Friday, April 04, 2008

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? part 2

Göering:Naturally, the common man doesn't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göering: Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Excerpted from a conversation between Gustave Gilbert, Ph.D. and Hermann Göering, Nazi Reichsmarshall and Luftwaffe Chief, in 1945.

Here we are. The first financial quarter of 2008 has closed and even President Bush is finally admitting we might be in an economic downturn… so you know things are in actuality much worse since this administration has never acknowledged any reality or fact it didn’t like. After all, it took years before anyone in the Bush administration admitted things didn’t go as they planned in Iraq. We are in a war that transformed into a police action and is now an occupation with no end in sight. If the goal was to knock Iraq back into an unstable feudal state, well then “Mission Accomplished”.
Before you accuse me of being a leftwing pacifist (which is only an accusation if the person calling you that, is not a leftwing pacifist) let me outline the reasons, before and after the War’s commencement on why it should not have been fought.

Before the war’s start:
-The power to declare war is clearly delegated to the legislative branch in the Constitution, i.e. the Congress. (See Article I, Section 8, Clause 11.) Now while Congress drew up an authorization of the use of force against "those nations, organizations, or persons he [the president] determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons”. No actual connection was ever determined between the 911 attacks and Iraq. Frankly there was a bigger case to be made against Saudi Arabia and Syria, if the President and his administration were interested in holding nations accountable.
-There was no credible evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The reports and testimony of Yellow Cake procurement in Africa by Iraqi agents and proxies was not credible, and was disputed by various individuals and analysts within the Intelligence community. There were CIA reports that essentially stated that Iraq had abandoned WMD programs after 1991.

After the war’s start:
There is a fundamental lack of competency with which the war was planned. Military experts and senior staff, and even Generals were coerced into undertaking the invasion and subsequent war with insufficient forces and inadequate equipment all under the direction of Donald Rumsfeld.
Then there is also the hiring of private security firms to protect independent contractors in danger zones. Private security firms are not held to the conduct standards, legal strictures nor are they accountable to the chain of command of the United States Armed Forces and ultimately our Commander in Chief. Private security firms should never be contracted for protection in places of war, they are not the Army. By the way, there is another word for private security firms, a more brusque word, but one that needs to be reinstated as it has no euphemistic quality. That word is “mercenary”. We have contracted mercenaries in Iraq to protect independent contractors.

All of this administration’s failures, its breaches of law and protocol, and its incompetencies are grounds for President Bush’s impeachment, in my opinion, as a citizen of the United States. Why? -because these lies, malfeasances and abuses of power have cost many, many lives. George Tenet and Donald Rumsfeld are just the sacrificial lambs for this colossal tragedy. Remember that they didn’t get charged with any crimes. Their ousters were just pacifiers for the journalists, who were too late realizing their own gullibility, incompetence and complicity.

I am not a pacifist, and never have been. But I would never commit a soldier; a human being who has essentially rescinded his right to abstain from mortal combat for the good, for the well being of the nation, to a war I would not personally take up arms to fight in. Therein lies the answer perhaps... If we lived in a nation where every single one of us, every man and woman had to serve -with no deferment possible-, no rich daddies sending you to the National Guard in Texas in time of war, maybe we’d ask more of our “leaders” when they said we were going to attack a country just to keep us safe. Maybe we’d ask if the war was really worth it. Maybe we’d ask why?

I’d like to suggest something to you, a simple thing:
Congressional powers of oversight are not the congress’s to give away.

The Congress’s powers of oversight are bestowed upon them by the people. If our Congress and is unwilling or unable to speak the truth to power, especially when we the people don’t have the good sense to tell a president’s administration that; it is stepping over the line, it doesn’t rule us, that it is supposed to represent us, -then they are not the Congress anymore. They went along with a very big spurious lie. The powers of oversight implicit in the doctrine of checks and balances are what install government as an extension of the people’s will, not the president’s.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The answer is still you, dude.


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