Thursday, June 16, 2011

War Powers

An odd grouping of Congress Critters (thanks again, Molly Ivins) is challenging Our President's Constitutional power to conduct warlike operations in foreign countries without congressional approval. Part of the group consists of the usual Republican cabal who "refudiate" (thanks again, Sarah Palin) anything Barack Obama is inclined to do. The other part consists of Dennis Kucinich and nine fellow travelers of the sorry remnant of the Democratic left.

The administration says the War Powers Resolution doesn't apply because what we're doing there doesn't rise to the level of "hostilities." Personally, I think if you're sitting in the middle of a drone-launched missile strike, you're inclined to think the people sending the drones are pretty hostile. Just because we're sending robots instead of troops doesn't mean we're not engaged in war.

To me, it's also pretty clear that NATO has far exceeded the UN resolution permitting the "protection of civilians" from the forces of Muamar Ghadaffi/Qadaffi/Gadhafi/Gadaffi/etc. (Why can't the English language news media agree on a common transliteration from the Arabic?) The object of the campaign, clearly, is to remove the variously spelled dictator from power. That's not at all the same as keeping government artillery from leveling Bengazi.

It would be lovely if Boehner and friends helped bring this controversy to the Supreme Court, and if the conservative court decided they'd rather screw Obama than protect the administrative right to start worthless wars We'll see. Most interesting, from my perspective, is that our involvement in Libya had little to do with our role as the military force of the multinationals — or maybe not...

French, Italian, and British corporations all have economic interests in Libya, long threatened by Gadaffi. What we seem to be seeing from Obama is the smallest possible response needed to satisfy our corporations' corporate allies and preserve NATO.

Obama and Boehner will be playing golf tomorrow, but they may not give each other quite so many mulligans as the US is likely to need. Bah.

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