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Answers to Ron Paul's Questions on Iraq From an Opponent of the War
Lew Rockwell ^ | 9/14/02 | Jacob G. Hornberger

Posted on 09/14/2002 5:32:18 AM PDT by Boonie Rat

Answers to Ron Paul's Questions on Iraq From an Opponent of the War

by Jacob G. Hornberger

In the House of Representatives, September 10, 2002

From Representative Ron Paul, Texas.

Soon we hope to have hearings on the pending war with Iraq. I am concerned there are some questions that won't be asked – and maybe will not even be allowed to be asked. Here are some questions I would like answered by those who are urging us to start this war.

1. Is it not true that the reason we did not bomb the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War was because we knew they could retaliate?

Hornberger: Yes.

2. Is it not also true that we are willing to bomb Iraq now because we know it cannot retaliate – which just confirms that there is no real threat?

Hornberger: Yes.

3. Is it not true that those who argue that even with inspections we cannot be sure that Hussein might be hiding weapons, at the same time imply that we can be more sure that weapons exist in the absence of inspections?

Hornberger: Yes.

4. Is it not true that the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency was able to complete its yearly verification mission to Iraq just this year with Iraqi cooperation?

Hornberger: Yes. Also, former Marine and former UN Inspector Scott Ritter is openly challenging the administration's thesis that Iraq is a threat to the United States.

5. Is it not true that the intelligence community has been unable to develop a case tying Iraq to global terrorism at all, much less the attacks on the United States last year?

Hornberger: Yes.

Does anyone remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and that none came from Iraq?

Hornberger: That fact doesn't support an attack on Iraq, making it easy for U.S. officials to forget it.

6. Was former CIA counter-terrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro wrong when he recently said there is no confirmed evidence of Iraq's links to terrorism?

Hornberger: Neither the president nor Tony Blair have produced any evidence to contradict that conclusion.

7. Is it not true that the CIA has concluded there is no evidence that a Prague meeting between 9/11 hijacker Atta and Iraqi intelligence took place?

Hornberger: Yes.

8. Is it not true that northern Iraq, where the administration claimed al-Qaeda were hiding out, is in the control of our "allies," the Kurds?

Hornberger: Yes.

9. Is it not true that the vast majority of al-Qaeda leaders who escaped appear to have safely made their way to Pakistan, another of our so-called allies?

Hornberger: Yes, but U.S. officials don't criticize their allies, even when they are headed by non-democratic, brutal military thugs.

10. Has anyone noticed that Afghanistan is rapidly sinking into total chaos, with bombings and assassinations becoming daily occurrences; and that according to a recent UN report the al-Qaeda "is, by all accounts, alive and well and poised to strike again, how, when, and where it chooses"?

Hornberger: What better way to divert people's attention away from the chaos in Afghanistan and the failure to capture Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar (remember him? He was the leader of the Taliban and a prime suspect in the 9-11 attacks) than to attack Iraq? And you can't deny it's a brilliant political strategy to galvanize wartime "support-the-government-and-the-troops" patriotism right around election time.

11. Why are we taking precious military and intelligence resources away from tracking down those who did attack the United States – and who may again attack the United States – and using them to invade countries that have not attacked the United States?

Hornberger: Good question. Here's another one: Why was the FBI spending so much time and resources spying on bordellos in New Orleans and harassing drug users prior to 9-11 rather than pursuing the strong leads that pointed toward the 9-11 attacks?

12. Would an attack on Iraq not just confirm the Arab world's worst suspicions about the US – and isn't this what bin Laden wanted?

Hornberger: Yes. The U.S. government's attack will engender even more hatred and anger against Americans, which will engender more attacks against Americans, which will engender more U.S. government assaults on the civil liberties of the American people. As Virginian James Madison pointed out, people who live under a regime committed to perpetual war will never be free, because with war comes armies, taxes, spending, and assaults on the rights and freedoms of the people.

13. How can Hussein be compared to Hitler when he has no navy or air force, and now has an army 1/5 the size of twelve years ago, which even then proved totally inept at defending the country?

