What Are the Real Foes?

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I’ve written here before and I repeat now: Obama can make a strong case for having the domestic or constitutional authority to bomb places like Libya and Syria without congressional action. Although the Constitution hasn’t given him such power in foreign policy, the Supreme Court has. To overturn this jurisprudence is easily as difficult as overturning that which allows fiat money, despite its unconstitutionality. We have to face the fact that it is under the present constitution that the imperial presidency, the empire, and the empire’s wars of aggression have arisen.

Unless advocates of limited federal government can get Americans to drop their support of empire in favor of limited government and impel new Supreme Court justices and rulings, they must be prepared to revise the Constitution thoroughly in a number of ways that are so fundamental that they mean a new Constitution. That means getting a Constitutional Convention called somehow and then taking a chance on the outome of such a Constitutional Convention. Those who want to overturn the empire’s institutions and replace them by limited federal government must either turn public opinion substantially or else get the old Constitution replaced along the lines they want. For advocates of limited government, the foe is not the unconstitutionality of certain acts of the empire. The foe is the existing constitution.

Those who want no federal government at all face the similar challenge of altering public opinion radically.

For political reasons, Obama has found it expedient to ask for the approval of Congress. At the same time, he has kept open his option, backed up by Supreme Court jurisprudence, to bomb Syria without that permission. However, even if Congress approves, the situation is still one of an empire making aggressive war. The real foe here is the empire, and it is virtually defined by the making of aggressive wars and by other forms of expansionism, intervention, political domination and economic domination. All of these activities are therefore also foes of those who support liberty, whether minarchists or anarchists.

One of the biggest chinks in the empire’s armor is its making of aggressive war. Admittedly, it does whip up and find public support. It has found ways to insulate the public from these wars by getting rid of the draft (but not registration) and by hiring mercenaries. But by having lost very expensive wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and by causing terrorist retaliation on American soil, there is a growing anti-war sentiment and war weariness. Additionally, there is a certain amount of moral sentiment of Americans against wars of aggression.

It is very, very difficult for Obama to mount a case for warring on Syria on the grounds of defense or national security, that worn out appeal. His Secretary of State, John Kerry, is trying to wave the bloody flag of chemical warfare in its stead. Obama will continue to press the buttons of “deterrence” and “weapons of mass destruction” in order to divert attention away from the simple fact that attacking Syria is not an act of national defense. And not being an act of national defense, it is an act of aggression.

11:12 am on September 2, 2013