By Chris Rossini
For libertarians, the issue of war is of utmost importance. Government causes continuous damage to our lives and liberties as a matter of course, but it creates the most destruction when it wages war.
Lew Rockwell sums it up perfectly:
"war, after all, is the ultimate government program. War has it all: propaganda, censorship, spying, crony contracts, money printing, skyrocketing spending, debt creation, central planning, hubris – everything we associate with the worst interventions into the economy."
The drafters of the U.S. Constitution were very specific in delegating war power to the Congress. Their hope was that if government went to war, the body of government that is theoretically "closest to the people" would have to sign off on it. Congressmen would have to attach their names to the war.
It was far from a perfect idea, as Congress could still approve an unjust, immoral, and unwinnable war of aggression, but the idea was to get the war power away from the President. After all, if the President had the ability to declare war on his own, he could (and most likely would) do so for political purposes and to divert public attention in order to keep his power intact.
Well, the U.S. Constitution has been tossed aside, and we have exactly what the drafters were trying to avoid. Congress has not declared war since World War II and Presidents have been waging war willy-nilly ever since.
The results are as bad, and worse, than one would expect. American foreign policy is a complete disaster. It's a black hole that has gobbled up what used to be the American middle class. Meanwhile, Americans have been trained since birth to genuflect before all things military, so they're utterly incapable of recognizing what has been bleeding them dry.
Most recently, Congress and the President crafted a workaround to the Constitution when it came to the Iraq War. They concocted something called The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). But this was nothing more than an illegal cop-out.
Jacob Hornberger explains:
It simply delegated Congress’s power to declare war to Bush, something that the Constitution does not authorize Congress to do. Notwithstanding the congressional authorization given to Bush, it was legally incumbent, under our form of constitutional government, for Bush to return to Congress to make his case for attacking Iraq by seeking a congressional declaration of war.
A few days ago, the U.S. began bombing ISIS in Libya. Do you know the precedent that the government used to justify this war?
That's right, the U.S. has cited an unconstitutional authorization of war (that was originally intended against Saddam Hussein) as their legal precedent for bombing ISIS in Libya.
Let's not forget that ISIS was not in Libya prior to the U.S. intervention there several years ago.
Daniel McAdams adds to the ridiculousness of citing the AUMF:
This Administration claim is an incredible stretch -- beyond the breaking point. Libya was not involved in any way with the 9/11 attacks on the US and ISIS did not even exist at the time of the 9/11 attacks.
What we have today is a government that can literally go to war whenever it wants. There isn't even a veneer of constitutionality and lawfulness.
The nightmare scenario is upon us.
By Robert Wenzel
I made some positive comments about the new Jason Bourne film, starring Matt Damon, at a post, The Message About Government in the New 'Jason Bourne' Film.
A commenter responded:
Boycott any Matt Damon movie. He is an enemy of the second amendment and the constitution. He pushes for a total gun ban while using gun play in his Bourne movies.
I'm sorry but I am just not a big fan of this boycott thing. Why can't we just exchange where we find value in exchanging and otherwise leave people alone?
I have written before:
Every day we all deal with people based on specific transactions, and don't pry beyond that. The grocery store down the street from me is run by a guy from Dubai. He smiles and is always polite to all his customers. I have no idea what his political or religious views are. I doubt he is a libertarian. I am simply glad that he always has on hand the grocery items I need.
Damon is involved in some pretty decent films, so I go to the theater and watch them. Because I write on economics, I do bash him when he says stupid economic stuff.
But why should I mix the two? This is not much different from people who want to stop importing, or impose high tariffs on Russian caviar, French champagne and Italian suits if Russia, France and Italy impose tariffs on us. This just limits our choices.
Free trade is always good, if the trade makes sense to both sides. To start drawing up check lists of what people's views must be before we deal with them. really just lowers everybody's standard of living who is in on the busybody effort.
This article was originally published at Target Liberty.
The Obama Administration announced yesterday that it was launching a new bombing campaign on Libya. This time it is all about attacking ISIS in Libya, which was not there before the destabilization caused by the 2011 US bombing. The White House claims the 9/11 authorization gives him authority to start another war. Congress...are you there?
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The recent political blow-up over the parents of Capt. Khan, killed in the Iraq war, appearing at the Democratic convention to criticize Republican nominee Donald Trump completely misses the point, as usual. Who really makes a sacrifice and who are the victims of a bad policy?
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By Ron Paul
It is a sad commentary on the state of political life in the United States that our political conventions have become more like rock music festivals than competitions of ideas. There has been a great deal of bombast, of insults, of name-calling, and of chest-beating at both party conventions, but what is disturbingly absent is any mention of how we got to this crisis and how we can get out. From the current foreign policy mess to the looming economic collapse, all we hear is both party candidates saying they will fix it, no problem.
In her convention speech Hillary Clinton promised that she would “fight terrorism” and defeat ISIS by doing more of what we have been doing all along: bombing. In fact we have dropped more than 50,000 bombs on ISIS in Iraq and Syria over the past two years and all she can say is that she will drop more. How many more bombs will defeat ISIS? How many more years will she keep us in our longest war, Afghanistan? She doesn’t say.
In fact, the New York Times – certainly not hostile to the Clintons – wrote that it was almost impossible to fact-check Hillary’s speech because, “she delivered a speech that was remarkably without hard facts.”
Clinton’s top foreign policy advisor said just a day after her convention speech that her big plan for Syria was to go back to square one and concentrate on overthrowing its secular president. How many more thousands more will die if she gets her way? And won’t she eventually be forced to launch a massive US ground invasion that will also kill more Americans?
Clinton does not understand that a policy of endless interventionism has brought us to our knees and made us far weaker. Does she really expect us to be the policemen of the world with $20 trillion in debt?
Likewise, Republican candidate Donald Trump misses the point. He promises to bring back jobs to America without any understanding of the policies that led to their departure in the first place. Yes, he is correct that the middle class is in worse shape than when Obama took office, but not once did he mention how it happened: the destructive policies of the Federal Reserve. The financing of our warfare/welfare state through the printing of phony money. Distorted interest rates that encourage consumption and discourage saving and investment.
Trump tweeted this week that home ownership is at its lowest rate in 51 years. He promised that if elected he will bring back “the American dream.” He seems to have no idea that home ownership is so low because the Fed-created housing bubble exploded in 2007-2008, forcing millions of Americans who did not have the means to actually purchase a home to lose their homes. Not a word about the Fed from Trump.
How are these candidates going to fix the problems we face in America if they have absolutely no idea what caused the problems? No matter who is elected, Americans are going to be very disappointed in the outcome. The warfare/welfare state is going to proceed until we are bankrupt. There is hope, however. It is up to us to focus on the issues, to focus on educating ourselves and others, and to demand that politicians listen.