration from spending money on military actions of any kind in Libya, how would it be enforced? If they simply cut the Defense budget by the amount being spent in Libya, then the administration could just redirect funds from other uses.

And if the Congress passed some sort of law prohibiting the use of any military equipment, supplies, or personnel in Libya, how would that differ substantively from the War Powers Act? If the administration ignores it, how will it be enforced?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm convinced that Robert Cook is either playing the extreme devil advocate or is so deluded that if a conservative told him the sky was blue he'd say it was a plutocrat lie to somehow fuck the poor.

windbag said...

If the administration ignores it, how will it be enforced?

This is a power grab, and Congress needs to push back. I wrote my Congressman and urged him to do so. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the legitimacy of intervening in Libya (Lybia for you Obama worshipers), Obama is flipping off Congress. The three branches of government have been in a power struggle since before the ink dried on the US Constitution. This is another battle in that war.

kcom said...

Imagine that a man launched a series of sexual attacks on a 38-year-old woman, after giving her drugs and alcohol - that he refused to take her home when she asked him, that he put her naked in a hot tub, that he kissed her when she said no, that he performed cunnilingus on her when she said no, that he forced his penis into her vagina when she said no, that he forced his penis into her rectum when she said no (where he subsequently achieved his "happy ending"). Would anyone doubt whether that man was guilty of rape? No they wouldn't.

But if the 38-year-old woman was actually a 13-year-old girl and the man made really good movies then Whoopi Goldberg would think it wasn't really rape-rape. It's all about the context.

Luther said...

"and breathless accounts of the torture and murder of the people "abandoned" by a feckless US Congress."

You mean like how Congress dealt with South Vietnam. Though at the time the media kept a lid on what happened in SVN after we left. The only exception being that they had to report on the boat people in order to explain all the new faces in America.

Be sure though, that I am making no comparison between SVN and Libya. In SVN we made a promise, if not in words then in deed, then we broke that word. Libya is just another shit storm in a shitty place that will turn into an Islamist pigsty when all is said and done. It's only usefulness to the US being arguments as to interpretation of the War Powers Act.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh yeah and the idea that the rebels are going to institute some progressive democracy is as deluded as Cookie's idea of a worker's paradise. Quadaffi will go and he'll be replaced by another dictatorial strongman or Islamic dictatorship like the rest of that cesspool of a region.

Sorry but in the 21st century we're still talking about 'tribes' and 'clans' in nations then you can safely assume social evolution isn't taking place in those places and it will remain pretty much a shithole, Facebook and Twatter nothwithstanding.

Paco Wové said...

"The lives of U.S. troops everywhere are now "at risk.""

The lives of Americans, period, are at risk. Remember Lockerbie?

Scott M said...

There is no mission riskier than suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD)

A point of order. Being Gingrich's campaign manager would be much more riskier.

Luther said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

Chip -- Any effective law would require a congressional override of a presidential veto.

If the president flouts a law at that point, well, then you have a constitutional crisis on your hands.

Chip S. said...

7M, thx; this is interesting. A follow-up question: Does the difference between the War Powers Act and a law passed explicitly to ban a particular military operation boil down to the ability of the president to veto the latter, since (s)he'd either (a) have enough votes to sustain the veto or (b) be sufficiently chastened by a veto override as to go ahead and shut down the operation?

Otherwise, I'd think that flouting a court order under the WPA (!) would also precipitate a crisis. Or is it your view that no court would issue such an order, for reasons of practicality?

Perhaps your fundamental objection to the WPA is that it doesn't allow the Congress and the President to approach a crisis situation slowly enough, because of its built-in trigger. I can see the logic in that.

Methadras said...

Isn't this a simple criminal action?

Luther said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

In my view, no court is going to touch this with a 10-foot pole. It's a political question, War Powers Act or not.

