Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Hiatus, 2

According to the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, section 8), the power to declare war has been delegated to Congress. According to my information, Congress' last formal declaration of war took place on June 5, 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

Ever since that time, commanders-in-chief have allocated troops to various military adventures without a formal declaration. (Yes, it happened before WWII, as well.) Congress has acquiesced, has funded these hostile actions, but has not lived up to its Constitutionally delegated responsibility of declaring war.

Ronald Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada; Bush I ordered the first invasion of Iraq and of Panama; Clinton ordered the bombing in Kosovo; Bush II ordered the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; and Obama continues the Bush-initiated war.

These were not cases in which we invaded nations that stood poised to attack us. Other motivations came into play including, in the case of Iraq, a lingering irrational desire among Americans to "make the towel-heads (any towel-heads) pay for 9/11".

Some say that Congressional approval of the President's military action along with its funding of that action amount to an implicit declaration of war. I think it's a copout for politicians who always think of the next election and want plausible deniablity. ("I was for the war before I was against it.")

Is a presidentially-initiated war unconstitutional? If so, are the troops who fight it violating their oath to preserve, protect and defend said Constitution?

Or is this one of those "gray areas" where we praise the actions of the presidents we like and condemn the very same actions taken by the presidents we don't like?

BTW, Oath Keepers has a new website:

The hiatus is about over. Next time, let's look at the Biblical procedure for initiating hostilities.

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