John R. Houk
© March 25, 2011
I finished reading a Norma Zager post that begins with a bit of sarcasm of President Barack Hussein Obama’s decision to establish a No-Fly Zone in Libya that enables the Libyans that wish to be free of a nutcase dictator like Moammar Qaddafi to have a chance at freedom.
Frankly I find it a little amusing that BHO’s Leftist base and Conservatives alike are castigating BHO for this act. The Leftists are upset that Obama may have gotten America involved in a Middle War ala President George Bush. Many Conservatives who correctly do not trust the President Obama agenda rail about the abuse of the Constitution because the President neither had Congressional approval nor a Congressional declaration of war.
Here’s the thing for me. Libyan civilians were being fired upon by Qaddafi’s loyal contingent in the Libyan army as well as by mercenaries hired for the very purpose of killing anti-Qaddafi Libyans. The thing that became too much for Europeans, Americans and the Arab League was that Qaddafi was slaughtering Libyans with aircrafts and big guns such as tanks. It was beginning to look like genocide.
Now I am sure that Europeans (really the French and the British) and the U.S. government began to weigh Qaddafi’s genocide instrumentation in the light of the flow of oil to Western markets – especially Europe. Considerations were probably based on if Qaddafi quickly beat down his opposition perhaps the oil would flow. However, if the Libyans rebelling against Qaddafi’s 40 year despotism succeeded in a protracted civil war perhaps the flow of oil would be stopped up like a dam. I am guessing it was decided that if a protracted period was involved it would be ultimately profitable to get rid of Qaddafi; ergo the decision to wipe out Qaddafi’s air force and to seriously damage Qaddafi’s big guns especially land to air defenses became the politically correct consensus.
As a lowly no-name blogger I can’t prove the reason for America, France and the UK to defend Libyans from genocide was based on the effect of oil flow but I am betting it is a pretty good guess.
Regardless of a coalition of National Interests deciding to attack Qaddafi, the decision to get rid of Qaddafi is just as morally good as it was for President Bush to bring down the butcher of Bagdad Saddam Hussein. I can understand the consistency of American Leftists railing at Obama; however Conservatives should be getting behind BHO’s decision. To not do so is morally reprehensible.
I still regard President BHO as a deceptive Leftist with an agenda to transform America away from its Christian roots and the intentions of the Founding Fathers’ concept of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Whatever the reasoning that inspired the President to proceed with the act of attack, it is a humane action.
On September 25, 2001 the Deputy Counsel in the Justice Department wrote a memorandum to then President G.W. Bush that provided legal precedent, Constitutional analysis and marked events in history in which Presidents acted without a formal declaration of war. It is a quite lengthy memorandum justifying GW’s ability to launch an attack on Afghanistan to seek the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack on American soil. In full disclosure I have to admit I only read half of it.
The key point of that memorandum was a distinction of the Constitution’s use of Congress “declaring war” as opposed to the Executive Branch – President – “making war” without Congressional consent. The distinction being that Congress validates a war by declaring which enables the President to prepare money allocation as seen fit to make war as the Chief Executive and the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. Of course extra funding needed would still need Congressional Approval but the declaration of war enables the President to not have to justify every dot and penny being spent in the execution of a war.
The memorandum also clarifies that the President has authority to defend the Homeland and American interests outside of the nation militarily without Congressional authorization. After the lengthy Vietnam War, Congress passed the War Powers Act (WPA) with the intention of limiting the broad way in which a Chief Executive can embroil America in a war without Congressional input. However later, many critics realized that the WPA actually gave a President unbridled power to wage war for 60 days without Congressional input. This alone would empower President Obama to execute the military operation in Libya; however critics of the WPA maintain there is a Constitutional issue with the WPA not being in the Constitution ergo cannot exist without a Constitutional Amendment.
