Saturday, April 02, 2011

The No-Fly Zone "Authorization" in the Senate. Really??

Evidently the man-child Obama had a little re-election war on his mind for quite some time before anyone in Congress knew about it.

...on ABC’s This Week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned (though she wasn’t quite sure of the date): “The United States Senate called for a no-fly zone in the resolution that it passed, um, I think on March the first.”

Well, yes, it did. On March 1st. That was long before the Brazilian Holiday, too.

But there's a bit more to the story. We are, after all, dealing with a very deceptive and secretive global-government guy when dealing with Obama.

...As Andy [McCarthy] notes, this resolution — Senate Resolution 85 — was nonbinding. It has no force of law. Nor is the Senate the same as the full Congress. And, as Andy notes in another post, this nonbinding resolution was “hotlined” through the Senate with no debate and no vote, receiving “the same amount of consideration as a bill to rename a post office.” It neither authorizes nor endorses American use of force.

Among my own sources, a congressional aide says the resolution was passed late in the day, with few members around, and the no-fly zone slipped quietly into the final version.

To this I’ll add my own observation. When this resolution passed, on March 1, the Obama administration to all appearances couldn’t have cared less. Obama did not at that point issue a clarion public call for a no-fly zone, or rush to the Security Council brandishing Resolution 85 and demanding action. Nor did the administration turn to Congress for anything of genuine heft. For almost two more weeks — during which Muammar Gaddafi’s forces were regaining the advantage and slaughtering Libyans — President Obama waited and dithered. On March 11, he held a press conference in which he talked about organizing “conversations” with NATO and consulting with the “international community” on Libya. He made not a single reference to the March 1 Senate resolution. He made precisely three mentions of the Senate. None of these had anything to do with Libya; they were strictly about the U.S. budget.

Let's just stop the pretenses. Obama decided, at the behest of the French, that Qaddafy was expendible, and that the United States of America's military would help Qaddafy exit Libya. After all, wars are good for sitting Presidents who seek re-election. (It's not even important that one wins or loses the war...)

So. France and other EU countries need Libyan oil. Obama, by happy co-incidence, needs a war. Gaddafy? He's a fine target; weak military, no close allies whatsoever. No "Muslim" thing attaches--it's just a 'rebellion' over governance.

What COULD go wrong?

...If this is how foreign policy now works, and the constitutional role of Congress in declaring war now boils down to slipping a note about the UN into a nonbinding no-debate no-vote resolution passed in a sparsely populated Senate chamber, then watch out. God only knows what adventures America’s president might next embark upon...



Deekaman said...

Ummmm....illegal. Violates War Powers Act. Impeachment anyone?

DrG said...

Is this a principled stand on your part or just partisan conservative sniping at a Democratic President?

If you have long argued for legislative involvement in military actions, based on the Constitution and legislative supremacy, then I agree.

But there is alot of hypocrisy in our foreign policy. Democrats have complained about the imperial Presidency during the Reagan and Bush administrations. Republicans complain(ed) about it during the Obama and Clinton administration.

For example, my former law school Con Law prof, criticized the imperial Clinton presidency, only to unfurl sophistical defenses of nearly unlimited executive powers during the Bush administration. Even Hamilton would have cringed at Yoo's monarchist executive.

So, the question is simple. Are you a consistent advocate of a proper role for the legislature in military actions and foreign policy? Did you criticize Reagan for selling arms to Iran to circumvent Congress?

I agree what Obama has (at best)basically reduced War Powers Resolution consultation to a mere formality. His March 21 letter and press release is inconsistent with the purposes of the War Powers Act.

As long as respect and conformity for the War Powers Act waxes and wanes with partisan changes in administration, we will retain our unconstitutional monarchical presidency.

Deekaman said...

Replying to Dr. G, whose response is in my email, but not here:

I've been pretty consistent regarding the War Powers Act. I believe it is unconstitutional, but a President acting under the Act is not engaging in an illegal war. Since the invention (yeah, that's the term I use) of the War Powers Act, it has been pretty well followed. Congress has never been willing to act against the President when the time frame for combat has passed, so they have given the action a tacit extension. Reagan, both Bushes and Clinton all followed (more or less) the provisions of the Act. Obama hasn't even come within smelling distance, yet has received a pass (to this point).

Dad29 said...

Personally, I'm wary of any foreign adventurism. Gave GWB the narrowest benefit of the doubt on taking out Saddam, but not for "nation-building."

My problem with the Obama intervention is that it wasn't even polite to the Congress. Here, the Euros decided to go and dragged us in.


Deekaman said...

Whadya do with Dr. G, Dad?

Dad29 said...

Found him in the 'spam' filter of Blogger...

For obvious reasons, the President must have some flexibility in use-of-force decisions. But let's be real about this: GWB, at least, spent a lot of time with Congressional leadership detailing/describing his concerns with Saddam.

It's conceded by most parties that the WPA is un-Constitutional. I agree. But that's not to say that the CinC should be forced to gain a Congressional endorsement.

I'll settle for bipartisan leadership endorsement--paperwork to follow later.

Deekaman said...

The only disagreement we have on this: I will accept a Constitutional Amendment that gives the president the ability to get bi-partisan endorsement with paperwork to follow.

John Foust said...

And who cares how much it costs! Narrowest benefit of the doubt, cost no object! A trillion here, a trillion there!