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Discussion Starter #1
I strikes me that the problem we face with iraq is really bigger than the headline issues of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and human rights.

I think that the centralization of war powers in any US President, under conditions where the issue at hand can be construed to be a war of aggression, is not consistent with what America stands for and what the founding fathers intended.

No one individual, regardless of talent, insight benevolence or veracity, can cope with both the authority and responsibility imposed by a "war to prevent war". This responsibility is (NOT SHOULD BE)that of the Congress, by authority of the People. Their haste to delegate this responsibility to the Executive office is a symptom of a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Failure to deal with this problem will lead to a long series of similar actions as we evolve into caretakers of the world, led by a single individual that happens to head the Executive branch of our government.

Yes, this would be cumbersome and slow. No, we would not be capable of bringing realistic threats to bear on enemies for political purposes. But restraint, deliberation and caution are what our system of government is all about.
 

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loader

I couldn't agree with you more. It seems that every year, our congress becomes more spineless, partisan and for sale. These guys seem absolutely incapable of thinking for themselves. Just increadibly overpaid yesmen. However in their present jobs, that's damn near treasonous. Any although I voted for him, this guy in the white house is starting to make me unconfortable.
 

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Technicalities aside with regard to the president to wage war,

The Congress has already passed a resolution giving the President authority to use force in the war on terror.

Iraq IS part of the war on terror because it has been demonstrated that they are harboring terrorists, possess weapons of mass destruction including Bio and chem with the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Saddam has openly defied ALL UN Resolutions over the last 12 years requiring him to disarm and stop persuing these weapons.

When he does aquire a nuclear weapon(s), he will have the power to extort the entire region to whatever whim he desires (read North Korea). Cutting off oil exports, threatening his neighbors to do the same, thus throwing the world's economies into turmoil.

My opinion is he should have been dealt with back in '91 but that's water under the bridge now. And I'd much rather have this problem dealt with now and "over there" as opposed to over here in a few years if he is left to his own devices.

And don't get me started on the Congress. It's better when they are out of session.;) Congress is the real "Quagmire"


Regards
 

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I'm of the opinion, while it is unecessary for previously stated reasons, that the President should ask Congess for a Declaration of War. It will be much easier to see who to vote out of office in 2 years this way. This will force the spineless legislators to take a stand and be counted.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think in this case, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Both sides of the Iraq War issue have legitimate points. Either choice leads to serious problems.

I'm just suggesting that it is better in these "damned both ways" war issues for the power to rest in Congress. This moves serious debate out into the world view and shows that we too are perplexed and divided. This is not a bad thing, it shows and gives respect to all points if view.

We need the support and respect of many nations to cope with terrorism. It is more important than centralizing the power to make war in one man.
 

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With respect to the Presidents power to wage war, what happens after Iraq is dealt with?

Contender, I'm going to borrow and modify part of your post, hope you don't mind.

Russia IS part of the war on terror because it has been demonstrated that they are harboring terrorists, possess weapons of mass destruction including Bio and nuclear weapons.

Russia has openly defied ALL UN Resolutions over the last 12 years requiring it to disarm and stop persuing these weapons.

They have the power to extort the entire region to whatever whim they desire. Cutting off oil exports, threatening their neighbors to do the same, thus throwing the world's economies into turmoil.


What if the above comes to pass? Are we then going to go to war against that country? What about the next, then the next. The United States is rapidly turning into the big bad that is going to run the One World Government.
Do we want this? I think not.

I agree that the power to wage war needs to remain with Congress. That is too much power for one man.
 

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J Miller,
I think it's best to win the wars we can to prevent being innundated by threats from countries that can be contained NOW. We went head to head with the Soviet Union. The fallout has provided us with new threats, but many new allies as well. I'd rather be the "big bad" than the "big dead". One of the few responsiblities that is actually given to the Federal Government, is defense of the country. If, as the leftist pundits say, the war is about oil, is that not as great a security concern as anything else? Without economic security, whe have no national security. I don't believe it's about oil, as we could buy all of it, that we wanted, from Iraq, I'm sure they'd have no problem with our financing our own destruction, much as we do in other parts of the world.

I also agree that the power to wage war needs to be relegated to Congress, with the exceptions that are currently provided. Would you rely on Congress to respond to anything for more than a month or two, once the polls where taken? The Congress, and the Senate to a lesser degree, has gone so far from the Founders intention,that it's a mockery of our system. It used to be that only Senators where career politicians, now, since the federal government has assumed so many more unconstitutinal, vote-buying powers, that the problem has really come to roost. The fact that we are a Republic is the only thing that saves us from the tyranny of the ignorant majority. Iraq tried to assassinate a recently-former President. Iraqi agents where involved in the OKC bombing, that has been proven and little reported. Iraq was involved in Somalia, that has been proven. Iraq provides open support to terrorists that target our ally/allies in the Middle East. Not to mention what we don't know. What more does a man of reasonable intelligence need to know? Are you going to rely on people who are elected with the idea that they are solid intelligent people, but rely only on the will of the masses? This is why we have a Republic, not a pure Democracy. So the sane, and occasionally the politically corrupt, have the power. What does Bush really have to gain here? The risk is bigger than the potential benefit.