I don't claim to be an expert on the War Powers Act, but my opinion of it is very similar to the analysis this Wisconsin Supreme Court came up with concerning open hearings, or whatever it's called. Basically, the Constitution sets out the rules in these circumstances. Anything additional amounts to gentlemens' agreements and nothing more.

jeff said...

Well it depends. Did the leader of that second country go before its legistlative body and get a vote approving the assistance in bombing our country to remove Obama? If not, the the answer is clearly "no".

Personally, I think the war powers act is unconstitutional. Which is why congress will not force enforcement. Better that the courts never have to decide. In the past, the POTUS always denied the constitutionality of the war power act, but always abided by it, for the same reason. Congress can always stay out of court and just cut the military budget by the same amount as what the war costs. Then see who blinks first.

Sofa King said...

I have been waiting with baited breath for you to tell us under what law any court anywhere in the world is going to try any American political official for all these war crimes you spew about.


Well...I see no theoretical reason why Quadaffi could not sue Obama in U.S. federal court. He would have standing, after all...

I don't claim to be an expert on the War Powers Act, but my opinion of it is very similar to the analysis this Wisconsin Supreme Court came up with concerning open hearings, or whatever it's called. Basically, the Constitution sets out the rules in these circumstances. Anything additional amounts to gentlemens' agreements and nothing more.


My problem with this is that it essentially renders the Constitutional grant of the authority to Congress to "declare War" into a complete nullity. If this power is completely irrelevant to the actual waging of war, why did the framers put it in there?

Seven Machos said...

Sofa King -- I don't disagree. But Congress has to do something about it. And it's hard to get even 60 percent of 535 people to organize.

Penny said...

"If this power is completely irrelevant to the actual waging of war, why did the framers put it in there?"

Perhaps because they were... "framers"?

Framers? Well, they frame!

Don't mistake. Framing is an extremely valuable service. And to this day.

Is there anyone here who hasn't spent EVEN more money on framing, than on the art that moved their heart and soul in the first place?

flenser said...

rhhardin said...

I go with the school that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional.

I'm trying to find somebody who'll make a decent legal/constitutional argument for the WPA being unconstitutional. It's remarkable how hard such a thing is to find. So I'm interested in hearing why you think that, if you don't mind.

flenser said...

In my view, no court is going to touch this with a 10-foot pole. It's a political question, War Powers Act or not.

Why is the question of whether or not the President is acting unconstitutionally a "political question"? If the president tries to declare martial law and declare himself King, is that a "political question"? If the President announces that he is going to raise taxes, whether Congress likes it or not, is that a political question?

Penny said...

I can only speak for myself here. But I found, over time, that the art I framed became more important.

Not because it was the BEST art, but because the framed art had worked its way to the walls in my house that became a home at a time when I could barely afford a mortgage payment! lol

Heck, what do I know?

Is it about the art? The framing?

Or maybe it's all about the struggle. The struggle to pay for something nice today, that will become a cherished family heirloom tomorrow.

Seven Machos said...

It's a political question because Congress has well within its power its own remedy. Nothing a judge can do changes that. A number of remedies, actually. Just because Congress can't organize itself or isn't willing to risk political capital is not a judge's problem.

flenser said...

I find it ridiculous that anyone seriously believes that a court can quash a war.

Do you find it difficult to believe that a court can curtail a presidents activities? They do it all the time, and that is all that quashing this illegal "war" requires.

flenser said...

It's a political question because Congress has well within its power its own remedy.

That's an absurd non-answer. The responsibility for the defense of the Constitution rests with all government officers. (And with the American people, for that matter)

Congress always has the potential power to impeach the President. But the courts do not normally refuse to involve themselves with cases of executive overreach on that account. In the Bush years the SCOTUS told the President on several occasions that what he was doing was outside the constitution. And those instances involved relatively trivial constitutional matters. The Court did not shrug its collective shoulders and say "Tough luck, Boumediene, if Congress declines to impeach him the President can do as he wishes".