Hornberger: It's convenient to compare any target of the U.S. government to Hitler in order to make people emotionally negative toward the target. That's why federal officials called David Koresch Hitler before they attacked the Branch Davidians, including (innocent) children, with deadly, flammable gas at Waco. Remember that Hitler took over Austria, Poland, and Czechoslovakia and then had the military might to fight on two fronts against the Soviet Union, France, Britain, and the U.S. Iraq, on the other hand, has invaded no one in more than 10 years and, in fact, invaded Kuwait only after U.S. officials failed to give Saddam (their buddy and ally at that time) the red light on invading Kuwait. By the way, notice how they never refer to their targets as a "Joseph Stalin" even though Stalin was no better and possibly much worse than Hitler. The reason they don't is that Stalin was a friend and ally of Franklin Roosevelt and the U.S. government.

14. Is it not true that the constitutional power to declare war is exclusively that of the Congress?

Hornberger: Yes, but since the Congress abrogated its constitutional duty in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Granada, Panama, and other invasions, interventions, and wars, the president and most members of Congress believe that the declaration of war requirement has effectively been nullified, which is similar to Pakistan President Masharraf's unilaterally amending his country's Constitution to give himself more power.

Should presidents, contrary to the Constitution, allow Congress to concur only when pressured by public opinion?

Hornberger: No. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and must be obeyed regardless of public opinion. In fact, the Bill of Rights expressly protects the people from the visisitudes of public opinion. The Consitution prohibits the president from waging war without an express declaration of war by Congress. That's why both Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt could not intervene in World Wars I and II without a congressional declaration of war.

Are presidents permitted to rely on the UN for permission to go to war?

Hornberger: No. The supreme law of the land – the law that the American people have imposed on their federal officials – is the U.S. Constitution. We the people are the ultimate sovereign in our country, not the United Nations.

15. Are you aware of a Pentagon report studying charges that thousands of Kurds in one village were gassed by the Iraqis, which found no conclusive evidence that Iraq was responsible, that Iran occupied the very city involved, and that evidence indicated the type of gas used was more likely controlled by Iran not Iraq?

Hornberger: I have not seen it, but it would not surprise me. As history has repeatedly shown, public officials in every nation consider it proper and useful to lie as a way to galvanize public support in favor of the war that they're determined to wage. Decades later, when people are finally permitted to view the files, the records inevitably reveal the falsehoods that led the people to support the wars. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which Congress enacted on the request of President Lyndon Johnson, comes to mind since it cost the lives of 60,000 men of my generation in the Vietnam War, including some of my schoolmates at Virginia Military Institute.

16. Is it not true that anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 US soldiers have suffered from Persian Gulf War syndrome from the first Gulf War, and that thousands may have died?

Hornberger: I didn't know that but it wouldn't surprise me. But when was the last time you saw high public officials worry about the welfare of American GIs? Vietnam? Somalia? VA Hospitals?

17. Are we prepared for possibly thousands of American casualties in a war against a country that does not have the capacity to attack the United States?

Hornberger: It's impossible to know how many American casualties there will be, and you could be right about thousands of American casualties, given the urban fighting that will have to take place. On the other hand, American casualties could be light given the U.S. government's overwhelming military might and tremendous domestic dissatisfaction in Iraq against Saddam Hussein (many Iraqis will undoubtedly view American forces as liberators, given Hussein's brutal, dictatorial regime). From a moral standpoint, we should not only ask about American GI casualties but also Iraqi people casualties. After the Allied Powers delivered the people of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and East Germany to Stalin and the Soviet communists after World War II, those people suffered under communism for five decades, which most of us would oppose, but who's to say that they would have been better off with liberation by U.S. bombs and embargoes, especially those who would have been killed by them? I believe that despite the horrible suffering of the Eastern Europeans and East Germans, Americans were right to refrain from liberating them with bombs and embargoes. It's up to the Iraqi people to deal with the tyranny under which they suffer – it is not a legitimate function of the U.S. government to liberate them from their tyranny with an attack upon their nation.

18. Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a $100 billion war against Iraq, with oil prices expected to skyrocket and further rattle an already shaky American economy? How about an estimated 30 years occupation of Iraq that some have deemed necessary to "build democracy" there?

