I thought I had pretty much said all that I needed to say about U.S. involvement in the internal affairs of Libya. At least that is what I though until I saw NBC Nightly News this evening. In the course of their coverage, NBC played a quote by Mr. Obama in which he said something along the lines that “Moamar Gaddafi has lost legitimacy to lead and he must leave…”
I find that quote absolutely ludicrous, considering there are still unanswered questions regarding Mr. Obama’s legitimacy to hold the office of President in the first place. But Mr. Obama’s legitimacy is an issue to be discussed another time. I am writing this to discuss the justification for U.S. military involvement in Libya.
You see, I thought I understood the Constitution the delegation of war powers. I mean, the Constitution is pretty straightforward as to what powers are delegated to Congress, and which ones are delegated to the President.
Article 1, Section 8 states that Congress shall have the power to “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water…” while Article 2, Section 2 states, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…”
That seems pretty clear-cut to me. Congress shall be the ones to declare war, and once we are in a state of war, the president shall be the commander in chief or our armed forces.
If it doesn’t seem that clear to you, maybe further examination is called for. In Federalist #69, Alexander Hamilton wrote, “The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies…”
Read that as many times as required for its full effect to sink in. Because what is says, in simple English, is that unlike the King of Great Britain, the president of the United States does not have the authority to declare war.
I have been paying a great deal of attention to the rhetoric leading up to actual U.S. military involvement in Libya, and I cannot recall hearing Congress declaring war upon Libya. My question therefore is quite simple; under what legal pretense has Mr. Obama utilized one U.S. serviceman, or one piece of U.S. military hardware in an attack upon a sovereign nation? Or, to put it another way, under whose authority is the United States military to be used in hostile actions against another nation?
It would seem that all that is required for a sitting U.S. president to sidestep the Constitution is a resolution from the United Nations. Going back to 1950 that seems to have been the justification for numerous times our military has been sent into harm’s way.
President Truman justified U.S. military involvement in the Korean War upon UN resolutions, while Bush used it for the military intervention in Kuwait, and President Clinton used it for U.S. involvement in Bosnia. While our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is based upon implied grants of authority by UN Security Council resolutions.
The thing is, who the hell is the United Nations to declare that U.S. troops shall be sent off to war based upon some resolution they pass? Did you vote for any member of the United Nations Security Council? Do they represent you, or your district. Do you have the power to impeach, or recall them? Do you have legal recourse to seek redress against a UN resolution that you believe violates your inherent God-given rights?
If the answer to any of the above questions is no, then the UN has absolutely no legal authority to override the United States Constitution, unless of course our Constitution has been voided, and overridden, and we are now, as many have been saying all along, part of a New World Order.
I can think of many reasons as to why a president may wish to send U.S. troops off to fight injustices in foreign lands, but the thing is, he has no legal authority to do so. In fact, in 2006 the United States Army’s Operation Law Handbook clearly stated, “The UN Charter mandates that all member nations resolve their international disputes peacefully, and requires that they refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force. An integral aspect of this proscription is the principle of nonintervention, which provides that States must refrain from interference in other States’ internal affairs.” (my emphasis added) Isn’t that exactly what we are doing with these strikes against Libyan targets, interfering in the internal affairs of another state?
In my last article regarding this issue I used a portion of a quote made by a former United States President, John Quincy Adams. I would like to present it once again for your consideration.
“America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.”
Does that even remotely sound like the America we now live in? Put aside your personal prejudices for a moment, your conservative versus liberal biases, and ask yourself, are the actions of Mr. Obama justified by the United States Constitution? You could ask yourself the same of former Presidents Bush and Clinton as well.
The point I am getting at is that our military is being used by the UN as its own private army to settle disputes across the globe when the truth is that they have no legal authority to utilize them. What’s worse is that our presidents are complicit in this illegitimate use of U.S. armed forces in these UN mandated conflicts.
I keep seeing these stickers, wherever I go, that say, “Support Our Troops.” Dammit, that is exactly what I am doing! I support the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces. I was one of them, for almost 14 years. But I do not support the illegitimate use of our troops as UN peacekeepers or in the intervention in the affairs of a nation that has not directly attacked the United States. There is a huge difference, and by no means am I to be considered unpatriotic because I do not agree with our troops being sent all over the world at the dictates of the UN, or by presidents who feel it is our responsibility to spread democracy.
If any other country in the world had done to us, what we are currently doing to Libya, we would have considered it an act of war. Yet we are so self-righteous that we say it is our duty, our responsibility to safeguard the human rights of others against violations committed by ruthless dictators. Yet, at the same time, when people such as me speak out against the violations of my rights, we are considered radicals and a threat to our way of life. The hypocrisy is so thick I could cut it with a knife.
The point I am trying to make is that we have no business getting involved in the internal conflict in Libya. More importantly, Mr. Obama, without a declaration of war from Congress, has no legal authority to fire one missile, or one bullet for that matter, at a Libyan national or Libyan military facility. If you can’t see that, then I don’t want to hear any complaining from people when they find foreign military troops firing upon U.S. citizens, all under the justification of some UN Security Council resolution.