Howard Blitz

More About: Foreign Policy

The Lesson of Iraq

Individuals today sense there is something severely wrong with how the Iraq war is going and the direction in which officials are taking government.  Polls indicate support for President Bush is at a record low level and support for the recently elected congress is not much better. 



After 9-11 congress voted to give the President of the United States all the power and money he wanted to seek revenge.  As a result of authorizing unconstitutional power to the president with the passage of the Patriot Acts, Military Commission Act, the rejection of habeas corpus, the establishment of secret military tribunals, torture, and all of the warrantless surveillance and search operations, as well as the usurpation of the Bill of Rights, individual liberty has been set aside. 



Government officials have now made the U.S into a pre-emptive war machine, not a defender of liberty and by their actions have lost respect for individual liberty and the importance of individual rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence.  Members of congress now want to manage the war since they do not feel President Bush is managing it properly.  However, it was congress that gave the President the power to do what he wanted. 



The Constitution makes very clear the authority both the congress and the president have in regards to war.  There is also a proper way to amend the Constitution if individuals do not like its provisions and think change is needed. 



Congress has the constitutional duty to declare war.  It also has the constitutional duty to provide funds to administer the war.  The president has the constitutional duty to manage the war without interference from congress.  The only action congress may constitutionally take is to not fund the war effort.  Then the president would no longer be able to direct the war.  This is the check and balance beauty of the Constitution. 



However, both congress and the president cannot go to war and at the same time usurp the individual rights of the people.  The Bill of Rights stands no matter what.  Otherwise there is no purpose to the existence of the United States.  The foundation of America is that the individuals have rights, not government.  Government officials only exist to protect the very rights for which those officials are taking the country into battle.  This is the extremely important reason that before any war is declared by congress that it be debated among the individuals that represent the people of the country. 



Congress, by not doing its constitutional duty of declaring war causes much disagreement among the population because the people, represented by congress, never get the chance to debate. 



In all the wars since World War II, the debate always took place after the country got itself involved in the war, as is done now, resulting in much disagreement and disgruntlement.  Many criticize the president for all of his bungling of the administration of the war.  However, congress, through its willing participation and through measures like the current war funding bill is also responsible for the same bungling. 



By not following the Constitution, the document all of these individuals vow to preserve, protect, and defend, the result is the war is either lost or stalemated, hundreds of thousands die, terrible destruction occurs, and the situation is made worse not better. 



The lesson to be learned from the Iraq war is that all government officials must obey all parts of the United States Constitution, not just the ones they want to or are convenient.  If there is a provision in the Constitution that either congress or the president wants changed, then they must follow the amending procedure outlined in Article V. 



By following the dictates of the Constitution less disagreement occurs less war exists, fewer lives are lost, less destruction occurs, and fewer rights of the individual are lost.



Tomorrow, Thursday, May 17, at 7 PM at The Freedom Library the Yuma Freedom Discussion Society will view a video where three ladies discuss what life is like under a totally centralized economy in Hungary, Kenya, and Argentina.  The public is welcome.


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