Hornberger: Federal spending is now out of control, which means that taxes are now out of control because the only place that government gets its money is taxation, either directly through the IRS or indirectly through the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies. My prediction is that they'll let the Fed do it, so that President Bush avoids blame for raising taxes and so that U.S. officials can blame inflation on big, bad, greedy businessmen who are "price-gouging." When you add the costs of the war and foreign policy in general, including foreign aid and bailouts to corrupt foreign governments, to the federal "charity" and pork that the members of Congress send back to their districts in an attempt to buy votes to get reelected, it doesn't portend well for the future economic well-being of the American people. After all, let's not forget how Ronald Reagan brought down the Soviet Empire – he made it spend itself into bankruptcy.

19. Iraq's alleged violations of UN resolutions are given as reason to initiate an attack, yet is it not true that hundreds of UN Resolutions have been ignored by various countries without penalty?

Hornberger: Yes. And since these are UN resolutions, doesn't that mean that only the UN, not a specific member of the UN, has the legal authority to enforce them?

20. Did former President Bush not cite the UN Resolution of 1990 as the reason he could not march into Baghdad, while supporters of a new attack assert that it is the very reason we can march into Baghdad?

Hornberger: I have no reason to doubt that this is true.

21. Is it not true that, contrary to current claims, the no-fly zones were set up by Britain and the United States without specific approval from the United Nations?

Hornberger: I didn't know this but nothing surprises me anymore.

22. If we claim membership in the international community and conform to its rules only when it pleases us, does this not serve to undermine our position, directing animosity toward us by both friend and foe?

Hornberger: Absolutely, and what does it say about the U.S. government's commitment to the rule of law?

23. How can our declared goal of bringing democracy to Iraq be believable when we prop up dictators throughout the Middle East and support military tyrants like Musharraf in Pakistan, who overthrew a democratically-elected president?

Hornberger: The U.S. government's commitment to democracy is a sham, evidenced not only through its support of brutal non-elected dictators who follow its orders but also through its support of ousting democratically elected leaders who refuse to follow its orders, such as Chavez in Venezuela or Allende in Chile.

24. Are you familiar with the 1994 Senate Hearings that revealed the U.S. knowingly supplied chemical and biological materials to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and as late as 1992 – including after the alleged Iraqi gas attack on a Kurdish village?

Hornberger: I read a New York Times article on this just the other day. At the risk of modifying my statement above about not being surprised by anything anymore, I was stunned to learn that U.S. officials, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, were supporting Iraq when it was using chemical weapons against Iranians. From a moral standpoint, how low can they go? And how hypocritical can they be?

25. Did we not assist Saddam Hussein's rise to power by supporting and encouraging his invasion of Iran?

Hornberger: This is during the time that Saddam was a buddy of the U.S. government. I wonder why they're not just offering him money again to re-become a buddy, as they do with other dictators, such as Masharraf, the brutal army dictator who took over Pakistan in a coup and who was a strong supporter and close friends of the Taliban.

Is it honest to criticize Saddam now for his invasion of Iran, which at the time we actively supported?

Hornberger: No, it's highly hypocritical but it's effective with respect to those who refuse to believe that their federal government has engaged in wrongdoing overseas.

26. Is it not true that preventive war is synonymous with an act of aggression, and has never been considered a moral or legitimate US policy?

Hornberger: Yes, and wasn't that the preferred pretext of the Soviet Union when it committed acts of aggression during the Cold War?

27. Why do the oil company executives strongly support this war if oil is not the real reason we plan to take over Iraq?

Hornberger: Good question.

28. Why is it that those who never wore a uniform and are confident that they won't have to personally fight this war are more anxious for this war than our generals?

Hornberger: I suggest that we form a "Suicide Brigade" for all men over 40 who support sending American GI's into foreign wars. Their mission would be to blow themselves up on enemy targets, thereby bringing the war to a quicker conclusion. They've already lived their lives anyway, and their suicides would be helping to save the lives of younger American soldiers. My prediction: Not one single "hard-charger" will volunteer, but I would oppose drafting them into "service."