Seven Machos said...

I'm not talking about impeachment. There's no high crime or misdemeanor here. I am talking about de-funding the war. Congress has 100 percent control of the purse. Congress does not need the president to make law.

If Congress doesn't wish to de-fund, then Obama is doing nothing wrong. He is merely using the military to further American interests under the auspices of his interpretation of his role and existing law.

Revenant said...

Congress has 100 percent control of the purse. Congress does not need the president to make law.

Congress has 100% control of the purse in the sense that they control the total amount of money the military gets. They can't actually stop the President from deciding to, say, NOT buy that extra stealth bomber and use the money to fund another six weeks of dead Libyans instead.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- I don't agree. If Congress passes a law that says that no money can be spent attacking any entity in Libya, that's a very specific law that, if flouted, would cause a serious constitutional crisis.

Penny said...

Anyway, SORRY! I got sidetracked from Althouse's "frame".

In her picture, her art...she seems to want us to pretend that we are "Libya".

Only not REALLY, Libya. But "Libya", as if Libya were America.

flenser said...

I am talking about de-funding the war. Congress has 100 percent control of the purse.

How, specifically, can Congress de-fund the war? Congress never funded the war in the first place - how do they de-fund it? They could zero out the entire DOD budget I suppose. Is that what you're suggesting?

Besides, you're evading the legal and constitutional question. It is not normally the case that a president who acts un-constitutionally is ignored by the courts. Why should it be so here?


If Congress doesn't wish to de-fund, then Obama is doing nothing wrong.

Non sequitur. Whether or not the President is doing something wrong is completely disconnected from what Congress does or does not do. It's even completely disconnected from what the courts do or not do. If the President declares himself King, he is doing something wrong. He is doing something wrong even if Congress and the SCOTUS applaud his action.


He is merely using the military to further American interests under the auspices of his interpretation of his role and existing law.

Maybe you have not been following along here, but "existing law" specifically forbids him from doing what he is doing. And he may not "interpret" powers to himself which are not his under the Constitution.

Revenant said...

Why is the question of whether or not the President is acting unconstitutionally a "political question"?

It is up to Congress to decide whether or not it has authorized the President to wage war. The court's opinion on the subject doesn't matter.

Thus far, Congress has decided to punt -- it has refused to either confirm or deny that Obama's war is authorized by it.

Seven Machos said...

Rev nails it. In political reality, if Congress makes enough noise, military engagement with Libya stops. Congress is very powerful if it chooses to act with a 60 percent voice.

flenser said...

If Congress passes a law that says that no money can be spent attacking any entity in Libya, that's a very specific law that, if flouted, would cause a serious constitutional crisis


We have a "serious constitutional crisis" every time a President acts like the US military is his own private army and not that of the American people. We have a "serious constitutional crisis" every time a President starts a war with some country which was not attacking us.

Besides, Congress has already passed one law - the War Powers Act - which the President is currently simply ignoring. Why would his ignoring another law reiterating the same principle - Congressional preeminence in starting wars - be any big qualitative change?

If you believe your own arguments then he is just as much entitled to ignore the law you postulate above as he is to ignore the WPA.

flenser said...

It is up to Congress to decide whether or not it has authorized the President to wage war. The court's opinion on the subject doesn't matter.

That's a statement, not an argument of any sort. Much less a legal argument.

I can write these as well as you can.

It is up to SCOTUS to decide whether or not Congress has authorized the President to wage war. The court's opinion on the subject does matter.

There, case closed!

Seven Machos said...

Flenser -- We do not currently have a constitutional crisis. For if we did, then it must be true that we have had an ongoing constitutional crisis since 1945, as our military and intelligence agencies are perpetually bombing, raiding, and otherwise violating the obvious sovereignty of other countries since then.

Take off your anti-Obama glasses for a second, dude.

Penny said...

So there you have it...

Althouse "art".

I'd frame it!

