Home > Politics > Libya: Article One, Section 8 – Is this An Act of War?

Libya: Article One, Section 8 – Is this An Act of War?

March 18, 2011


I am reminded of the book Fahrenheit 451 written in 1951 by one of my very favorite writers – science fiction author, Ray Bradbury, In the sub-text there is a perpetual war going on somewhere in the world. In the 1966 film of the same name, we see people watching war on large screen televisions in their homes. How fortuitous as this was thirty years before large screens were even invented and the Cold War was still on. This is a book and a film for our time to view again as we are considering again engaging in another war and we are being told what to think about it, and that it is justified, and worth every American dollar.

President Obama said Friday the U.S. and its allies were ready to launch a military action against Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi if he didn’t immediately stop all attacks on civilians in his country and pull back his troops from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and three other cities. (Source: LA Times Today Reporting from Washington)

The President may be overstepping his authority by authorizing military strikes against Libya. On March 2, 2011, I watched Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speak to Congress about what is required to set up a no-fly zone. In so many word he actually advised against it.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Wednesday that a no-fly zone in Libya may not be the best solution, saying it would require “a big operation in a big country.” “Let’s just call a spade a spade,” Gates said. “A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses. That’s what you do in a no-fly zone.” Gates’ comments are at direct odds with Sen. John Kerry, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sens. Joe Lieberman and John McCain, who held hearings Wednesday about whether the benefits of a no-fly zone—it could greatly weaken Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s air forces—outweigh the dangers of going into Libya. Source: Daily Beast

Article One, Section 8 of the U.S Constitution
Article One, Section 8 enumerates the powers of Congress, one being the power to declare war. The President on his own does not have that authority.

The War Powers Act
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548) was a United States Congress joint resolution providing that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the United States is already under attack or serious threat. The War Powers Resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. The resolution was passed by two-thirds of Congress, overriding a presidential veto.

It would seem to me, that the President has jumped the gun. Plus, IF this goes to Congress to obtain due authority, what does that say about ANY OF THE CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS WHO VOTE FOR IT WHEN WE HAVE A MAJOR DEFICIT PROBLEM, A JOBLESS RECOVERY, AND PROPOSALS TO SLASH ALL KINDS OF PROGRAMS BECAUSE WHAT????? HOUSE SPEAKER BOEHNER SAYS WE ARE BROKE. Is that a lie, or a lie of convenience? A lie to further the Republican agenda of “smaller government” and less regulation? Has that been a lie all along? Because why on Earth would we engage in another war? Right? I will tell you why. It is because the war making machine, the industry that makes the weapons of war and all the things that support war efforts is extremely powerful.

Unwarranted Influence
“Beware the military, industrial complex”, so said President Dwight D. Eisenhower and a five-star general in the United States Army who led the D-Day invasion of WWII. This man was a Republican’s Republican – but he knew the score. Here is a link to that 1961 speech prior to him leaving office as President Kennedy was stepping in. Read it and you will see exactly what he meant. Here is the key to the matter so well expressed:

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

***end quote

I have written a book all about manipulation. I have written a few posts here about the art of manipulation, the art of deception, and how people use various control tactics and rhetoric TO GET THEIR WAY. This is a perfect teaching moment for everyone to learn how manipulation happens. And who is being manipulated here? Us, the general public who will end up paying for another military adventure. The only people who get rich here are the companies (listed here earlier today) who are part of the war making machine. We commit the bodies, the men and women. We suffer their losses. We anguish over their injuries and sacrifice. We all pay the price.

I hope Americans are an alert citizenry in all matters American and that affect America. Otherwise we are lost.

Here is the link to the list again:
$543 billion in 2010 to Government Contractors, click here

  1. May 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    It is a very sensible approach you have. But there are not any magic spells to avail the war games when there is the smell of oil in the air and geopolitical interests combined. Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and without any apparent major military enemy on the horizon the living standards of the West side are getting worse and worse. A word economic crises is still in effect derived from some ballooning profit games and not from an obligatory spending on a Cold War confrontation. Like the Nobelist Stiglitz said usually the invisible hand that regulates the markets doesn’t work and the main reason is that it doesn’t exist. But we do.

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