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.