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I'm confused about something regarding this war(15 posts)

I'm confused about something regarding this warKristin
Mar 7, 2003 11:40 AM
Can Bush act entirely on his own to launch this war? I thought that our government was designed so that the president couldn't do that without the support of others. It appears to me that nearly everyone now is against this thing or becoming more against it--cept for my boss, but he wants to vote to Pat Robertson. What balances are in place to keep a president from going off half-cocked and starting a war on his own?
wide discretionDougSloan
Mar 7, 2003 11:47 AM
The Constitution make the President the Commander in Chief, but only permits Congress to "declare war." There are statutes that attempt to allocate some responsibilites, but all are subject to the Constitution having higher priority.

Congress must fund anything, though. The military will not work for no pay or without planes to fly. Ultimately, the President has wide discretion, but within the bounds of budgets passed by Congress.

If a President got too out of line, almost nutsey, he could be impeached, if he committed "high crimes or misdeamors." I doubt this ever would happen.

My bet is that it is not the case that "nearly everyone is against this thing or becoming more against it," but rather, those people are being much more vocal than the President's supporters. Being a supporter, there really isn't much need to be vocal. This IS going to happen. Why get all worked up about supporting something that is a certainty?

Doug
wide discretion - agreed... we've evolved well past a...PdxMark
Mar 7, 2003 2:30 PM
declaration of war being a prerequisite for a President to engage military forces. I think there was no declaration of war in response to 9/11, since we weren't attcked by another country. It seems that declaration of war is getting to be reserved for an attack by a bona fide country against the territory of the US.
Were we really attacked by another "country"?Kristin
Mar 10, 2003 10:56 AM
I was never under the impression that anyone but Osama and his followers thought that Osama was in charge of anything...least of all Afganastan. I thought we were attacked by terrorists.
gray areaDougSloan
Mar 10, 2003 11:12 AM
Could be, if terrorists=Osama=Taliban=Afghanistan. Sort of makes sense, but not in the conventional way.
Good questionCaptain Morgan
Mar 7, 2003 11:48 AM
They voted on it last year.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/881664.asp?0ql=csp
Two thingsMcAndrus
Mar 7, 2003 11:50 AM
First - he already has a war resolution from Congress from last fall and it is specific to Iraq. This is, in our politics, just a hair short of a full declaration of war.

Second - Congress has the power of the purse and if they want, they can refuse to fund a war or any military action. This is exactly what Congress did after 1973 in Vietnam. According to many historians this was the cause of the fall of South Vietnam. You may agree or disagree with the conclusion but it is a legitimate roll for Congress and is part of our checks and balances.
the warFredrico
Mar 10, 2003 2:54 PM
Viewing the refusal of congress to fund the Vietnam war places the moral blame in the wrong place. It was the hubris of people like LBJ and McNamara who could not provide "exit strategies" when they knew by 1968 they weren't going to defeat the Vietnamese communists, instead stuck another limb into the tar baby.

The reason South Vietnam fell was because no Vietnamese, nor few Americans for that matter, cared to defend it. It is an irony of history that "the communist bloc," if there ever was one, fell apart a scant twenty years after the American sacrifice of 45,000 men in a humiliating defeat--by a small communist country.

History may be repeating itself.
dependstarwheel
Mar 7, 2003 12:23 PM
If it's a Republican president, then it's OK for the president to do whatever he wants, according to Rush Limbaugh and most conservatives. If it's Bill Clinton, then it's not alright. In fact, the Republican Congress took steps during Clinton's administration to limit presidential war powers. You can bet that if Gore had won the election -- er, I mean if the Supreme Court had decided to appoint him president -- the Republicans would be throwing all sorts of roadblocks in his path, assuming Gore would try to fight an undeclared war against Iraq, which is not a good assumption (despite what Ralph Nader thinks about there being no difference between the parties).
Well said nmPdxMark
Mar 7, 2003 2:24 PM
You don't really have a clue do you? (nm)CJ838
Mar 8, 2003 3:57 PM
The last time Congress declared War was against Grenada...Me Dot Org
Mar 7, 2003 1:38 PM
...kidding...

I believe the last time the U.S. declared war was WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Somalia, Libya, Yugoslavia, Panama, GWI and Afghanistan were accomplshed without a declaration of war.

The President is traditionally granted tremendous leeway in responding to a military threat.

By not declaring war we also lessen some potentially troubling diplomatic situations, like how to deal with other nations who are trading with the country we are fighting. Declaring war also triggers treaty obligations, which could be awkward.

As Doug rightly pointed out, Congress can pull the plug on a war by refusing to fund it. Wouldn't bet the farm on that happening...
If you guys remind me latersn69
Mar 7, 2003 8:38 PM
I'll give you a primer/laymans guide to contingency funding for military actions abroad. I started to write it earlier this afternoon (mostly because I was sick of being at work), but the board server problems were frstrating me too much.

Bottom line? It hasn't been funded, and it's unlikely that DOD will see much of any supplemental package floated through both houses.

I'll have to explain the process at length. It might really shock some of you.
The last time Congress declared War was against Grenada...Me Dot Org
Mar 7, 2003 3:48 PM
...kidding...

I believe the last time the U.S. declared war was WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Somalia, Libya, Yugoslavia, Panama, GWI and Afghanistan were accomplshed without a declaration of war.

The President is traditionally granted tremendous leeway in responding to a military threat.

By not declaring war we also lessen some potentially troubling diplomatic situations, like how to deal with other nations who are trading with the country we are fighting. Declaring war also triggers treaty obligations, which could be awkward.

As Doug rightly pointed out, Congress can pull the plug on a war by refusing to fund it. Wouldn't bet the farm on that happening...
He has permission from CongressCJ838
Mar 8, 2003 3:56 PM
He asked the Congress to give him discretion in that area, that is starting a war. They passed that article last October (all but one representative voted for it). So no, he cannot start a war on his own. He did get permission from Congress.

Appearences can be decieving. The vocal MINORITY (peace activists) are just that. A minority. Let them talk, let them protest. They don't have the courage to remember what this man (Sadaam) has done. They simply want to push their own agenda. Which is the de-capitalization of America.

These people love to forget history. They don't want to come to the realization that war is sometimes an ugly necessity. You have to remove Sadaam from power. The atrocities that have occurred under his abuse of power go far beyond what happened in Kosovo, and can be likened to early Russia and 1930's Germany. Hopefully you yoursef do not need a history lesson. I could fill this board with known, undisputed facts about his human rights violations, his support of terrorism against Isreal, not to mention his repeated violations of a UN agreement he signed in 1991. Oh and don't forget he admitted to trying to kill George Bush Sr. through an asassination attempt in 1992.

I would hate to see war, but I also feel we have to do this. Screw the French and Germans. They add little value to world stability or economy. It's fine by me that there are a few who cry about the big American war machine. Let them cry. We and our true allies have the courage to stand-up to the cry babies.

CJ