September 3, 2013
Obama caves on Syria to avoid appearance as Military Dictatorship
September 3, 2013. Washington. (ONN) The entire world is confused as to why President Obama suddenly halted his promised attack on Syria this weekend. With only 21 percent of Americans firmly behind a military attack, it wasn’t the lack of authority that pushed Obama’s reluctant decision to seek Congressional approval for war with Syria. It was the British Parliament’s vote on the question that did it.
Why is Pres. Obama suddenly asking Congress for approval for military action? Image courtesy of IndyBay.org.
It is specific instances like these that make the proverbial light bulb go off in the minds of Americans. And the Syrian War was set to be one of those historical moments of enlightenment. While there is no universal agreement as to President Obama’s motives, it may have been his need to turn that light bulb off as quickly as possible.
The problem for President Obama is that America’s form of government for the past 12 years – a republican-dictatorship – was suddenly front and center in the lives of everyday Americans. The question millions of citizens curiously asked themselves was, ‘How is it that the Prime Minister of England needs the consent of Parliament to go to war, but the President of the United States doesn’t need the consent of Congress?’ Our Constitution clearly and specifically requires Congressional approval before America goes to war. And that was the President’s dilemma this weekend.
What happened to the US Constitution?
Consider this fact – numerous US courts have affirmed that it is against the law and a threat to America’s national security for an American to disclose acts of treason by US federal authorities. In fact, President Obama has put more whistleblowers in prison than the criminals they blew the whistle on. It’s led many Americans in recent years to ask, ‘What happened to the US Constitution?’
The rushed embrace of an American military dictator started with Congress’ approval of Presidential war powers on September 14, 2001 – just three days after the attacks on Sept. 11. It authorized the US President to attack the countries and organizations responsible for 9/11, whoever they turned out to be, without the consent of the people as required by the Constitution. One year later, Congress authorized President Bush to go to war with Iraq. Since then, a frenzy of laws and Executive Orders have eliminated or suspended any legal reference to freedom and liberty in America.
The Patriot Act made all Americans potential enemies of the state. The National Defense Authorization Act declared the streets of America an official war zone and gave the US military and US spy agencies free reign to violate anyone and everyone’s rights. President Obama has since single-handedly authorized war against four more countries than President Bush did before him, including Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, plus the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He didn’t ask for, and didn’t need, Congressional approval as the US Constitution requires.
Great Britain stops the war machine
By the admissions of the US Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, America was less than 48 hours away from entering the Syrian War on the side of al Qaeda last week. And while a dozen chemical weapons attacks had occurred in the previous months in that country, most likely by both sides, the corporate media was President Obama’s loudest cheerleader for another Middle East war.
US news outlets dedicated non-stop coverage after an August 21 chemical attack to insisting there was no doubt the Syrian government was responsible and that President Obama would launch military strikes to punish Syria for its violation of world ‘norms’, even though the UN and NATO refused to approve the same position and military response.
But the world’s fallen for that exact US trick before, most recently in Iraq. And thousands of Americans lost their lives over the lie, along with almost 200 British soldiers. So when the Obama administration charged and convicted the Assad regime seemingly before the attack even took place and without any time to find out the truth, the world was skeptical, and nowhere more so than America’s strongest ally – England.
Four days ago, the British Parliament defeated Prime Minister David Cameron’s request for authorization to use military force against the Syrian government. The measure lost by a vote of 285-272 with organized labor leading the opposition. The UK military was so presumptive of its passage, the Royal Air Force had already transferred aircraft to Cypress in anticipation of war.
Showing the American people what a democratic-republic looks like, British Prime Minister Cameron spoke to his countrymen immediately after his defeat for war authorization. “I strongly believe in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons. But I also believe in respecting the will of this House of Commons,” he publicly declared, “It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that and the Government will act accordingly.”
USA – by contrast
The best way to illustrate the difference between a government ruled by the people and one ruled by a military strongman is to contrast the above comment by UK Prime Minister David Cameron with the official, public remarks coming from America’s leaders in Washington DC:
- “I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization.” – President Barack Obama on Saturday 8/31/13 during White House speech.
- “The President of the United States has the right to take this action, doesn’t have to go to Congress.” – US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday 9/1/13 on ABC News.
- “I don’t think President Obama should have asked for Congressional approval on Syrian strikes.” – US Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
- “President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander in chief and undermining the authority of future Presidents. The President doesn’t need 535 members of Congress to enforce his own red line.” – US Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
- “As far as I’m concerned, we should strike in Syria today. The use of chemical weapons was inhumane. And those responsible should be forced to suffer the consequences.” – US Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The American media joined the federal government in assuring the American people that the President does not need anyone’s approval to go to war, especially not ‘We The People’. Consider the following authoritative US press accounts:
- “Some members of Congress applauded Obama’s move, a strikingly unusual one in presidential history, particularly for a leader who has been criticized for dodging congressional oversight. The president does not need congressional approval for limited military interventions, and the executive branch has not sought it in the past.” – Washington Post.
- “It also marked a jarring shift as president for Mr. Obama, whose senior aides have been saying that he would not seek congressional authorization and that he had the legal right to order the start of military strikes.” – Wall Street Journal.
- “Many experts say members of Congress have it all wrong. They argue that the War Powers Resolution of 1973 clarifies the Constitution and actually gives the president broader authority to engage in ‘limited’ military action overseas. In such circumstances, they say, Obama doesn’t need to get formal authorization from Capitol Hill.” – US News and World Report.
- “Congress’ power over warfare under the Constitution is through the purse and those who believe Congress must pre-approve any use of force by the executive misunderstand the Constitution.” – Yahoo News, paraphrasing a Constitutional Law professor.
- “There’s little doubt that Obama as commander in chief could retaliate against Syrian targets without approval from the American people or their representatives in Congress…Congress’ constitutional power to declare war was refined and expanded by the 1973 War Powers Act, which requires a president to notify Congress within 48 hours of initiating military action.” – Huffington Post.
The War Powers Act of 1973
While this publication fears the sudden debate over the War Powers Act of 1973 is merely a distraction from the fact that US Presidents now have the same power as a one-man military dictator, it’s worth reprinting the criteria the 1973 Act requires in order for the President to single-handedly take the nation to war.
‘The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.’
Readers might be noticing right now that America has launched military strikes – acts of war by all other countries’ definition – on dozens of nations over the past few decades without satisfying any of the above three listed requirements for those attacks. That’s why this sudden national discussion over President Obama’s ability to attack Syria is so peculiar. It’s as strange as the fact that the US is about to fight one war FOR al Qaeda while simultaneously fighting another war AGAINST al Qaeda – the same organization allegedly responsible for the attacks on 9/11.
And while aiding al Qaeda with weapons and funding while we’re at war against them sounds more like an act of treason to most Americans, it’s nothing new. The American people have been funding al Qaeda since President Bush donated billions of dollars to the group in an effort to bribe them into stop killing American soldiers and contractors in the days after the horrifying slaughter of Blackwater corporate soldiers in Fallujah in 2004.
The question Americans will be inundated with over the coming days is – Does the President need Congress’ approval to launch an unprovoked military attack against another sovereign country? Or can the President attack another country without authorization by citing one of the three criteria in the 1973 War Powers Act? Based on 30 years of past precedents, he doesn’t need either one. So why then are the President and the national media suddenly pretending he does? This publication thinks it’s because the rejection of war by the British people showed Americans just how different America really is, compared to what they think it is.
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