Course my mortgage is paid up. So there's that.

And it was a struggle, but hey.

Now I can go around commenting on "The Art of Framing"...and even "The Framing of Art".

flenser said...

Thus far, Congress has decided to punt -- it has refused to either confirm or deny that Obama's war is authorized by it.

That's a really peculiar way of looking at things. Unless you are suggesting that Congress secretly agreed on a Authorization for use of Force in Libya? Because Congress does not have to affirmatively deny that Obama's war is authorized by it. It is not the case that Obama may do what the Congress does not specifically deny him from doing.

Obama may not start a war without Congressional authorization. That restriction on his power is not political - it's Constitutional. And when a President flouts the Constitution, all the other branches of government are supposed to try to stop him. Not just Congress.

Seven Machos said...

Obama may not start a war without Congressional authorization.

Dude, seriously. Get over yourself. Were you up in arms like this over Grenada?

Congress can reign in Obama if Congress so chooses. Unless Obama decides to flout Congress, which he will not do, there's nothing remotely like a constitutional crisis here. This is politics. Deal with it.

flenser said...

We do not currently have a constitutional crisis. For if we did, then it must be true that we have had an ongoing constitutional crisis since 1945, as our military and intelligence agencies are perpetually bombing, raiding, and otherwise violating the obvious sovereignty of other countries since then.

Take off your anti-American glasses for a second, dude, and you'll see that this claim is mostly an evasion and partly a fabrication.

It's immaterial whether or not the US has been "perpetually bombing, raiding, and otherwise violating the obvious sovereignty of other countries" since 1945. Leaving aside the fact that you sound exactly like Noam Chomsky, the only bombing, raiding etc which matters in the current context is that which happened outside the following circumstances. With Congressional permission: In response to an attack on US forces or interests which did not permit time for Congressional consultation.

I'm not going to say that no previous President has taken liberties with his CinC powers. To the extent it has happened before, that was wrong too. But you'd be hard pressed to come up with more blatant examples of executive misbehavior than Libya. Bosnia is the only example which come to mind.

Seven Machos said...

Not one American boot touched the ground in Bosnia. I would, in fact, suggest that Bosnia is the Obama administration's blueprint.

Grenada, under Reagan, was the constitutional crisis you are looking for.

Also, I'm a conservative libertarian and very hardcore Republican. Just so you know.

flenser said...

Dude, seriously. Get over yourself. Were you up in arms like this over Grenada?

What sort of retarded ass "argument" is that, dude? I asked for legal/Constitutional arguments, not this whiny "But so-and-so did it too!" bullshit.

Yes, dammit, I expect Republican Presidents to obey the law also. Are you done channeling your inner Kossak now?

flenser said...

Grenada, under Reagan, was the constitutional crisis you are looking for.

I bet you think you're making a brilliant point, but I'm damned if I know what it is. Not being an old geezer like you, I'm none too familiar with this Grenada business. But let's assume that Reagan did flout the constitution. Do you think that makes it ok for all presidents to do so?

Penny said...

"Also, I'm a conservative libertarian and very hardcore Republican. Just so you know."

Oh, I know, honey.

But come closer. I'd like to check out your imagination.

Seven Machos said...

Okay, dude. You are against Reagan's invasion of Grenada and Obama's invasion of Libya on purely procedural constitutional grounds that you define out of thin air. Not to mention Serbia and probably Somalia, the Iranian hostage rescue attempt, and the Haiti relief effort.

But I am the Chomskyite. Okay, Chief. Gotcha. Whatever you say.

Penny said...

Dude?

You called me "dude"?

Seven Machos said...

Not being an old geezer like you

It's good to know that you are a starry-eyed junior high school student. It's good to get some context.

Go to bed, child. Or at least switch to porn so you can masturbate furiously and ease some of this overwrought political angst.

Penny said...

OK then!

Ain't no art in your heart, Seven Machos.

