WINDS OF WAR: Congress’ Lack of Patriotism

Our division of opinion on the Wars in Iraq, Afganistan and secret wars being conducted by our government has become so confused, with the assistance of an extremely lazy and under-resourced media, that real discourse leading to compromise and resolution of the issues has become our greatest challenge. In other words, we are not talking about the real issues. Instead we are talking from ideological mindsets and assumptions that do not permit facts or alternative possibilities to enter into our discussion.

We have lost our way, lost our moral leadership and standing, and are viewed with suspicion and fear around the world. We have a constitution but everybody on all sides of every issue wants to ignore its provisions. Lies about WMD, personal agendas, and ideological crusades are NOT the reason we are in Iraq without clearcut goals and missions. The reason the goalpost keeps moving is NOT the incompetence of the Bush administration. The reason is that we stopped following rules we all swear to when we pledge allegiance to the Flag or swear to protect the United States Constitution.

On War, the constitution is quite clear and nobody contests that. There are arguments that certain provisions are impractical or wrong — just like on issues like abortion, guns, etc.. But just as slavery was contained in our constitution and we all decided that it was wrong, we made sure that the whole concept of slavery and inferior races was prohibited by amending the consitution and taking it out. If you disagree with the constitution there are provisions available for amending it through the political process. In the meanwhile, in a nation of laws, whatever it says IS the law and anyone who suggests ignoring its provisions is attacking the foundation of our republic. Anyone who suggests changing it by amendment is acting as a true patriot whether you agree with him/her or not. Anyone who suggests or acts on ignoring the constitution is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Bush is not the culprit here. It was congress who ignored the constitution and acted accordingly. The Iraq resolution was a delegation of power to the president to declare war. He committed no act of treason by asking for the power. When Congress delegated that power to the President, they violated the very core, intent and express wording of the consitution, which provides that ONLY Congress may declare war and ONLY congress may vote to fund it to such extent as congress deems necessary. True a President who knowingly accepts powers not authorized by the consitution is acting wrongly,and equally true he shouldn’t have asked for it. But he didn’t actually do it, Congress did.

So now we have a war declared by the President (i.e., unauthorized) with congress voting to fund it (unauthroized because they never declared war in the first place), with virtually no oversight to determine what policies should be funded and what policies should be changed. Instead we are wasting our time blaming each other and pointing fingers at unpatriotic people who either support the war or are against it. It isn’t the people who are unpatriotic, it’s Congress.

Every congressman, every congresswoman, every Senator who voted for the Iraq war resolution committed an act of violence to our republic — not because the war itself was wrong or right but because they were giving the power to decide on the war to the one person the writers of the constitution did NOT want to see holding that power. If we really want to see the president holding the power to make and declare war then the constitution needs to be amended according to its own terms. I for one hope that such an amendment is never introduced or passed. But if it is, then we can expect more disgrace in the eyes of the world not so much for what we do, but for the way we did it.

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