Thursday, March 24, 2011

What to Think of Our New War in Libya?

By now Americans are so benumbed by their country's wars that they'd approve bombing Lourdes if they believed an Islamic terrorist was hiding there. Thus the polls showing public support for Obama's Libya adventure are no surprise.

Two-faced Republican criticism is no surprise either.  Typically, the Boehners  and McCains et al who were clamoring for a no-fly zone two weeks ago now assail the president for doing exactly what they once called for.  This practice has become so common among the Tea Pot party that if Republicans were Pinnochios, their collective noses would form a bridge to Mars.

It's not so simple for Democrats with the slighest leftward persuasion.  A dampened finger to the wind suggests a majority of leftish Democrats oppose the action.  A few, whose natural bent is to sympathize with pro-Democracy protesters in any dictatorship anywhere in the world, reluctantly support this particular use of force.

Obama's action, as your Pianist has noted previously, would apperar to have been legitimized by the UN Security Council's action in response to a request by the Arab League for a no-fly zone.

But now that the time has come to actually participate in the UN's so-called coalition, Arab states are conspicuously absent.  One wonders how much Arab initiative was behind the "request" to the UN, and how much arm-twisting was done by western nations, particularly the United States and France.

In short, the UN coalition is looking more and more like another Sham a la Iraq.

And then there are the pesky questions of the United States Constitution and the War Powers Act of 1973.  The latter seems to be in direct conflict with the former, which confers war-making powers absolutely and without exception upon the Congress.  The 1973 act, as a Constitutional law expert once put it to me, "gives away the farm."

Can the Congress legally cede to the executive a power the Constitution places exclusively in its hands?  The 1973 act has never been tested in court.

But even though Congress rendered itself virtually powerless to send or not send American military forces into combat, it did reserve to itself certain vestiges of control.  It would seem that Obama, in the case of Libya, has failed to meet even these minimal requirements of "consulting" and "advising."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich's recent statement that the Libya action "may be an impeachable offense"  holds legal water. In a true democracy, this would be cause for a serious action in the Congress.

But in a corporatocracy, whose oligarchs profit in direct proportion to the number and duration of our wars - legal or illegal, it matters not to them,  those in power pay no attention to the likes of Rep. Kucinich.  "Conscience of a Conservative" is an oxymoron in today's United States.

And the people, as a class, don't give a damn.  Most of them think we invented democracy in 1776 and made it the 11th Commandment of the Christian religion.  And so if what's called "news" on television informs them that the people fighting against Ghadaffi in Libya are "for democracy," then let's bomb the hell out of the bad guys on their behalf and go watch another episode of "American Idol."

Never mind the fine points of the law.  For Tea Party America, the law is a ass.

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