Previously by John V. Walsh: An Anti-Interventionist Looks atChina
The time has come for those who claim high regard for the U.S. Constitution to show that they mean what they say. The time has come to begin impeachment proceedings against President Barack H. Obama for high crimes and misdemeanors.
The United States has initiated a war against Libya, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has conceded. When one country bombs another, which has not attacked it nor posed any immediate threat to it, that is an act of war. No "humanitarian" rationale justifies such an act. Only an act of Congress suffices according to the United States Constitution. Barack Obama has violated that provision of the United States Constitution, which he swore, falsely it is now apparent, to defend and protect. Barack Obama has committed this greatest of impeachable offenses. Other offenses related to torture and violation of the civil liberties of U. S. citizens may emerge as articles of impeachment are drawn up.
Many Tea Party candidates and paleo-conservative and libertarian Republicans, such as Rep. Ron Paul, won office by declaring their high regard for the Constitution. Rep. Paul stated in advance of the attack on Libya that a Congressional declaration of war was necessary according to the provisions of the Constitution before an assault could proceed. If these Republicans do not act now to begin impeachment following the lead of the very principled Dr. Paul, their words meant nothing, and they should be turned out of office.
Similarly antiwar liberals such as Dennis Kucinich backed candidate Barack Obama because of his promises of peace. But President Obama has given us ever more war. His pledge to end the war in Iraq by 2009 turns out to be an empty promise, and he has widened the war in Afghanistan. He has also ordered the bombing of Pakistan, another act of war not authorized by Congress. If such liberals are genuine agents of peace, they too have an obligation to follow the lead of Kucinich who has used the term impeachment with respect to Barack Obama’s behavior to initiate impeachment proceedings. Otherwise they are poseurs, and they should be turned out of office.
Barack Obama can himself be called as the first witness to the hearings on his impeachment, so obvious is his crime. In 2008 as a candidate for the presidency he replied as follows to a question from the Boston Globe’s Charlie Savage.
Savage: "In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?" (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites – a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)
Obama: "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
High members of his administration agree and might provide ancillary testimony. Vice President Joseph Biden has declared: "The Constitution is clear: except in response to an attack or the imminent threat of attack, only Congress may authorize war and the use of force." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was of the same opinion: "If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action – including any kind of strategic bombing – against Iran without congressional authorization."
Barack Obama has further isolated the U.S. in the world by going to war against Libya, contrary to his claims of being a part of a broad international effort. This can only do more damage to our country, bleeding now with so many problems. Consider the vote in UN Security Council. Michael Lind informs us of the demographics and power relationships lying behind the UN vote as follows: "In the vote to authorize war against Libya, the U.S., Britain and France joined by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal and South Africa. Abstaining from the vote were five countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and Germany."
"What do the five countries that registered their opposition to the Libyan war have in common? They make up most of the great powers of the early twenty-first century. A few years back, Goldman Sachs identified the so-called "BRIC’s" – Brazil, Russia, India and China – as the most important emerging countries in the world. The opponents of the Libyan war on the Security Council are the BRIC’s plus Germany, the most populous and richest country in Europe."
"Including the United States, the Security Council nations that voted for the no-fly zone resolution have a combined population of a little more than 700 million people and a combined GDP, in terms of purchasing power parity, of roughly $20 trillion. The Security Council countries that showed their disapproval of the Libyan war by abstaining from the vote have a combined population of about 3 billion people and a GDP of around $21 trillion."
"If the U.S. is factored out, the disproportion between the pro-war and anti-war camps on the Security Council is even more striking. The countries that abstained from the vote account for more than 40 percent of the human race. The countries that joined the U.S. in voting to authorize attacks on Libya, including Britain and France, have a combined population that adds up to a little more than 5 percent of the human race."
The situation appears worse the more one regards it. Lebanon’s government controls only part of its territory. Gabon is a statelet with a mere 1.6 million people, smaller than many American cities. And the UN ambassadors of two of the countries who sided with the U.S., Nigeria and South Africa, were not present when the vote was scheduled to be taken. Ambassador Rice had to leave the Security Council chamber, find them and usher them in herself.
Partisan considerations should not impede the move to impeach Barack Obama. When George W. Bush was president, many on the Democratic Party Left called for his impeachment. They must do the same for President Obama who has more clearly violated the Constitution than President Bush since he did not even seek the dubious Congressional "authorization" which George W. Bush asked for and received. If the Left cannot do this, its credibility will be in shambles, and quite deservedly so. On the other side clearly there is reason to indict Bush, and some on the Left are calling for that as are certain authorities in European countries where the former President dare not go. But at the moment Barack Obama is in charge and capable of greater damage if he is not stopped by impeachment. Impeachment of Barack Obama can no longer be avoided.
President Barack Obama has violated the U.S. Constitution and employed the armed forces of the U.S. as a king’s army. The U.S. made its revolution to escape such a predicament, and if this usurper of Congressional authority is not stopped and punished, these crimes will continue under each succeeding executive. This must end and it must end now. Impeachment proceedings must begin at once.
John Walsh [send him mail] is a scientist who lives in Cambridge, MA.
© 2011 John V. Walsh