The Founders’ Antipathy to Militarism

While the Framers understood the need for a federal government, what concerned them was the possibility that such a government would become a worse menace than no government at all. Their recent experience with the British government – which of course had been their government and against which they had taken up arms – had reinforced what they had learned through their study of history: that the biggest threat to the freedom and well-being of a people was their own government.

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Predictions vs. Reality in Iraq

by Rep Ron Paul

On September 10, 2002  I asked 35 questions regarding war with Iraq. The war resolution passed on October 16, 2002.  Now today, as some of my colleagues try to reestablish credentials regarding spending restraint, I want to call attention to my 18th question from six years ago:

“Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a 100 billion dollar war against Iraq, with oil prices expected to skyrocket and further rattle an already shaky American economy?  How about an estimated 30 year occupation of Iraq that some have deemed necessary to “build democracy” there?”

Many scoffed at my “radical” predictions at the time, regarding them as hyperbole.  Six years later, I am forced to admit that I was wrong.  My “radical” predictions were in fact, not “radical” enough.

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The Constitution, the Executive Branch and War Powers

In reading the Constitution, we can plainly see that Congress possesses the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, to raise and support armies, to grant letters of marque and reprisal, to provide for the common defense,” and even “to declare war.” Congress shares, with the President, the power to make treaties and to appoint ambassadors. As for the Executive, the President is assigned only two powers relating to foreign affairs; commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the power to receive ambassadors.

The United States Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land in our country, delegates the power to declare war to the Congress and the power to wage war to the President. What that means is that only the Congress, as representatives of the People and of the States, can determine whether or not the nation goes to war. If the People, through Congress, decide that the nation shall go to war, the President then, and only then, has the authority to wage it.

Unless the country is being invaded, if the congress does not declare war against another country, the president is constitutionally barred from waging it, no matter how much he desires to do so. This is, again, shown clearly in the following statements:

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Getting out of Iraq: Bringing the Troops Home

by Rep Ron Paul

What will it take to get our troops out of Iraq?   The roughly 70 percent of Americans who are firmly against the war often ask this question.  Those in power are reluctant to give conditions, but when they do and those conditions are met, the goal post is quietly moved.

Voters were promised, passionately and vehemently, that the new Congress would bring our troops home.  Many were explicitly elected in 2006 under that banner.  But our troops are still overseas, funding has been increased even beyond the administration’s wish list, and troop withdrawal has been negotiated away.

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Only Congress Can Declare War

by Michael Boldin

The framers of the Constitution attempted to balance the power of the President as commander-in-chief with that of Congress, the representatives of the People.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation’s armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives to the Legislative Branch the power to decide when the United States goes to war.

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War and the Destruction of the Economy

by Rep Ron Paul

What is the importance of the war in Iraq  relative to other current issues?  This is a question I am often asked, especially as Americans continue to become increasingly aware that something is very wrong with the economy.   The difficulty with the way the question is often asked relates to the perception that we are somehow able to divide such issues, or to isolate the cost of war into arbitrarily defined areas such as national security or international relations.

War is an all-encompassing governmental activity.  The impact of war on our ability to defend ourselves from future attack, and upon America ‘s standing in the world, is only a mere fraction of the total overall effect that war has on our nation and the policies of its government.

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Not my Commander in Chief

Cross-Posted from DailyKos.com with permission of the author, Crashing Vor

Watching Keith [Olbermann] just now, I heard him mention Antonin “Nino” Scalia’s dissenting opinion from today’s ruling in regards habeas corpus rights for detainees.

The lowlight of Justice Scalia’s opinion was the paragraph:

“The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”

While others will surely spend countless hours and buckets of ink and pixels debating the merits or madness of the second sentence, I’ve a bone to pick with the first.

Scalia has, over the years, demonstrated a profound lack of understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the role of the Supreme Court. His devotion to the concept of “originalism” selectively ignores the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, key components of the document as “originally” ratified. The codicil to the majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, in which the nation’s ultimate appeals court, where all legal precedent is finally decided, declares that the judgment in that case is not, in fact, legal precedent.

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Iraq: The Divine Right of Kings Lives On?

Cindy Sheehan, writing in an article titled At What Price, Safety? at Buzzflash today made some excellent points arguing against the use of aggression by the US military against the people of Iraq. She, like many others, realizes that the illusion of security that the federal government claims to provide could never justify its current actions – killing, violations of liberty and the like.

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