To answer "what happens after Iraq?", it will be a comfort to know that whatever it is we will rise to the occasion. Do you think we'll go to war with Russia as a result of this? This sounds like hippie propaganda. It is my thought, and hope, that a democratic goverment will have huge influence in the surrounding countries. Like Iran, which is sandwiched between Afghanistan and Iraq and Turkey. Democracy in Iraq, if the will to deal with the extremists is present, will stabilize the area and make the ground ripe for democratic republics. What would happen after we did nothing would hold far less promise, and much more danger.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A 2 month Congressional debate would be just about right at this time. Our system is slow and deliberate, but profound. Its not perfect, but its the best on the planet for those wishing freedom withour revolution and anarchy.

When we take short cuts in the interest of expediency, we become something we are not, and never were intended to be. We lose face, and I am saddened, if not downright frightened, by the prospect.

War or no war, this tendency to do the expedient thing because it is "right" needs to be fixed. Its not about republicans, democrats, liberals, conservatives, hawks or doves...every conceivable position will do the expedient thing given the power to do it. In America, this should not be so.
 

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To answer "what happens after Iraq?", it will be a comfort to know that whatever it is we will rise to the occasion. Do you think we'll go to war with Russia as a result of this? This sounds like hippie propaganda.
I used Russia as an example, not a specific idea.
Hippie propaganda? Not on your life. I'm glad we agree on some things. And I hope you can agree to disagree on others.

Answer me one question. If it has been proven that Iraq has been involved in all the things you mention, why is Bush dragging his feet? If this is a proven fact then the act of war has long been commited.
Oil is not the problem, but something is. What's the delay?

For Bush I have only one comment: Crap or get off the pot!
 

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The reason for the "delay" is that we made a conscious decision to go through the UN. In my opinion, a mistake but there you have it. Colin Powell wanted it this way and I hope he realizes now after he was completely rebuffed after a masterful presentation the futility of reasoning with people who have already made up their minds.

Now we are subjected to the whims and attacks of all our "allies".

This has been going on for 12 years now with Iraq. The French, Germans could care less about our problems or if we are attacked again.

The French have "day after" contracts to develop Iraq's oil and so do the Russians. The Germans have sold Iraq prohibited items and so have the French DURING the sanctions. They have a vested interest in weakening the sanctions and not supporting the effort to disarm Iraq. It's been estimated that Saddam is making upwards of 3 billion dollars a year on illegal exports of oil.

Do you think that it's because they are against war on principle? Give me a break! They are looking out for their own self interest which is exactly what we are and should be doing.

9/11 changed everything with respect to our security. To continue to place decisions for our security in the hands of the UN who has demonstrably never been able to protect any nation from anything is obsurd.

This nation is in a fight for it's future, there are people and nations out there that want to see us taken out of the picture permanently.

A 2 month Congressional debate is exactly what we don't want. Because at the end of it we will find that we are back in the same spot and in the same position. We cannot maintain our troops there indefinately at maximum readiness.

The reasons for disarming Saddam have been completely laid out for anyone willing to listen.

We apply our civil reasoning to Saddam like we think we are going to talk him into disarming and being a good guy and not to torture his citizens anymore and to not pursue nuclear weapons anymore.

This is nothing more than wishful thinking by people who are willing to gamble with other people's lives.

I'm for doing the best we can to stamp out these problems before they land on our doorstep in bigger and more lethal forms.

Hey, I don't pretend to have a hope of persuading anybody regarding this situation. Those that have made up their minds pro and con are probably set in their decision and that's fine.

Lastly, we are far from the "worlds bully" my friend. We, as a nation, have given more funds and material and assistance and yes, freedom to more people and countries than any other nation on earth. Frequently with little thanks and often with disdain once the good deed is completed.

Your substituting Russia for Iraq makes little sense from a comparison standpoint.