I s'pose you fancy yourself a framer then?

flenser said...

Congress can reign in Obama if Congress so chooses.

Perhaps. The question I was asking was why some people believed that SCOTUS may not or should not reign in Obama.

Unless Obama decides to flout Congress, which he will not do

The saying "Thick as two short planks" some to mind. Obama is currently flouting Congress. He is flouting the WPA, which is the will of Congress and the law of the land. In some of your responses you even admit that he is doing this - you just think he is free to do as he likes up to the point where Congress impeaches him.

If he is free to do that with respect to the WPA then he is free to do that, period. Your notion that Congress should pass another law, and if Obama steps across that line in the sand he's really in trouble, is incoherent.

Penny said...

That's all we needed to know really.

Seven Machos is a "framer".

flenser said...

Okay, dude. You are against Reagan's invasion of Grenada and Obama's invasion of Libya on purely procedural constitutional grounds that you define out of thin air.

You had not asked me to define the Constitutional grounds. Are you asking me to do that now? If so I can certainly do so. I love the dismissive reference to " purely procedural constitutional grounds"! Quick, remind me again of what a staunch libertarian/conservative you are.

Of course what I was hoping to find here was an intelligent critic of the WPA who could explain that point of view to me. I'm sensing you are not that person.

Seven Machos said...

Obama is currently flouting Congress.

No, dude. You are wrong. A correct statement would be: Obama is currently flouting the stated will of a few members of Congress. A Congress that can't get to 50 percent and sometimes 60 percent is utterly useless.

He is flouting the WPA, which is the will of Congress and the law of the land.

The War Powers Act is most certainly not the will of this Congress.

The short story, dude, is that you are are full of sound and fury but you really don't know what you are talking about. If Congress wants to de-fund Obama's war, let Congress do so. If Congress even wants to resolve that Obama should cease this military operation, let Congress do so.

But Congress has done nothing. Nothing. So your argument that there is some unified force in Congress opposing this war and therefore some constitutional crisis is utterly stupid and futile.

Maybe a summer job? Bagging groceries? Selling fireworks?

andinista said...

Go back and read the American founding history. Several times Washington had to mount letter writing campaigns to Congress when he started hearing rumors that certain Members were becoming dissatisfied with the prosecution of the War.

Washington was a very proud guy, but he did and said what he had to, to keep the Congress satisfied.

Compare and contrast. Washington constantly keeping the Congress informed and on-board, versus Barry with his either laziness and/or standoffish condescension.

What would McCain have done?

AllenS said...

Here is obama's response:
U.S. forces are playing a constrained and supporting role in a multinational coalition, whose operations are both legitimated by and limited to the terms of a United Nations Security Council Resolution that authorizes the use of force solely to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under attack or threat of attack and to enforce a no-fly zone and an arms embargo.

This motherfucker needs to be impeached.

Marshal said...

I wonder how this fits into Meade's "I like it when Obama lies" theorem.

Sofa King said...

The War Powers Act is most certainly not the will of this Congress.

Irrelevant. It is the law, duly enacted per the Constitutional authority of Congress. As such, it has as much legal force as a law passed yesterday.

The problem, I think, is that you are making a pragmatic argument where a legal one was asked for. It's pretty obvious that, practically speaking, Obama *can* do what he is doing. If otherwise, he would not have been able to do it. That is not what flenser wanted to talk about, but you continue to berate him for not wanting to change the subject with you.

art.the.nerd said...

Oh for f*ck's sake. He's the President. He's black. Any criticism of his policy is traitorous and racist. Why won't you fools understand that?

(I hope readers are smart enough to know that was sarcasm.)

george said...

Imagine that a country launched an attack to drive our president from office? You had me at hello!

RonF said...

On Neptunus Lex he asked (and I paraphrase):

We are at war in four different countries. Are we now not in World War III? If not, what exactly is the cutoff for the number of countries that we have to be at war with to be such?

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