Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Keep them stateside

Too many wars fail to pass muster as just and necessary ones. Yet these are the type our government has been fighting lately. Opponents of these wars may get discouraged; indeed, it is difficult to avoid doing so. Yet the opposition to our wars is strong, and it is growing.

Lamentably, this growing opposition has effected no change as yet. The current president has won his Nobel Peace Prize, but he has done so while continuing the war in Iraq and escalating the war in Afghanistan. The Democrats in Congress are more considered with passing a shoddily assembled health care bill than doing anything to change our foreign policy, and the voters seem willing to go along with the President--for the time being, anyway.

But there is some good news to report. Certain states, including the one in which I live, are in the process of passing bills which restrict the Federal Government's ability to deploy the National Guard overseas without permission from the states. We don't really know if these bills will pass, or, if passed, they will be held up by courts if challenged by the Federal Government. These bills are nonetheless a step in the right direction.

As Steve Burns puts it:

Just take a look at our current situation: The United States exists in a permanent state of war, can even be said to be addicted to war, and all decision-making about the question of war has now been placed in the hands of one man: the President. Whatever we think of the current occupant of that office, this is clearly a dangerous, unhealthy and undemocratic state of affairs...

Congress no longer even bothers to declare war, even though it is the only body given authority by the constitution to do that. Instead, it passes "Authorizations for Use of Military Force" which are either based on blatant falsehoods, like the Iraqi Authorization, or are an unconstitutional abdication of Congressional war-making powers to the President, as with the Afghanistan Authorization, which says, in effect, "You go wherever you think you need to go, and for as long as you need to, Mr. President, in pursuit of the people who did 9/11, and we'll just sit here and sign the checks."

Make no mistake about it: the American people will not continue to fight these wars forever. And I don't mean that we'll win these wars and then suddenly return to a humbler foreign policy. Too many people make too much money off of war for it to simply end. But for that same reason, the American people will eventually tire of sending their sons and daughters to die in defense of vague causes in wars that never really end. The attempts by the States to reign in the Federal Government are a good start, and merit our full support.

1 comment:

troutsky said...

I was confused about the "just and necessary" at the top but agree with all your points. The executive branch has been given/usurped way too much power and this War on Terror is way too vague. "Enemy combatants" can be found in dozens of small and large countries. Are we at war with all of them?

The war should be on global poverty and injustice.