11 Oct. 2011
by Jeff Huber
by Jeff Huber
Last week marked the tenth anniversary of our War on Evil (aka WOE) in the Bananastans, those Central Asian banana republics of Pakistan and Afghanistan. If you’re confused as to which of the two Bananastans we’re at war with, don't worry. You’re in good company, some of which resides in the National Security Council and much of which dwells in the Pentagon and even more of which infests Congress.
Technically speaking, we aren’t at war with either country, even though we’ve been in the process of blowing both of them to piecemeal smithereens for over a decade now. Then again, strictly speaking, constitutionally speaking, we aren’t at war with any country, since we haven’t formally declared war against anybody since back in the early forties. That war, the last war Congress declared, World War II, was actually two wars, one against Imperial Japan and one against Nazi Germany. We didn’t declare war against Nazi Germany, by they way, but we didn’t have to. Nazi Germany declared war against us after we declared war against Imperial Japan. But that was good enough to constitute a Constitutional war according to the Marquess of Queensbury or Charles Goren or whoever was authorized to make up the rules of warfare back before there was a UN to make things up.
|Japanese foreign affairs minister Moramu Shigemitzu|
formally declares "Uncle-san!"
The wars against Germany and Japan were over by the late 1940s. We know they ended because Germany and Japan signed formal surrender documents. The German and Japanese people went along with those surrenders because they were signed by heads of state of the governments that existed in Germany and Japan at the time they surrendered. Another nation formally surrendering to us is another thing that hasn’t happened since the 1940s, and is a very large part of the reason that we haven’t actually won a war since then. We declared victory in Vietnam after we got our heinie handed to us there and went home, and the uneasy peace between the Koreas is the product of a cease-fire that has lasted more-or-less successfully for a half-century and tool-booth tokens.
Even though we haven’t declared any wars since the 1940s, we are presently involved in roughly 120 of them, give or take, around the world. The legitimizing pretext for some of those wars is the Authorization for Use of Military Force aka AUMF that our Congress persons passed almost unanimously a week after the 9/11/2001attacks without thinking about what they were doing. The pre-ramble to the 9/18/2001 AUMF says that “the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States.” The 9/18/2001 AUMF is often referred to as “the blank check” that allowed young Mr. Bush to do whatever hoodoo he had to in order to keep them evildoers from doing their evil whenever his neocon masters decided he needed to do it.
The 9/18/2001 AUMF as well as the 10/16/2002 AUMF that gave Mr. Bush and his puppeteers permission to invade Iraq are provisions of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which says that a president can only employ troops in combat overseas beyond 60 days unless Congress “has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces.” Bush administration Federalist Society lawyers, most notably John Yoo (aka Yoo Manchu), argued that Bush didn’t need a separate AUMF to invade Iraq because the original AUMF allowed it, plus a pile of other pony plop about how international law allows you to conduct preemptive self defense even if you don’t really need to, because, hey, how can you know for sure that you don't need to defend yourself from another country unless you invade the place and toss it to find out? Huh? You tell me.
In retrospect, the Bush machine's threats to bypass the legislature appear to have been a stratagem to gulling our Keystone Kongress into demanding a chance to vote for the Iraq invasion, and then letting them vote for it so they couldn’t hold the executive branch responsible if it turned out that we invaded another country on fuzzy pretexts (which turned out to be the case).
The 9/18/2001 AUMF and the self-defense mantra have been the bulwark of “legal” justification for the triple-digits worth of third world wars we’re now waging—with one major exception. Even the best and brightest warmongers in young Mr. Obama’s administration couldn’t claim that Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was a terror threat. He had, in fact, renounced jihadist terrorism in general and al Qaeda specifically. And they couldn’t say we had to preemptively defend ourselves against Gaddafi because he had voluntarily ash canned whatever sort of Our Gang weapons of mass destruction program he might have had. They couldn’t even say the Gadaffi’s regime was illegitimate because young Mr. Bush recognized it in return for Gadaffi ash canning his WMD and renouncing al Qaeda.
So Susie Rice, the liberal warmonger who young Mr. Obama hand-picked to succeed neocon warmongers John Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad as our Ambassador to the UN, crammed a resolution past the Security Council’s tonsils to establish a no-fly zone to protect the freedom loving peoples of Libya from their mean old dictator Gaddafi (who the UN had also recognized as a legitimate head of state). That quickly turned into an extensive bombing campaign ala the Kosovo Konflict to run mean old Gadaffi out of office and replace him with a bunch of hoodlums who can't decide among themselves who is in charge of them.
The Obama warmongers’ UN gambit accomplished something even Yoo Manchu didn’t manage to pull off: stiff-arm the War Powers Act and Congress completely from the business of starting wars. They got away with what the Bush camp couldn't consummate because liberals get the vapors when a conservatives start pointless, ill-advised wars, but when a fellow liberal does such things, well, liberals, you know how they are, they have to hold a vagina dialogue before they actually do anything and, except for the very few of them who still have a spine like Denny Kucinich, they’ll go along with whatever young Mr. Obama wants because they don’t want to see him get his progressive pants pulled down by some tea-bagging bobble head come 11/6/2012.
And maybe it’s not all that shocking to discover
that a secret panel is committing America to wars against individuals, since
we’ve cut Congress out of the picture anyway and since we don’t actually fight
wars against countries anymore. The original enemy in the Bananastans Woe was Osama bin Laden, supposedly, and the WOE in Iraq was against Saddam Hussein. That both of those enemies are now dead does
not, of course, mean that the wars we've stopped fighting wars agains them, or that we're even in the process of ending them. General
John Allen, who just replaced King David Petraeus as the four-star bull
feather merchant in charge of the Bananastans, says we’re going to be there for
a “long time” beyond the notional 2014 troop withdrawal date.
That explains why liberals couldn't seem to give a bat’s eyelash less about the recent revelation by the British press (our press doesn’t reveal things any more) that Obama is initiating wars on individuals, including American citizens like US born citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, by authority of a secret panel within his National Security Council.
want to rush
out of wars!"
“The plan is to win,” General Allen says. If that’s the case, inhabitants of the Next American Century will still be waging an undeclared war in the Bananastans against an enemy who will never surrender because the Next American Centurions, like us, won’t be able to figure out who exactly that enemy is.