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Amen brother Contender,
The problem with Bush is that he want to be inclusive. He wants to include the opinion of the Hippies. He want to include the opinion of the domestic Liberals. I understand that it's hard to believe what any politician says after Clinton was in orifice. The man (Bush) seems to live an honorable lifestyle and be an honest man. The problem he has, to answer your question, is that he is too willing to let the morons who have no sense of history or reality, have their say. This is something that Clinton did not do when he was bombing people to defend the terrorists that where trying to overtake the country of Yugoslavia. I find it interesting that none of the leftist filth in this country, when we where "bombing from 20,000 feet", in Yugoslavia, had anything to say about it. All of the "wag the dog" propaganda to cover up the former prez's affairs, talked about genocide, mass graves, etc. etc. There was no real evidence of any of this before or since this travesty. The anti-war movement and demonstrations, which represent a million or two of the 275 million people of this country, get all the press. The president has the authority, and the will of the people, to carry this out. I'm sick of the Eurofilth trying to delay this action to protect their business interests and their lilly white a**es, while saying it is all about oil, which it is, for THEM. France was the country that built the nuclear reactor for Iraq. Chirac is the leader, not the country of France, who tried to rebuild it for them. Germany is the country who sold Iraq the mobile weapons labs that they deny in the UN even exist. Bush is dragging his feet to satisfy the international community and the Communists in this countries lawmaking bodies, so we're not the "big bad" US. The only countries that are thwarting the movement are the ones that have been in cahoots with Iraq, and through sympathy or fear, agree with the continuation of what the Nazi's where doing. After all, the French must not have had much disagreement with Nazi's, when they rolled over in 6 months to surrender the entire country. Not to mention the capitulation before the aggression. The dissent in this country and Europe are what fuels the boldness of Saddam and his ilk to hold this country hostage. It gives courage to the enemy. I, for one, am sick of the filth in this country that undermine all the Americans who died to preserve their rights to be a**holes, with complete ignorance of the means that where used to create their freedom, and preserve it as we speak.

As a side note, everything the war protesters, and liberals, stand for, has been the destruction and downfall of this country. If you look at everything the people who are on the streets opposing this war stand for, the demonstrations sponsored by Communist groups none the less, have been the cause of nearly ALL the social problems that afflict our country today. If you want to disagree with this last statement, I'll refute you, point for point, until one of us passes out from typing too much. :)

Bush said he'd do what he's doing now, and it got him elected. He said he'd "set a new tone" and I believe he's done what he can to stick by this, not that I'd care. I believe in the prudent exercise of power, and this has nothing to do with listening to the psychobabble of the left.
 

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Congress had a debate!!!

Remember just before the elections-and when they suposedly gave over there -"Constitutional Rights" to the president to wage war. Well this was the Democrats ploy to win the majority back, they didn't want to debate this in the public forum of the elections !!! They didn't want to come off as un -American or as supporting terrorism!!! That's why they did what they did -now there trying to make Bush sound like a war monger!! If the Democrats had had anything,anything that could justify why we shouldn't be doing what we're doing it should have been done during the elections, but sticking to what they do best they ran from there duties as Americans and are now supporting the Anti- war peace Niks!!! Believe me the republicains were just biting at the bit the get the Democrats to finally show there true colors!!!Yellow:D

Republican and proud of it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Precisely my point - Congress should not be able to delegate war powers to the President, except under very special circumstances. This needs to be fixed, or we will just keep doing the same thing over and over again. The executive branch has no business making these types of decisions.

This is not about hippies, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Hawks or Doves. If Congress is not forced to deal with declaration of war, they won't...especially in cases where the need for war is seriously contested.

If Congress is unable to vote a declaration of war, then war will not be declared. This raises the bar to the point where it belongs. The need for war should be proven beyond all reasonable doubt, similar to guilt in our criminal law system.
 

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loader,

You know, I've never been good at snappy comebacks.
But you just said what I have been trying in my clumsy fashion to say. Yet I was accused of spouting hippy propaganda.
This situation is all messed up. The president is operating outside of the proper constitutional controls, the congress is a bunch of cowardly liberal hippies from the 60's that have shirked their responsibilities, and the situation is becoming very dangerous.
Those who want to go kill Sadam and all the others in that area are rushing us into a war that is going to cost us more than it's worth in the long run. In my opinion, (I'm 50 years old and and am entitled one) we have no business going to war there at all.

Now since I'll be flamed again for this I've decided to let all you linguisticly tallented people hash it out.
I've posted my last post on the Iraq situation.
 

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J,
Sorry about the hippie comment, unless you are one.:) I didn't even add in any of my usual list of adjectives prior to the term itself. The unfortunate situation is that the Constitution has been disobeyed and defiled at the hands of politicians of all stripes, and it hasn't been just since the 60's.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here, here!!

I wish I could figure out what has led us to this tendency to empower the Executive and centralize authority. Things are faster and more efficient that way, but so are benevolent dictatorships. It has almost become part of our culture.

The problem is there is no competition between parties and candidates on this issue - both are headed in the same direction. The issue has evolved into big vs small government rather than centralized vs decentralized.

