Obama Deserves Impeachment for War Policies, But Few Dare Say So – and Most of Them are Republicans
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
It has fallen mainly to Republicans to challenge President Obama’s military flaunting of both U.S. and international law. A North Carolina congressman named Jones has submitted a resolution that would hold Obama liable to impeachment if he attacks Syria or any other country without an act of authorization from Congress. It is an action that “should have emanated from the Congressional Progressive and Black Caucuses, rather than the Republican Right.”
Obama Richly Deserves Impeachment for War Policies, But Only a Few Dare Say So – and Most of Them are Republicans
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“Congressional approval of U.S. wars is optional – not mandatory – for this president.”
At least a few Republicans want to impeach President Barack Obama if he does not seek authorization from Congress to attack Syria or any other country that does not present an imminent danger to the territory of the United States. A resolution to that effect was recently submitted by GOP Congressman Walter Jones, of North Carolina. Jones was also among ten congressmen who joined Dennis Kucinich in a suit against Obama for his failure to notify or get permission from Congress for his assault on Libya, last year. Ron Paul was also on the list. The only Democrat among the ten besides Kucinch was Detroit’s John Conyers.
Republicans would probably like to impeach Obama for any number of reactionary reasons. But, whatever their motives, Congressman Jones’ resolution is solidly grounded in both international law and the U.S. Constitution. The wording is impeccable, and should have emanated from the Congressional Progressive and Black Caucuses, rather than the Republican Right.
The resolution defines “the use of offensive military force by a president without prior and clear authorization of an act of Congress” as constituting “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor,” a violation of Congress’s exclusive power to declare war.”
Jones says his action is a direct response to an exchange between Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and the far-right Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Regarding the use of military force against Syria, the Secretary said the “goal would be to seek “international permission” and then inform Congress – but not necessarily to ask permission from the other branch of government. In other words, congressional approval of U.S. wars is optional – not mandatory – for this president.
Now, let's be clear. Most Republicans – and far too many Democrats – would likely go along with a presidential request for war against almost anybody in Africa and Asia, if they were properly asked.
“The goal of the Obama Doctrine is to smash both international law and U.S. Constitutional law.”
What some Republicans are really upset about is the idea of Obama going to war as a result of consultations with foreigners, based on United Nations resolutions and agreements with NATO countries. That’s the formula Obama employed in attacking Libya, which presented absolutely no threat to the United States, and is still attempting to use against Syria, despite being stymied by Russia and China at the UN Security Council.
One of the great ironies, here, is that despite the reactionary Republicans’ rejection of anything that binds the U.S. to international standards of conduct, the Jones resolution is very much in line with international law, which forbids waging war except in cases of direct attack, and only as a last resort. The goal of the Obama Doctrine is to smash both international law and U.S. Constitutional law. It would allow the U.S. to act as a rogue nation as long as it did so in concert with some combination of other aggressor nations – like the junior imperialists of NATO and the oil kings of the Gulf. Obama would make a great exception to the rules of war, by cloaking raw military aggression as “humanitarian intervention” – as in Libya – and then telling Congress that it was none of their business. That’s why we at Black Agenda Report keep asking the question: Who is the Greater of Evils?
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
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