The request by a U.S. Army captain to a federal court for a declaratory judgment about his constitutional duties regarding going to war is the latest reminder of the unsatisfactory situation in which the United States is engaged in military operations in multiple overseas locales without any authorization other than a couple of outdated and obsolete Congressional resolutions whose relevance is questionable at best. Of the many ways in which the U.S.
Capt. Nathan Michael Smith, I salute your integrity!
Best way to do it.
On a yes vote for the authorization to go to war, all the names of the Congress persons and members of the Senate or of the Parliament in their respective Country that voted yes are put into a hat.
10 percent of these names are randomly drawn and then drafted into the Military and given basic training. To ensure they get the full experience of the war they so enthusiastically voted for and claimed needed to preserve the very existence of their country, they are deployed into the infantry and inserted with frontline troops. I am sure if they pin on those flag lapel pins , said pins will keep them safe from harm as they do today.
The MIC comes to fruition: endless war.
I don't recall any Congress, Democratic or Republican, making investments in peacemaking at the same rate they invested in making War, or even nearing it. Rather than discussing the authorization for continued war, perhaps a discussion about intentional peacemaking should go first. (A fight over peace in Congress would be worth watching. I can only imagine the arguments against it.)
When members of the military speak out, perhaps it's time to reevaluate the whole paradigm. It should be made clear to them, no matter what the conflict, they are being asked to sacrifice their lives on the altar of Wall Street profits, and maybe after years of death, destruction, and trillions in treasure, some good will come of it (not).
The fact is that war is a very profitable business (especially when war profiteering arms manufacturers can sell to both sides of a conflict).
Money, however, is only a means to an end--the real end is the exercise of unaccountable power by those behind the scenes who control the strings of the nominal "leaders" who get shuffled in and out of office like bit players from some Hollywood studio's central casting department.
Another fact is that the congress is wholly bought by the MIC through campaign contributions, junkets to such places as Bali, Copenhagen, the French Riviera, and such like for nonsense conferences where much bloviation is interrupted by rounds of golf, whoring around, and sight seeing.
Now that the mid-east wars of the past 25 years (going back to Desert Shield/Storm) are owned by both political parties they have assumed the late Margaret Thatcher's favorite slogan of inevitability, TINA, (there is no alternative).
Hence, an entire generation of young adults has been born and grown up knowing nothing but constant warfare sometimes with greater intensity than at others. War has become "the way things are", that's all.
The US army captain in such circumstances becomes one of Lenin's inadvertent "useful idiots". Paul Pillar is just a company man spreading nonsense on which the gullible can dine.
The author is correct in that if no one in Congress has to take responsibility for war, no one has to take the blame, but it's also very much a matter of no one in Congress has the guts to say no to the MIC. The few that do are quickly weeded out and sent back home. Just leave it to the administration to make its own rules, then, with guidance supplied by the Pentagon and the CIA. That is exactly what Bush and Obama have done, of course, with Congress being nothing more than a rubber stamp source of funding approval. All of this assures that there is no chance of peace breaking out and derailing the money train or blemishing Pentagon and CIA career resumes. It also sets the stage for the next Monster in Chief to continue the killing. This is negligent and criminal behavior on a par with any of the war mongering regimes in history. As a minimum, every member of Congress who voted to invade Iraq should be now serving time in jail, right along with Bush, Cheney and company.
Pillar's article should have said: WHY & HOW CONGRESS SHOULD NOT ENACT AN AUMF.There is no reason to authorize war. Presidents should not be allowed to authorize war either.
How about we just not start these wars.