2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #317
As we all know, each year we set aside a day we call Memorial Day to honor those people who have served in the military to keep our great country safe, and particularly those who lost their lives in that effort. But wouldn’t it be more meaningful if we all made efforts to reduce those losses of lives? This can be done – by each one of us – if we insist that our country follows Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution by not sending our troops into battle for longer than 60 days unless Congress has first issued a Declaration of War. But no such declaration has been issued since shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. And Congress passing so-called war powers acts to give discretion to the President to send our troops into military “conflicts” is transparently not the same thing!
What difference would this make? It would require Congress to take full responsibility for sending our troops into battle. As a result, Congress would be required – publicly – to debate who and where the enemy is, what the threat is to our national interests and security, what our goals would be for the war and how we would know when those goals were met so we could withdraw our troops. Many believe that had this Constitutional mandate been followed we never would have put our troops into Vietnam, Iraq, Panama or even Korea. (What actually have been our goals for the last 18 years in our military “conflict” in Afghanistan?) And what a savings we would have seen! Much less trauma and many fewer deaths for our fighting troops and much less grieving and hardships for their families, not to mention the greatly reduced spending of our tax money! (And many fewer civilian deaths in the battle zones overseas! Those lives also count!) Plus following this mandate would also have the benefit of the people in our country more fully supporting those actions if Congress had actually issued a Declaration of War. So please spend part of today’s Memorial Day contemplating how we all can help in requiring Congress to follow this Constitutional mandate because, if it did, soon we would have many fewer lost and injured troops to honor. So please have a meaningful Memorial Day!
Quote for the week: “The man who knows what freedom means will find a way to be free.” F.A. “Baldy” Harper (Founder of the Institute for Humane Studies)
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President
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