Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I thought that fact-free hysteria was what those other people did....

I mean, when you read cringeworthy hand-wringings like this:
The recent adventure into Libya, or shall I say ‘above Libya,’ is the first time in living memory we’ve seen the will of one man, even an American president, order and carry out an American military mission without even bothering to ask the American congress if it minds his messing about in a foreign country. In essence, one man in one day set in motion the power of the American military without any of the barest of rituals that normally come before.
...all you can do is mutter "Please stay off my side."

Because, you know, it's not the "first time in living memory", unless you're, like, eleven years old and therefore were born after Operation Desert Fox.


staghounds said...

Eleven years? Not even eleven DAYS.

"one man in one day set in motion the power of the American military" to do eartquake relief/ radiation guinea pig testing in Japan what, a week before Libya?

Joseph said...

Glad you brought this up. I've been thinking this is much ado about nothing. Well, not nothing, but it isn't like it hasn't happened before.

I guess in these instances, since we don't have boots on the ground (that they are telling us about), it doesn't count?

Stranger said...

There have been many such incursions in American history. Including those in largely forgotten places like Grenada and Panama.

But this actually is the first time the Commander in Chief actually waited until Congress left town to wag his dog.

For another first, the Sunset Man evidently did so consulting a single member of Congress. Not even those in his own party.

And for a third, the first time we have sent in the Marines without telling either Congress or the media.

I suppose that is proof that studying The Prince leads to a better outcome than skimming it.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I have less problem THAT he did. Presidential 'excursions' have been with us a lot longer than Reagan. Vigorous diplomacy is a President constitutional balliwick. I don't trust President Obama to do it correctly, certainly. Where a Reagan type would be in and out of Grenada in a week, and over Tripoli in half an hour, I half expect, in the current situation, military advisors to be sent next to Libya. Followed by more military advisors. Followed by a few combat troops in a year or two. 500,000 combat troops down the road. Then draft card burnings at demonstrations to levitate the Pentagon. Or whatnot.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I don't see how that timing much matters in the big scheme of thing, Stranger. I'd have felt the same way about Clinton if he had gone to do that whole Bosnian thing with Congress in session or with the whole of the legislative body on a Junket to Timbuktu. It's kinda small beer.

McVee said...

Whats really bizarre is watching my liberal neighbors greet each other with hooah and a fist pump.
That and the tie dyed "death from above" t-shirts...
Strange times.

perlhaqr said...

And Vanderleun isn't usually a dumbass, either. Sad.

Boat guy said...

Gotta climb on the slightly-less-pissed-that-he-didn't-ask-than- sceptical-he'll-dick-it-up bandwagon. The Reagan-era airborne incursion was directly linked to American deaths and pretty effectively executed AT COST of some of our people.
That said, when SecDef says there's no "national interest" involved I gotta wonder who is REALLY calling the shots - especially now that Rahm's in Chicago.

Standard Mischief said...

after 9/11, Congress passed Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists

in the resolution, it seems that congress falls just short of actually declaring war, including leaving in place the timetables from the War Powers Resolution Act knowing that they would be ignored anyway.

Undoubtedly, this was a cowardly "cover my ass" move, as no one can reasonably expect the US military to root out the sponsors of terror in 60 days (with an extra 30 days to withdraw)

Paul said...

While no one will deny that the duck in lybia is a sponser of terrorism, we are aiding the group he sponsered to gain power. I expect we will be told of some imam that is showing extrodinary skill at leading the "rebels" soon.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Uh, let's see. T.Roosevelt and the Great White Fleet (when he was Ass. Sec. Nav.), the Banana Wars in the 1920's, Spec. Ops in the Hindu Kush helping the Mujahadeen in the 1980's..... Of course, when you're in the Opposition Party, if YOUR Policy is to just let them do what they want so you can generate a few Terabytes of Sound Bytes to use during the upcoming Campaign Season and not actually pull the Plug on this Foreign Adventure, thinking that will allow you and your cronies to gain power so that you can continue to feed from the Public Trough.... A Pox on Both Your Houses!

Brad K. said...


I don't think the issue is about being Constitutional. The War Powers Resolution

. . was passed in 1973, by 2/3rds vote of Congress and overriding a Presidential veto. It requires that Congress be 'notified' - which could arguably be telling any single member of Congress.

Where Obama is hanging in the breeze is the 60 day limit on armed forces "remaining", with a 30 day withdrawal period, unless Congress passes an authorization. Arguably, the 60 days don't start until Congress catches him with members of the uniformed services (like advance intel teams) in-country.

This leftover of the Vietnam War (Remember March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day) is an act of Congress, but not a matter of the Constitution. 'Course B. Hussein Obama hasn't let Congress, the Constitution, or his own words slow him down in the past.

Actually, much of the rumbling seems to have more the flavor of positioning for the next election, than complaining about injustice - I don't see any substantive move to hinder, hamper, stop, or constrain anyone. Except the President's continuing disregard for the law, Congress, the nation, etc.

Besides. Letting Libya threaten to sell their oil at higher prices, or to other countries, risks Union jobs here in the US. Of course Obama had to blast his way in there - his union backers might have been irritated if he hadn't.

Sigivald said...

stag: Sure, but relief efforts aren't a "military mission" in the relevant context (which is the Constitution's reservation of war declaring powers to Congress).

Since Congress is not reserved the power to use the military for non-warfare tasks, the Commander in Chief can do them as he wishes, so long as Congress doesn't say "no" by cutting off the money.

He's mockable enough for "first time in living memory" without the need to twist things that far.

Standard: No, for all Constitutional purposes, the AUMF is a declaration of war.

(Hell, even Joe Biden thought it was when he was a Senator and voted for it.)

Please recall that the Constitution does not require some specific formula for Congress' power to declare war.

If Congress uses freakin' haiku to authorize the President to use the US military as he sees fit to accomplish some task, that's still a "declaration of war" in the Constitutional (and thus only important) sense.

The idea that the words "declaration of war" or "declares war" or "war shenanigans!!!" must be in the text is unsupported, though oddly common.

Anonymous said...

Why can't my President attack the greatest threat to the United States, the United States government?

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...


Like he'd get Congressional approval for that!

Anonymous said...


Drang said...

Well, that's the wierdest spam I've seen in a while...
Letting Libya threaten to sell their oil at higher prices, or to other countries, risks Union jobs here in the US.
How so? we don't import from Libya, and we don't export to... anyone that I know of. (I could be wrong.)

His Imperial Majesty will continue to be mocked as lacking a Clue Meter (ahem) as long as he is a feckless fool.
Bombing Khadaffy Duck isn't the problem, so much as the fact that I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever in his ability to not screw it up.
I'm too old and broke to un-retire, especially with the new PT Tests the Army just adopted...

Geodkyt said...

Sigivald said...
3:34 PM, March 30, 2011

Standard: No, for all Constitutional purposes, the AUMF is a declaration of war.

Yup, The Supremes ruled on that about 200 years ago.

Prythee, dear sir, for when Congress tells ye President, "Send forth yon troops and issue letters of marque to bust heads," it is truthfully the same as a war, which they have declared. Now eat privateer cannonballs, French bytches!

Gun Cabinets said...

Anonymous said...

Why can't my President attack the greatest threat to the United States, the United States government?