Posted on 05 January 2012.
Posted on 29 December 2011.
Posted on 27 October 2011.
By Dr. Harold Pease
President Barack Obama, has just initiated another war even before the blood dried from his last one in Libya. His recent deployment of 100 U.S. military advisers (soldiers) to aid in central Africa, notably Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic, is amazing. Never mind that we are not yet out of Iraq, are still dodging bullets in Afghanistan, and are unleashing drones to kill designated individuals in Pakistan. Libya and the four central African countries have one thing in common; our involvement in both settings was started by the single decision of one man which is totally and completely unconstitutional.
Referred to as Operation Lightning Thunder, the Special Forces are to train, advise and not engage in combat, unless forced to defend themselves. Congress was informed of the engagement by letter October 14, but reportedly troops were already in Uganda two days prior. The mission is to root-out and destroy a ruthless leader, Joseph Kony, who has led a notorious 24-year campaign of rape and murder as head of Lord’s Resistance Army, who allegedly kidnaped boys to fight in his army and girls to sell as sex slaves.
This is so reminiscent of a similar deployment by President John F. Kennedy beginning the Vietnam War. Inevitably the advisors were forced to defend themselves when fired upon and we took casualties. We then were asked to support our troops with more troops. Some 13 years later, on January 27,1973, after 56,227 lives were lost, we signed the humiliating Vietnam Treaty ending the war. Have we forgotten how this “no win” war began—with just a few advisors?
Despite powerful humanitarian reasons justifying the action, we lack the treasure and ability to be the policeman of the world. Where does it end? Most of the world has dictators and tyrants as leaders. That aside, the President lacks the Constitutional authority to do so.
The making and funding of war were clearly denied the office of president in the U.S. Constitution because he “had the most propensity for war.” Only Congress has the right “to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.” War requires the blood of our young warriors, and this requires the permission of the people who are required to be the fodder in such. Only the people’s representatives can “provide and maintain a navy or make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces” and for “calling forth the militia…to repel invasions.” Only the people’s representatives can “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States….” Congress is directly responsible for any acquisition of property for military use. All of this is in Article I, Section 8 and belongs to the legislative branch alone.
Funding for war is yet another Constitutional concern and is clearly left with the House of Representatives. The Constitution says: “no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.” Two years is the designated time that a member of the House is elected and authorized to represent his people. So, President Obama cannot expend monies for military activity to central Africa, or anywhere else, without congressional approval. Article I, Section 7 requires that “all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives….”
Mr. President, a letter to Congress announcing that you have already positioned soldiers in Uganda and plan to send others to the region is not consulting with Congress. As far as we can ascertain you did not even consult with your own party.
The only Constitutional power a president is allowed to have in the Constitution is as “Commander in Chief of the army and navy of the United States, … when called into the actual service of the United States,” which is done only by Congress, not by himself. No president has Constitutional authority to engage in war without a declaration of war—even if done by other presidents before him. And there is no authority to defer this power to an international government—the United Nations—to do it for us. To commit our young to potential death unilaterally is not within a president’s power, and doing so should be an impeachable offense.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College.
Posted on 21 October 2011.
By Dr. Harold Pease
One issue, among many, that isn’t dealt with in our presidential debates is government-sponsored racism. Almost all government forms require the filer to state his race. This accentuates race consciousness. The 2010 U.S. Census, requiring race identity, has only 11 categories; sadly, American is not one of them. Most of us are a mixture of many nationalities, even races, but American is never one of the choices allowed on any government form. We need to minimize our differences and be tolerant, but are constantly reminded of differences and the government is the greatest offender.
Mandated governmental statistics are submitted and comparisons are made with the intent of proving racial inequality and accentuating differences. Forgotten is the inevitability that if you look for inequality long enough, you eventually will find it. Race baiters (those who see and point out race in everything) have no problem finding it in everything. Moreover, monies are distributed on the basis of race to “fix” alleged differences which further accentuates prejudice, then racism. It becomes a cycle and is fueled by government who tries to right every wrong but in doing so creates other wrongs. It almost seems purposeful.
Consider the millions recently handed out by the U.S. Department of Education to four colleges in Kern County, California, solely on the basis of race. They are designated Hispanic-serving institutions, defined by having enrolled at least 25 percent full-time Hispanic undergraduates. This federal program, known as STEM, is focused to increase the Hispanic student college-going rate in science, technology, engineering, and math. The participating colleges will be dividing 31 million dollars over the next five years. Last year two of the four colleges divided 6.7 million dollars (The Bakersfield Californian, Sept. 27, 2011 p.3). The program, a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, is “to assist Hispanic Serving institutions to develop and carry out activities to improve and expand their capacity to serve Hispanic and other low-income students” (Taft Independent, Oct. 8, 2011).
Some serious questions arise from this. How can a near bankrupt nation, in light of its 15 trillion dollar national debt passed to our children making them future slaves, do this? Also, how many of the recipients are illegally within the United States? How can money extracted from our tax-payers be given to people of other nations when our own need it so? These are issues for another time. More pertinent to this article is the question, why should any race be treated differently than any other? When money is distributed specifically on the basis of color, how is this not racism? When Blacks, Asians, Native Americans, or even Whites, who are fast becoming a minority in California, see this, don’t they expect their fair share too. Doesn’t this breed race consciousness, then racism, and then potential conflict?
What is most bothersome is that two notions are accepted as fact and never questioned: all are abused except whites, and whites are always the abusers of others. Race on same race abuse is never treated, and the government seems uninterested in evidence of our actually coming together. After all we did elect a black president. Chances are everyone has experienced some abuse, and government is incapable of solving all problems or even most problems without first taking a portion of your freedom. Could this be the intended outcome?
The argument in favor of race-based government programs is that “we are only making up for the racism of the past.” In doing so, aren’t we also producing the evidence for race-based favoritism in the future as the descendants of those prejudiced now to “right” a perceived wrong can use the same logic in the next generation to extract favors from the children of current favorites? Racism then has no end and government is its major facilitator.
So what would happen if the government ceased baiting racism? It would slowly subside. The American melting pot has handled this better than any other nation on earth. It does so gradually, almost unperceptively, primarily through natural intermingling and intermarriage. Most of us are not pure anything. Most have learned not only to get along but to appreciate one another’s diversity in foods, holidays, music, customs and etc. Our diversity is our greatest asset outside liberty.