Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fighting the Democrats’ Complicity with Bush

Dissident Voice

Despite the massive, overwhelming repudiation of the Iraq war and the Bush Jr. administration by the American people in the November 2006 national elections conjoined with their consequent installation of a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party with a mandate to terminate the Iraq war, since its ascent to power in January 2007 the Democrats in Congress have taken no effective steps to stop, impede, or thwart the Bush Jr. administration’s wars of aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, or anywhere else, including their long-standing threatened war against Iran. To the contrary, the new Democrat-controlled Congress decisively facilitated these serial Nuremberg crimes against peace on May 24, 2007 by enacting a $95 billion supplemental appropriation to fund war operations through September 30, 2007.

In the spring of 2007 all the Congressional Democrats had to do was nothing. They could have sat upon the supplemental appropriation request for war operations by the Bush Jr. administration and thus failed to enact it into law. At that point, the money for war operations would have gradually run out, and the Bush Jr. administration would have been forced to have gradually withdrawn U.S. armed forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of so doing, the Congressional Democrats knowingly prolonged these wars of aggression and thus in the process became aiders and abettors to these Nuremberg crimes against peace.

Under the terms of the United States Constitution, the President cannot spend a dime unless the money has somehow been appropriated by the United States Congress. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution expressly provides: “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law…” Furthermore, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12 of the Constitution also provides that “Congress shall have power . . . To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years . . . ”

America’s Founders and Framers deliberately strove to keep America’s prospective military establishment on a financial short-leash tightly held by the hands of Congress precisely because of their well-founded fear that a standing army would constitute a dire threat to the continued existence of the Republic based upon their recent experience confronting and defeating King George III’s standing army. As the American July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence stated their objections in part: “[H]e has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power . . . For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us…”

Congress must use its constitutional power of the purse to terminate the Bush Jr. administration’s wars of aggression immediately. Those Congressional incumbents of either political party who refuse to do so must be replaced by men and women of good faith and good will of any or no political party who will do their constitutional duty to terminate ongoing Nuremberg crimes against peace. To the contrary, the current leadership of the Democratic Party (though, to be sure, not all Democrats), let alone most of the Republicans, have been complicit with all the atrocities that the Bush Jr. administration has inflicted upon international law, international organizations, human rights, the United States Constitution, civil rights, civil liberties, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere since September 11, 2001.

Further confirmation of this proposition can be found in the fact that when the self-described Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan went on July 23, 2007 with 200 protesters to speak with Democratic Congressman John Conyers — Chair of the House Judiciary Committee that has supervisory jurisdiction over bills of impeachment — about starting impeachment proceedings against President Bush Jr., at the end of an hour Congressman Conyers ordered her and 45 others arrested for disorderly conduct when they refused to leave his office. In other words, one of the leaders of the Democratic Party arrested one of the leaders of the American Peace Movement for insisting that he and his congressional colleagues perform their constitutionally-mandated duties. Nothing could be more symptomatic of the constitutional, moral, and political bankruptcy of the so-called two-party system of politics in the United States of America: Republicans versus Democrats, Tweedle Dum versus Tweedle Dee.

Since the Democrats’ Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi had already ruled arbitrarily that President Bush’s impeachment was “off the table,” Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan announced her intention to run against Pelosi in the 2008 national elections. Once again Mrs. Sheehan’s instincts, principles, judgment, and strategy are directly on target. The American people must oppose, defeat, and replace all members of the United States Congress of any political party who will not impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney in order to terminate their needlessly — inflicted death and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia as soon as possible. The so-called leaderships of both political parties have left the American people with no alternative. Even more urgently, the Neo-Conservative cabal known as the Bush Jr. administration are still threatening, planning, preparing, and conspiring to attack Iran, which could very well set-off World War III. Just recently they added nuclear-armed Pakistan to their publicly proclaimed list of targets.

Meanwhile, the Bush Jr. administration’s “surge” of 30,000 troops into Iraq announced in January of 2007 has marched on to its inexorable bloodbath for the Iraqi people and U.S. armed forces. There is more than enough circumstantial evidence to conclude that the underlying strategy of the Bush Jr. administration is nothing more than to postpone their inevitable defeat in Iraq until after their departure from office in January 2009 no matter what the cost in lives to Iraqis and Americans. But the world cannot wait until January of 2009 for America to start to end these wars and their related war crimes, as well as to prevent more threatened wars, especially against Iran or Pakistan, which could prove catastrophic for humankind.

The United States Congress must immediately and simultaneously proceed to exercise both its constitutional power of the purse and its constitutional power of impeachment toward that end. That is the bilateral strategy which the U.S. Congress pursued a generation ago in order to terminate the Nixon administration’s criminal wars of aggression against Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. That must be the bilateral strategy by which the U.S. Congress today terminates the Bush Jr. administration’s criminal wars of aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and otherwise perhaps soon Iran or Pakistan. Despite Pelosi’s disingenuous protestations to the contrary, the Nixon/Vietnam precedent proves that Congressional impeachment and cutting-off funds for wars are mutually reinforcing strategies. They might even win the 2008 U.S. Presidential and Congressional elections for those who embrace them.

Francis A. Boyle, Professor of Law, University of Illinois, is author of Foundations of World Order, Duke University Press, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, and Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, by Clarity Press. He can be reached at: FBOYLE@LAW.UIUC.EDU Read other articles by Francis A..

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