The memorandum in 2001 pretty much justifies the WPA act in the case of responding to attacks at home and attacks abroad of American National Interests. For example President Carter would have been well within his Executive Power to launch a military attack on Iran without Congressional approval because Iranian lackeys of Ayatollah Khomeini attacked American sovereign space provided for the U.S. Embassy in 1979. Of course Carter did not do so.
Carter won his 1976 election because of the bad taste of the Vietnam War and of President Nixon’s Watergate Scandal which left a huge mistrust of Presidential power in the American public’s mind. Even I voted for Carter. My vote was not based on a Leftist/Right Wing political spectrum but purely on Nixon’s criminal activities which disparaged the Office of President which had a further picture of corruption when unelected President Gerald Ford gave President Nixon a blanket Executive Pardon so that Nixon could never be prosecuted in a non-Presidential capacity.
With great hopes in a President Carter that would transform the Office of President into a trusted Office again, America elected him over Gerald Ford in 1976. Carter’s continuous flip-flopping on domestic and foreign policy soon became evidence of President Carter’s Presidential incompetence. The final nail in the Carter Administration came into fruition of his handling of Iranian unrest over the Shah of Iran that led to the eventual Islamic purist psycho-dictatorship of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini overcame the rivalry of Marxist revolutionaries and secular republic factions to wrest absolute control of Iran from the Shah. How did Khomeini get there?
The Khomeini/Marxist/Secularists received a boost from President Carter who sold out American ally Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi because the Shah used vicious police state tactics of the SAVAK secret police to get rid of anti-Shah Iranians via persecution, torture and murder. Carter was correct that the Shah’s methods were evil; however instead of slow reform Carter pushed for immediate reform which led to displeased Iranians to get behind a greater evil in Ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini went on to allow the U.S. Embassy to be invaded which resulted in torture of American citizens that had diplomatic immunity for about a year until the last day of Carter’s Presidency in which President Reagan assumed Office. My evident displeasure with the Carter Presidency is a digressive story of failure. The point is Carter failed to use his power of Commander-in-Chief to plan an aggressive punitive plan to make Khomeini and his supporters suffer for a major breach of international protocol of State sovereignty. There were no contingency plans for the first use of a special force that came into existence to rescue the Embassy Hostages. When it failed Carter was left in the weak position of accepting humiliation from the psycho-Ayatollah about the release of American Embassy hostages. (Incidentally one of the leaders of the Embassy assault was none other than Iran’s current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.)
Presidents Reagan and Clinton both used Commander-in-Chief Privilege denying the limitations of the WPA although ultimately both consulted with Congress within the 60-90 period of WPA rendering moot any Constitutional Executive-Legislative confrontations. President George H.W. Bush ultimately had Congressional approval in the First Gulf War against Iraq even though it was not a declared war. President G.W. Bush ultimately had full Congressional approval for Afghanistan and the hotly debated support for the second Iraq War.
In this era when communication is near instantaneous and information about genocide and slaughters are difficult to hide, it is incumbent upon the leader of the most power military in the world to demonstrate acts of military humanitarianism. In America, humanitarianism and Constitutional authority for the Chief Executive are not necessarily a compatible proposition. However, the Constitution does allow the Chief Executive to use military action Constitutionally to protect American National Interests. Arguably the Libyan civil war hampers the oil market which in turns affects everything from gas prices to Wall Street. It is easy to sell the voters on the fact it is a humanitarian military expedition in which America helped initiate but intends to transfer military operations to another military authority. To comply with the U.S. Constitution the President has to demonstrate that the psycho-Qaddafi refusal to leave Libya’s leadership position hurts the American National Interests.
President Obama is a Leftist transformationist in the style of Antonio Gramsci; nonetheless any effort to stop the genocide of Libyan people no matter the actual reasons is a good thing. Let us all pray that BHO does not slip back into appeasement ideology thinking things will mysteriously work itself out via negotiated diplomacy. Negotiated diplomacy rarely if ever works with insane leaders or leadership blocs.