And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for?

On Dec. 20, 2007, the most likely setting for American military intervention on everyone’s minds was Iran, not Libya.

(Like waiting to mount your favorite horse on the merry-go-round, don’t despair — just wait awhile and it’ll come ’round again.)

Nonetheless, then-candidate Barack Obama’s response, published that date to a question asked by a Boston Globe reporter, is highly relevant today as American troops suddenly find themselves in harm’s way in our third “limited” Mideast war — the billion-dollar (to date) attempt to create a “no-fly zone” over Libya, supposedly in order to facilitate humanitarian relief for those attempting to overthrow local dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

“In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)” the Globe asked the then-Democratic presidential candidate, a little more than three years ago.

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” candidate Obama replied.

“In instances of self-defense, the president would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent,” Mr. Obama continued. “History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action. …”

Nonetheless, just before departing for his Brazilian “spring break,” Mr. Obama — now President Obama — last weekend ordered more than 100 cruise missiles (which incidentally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece, and millions apiece to transport, maintain, and deploy) — launched into Libya, where at considerable further cost in lives and property they will inevitably embroil us in what is, in essence, an African civil war.

And he did so without consulting Congress.

The excuse de jour is that action was approved by the United Nations — albeit largely at America’s request.

But the Constitution does not say war must be declared — nor American billions spent nor American solders’ lives put at risk — at the behest of any international body.

The U.N. also routinely (and quite cynically) condemns Israel for resisting Arab aggression. The United States quite rightly blocks those resolutions when it can; ignores them when it cannot.

This administration thus seems as selective about which U.N. resolutions will send us to war, as it is in choosing which if the world’s many tyrants we have some mysterious obligation to harry or remove — even when we have no idea who or what may replace them.

“It is alarming how casually the administration talks about initiating acts of war, as though Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution does not exist,” said Texas Congressman Ron Paul — often identified as the “Conscience of the Congress” on Constitutional matters — this week.

“Frankly, it is not up to the president whether or not we intervene in Libya, or set up ‘no-fly’ zones, or send troops. At least, it is not if we follow the Constitution,” Rep. Paul points out. “Even by the loose standards of the War Powers Resolution, which cedes far too much power to the president, he would have no authority to engage in hostilities because we have not been attacked Ð not by Gaddafi, and not by the rebels.

“This is not our fight,” Rep. Paul continues. “We must also understand that our intervention will undermine the legitimacy of whatever government prevails in Libya. Especially if it is a bad government, it will be seen as our puppet and further radicalize people in the region against us.”

The nation can ill afford even our existing foreign interventions.

Muammar Gaddafi is doubtless a bad man, who has killed many of his own people. Ulysses S. Grant also killed many of his own people (including civilians, at Vicksburg), as did George Washington — at least in the view of the English crown, which considered the American colonists to be of the same nationality as its redcoats.

How fondly would today’s American history books remember their actions, had the British Navy steamed up the Mississippi in 1863 on a “humanitarian mission to prevent the tyrant Lincoln from killing his own people,” in order to relieve Vicksburg and thus preserve the failing rebel cause of freedom fighters Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee?

When you come right down to it, most governments will kill their own people — or allow them to rot in prison — rather than face serious challenges to their power. The president of the nation that will allow Irwin Schiff and (now) Bernard von NotHaus ( to languish in jail for trying to blow the whistle on a federal government that violates its own Constitution to seize our wealth while systematically rendering worthless the once proud dollar need hardly go to Africa to find an incipient tyranny that needs blowing up real good.

Yes, there are times when the awful act of killing people — or sending men to their deaths — can be justified. Most would place the elimination of Adolf Hitler on that list.

But what does anyone in America really know of the likely outcome of the uprisings now spreading across North Africa and the Middle East? Can we really choose the “best” rulers there — and then impose them on the subject peoples?

Heck, can anyone you know — you may include President-in-Waiting Hillary Clinton — even name a LIKELY successor to Gaddafi, and then explain that “good guy’s” ties to al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Most of the world followed America’s 18th-century example, moving away from the despotic rule of kings and queens, precisely because they could take their nations to war on mere whim.

An intervention in an African civil war is precisely the kind of undertaking that should be deliberated and then voted up or down by Congress, with due consideration of what we can afford, and whether we’re likely to do more harm than good.

Given that this has not happened and will not happen — except in the form of some non-binding “advisory” resolution, followed by a rush to “give the troops what they need” — the only remaining mystery is why the great mass of Boobus Americanus still insist on operating on the laughably outdated premise that we are all still joined together in a voluntary union which limits our masters’ power over us with the chains of a “Constitution of limited government.”

3 Comments to “And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for?”

  1. Carl-Bear Says:

    And probably the most morbidly amusing aspect…

    1. War against Afghanistan: rationalized because the Taliban “harbored” Al Qaeda
    2. War against Iraq: rationalized because Hussein was claimed to be supporting Al Qaeda -blink-
    3. Calls for war against Iran: rationalized because Iran is claimed to be arming Al Qaeda in Iraq
    4. War against Libya: rationalized because Al Qaeda rebels need support ( )

    Wait. What?

  2. liberranter Says:

    …the only remaining mystery is why the great mass of Boobus Americanus still insist on operating on the laughably outdated premise that we are all still joined together in a voluntary union which limits our masters’ power over us with the chains of a “Constitution of limited government.”

    No real mystery there. Boobus being Boobus, it all comes down to a combination of willful ignorance and “might makes right.” As long as Boobus himself isn’t on the receiving end of such “might” and as long as he can exercise his brainless and libidinous fantasies against weaker people by proxy (in the form of the U.S. military and the burgeoning Polizeistaat), Boobus is a-okay with nihilistic oppressive violence. Besides, he enjoys the byproducts of his masters’ unlimited power: war (it’s a lot of fun to watch bullies “kick ass” overseas), welfare (Boobus gets entitlements, the majority of which “the rich” are forced to pay for), and witch hunts (Boobus gets to watch his beloved “heroes” in “law enforcement” persecute gays, Muslims, racial and ethnic minorities, recreational drug users, and other people he just flat-out doesn’t like), to name just three.

    Of course once the economy finally and completely implodes, the show ends, and Boobus is left out in the cold, his point of view just might change. It’ll be too late by then, but better late than never.

  3. R. T. Says:

    Some do consider Jeff Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson to be freedom fighters. For sure they were fighting for State Rights and the ideal of a voluntary union, which no long exists now.

    It would be anyone’s guess what kind of unions we would have now HAD the Royal Navy intervene. Perhaps we will have a choice today between the USA and the CSA.