29. What is the moral argument for attacking a nation that has not initiated aggression against us, and could not if it wanted?

Hornberger: There is no moral argument. And here's one back at you: At what point does an unprovoked attack against a weak nation that kills innocent people go from being "war" to becoming murder?

30. Where does the Constitution grant us permission to wage war for any reason other than self-defense?

Hornberger: It doesn't, but we are now experiencing the consequences of permitting U.S. officials to ignore the Constitution for decades, especially with respect to the declaration of war requirement. Question back to you: Did you ever think you would live in a nation in which one man has the omnipotent power to send an entire nation into war on his own initiative and the omnipotent power to jail any American citizen in an Army brig for the rest of his life without the benefit of trial or habeas corpus?

31. Is it not true that a war against Iraq rejects the sentiments of the time-honored Treaty of Westphalia, nearly 400 years ago, that countries should never go into another for the purpose of regime change?

Hornberger: Yes.

32. Is it not true that the more civilized a society is, the less likely disagreements will be settled by war?

Hornberger: Absolutely. We are learning that our Founders were right – that an unrestrained federal government is highly dangerous to the best interests of the American people. That's the reason they required a Constitution as a condition of bringing the federal government into existence – they didn't trust unrestrained government and intended the Constitution to protect us from unrestrained government officials.

33. Is it not true that since World War II Congress has not declared war and – not coincidentally – we have not since then had a clear-cut victory?

Hornberger: Absolutely true, and such false and fake resolutions as the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution" are shams that have prematurely snuffed out the lives of tens of thousands of American GIs.

34. Is it not true that Pakistan, especially through its intelligence services, was an active supporter and key organizer of the Taliban?

Hornberger: Yes, but the brutal Army general who took over in a coup and who recently unilaterally amended his country's Constitution without the consent of the people or the Parliament, is now doing what Washington tells him to do, and that's the difference.

35. Why don't those who want war bring a formal declaration of war resolution to the floor of Congress?

Hornberger: Because they're afraid to take individual responsibility, both politically and morally, for their actions. This way, they can straddle this fence – if the war goes well, they can claim credit and if it goes bad, they can blame the president. It's called political and moral cowardice, a malady that unfortunately has pervaded the U.S. Congress for many, many years.

September 14, 2002


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: crackaddictwrites; drivel; gutlessappeasers; hatingamerica; lewsers; mindless; pedantic; spinelessness; stupid; unloving; wimp
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To: Ragin1
Who is this Hornberger person? Anybody know?

He runs the libertarian "Future of Freedom Foundation".

It's online at www.fff.org

101 posted on 09/14/2002 10:32:40 AM PDT by balrog666
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To: Gumption
Not IN prison... however, after full restitution has been made, either by serving the full sentence or paying restitution to the victim of the crime, where possible, then yes... it's only since that G_d-awful '68 GCA that ex-felons (even non-violent ones and misdemenants who COULD HAVE received a sentence of over 1 yr) have been prohibited from exercising their RIGHT to self-defense by owning and possessing firearms... and it is surely a 2A violation, as are the other 20,000+ violations...
102 posted on 09/14/2002 10:33:09 AM PDT by dcwusmc
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To: exodus
WE are not at war. President Bush is at war.

Congress gave President Bush the authority to take what ever action he saw fit to deal with these terrorist. That is all the consitutional authority the President requires.

You are reduced to playing word games.

A state of war can exist, even without the Congress formally declaring it.

103 posted on 09/14/2002 10:42:05 AM PDT by CIB-173RDABN
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To: jwalsh07
The only legal reason is a Congressional Declaration of War.

To: exodus
It doesn't matter how loud you yell, you're still wrong.
"The War Powers Act of 1973"
# 98 by jwalsh07

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Gracious, a link would have worked much better, jwalsh07

The War Powers Act is un-Constitutional. Congress does not have the authority to delegate ANY legislative power to the Executive branch.

Regardless, I've already read the War Powers Act, and it doesn't say what you think it says.

It DOES NOT give the President power to wage war as he sees fit. It is a LIMITATION on the war powers already usurped by Presidential officeholders since WW 2. It passed over the veto of President Nixon, and has been disregarded by every President since it's passage, including both Presidents Bush.

