I Hate War!

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Edwin
Starr
said it best in his song War.
"War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!"

As a libertarian,
I continually struggle with the widespread acceptance, and in many
cases, love of war by Americans. Since I detest aggression, I therefore
despise war. The only legitimate force that is acceptable in my
opinion is that for self-defense of life, liberty, or property,
and self-defense should not allow for any use of force that extends
past defense to aggression. It is irrelevant to me whether one's
defense is protected individually or collectively, so long as the
non-aggression principle is followed.

I was reminded
of the lack of understanding of morality, and the lack of any adherence
whatsoever to any idea of non-aggression or compassion, when I listened
to the testimony by the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, during
a hearing
held by the Senate Armed Services Committee recently. The questions
and testimony seemed to concentrate not on any just cause for continuous
wars, or on war itself, but on who gets to make the decision to
go to war. I came away with the distinct impression that there was
no concern at all for those being sent to die, or for those foreigners
being killed, but only for those on high who get to claim the glory
for the slaughter!

Just today
in the news was the story of a sergeant in the Army who methodically
murdered 16 innocent civilians in southern Afghanistan. After he
shot and killed these people in their homes, 9 of which were children,
he proceeded to pile their bodies, and burn them. President Obama
and Leon Panetta expressed their condolences, and of course promised
investigations. They also said, with unmitigated audacity, that
this "incident" does not represent the "exceptional
character" of our military. This statement is beyond pathetic,
and is without conscience! No apology for an immoral war of aggression
was forthcoming, but only a statement lauding the murderers themselves!
These people are not fit to represent anyone, and are complicit
in all these barbaric acts!

What Panetta
said in the senate hearing was revealing about the mindset of a
dictator or king, and exposed the Obama administration's lust for
absolute power. In reality, the same could be said about most any
presidential administration, especially those to come in the future,
as the expansion of executive power is continuous and ongoing. His
comments were staggering to say the least. He basically said that
the president could wage war, commit troops, and build foreign coalitions,
by gaining "legal" authority from international bodies.
He said that this could be done "legally" without the
consent of Congress. This particular statement is incorrect, but
could it not be in the future?

Of course,
the constitutional worshippers who immediately came forward, may
have had a point, but both sides were fighting about the same thing,
waging war, and who gets to make that decision. Nothing was discussed
about the immorality of wars of aggression, and that is very telling.

The increase
in the power to wage war by presidents has been around a long time.
What is considered the First War Powers Act was the War Powers Act
of 1941 signed by Roosevelt, but that was not the first time that
war powers increased. The "legal" authority today to wage
war is not gained from any direct constitutional authority, or congressional
declaration, but from the War
Powers Resolution of 1973
, which was supposed to be a "restriction"
on the power of the executive to wage war. That has hardly been
the case.

The power to
declare war according to Article
1, Section 8
of the constitution rests only with Congress, but
no declaration of war has been evident since WWII. Today, the War
Powers Resolution of 1973 is an accommodating tool for both the
Congress and the executive branch when it comes to the authorization
for waging aggressive wars. The 1973 document allows Congress to
simply give an "authorization" for war instead of using
a formal declaration of war. This gives them political cover, while
vastly enhancing presidential power. George W. Bush used this to
his advantage as his so-called constitutional grounds for his aggressive
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Conservatives accepted and applauded
his claim proudly, but they were being very deceitful in that approach.

To understand
the massive constitutional power that Congress holds over waging
war, one only has to read the war powers given in Article 1, Section
8, of the constitution, including the all inclusive final words
in that section. It says that Congress has the power:

To make
all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution
the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution
in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or
Officer thereof.

The powers
given to Congress concerning war in the flawed piece of parchment
called the U.S. Constitution are broad and immense, and don't define
the reasons necessary for war, but only the power to raise armies
and declare war. In addition, Congress can make any law necessary
to execute its powers! This was and is an open invitation
for abuse, and that abuse has been with us for a long, long time.
Given the above language, can Congress simply make any laws it chooses
to, without constitutional amendment, to affect its intent concerning
war? Can it legally transfer it obligatory duty concerning war to
another branch of government? Will Congress in the future draft
another resolution to turn the power to make war over to international
bodies, as it did when it transferred that power to the president?

The bottom
line is that regardless of the so-called "legal" authority,
all U.S. wars are wars of aggression, which means they are immoral,
unholy, and murderous. They are waged for purposes of imperial conquest,
for power, to steal or control the natural resources of other countries,
and to enrich all those government supporters who are dependent
on warmongering, such as government contract corporations, and the
big banking sector. While most don't want to hear this, it is the
truth of the matter, and that by any standard is an evil truth!

The United
States has become the poster child for imperialism and perpetual
war, and now stands as the single most powerful nation on earth.
It is that lust for power that has driven public policy for over
100 years, and now is expanding almost beyond imagination. Millions
of innocents have died, and tens of millions have been displaced
from their homeland due to U.S. aggression.

War is hell,
as the old saying goes, so why do so many support war and those
who prosecute them? Why are all those doing the murdering considered
heroes to the masses in this country? Why do soldiers follow orders
to kill, when that killing is unjustified? Why are American flags
constantly waving, and why is the national anthem, a celebration
of war, always sung at every local and national event? Why do so
many pledge their allegiance to a flag, an allegiance that is the
communistic epitome of worshiping the state regardless of its actions?
Why do Americans love war?

The prosecutors
and benefactors of war are the lowest among us. They are the politicians
who gain massive power with every conflict. They are the parasites
that lobby for war in order to gain profit. They are the central
banks that supply the capital for war. They are the military that
builds its ranks in the presence of war. They are the complicit
citizens who swell with pride in the presence of death, and revel
in the glory of battle.

War is the
health of the state; it is not the health of a nation of free individuals.
War always leads to less freedom, not the other way around as so
many falsely believe. War is devastation and sorrow. War is the
destruction of families and innocent lives. War is death and maiming.
War is torture. War is terrorism. War is murder. War is immoral
and unholy. War is without mercy.

Is war worth
the lives of your sons and daughters? Is war worth the lives of
your friends? Is war worth the torment and anguish that is brought
on loving families? Is war worth the carnage? Is war worth a lifetime
of tortured minds? Is war worth all the orphaned children left with
nothing? Is war worth the mass graves of innocent unknown souls?
Is war worth anything? No! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

March
13, 2012

Gary
D. Barnett [send him mail]
is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown,
Montana. Visit his website.

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