We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thing
At this point, I'm writing my senators at least once a week and sometimes more. That Americans pay more attention to Survivor than the dismantling of our government's system of checks and balances is shocking to me. That our trade imbalance may be even worse than we think, that our debt is growing at a mind-boggling rate, and that our news media is staggeringly slow to get the point that gas prices at the pump are the very tip of the oil industry's exploitation iceberg enrage me. I find it hard some days to compose sentences without fuck, fuckhead, and fucking pigfucker, which won't get me very far in political discourse except in the Vice President's office, where I get the feeling the most ruthless women in the world go to work after they discover eating their young requires only dipping sauce and razor-sharp fanaticism.
Today's reason to write letters comes, believe it or not, from Pat Buchanan, and you can look that up on your own. He's still a soulless bastard, even if this time he's finally right about something. Anyway, a few days ago, Buchanan said it was time for Congress to show some backbone and remind the administration Congress declares war, not the president. I have to tell you, when I read that Pat Buchanan was thinking roughly the same thing I was last week, I almost swallowed my tongue. Of course, then I wondered what he thought about white and black polka dot curtains for my bedroom but he was curiously silent on that.
At Middle Earth Journal, Jazz puts it all together in one neat package I'm shamelessly stealing. We're using our powers for Good here. That requires us to put aside our personal feelings. In this case, I'll send him a nice goat cheese or something and we can all get on with saving the world, because that is what we are doing, and sending someone cheese is a small price to pay. Here's Jazz's letter:
Dear (insert name of Senator or Representative here),
As an elected official, you have a duty not only to the people who elected you, but to the Constitution of our country which provides the framework for our government. As is stated in Article 1, Section 8 of that document, Congress - not the executive branch - shall have the authority " To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on land and Water."
While we remain embroiled in an increasingly dismal quagmire in Iraq, with our military forces stretched thin to near the breaking point, it appears that President Bush is edging closer and closer to ordering military strikes against the nation of Iran because of their alleged nuclear ambitions. It further seems apparent that he feels that he can order such strikes - effectively declaring war on Iran - without the previous consent of Congress or the United Nations, and without the support of any of our international allies. (What few we have left at this point.)
Whether or not you believe that military strikes against Iran are needed or justified, I must appeal to you to step up and perform your duties as mandated by the Constitution. The President has the power to wage war, not to declare war. That heavy burden falls squarely on your shoulders and is one which you accepted by taking the oath of the office you now hold. After the fact will be too late for any Congressional hand-wringing and moaning to do any good. Now is the time for Congress to stand up and formally declare that this President does NOT have the authority to launch military strikes against Iran or any other nation or to start any war without first coming before Congress and having them consider the matter and cast a vote to be recorded for public perusal. Simply stating that I shall not vote for any Senator or Congressman who stands idly by and lets the Executive branch once again usurp the power to declare war is not enough. The next election cycle shall likely be too late to have any effect. Rather, I call on you to take a stand NOW and do the duty you swore to undertake when we elected you.
As to how you should vote, I would urge you in the strongest tone possible to consider the points made by so many authorities on mid-East matters. An attack on Iran - a significantly larger and more militarily capable nation than Iraq - would, without a doubt, result in retaliatory strikes at our troops, interests and allies across the globe, probably including both direct military assaults on our forces and resources as well as terrorist attacks at home and abroad. Iran also has the ability to deliver a savage blow economically which will be felt around the world and especially strongly here at home. Russia and China are also notably sympathetic towards the interests of Iran and it is possible that they might become involved in ways that we not only didn't anticipate, but could not prevail against. Another unilateral, "go it alone" attack by this President on yet another mid-East nation will further alienate us from our former allies and damage our position in the international community, possibly beyond repair. Most experts concede that it would be at least a few years, if not decades, before Iran could produce a working nuclear weapon, assuming that is even their intention. And to claim that such a possibility is some sort of Casus Belli while we allow other nations in that region, including Israel, to sport nuclear weapons smacks of hypocrisy and calls our motives and rationale into question for all to see.
I am requesting that you act NOW, while sanity and reason might still prevail, to draft and pass a resolution on both houses of Congress, declaring that the President does NOT have the authority to launch an attack on Iran without the prior consideration and consent of the Congress in the form of a declaration of war on that country. And God help us all should you and your colleagues decide to do so.
Totally worth the cheese, yes? I'm going to email my senators and a few extras. It never hurts to remind Senator Lieberman he works if not for us then for people like us, and certainly not for President FratBoy.
Listen, you can't save the world or even innocent civilians you'll never meet without licking a few stamps or kicking a few butts out of Congress. Sure, it's time-consuming and annoying but the effort be totally worth it if thousands more young Americans don't march off and die for - die for what? Affordable oil? What, do you think China and India are going to wake up tomorrow and say, "That's okay, you take it all, we'll just sit here in the dark with the grandmothers you sold down the Mississippi, you selfish whores"? No, and bombing Iran isn't going to make America any safer or more secure. In fact, there isn't a single desirable outcome possible in a war-with-Iran scenario - for us. For the American people. Not one.
Don't be fooled. Don't be seduced. Send those letters. Demand that our common sense and cool heads prevail. That may be the only way we get to keep them.
Cross-posted at Blanton's & Ashton's.