By unilaterally going to war against Libya, Obama is bringing America closer to the imperial presidency than Bush ever did.
BY BRUCE ACKERMAN | MARCH 24, 2011
In taking the country into a war with Libya, Barack Obama’s administration is breaking new ground in its construction of an imperial presidency — an executive who increasingly acts independently of Congress at home and abroad. Obtaining a U.N. Security Council resolution has legitimated U.S. bombing raids under international law. But the U.N. Charter is not a substitute for the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress, not the president, the power “to declare war.”
After the Vietnam War, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which granted the president the power to act unilaterally for 60 days in response to a “national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” The law gave the chief executive an additional 30 days to disengage if he failed to gain congressional assent during the interim.
But, again, these provisions have little to do with the constitutionality of the Libyan intervention, since Libya did not attack our “armed forces.” The president failed to mention this fundamental point in giving Congress notice of his decision on Monday, in compliance with another provision of the resolution. Without an armed “attack,” there is no compelling reason for the president to cut Congress out of a crucial decision on war and peace.
By Genevieve Cora Fraser
Al-Jazeerah, November 8, 2006
It was meant to be a joke and it got a big laugh from TV host Tavis Smiley when his guest, political pundit Andy Borowitz quipped, “George Bush plans to withdraw all his troops from Iraq – to Iran. That’s the plan – the exit strategy.”
But no one was laughing, least of all Turkish military officers, on September 15th when a map was presented at the NATO’s Defense College in Rome that included a reduced Turkish landmass. The new Middle East map prepared by retired US Col. Ralph Peters and published in the Armed Forces Journal in June featured a “Free Kurdistan” that included additional territory taken from Syria and Iraq. Indeed, Iraq was a fragment of its former self and had been carved up to also include Sunnis Iraq and the Arab Shia State.
Within the proposed new Middle East, Iran was also reduced, not only by Free Kurdistan, but by “Free Balochistan” which had also borrowed heavily from territory currently claimed by Afghanistan and Pakistan. Balochistan, which lies in the southwest corner of Pakistan, is the largest but least populated of the Pakistani regions. Lately the Chinese have invested heavily in the area by expanding the port city of Gwader. Natural gas, coal, copper and gold offer vast wealth and pipelines will be stretched from Iran to India through the province. Balochistan is also rich in opportunities for drug smugglers with its massive border alongside Afghanistan’s most frequented heroin routes. Some political pundits have labeled heroin as the new American Gold Standard – the only thing propping up the bankrupt American economy and the real reason we occupy Afghanistan. Yes, endless war is very expensive for taxpayers but the fat cat international banking and corporate interests in armaments and energy grow wealthier by the minute.