We sleepwalk through this insidious trend, and wake up facing a war over which we have no domestic control. The prime emphasis for this has been congressional weakness:


"… this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq -- a
population, I might add, of which over 50% is under age 15 -- this chamber is
silent. On what is possibly only days before we send thousands of our own
citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical and biological warfare -- this
chamber is silent. On the eve of what could possibly be a vicious terrorist
attack in retaliation for our attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the
United States Senate.

We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings."

Senator Byrd of West Virginia
 

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INTERESTING TIMES: The fall of pacifism
Jerusalem Post ^ | Feb. 20, 2003 | Saul Singer


Posted on 02/21/2003 4:40 PM PST by yonif


Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.

George Orwell, Animal Farm, 1945

These are words to live by, if there ever were. But they are equally true regarding peace as they are about happiness. Peace, in a way, is a form of happiness; a positive state of being that paradoxically becomes more remote the more it is set up as an absolute.

There is a related paradox. The masterfully synchronized demonstrations last weekend seemed, particularly after the floundering of the anti-globalization movement, to be a show of strength for the "peace movement." In reality, this dramatic attempt to prevent the liberation of Iraq could end up being the greatest blow to pacifism since World War II.

Pacifism has a long and distinguished history. "The Spirit of Christ ... will never move us to fight war against any man with outward weapons," declared the Quakers' Peace Testimony in 1661. The Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace was founded in London in 1816, in response to mass conscription during the Napoleonic Wars.

Pre-20th century peace activists were true pioneers in an uphill struggle against the positive, almost ecstatic, elite attitudes towards war. Rudolf Euken, a German Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, wrote of the pro-war "Spirit of 1914" in his country: "An exultation took place, a transformation of an ethical nature ... We experienced a powerful upswing in our souls ... everything stale was swept away, new fountains of life opened themselves up."

The subsequent wholesale slaughter of World War I gave war a bad name and pacifism its first break toward respectability. But while that war was about defending indefensible monarchies, in the next world war, pacifism itself became indefensible in the face of Nazi tyranny and the Holocaust.

To this day, the overwhelming justice of the fight to defeat Nazism remains the most powerful proof-text against pacifism. The pendulum swung around again due to the Vietnam War, which, like World War I, boosted pacifism because it was portrayed as a futile war in defense of a corrupt tyranny.

But as generals tend to fight the last war, so do pacifists. World War I pacifism made no sense in the face of Hitler; Vietnam-era pacifism rings equally hollow in the face of Saddam. Pacifism is about to be discredited more thoroughly than it has been for over half a century.

THE LIBERATION of Baghdad will make the jubilation at the fall of the Taliban pale by comparison. Since the Soviet bloc collapsed, those who ridiculed Ronald Reagan's characterization of the "evil empire" have themselves been discredited. It will be difficult to disassociate the horrors revealed in Saddam's wake from the Western masses who, intentionally or not, helped protect his rule at such a critical moment.

Indeed, we can only hope that the fall of Baghdad will do to pacifism what the fall of the Soviet Union did to socialism. Today those who cling to socialism, with the tautological claim that wherever it has failed it has been misapplied, sound somewhat pathetic.

Socialism is down for the count and pacifism may follow. Yet, so far, the champions of freedom have failed to capture the vacated high moral ground. The pursuit of freedom, like pacifism, can become whacky or dangerous when turned into an absolute. But the absence of a "freedom movement" analogous to the "peace movement" is a telling sign that it is the remnants of the leftist zeitgeist that still holds moral sway.

The ethos of pacifism deserves credit for the fact that today, unlike in 1914, the reluctance to go to war is, fortunately, almost universal. Those who care about freedom feel as Abraham Lincoln described the North's attitude toward the Civil War: "Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came." It is good that war has been discredited and that the burden of proof lies on those who would wage it. What is missing is for tyranny to be as abhorrent as war, and for the burden of proof to be on those who defend tyrants. Now, both parties deprecate tyranny, but one would rather block a war and let tyranny survive, and the other would rather accept war to ensure that tyranny perishes.

In this dichotomy, it is those who care about freedom who are the real altruists. The pacifists, while claiming to care most about preventing the suffering of war, care more about saving themselves the need to fight. Those pressing for liberation are willing to support the sacrifice that war entails; partly for their own security, but largely for the freedom of others.

The world is still recovering or suffering from the follies of pacifism and socialism. The key to human well-being, including the desired victory over war and poverty that those ideologies claimed they would deliver, lies in the ascent of the value of freedom. When we see more rallies demanding freedom than demanding peace, the world will be on a better track, and we will have more of both.

Email Saul Singer at [email protected]



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Discussion Starter #18
This assumes that all inhabitants of this planet should be free AND that it is our duty to liberate them from within the boundaries of sovereign nations. WE decide, not so much because we should, but because we can. Pacifism, in spite of its practical shortcomings, serves a useful purpose by lending credibility to those concerned with the human, political and fiscal costs of war.
 
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