Wednesday, June 15, 2011

N.A.T.O. And The War Powers Act.

I want to start this post with a brief introduction that's given to any new member of NATO* to give you all an idea of which direction I'm going with this.  (*Not really)

So you've decided to join the North American Treaty Organization?  Well, congratulations!  You are now the twenty-seventh member country to put world peace ahead of your petty squabbles with that silly country next door.

Here are the other 26 members of NATO:

-Czech Republic
-United Kingdom
-United States of America

Your first goal as a member of NATO is to get to know your new allies!  These 26 countries are now united with you, and will no longer attack your blossoming nation.  Keep in mind that, while they will come to your aid against invaders, you must also show your support by defending them in case of an attack.  

NATO was formed shortly after the end of WWII, and is an organization of allies intent on keeping world peace with the mere threat of, "Don't do it or we will all come after you."  It sounds intimidating and a bit dark, but it usually works and force is not always necessary.

As a new member of NATO, you and your country will be required to show support for the current attack on Libya and its civilian slaughtering leader.  The world cannot tolerate such a person to lead a nation, nor can the world expect free countries to sit back and watch innocent people get shot, gassed, and murdered by said dictator's armies.

"But what if my country has a document that the government adheres to, as if it were a mandate from the Heavens itself?"

Good question!  Let's look at the United States for great, current example.  The U.S. has a document called the Constitution that was written by its founding fathers more than two hundred years ago.  Of course, if you ask one of their politicians, they will tell you that angels forged the paper upon the breast of God, wrote it with the blood of Jesus Christ, and then used its holy power to sear the eyeballs of the tyrannical King George himself.  

Now, the Constitution gives the control and power of the U.S. military to the executive branch (better known as the president).  But, with its almost unending amount of checks and balances, the executive branch cannot declare war without the approval of the legislative branch (as said by the War Powers Act, a piece of legislation that basically took away the president's power and has been largely ignored by presidents of both parties).  So what happens when NATO needs the assistance of a member country that is constantly embroiled in political troubles?  Well, NATO calls on all of its allies, as the treaty allowed it to do, for immediate action.  If the leader of the member nation isn't a complete and total selfish asshole, he will go over the heads of the corrupt legislative branch to do what is right.  

Let's take another look at Libya.  No ground forces are required to be deployed - and the U.S. has done nothing but bomb the totalitarian regime in charge.  So, nobody within the U.S. military is getting harmed and, one better, an evil man is losing his grasp on the country he once ruled with an iron fist.  It's very similar to the Iraq War.  The leader of Iraq was an awful man, and because the president had the support of the legislative branch (as his own party was in control of it), he had no trouble declaring war on him.  

The situation is similar to Libya, although this time, NATO called for the attack, and has pledged its full support.  NATO has the President of the United States in a bit of a pickle.  He has to honor the treaty and the U.S. Constitution/War Powers Act.  So the question becomes: Which document(s) is more important?

A.) A document that puts one singular nation above every other in the world or
B.) A document that puts the welfare of the world over any one singular nation.

If you circled response "A", then you account for the Republican party in the United States.  If you circled response "B", then you are probably anybody else in the world (a.k.a. "a smart person").

You see, while the American Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution is above any and all treaties, we as human beings must look to a country in peril and pledge our support.  Don't be like the U.S. and put party politics and character assassination attempts before the welfare of innocent civilians.  Remember: Citizens not of your country are just as important as those within.  A person is a person, life is life. 


That document I made up is right!  How is it that ousting a dictator in Iraq is okay, and ousting one in Libya is not?  Why is it that the word of Republican President George W. Bush was enough to mobilize this entire country for war, yet the word of Democratic President Barack Obama and NATO gets everyone's panties in a fucking twist?  

Look.  I am absolutely no fan of war.  I hate it.  But the leader of Libya (I won't even try to spell his name - I've seen about 100 different ways to spell it) has refused to step down, and has increased his attacks against his own civilians.  That simply cannot stand.  NATO acted appropriately, and as a member country of NATO, it is our job to do our part and help out.  No soldiers are on the ground.  I really don't see the problem.  I also don't see why any member of Congress would attempt to sue the president over it.  Libya's dictator is running out of time.  This whole thing with Libya will be over with before the end of the Summer.  And yet many people, Republicans mostly but Democrats as well, want us to back down.  So much for showing those terror-inspiring no-good bastards who's the boss, huh?

So who is filing the lawsuit against President Obama?  A group of politicians that include John Boner - I mean Boehner! -, Dennis Kucinich, Walter Jones, and nine other legislators.  Might I remind you all that Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, is also the man that sued a U.S. Representatives cafe-fuckin'-teria for selling him a sandwich with an olive pit in it.  He bit into the sandwich so ferociously that his teeth struck the pit and caused dental damage.  Who bites down on a sandwich that roughly to begin with?  Sounds like someone needs some money after a failed presidential run in 2008...

"I take every initial bite into a sandwich as serious as
if I were trying to bite through pure steel."

Want to know something funny?  It took me all of ten minutes to Google whether or not this lawsuit had a case.  No surprise - it doesn't.  The War Powers Act of 1973 is, essentially, unconstitutional to begin with, as it took away the executive branch's power to declare war and placed it under the control of the legislative branch.  While I agree that the legislative branch should have some control over whether or not the U.S. goes to war (it does or should, after all, represent we the people), it shouldn't have the last say in it.  That is the commander-in-chief's job.

Here's a quote from the War Power's Act: "SEC. 8. (b) Nothing in this joint resolution shall be construed to require any further specific statutory authorization to permit members of United States Armed Forces to participate jointly with members of the armed forces of one or more foreign countries in the headquarters operations of high-level military commands which were established prior to the date of enactment of this joint resolution and pursuant to the United Nations Charter or any treaty ratified by the United States prior to such date."

In other words, any treaty signed before 1973 does not adhere to the War Power's Act.  NATO was founded in the 1940's...

And that's just on our side of the line.  NATO requires the involvement of all its members when something like this goes down.  If the U.S. were to pull out of the Libyan conflict now, how would that look to our 25 allies?  Pretty shitty, I'd imagine.  

Ten years down the road, if we were to be invaded, maybe those 25 countries will decide that it "unconstitutional" for their armies to come to our aid.  

How about we stop with the political party circus and start focusing on actual issues.  The mere fact that we are already gearing up for the next presidential run (there won't even be a fuckin' vote for 17 more months!) is both scary and ridiculous.  There are things going on in the world that require everyone's immediate attention, and guess what?  A stupid lawsuit against the president isn't one of them.  Drop it.