TRACKSIDE © by John D’Aloia Jr.
3 April 2011 AD
Two quotes start off this TRACKSIDE, one from an early American statesman and one from a noted geopolitical analyst:
“The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.” –Senator Daniel Webster (1782-1852)
“Morally, committing the lives of citizens to waging war requires meticulous attention to the law and proprieties. … I am making the argument that the suspension of Section 8 of Article I as if it is possible to amend the Constitution with a wink and nod represents a mortal threat to the republic. If this can be done, what can’t be done?” – - George Friedman, STRATFOR
The failure of Congress to hold the President accountable for plunging us into war without a formal declaration by Congress does represent a mortal threat to our country. Congress whistles past the graveyard while the President shreds the Constitution. What Congressional authority will he usurp next? Maybe the budget. He could declare a national fiscal emergency that demands unilateral action, that a Congressional budget debate would take too long to keep the dollars flowing to his favored constituencies. Or will he just dismiss Congress as irrelevant? That in effect is what he has done by his actions.
The President has said that he wants Gadhafi to be ousted, but our mission is just to enforce the no-fly zone – he would not put “boots on the ground.” We now find that we do have boots on the ground – it was a hard swallow from Day One to accept “no boots on the ground” – somebody had to be providing time-sensitive targeting data, laser pointing for laser-guided weaponry, and battle space coordination with the rebels. To compound the folly, the Administration is talking about arming the rebels, who they admit, they do not know much about. Just what we need, more printing-press dollars being used to put weapons in the hands of al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and to put our country deeper in debt. (But then, the Administration has experience with giving weapons to bad guys with its Operation Gunrunner on the Mexican border.)
And speaking of enforcing the no-fly zone, it would certainly be appropriate for NATO (or whomever is pulling the strings), to enunciate the enforcement rules of engagement. It appears that the no-fly zone was endangered by Libyan small craft in the harbor of Misratah. To take out this danger to our aircraft, a U.S. P-3 patrol aircraft launched one or more Maverick missiles at a 40-foot coast guard cutter that had to be beached, and an A-10 Warthog made splinters of one small boat with its 30mm Gatling gun. All in all, in the words of one commentator, it is silly to call it a no-fly zone when it is obvious that the target list goes well beyond just enforcing a no-fly zone.
The Patriot Post raised another question about the no-fly zone and the “humanitarian” basis for our undeclared war on Libya in the April 1st edition:
”Reasonable people have asked how Libya qualifies for a NATO-imposed no-fly zone and air strikes to neuter the Libyan military, but Syria is somehow different. Don’t the Syrians want exactly the same relief from a murderous, tyrannical government that the Libyans want? Isn’t the regime using deadly force against civilians? What happened to the “interests and values” about which Obama so sanctimoniously opined?”
And it is not just Syria that belies the veracity of the President’s stated rationale for taking us to war against Libya. Scan the news and you can find repressive regimes slaughtering people: Ivory Coast, Bahrain, and Yemen to name a few. Why just pick Libya? An easy target to build 2012 election campaign points? Doing the will of Europe for oil? Or something more devious? The President has said that the mission is not regime change, but it has been reported that a European diplomat admitted that the no-fly zone was but a diplomatic smokescreen designed to get Arab states on board with a military operation that had regime change as the real goal. I do not doubt it in the least. An author on the American Thinker website, in the same vein, ends his article asking:
“How do voters feel about Congress being sidelined to serve the interests of the Arab League?”
The President lies to the American people and gives Congress the mushroom treatment. Articulated or not, we are in a Constitutional crisis. When is Congress going to stand up and be counted? When is Congress going to act to protect the supremacy of our Constitution, the bulwark of our freedom?
See you Trackside.