The President is limited to 8 months of un-sanctioned military action, and then, "...the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces..." [SEC. 5. (b)]

We have been bombing the nation of Iraq for years, without a Declaration of War, and without the specific authorization of Congess, in direct violation of the War Powers Act.

104 posted on 09/14/2002 10:50:16 AM PDT by exodus
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
Just WHO is interested in the safety and security of American lives? Saddam is NOT a direct threat to this country, nor can he be. I agree he needs to go, but there is a way to do it without getting into the quagmire of the Middle East.

BTW, are you of an age to serve? Have you served? Will you be part of whatever forces W sends to Iraq? Or are you one of those armchair commandos that is willing to spend the blood of others but not willing to put your own life on the line?
105 posted on 09/14/2002 10:58:07 AM PDT by dcwusmc
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To: CIB-173RDABN
WE are not at war. President Bush is at war.

To: exodus
Congress gave President Bush the authority to take what ever action he saw fit to deal with these terrorist. That is all the Consitutional authority the President requires. You are reduced to playing word games. A state of war can exist, even without the Congress formally declaring it.
# 103 by CIB-173RDABN

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The words I am "playing" with are the written words of our Constitution.

Congress declares war, not the President.

The Executive is charged with the enforcement of law. Law to be valid must be based upon the Constitution. Law enforcement not based based upon the Constitution is tryanny.

It's not a game.

106 posted on 09/14/2002 10:59:30 AM PDT by exodus
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To: Ragin1
Google is better than the Magic Eight Ball I had as a kid. It has all the answers.

Biography
Jacob G. Hornberger was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at The Foundation for Economic Education (www.fee.org) in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, publisher of Ideas on Liberty.
In 1989, Mr. Hornberger founded The Future of Freedom Foundation (www.fff.org). He is a regular writer for The Foundation's publication, Freedom Daily. Fluent in Spanish, he has delivered speeches and engaged in debates about libertarianism to groups all over the United States, as well as Canada, England, Eastern Europe, and South America. He has also advanced libertarianism on talk-radio stations all across the country. His editorials have appeared in the Washington Post, Charlotte Observer, La Prensa San Diego, El Nuevo Miami Herald, and many others, both in the United States and in Latin America. He is a co-editor or contributor to the seven books that have been published by the Foundation.

I don't generally trust these libertarian characters, but sometimes they just might be right. The case for attacking Iraq has yet to be proven.

The format of the article, writing between the lines of someone else's article and simply assenting to or negating the propositions, isn't one that encourages real thoughtfulness though, especially since some of the points are pretty peripheral to the matter at hand.

107 posted on 09/14/2002 11:03:32 AM PDT by x
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To: exodus
Congress declares war, not the President.

As far as I know, the consitution is silent on the wording of a declartation of war. So when congress passed a resolution giving President Bush authority to use military force get the terrorist, you could say congress in fact declared war. And so I will say it, Congress did in fact declare war.

So there...

108 posted on 09/14/2002 11:09:59 AM PDT by CIB-173RDABN
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To: Gumption
To: exodus
I gotta take my girls to soccer now and watch them kick a ball around in no particular direction. I'll check back later.
# 72 by Gumption

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Have fun, Gumption.

109 posted on 09/14/2002 11:15:15 AM PDT by exodus
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To: CIB-173RDABN
Congress declares war, not the President.

To: exodus
As far as I know, the consitution is silent on the wording of a declartation of war. So when congress passed a resolution giving President Bush authority to use military force get the terrorist, you could say congress in fact declared war. And so I will say it, Congress did in fact declare war.

So there...
# 108 by CIB-173RDABN

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I know you've read this before, you stubborn ol' coot. : )

(Congress has the power) To declare War; [Article. I, Section. 8, Clause 11]

Without a pressing emergency, the Executive at war violates the Constitution by usurping Legislative powers.

The un-Constitutional War Powers Act limits the President to 8 months of military action without either a Congressional Declaration of War or a new bill of support from Congress.

President Bush has used up his 8 months of action. He is now operating on illegally usurped power.

