Friday, June 17, 2011

A Constitutional Mandate -- A Declaration of War: It is UTTERLY preposterous that the last war to be constitutionally declared was World War II. Are you kidding me? How many wars since then has the United States been involved? Answer: PLENTY. Saying the NATO bombing of Libya led by the United States is not war is like saying hamburger is not chopped sirloin. I beg to differ. It is!

I have one more reason other than it is explicitly stated within the Constitution that the president MUST ask the Congress and ONLY the Congress to wage war. Our Founders, I believe, put this requirement in for a reason. How many kings took their subjects to war on a whim, killed thousands and spent the public treasury to do so. Answer: MANY. It is the height of injustice to those who risk death fighting their country’s wars to so easily send them into the battle even if the battle is in the air.

To ask a person to actually give his only life up for a cause cannot and SHOULD not be done on the whim of one man. Those who are asked to fight it, through their representatives, should be the ones to decide their ultimate sacrifice.

How many of those excursions like Grenada (remember that one) during Reagan to the most egregious usurpation of power Vietnam and Iraq would have been fought IF a president when he dropped a bomb which kills human beings, asked the Congress for permission to do so through a declaration of war? I submit far fewer than we have entered since WWII.

Dropping bombs EVEN ONE BOMB means the taking of life and OFTEN innocent life in the form of so called collateral damage. Would YOU want your husband, your wife, your children who do not know foreign policy from a daisy be the ones to die for reasons they do not understand?

A declaration of war should be mandated and the War Powers Act should be amended to state that. It should ALWAYS be necessary and the consequence of abridgment should be severe!
Missed Targets: Some of Jeff Jacoby’s views profoundly missed his own targets in his June 17, 2011 opinion "Outrage that misses the target." (Link below) He addresses three issues.

In the case of Delta charging soldiers for extra baggage upon returning from the outposts of the wars in the Middle East: I agree as he says soldiers are often reimbursed for travel expenses but would they be in this case? Who knows? The rules of the marketplace, however, which Jeff Jacoby loves to laud, prevailed. Delta reversed its policy. Kudos to Delta for overturning this PR faux pas.

Mr. Jacoby is quite right, too, there is a profound difference between how returning soldiers from the Vietnam War were treated compared to those who return today from the Middle East. Returning vets from Vietnam were often treated less than celebratory. Those returning from America’s contemporary wars in the Middle East sit stratospherically high on the shoulders of the American public. I believe there are reasons why there is a difference in public sentiment between the two theaters of war.

During the Vietnam War men were drafted -- often protected only if they were college deferred, homosexual or medically unable. Men had to serve if they were drafted unless of course like Dick Cheney they could simply avoid the draft by being a perpetual student. That means there were those who, after intellectually understanding the Vietnam War, opposed it but if drafted had to serve, face arrest or conscience-driven exile to Canada. The colleges and universities erupted because there were men there who, once graduated, faced the odious possibility of dying in a war they loathed, in a cause they did not accept, and in a war they felt was unjust.

The soldiers of our contemporary Middle East conflicts choose to be there. It is voluntary. In addition, this nation was directly attacked on 9/11. It matters that 3000 lives were lost on that fateful day and three huge major edifices defining this country were reduced to rubble. It was a direct and undeniable attack on this country the enormity of which sometimes even seems to eclipse Pearl Harbor in historical magnitude. Vietnam had neither of those components. It was a war, the conscription in which, many reviled and those who were not endemically fighters feared. Indeed, Vietnam never attacked us. It was seen by many as an unnecessary enterprise between global power brokers jockeying for supremacy. Most of the soldiers returning from the Iraq War or the war in Afghanistan wanted to be there, knew what that would entail and believe in their mission.

The next issue of Jacoby’s target misplacement (although he certainly understands the positive sentiment of Rev. Unni) is committed by those who rail against church policy of rejection of gay Catholics' prayer with Rev. Unni of St. Cecilia’s Church in the Back Bay because of church catechism i.e. its doctrine. This is laughable if it were not so sad. I am told Jesus was about inclusion and not exclusion. If that were not reason enough to accept these good gay Catholics in prayer then perhaps the fact that the Catholic Church is most definitely NOT the inerrant institution it claims it is. If one only could, in reality, raise Galileo from the dead to find out how utterly wrong the Catholic Church has been in its doctrinal history and how preposterously slow it is to rectify those wrongs. Not only has Church doctrine been ignorantly wrong it has, I aver, been responsible for the death of many as it denies science, the truth of biology and the laws of physics because those things inconveniently do not conform to Catholic doctrinal tenets and myth.

Moreover, for the Church to deny those who want to have a connection to Christ the ability to do so because of their sexual preference would be laughable still if not for the obvious Church hypocrisy in doing so. This sanctimonious allegedly moral institution turned its eyes to GROSS pedophilia of its priests because it wanted to salvage the entrails of itself. This strains the boundaries of credulity and rationality. It is fine for the institution to look the other way and allow its priests to illegally molest its young BUT those who happen to be good homosexual Catholics cannot pray in its church. If that is not the definition of hypocrisy then hypocrisy has no definition. Perhaps, the Church should target its own flawed doctrine and leave all gay Catholics, who want to pray to their God, alone!