SODOM & GOMORRAH: Members of the US Congress are feeling left out of the reindeer games in Libya. It seems they actually believe the illusion that sovereign power resides in the three branches of the US Federal Government.
Dr. Ron Paul and Mr. Dennis Kucinich, no doubt the sterling representatives of America’s ruling class, are complaining that President Obama’s decision to launch a strike against Libya may have been unconstitutional.
The real news here is not that American presidents engage in military action without Congressional approval. This has been done scores of times. The real news also, is not (not even for the press), that President Obama seems to be using the hapless Libyans to boost his popularity. Of course some have hinted that there should be an increase. And it’s certainly no small irony that this comes on the heels of The Economist accusing the administration of being cowardly. As the LA Times cited above indicates, the timid opposition still feels that the president is weak since the French got there first. The news is also not that everyone in the government has thus far tacitly approved of the Libyan expedition – Dr. Paul and his merry men – by arguing that the President needed approval implies that with approval this would be a legitimate thing to do, the GOP when they imply that if President Obama dispatched troops sooner it would be ok, and everyone else who woke up one day to find themselves bombing another country.
No, the real news is that people assume the Constitution has any sway over the day to day operations in the Beltway.
Three groups made the decision to intervene in Libya: the media, non-governmental organizations, and the State Department. The rubber stamp from the United Nations (which merely indicated that China and Russia, the last potential outposts of independent decision making outside the United States, had no material objection to the matter) was superfluous.
First, the media. This group selectively reported negative actions done by the Libyan government and explicitly ignored issues like the recruitment of children soldiers by the opposition group. They also failed to investigate what the opposition group is about. As this author has posed on Twitter, what do you know about the Libyan opposition?
Second, NGO’s. This article is revealing.
Third, the State Department. The United States has a long-standing tradition of refusing to take sides in a civil war. So leading up to the conflict, the State Department had to regulate the terms used to describe the situation in Libya.
Those who predict the action, frame the action, and promote the action are those who made the decision to undertake the action. The pre-meditation for the murder came out of these organs – once they were set into motion, it was a matter of time before the DOD folks were called into play.
(And while members of Congress still remain confused about who runs the show, the realities of US sovereignty are not lost on the Libyans.)