WASHINGTON: War is not like a football game. It is a life and death tumult of men and women killing men and women.
The U.S. Constitution deals with the possibility of war. Moreover, the founders saw the overseers of war as a war department—not a defense department. Alas, declaring a 21st Century war requires adherence to an 18th Century Constitution.
The war hustlers of today are beating the drums. It is bad enough that they have a fetish for war, but they seem to lack any inkling of what it means. Much less how it should be authorized. America’s current target of war opportunity is Iran. That country is led by a collection of wackos who would not use an atomic bomb if they had one.
Wackos they are. Stupid they are not.
They do not want to become a radioactive sandpile.
The war hustlers fail to comprehend the Constitution’s relationship to war engagement.
Article I specifies that Congress shall have the power to declare war. However, that directive, as well as most of the Constitution, is no more than a memory for most. Consider the $22 trillion, mostly unconstitutional debt we now have.
Conservative media will go ballistic over the burning of a flag, but cheer on the Commander-in-Chief’s talk of “taking out of Iran” or some other island of grief just because he (or we) can do it from afar. This symbolic burning of the Constitution by presidential whim has few protestors.
Today, even George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are often seen as great leaders because they “led’ us in war.
They did not find any WMD, but they did kill a lot of Iraqis. There were few protests as James Antle of The American Conservative noted on Tucker Carlson.
The President is the Caesar of today
The U.S. President is now the leader of an empire, not a republic. He is routinely referred to as the commander-in-chief as if he commands not only the military, but the country.
He is also called by the stupid, stupid, stupid repeated phrase, “the leader of the free world.” So just how many electoral votes did the President get in Bolivia? The President is the commander in chief of the armed forces, not the country, and only under circumstances specified in the Constitution. And the world is not his oyster.
See Article II:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
One voice of media sanity is Tucker Carlson of Fox News.
Carlson digs deep in interviews with men like James Antle of The American Conservative, and former USMC Captain Gil Barndollar (Semper Fi, Sir). Captain Barndollar quite succinctly answered Carlson’s question of why war hustlers like John Bolton are still there among the cabinet: “I do not know.”
Men like Carlson and Barndollar are indeed a voice in the wilderness.
Neocons and flag-rallying, would-be soldiers of fortune listen with big ears to radio-talk-it-up-for-war pundits. They demand pledges of allegiance and standing at attention for the “national” anthem. But they will rarely put on the uniform or shoulder the rifle.
Then they will tell some double amputee “thank you for your service” while they salute Sean Hannity and his mixed martial arts message: Let us kick some ass.