110 posted on 09/14/2002 11:35:00 AM PDT by exodus
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To: exodus
Just as an individual man has the right of defense, so a nation has that right.

That's fine and dandy. But by consent and rule of law, even the population of this republic have agreed, for example, that convicted violent felons forfeit their right to posess firearms....even though they retain their inherent right to self-defense.

Since Saddam has lost a war by might, he signed surrender conditions to prove that he no longer would possess WMM. His loss. The international community consented in 1991 that this particular dictator had forfeited his "right" to possess WMM in his "sovereign" borders.

It's foolish to look at this in such a naive fashion, assuming that the despot in question here respects ideal rights and ideal morals.

111 posted on 09/14/2002 11:38:55 AM PDT by sam_paine
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To: exodus
Iraq should hide it's weapons.

What part of "terms of surrender" -- as in, unconditional surrender -- do you not understand?

In the future, please refrain from pinging me with your mindless dreck.

112 posted on 09/14/2002 11:42:58 AM PDT by M. Thatcher
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To: exodus
Without a pressing emergency, the Executive at war violates the Constitution by usurping Legislative powers.

If President Bush was usurping the Legislative powers, the constitution provides several avenues of relief. (1) They can refuse to vote for any funds to our military, thus forcing the President to stop all military activity, or (2) They could impeach the President, or (3) they could declare war on their own (they don't need to wait for the President to ask do they?, or (4) they can vote another resolution authorizing the President to continue doing what he has been doing, or (5) they could stand in the corner out of the way like good little boys and girls hoping that the President makes a mistake so they can then jump on him and blame him for all that goes wrong.

I suspect that Congress will try and do option 5, and President Bush will force them to take option 4.

The truth is, we would not be in this position if we had Statesmen in office instead of politicians.

I would trace the down fall of congress to the 16th amendment and the direct selection of Senators followed closely by the 17th (women's suffrage).

I would really like to see congress declare war, but today we have men (and women) in office who put their own politics ahead of what is good for the country.

President Bush has surprised me in the past, and he may just surprise me again.

113 posted on 09/14/2002 11:51:06 AM PDT by CIB-173RDABN
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To: sam_paine
Just as an individual man has the right of defense, so a nation has that right.

To: exodus
"...by consent and rule of law, even the population of this republic have agreed, for example, that convicted violent felons forfeit their right to posess firearms....even though they retain their inherent right to self-defense..."
# 111 by sam_paine

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It was only in 1968 that the "people" decided to EDIT the God-given right of self-defense.

Rights are not for government to grant or modify. Rights are an inherent characteristic of man, and are not to be infringed.

If a man is too dangerous to be trusted with a weapon in public, he should be either imprisoned or killed.

If an prisoner is freed, no man-made law can prevent the acquisition of a weapon.

Self-defense is a right, NOT a privilege of citizenship.

114 posted on 09/14/2002 12:08:33 PM PDT by exodus
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To: CIB-173RDABN
Without a pressing emergency, the Executive at war violates the Constitution by usurping Legislative powers.

To: exodus
If President Bush was usurping the Legislative powers, the constitution provides several avenues of relief. (1) They can refuse to vote for any funds to our military, thus forcing the President to stop all military activity, or (2) They could impeach the President, or (3) they could declare war on their own (they don't need to wait for the President to ask do they?, or (4) they can vote another resolution authorizing the President to continue doing what he has been doing, or (5) they could stand in the corner out of the way like good little boys and girls hoping that the President makes a mistake so they can then jump on him and blame him for all that goes wrong.

I suspect that Congress will try and do option 5, and President Bush will force them to take option 4. The truth is, we would not be in this position if we had Statesmen in office instead of politicians. I would trace the down fall of congress to the 16th amendment and the direct selection of Senators followed closely by the 17th (women's suffrage).

I would really like to see congress declare war, but today we have men (and women) in office who put their own politics ahead of what is good for the country. President Bush has surprised me in the past, and he may just surprise me again.
# 113 by CIB-173RDABN

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I agree completely with your analyses, CIB-173RDABN.

Congress WANTS the President to usurp it's war powers. If they didn't, they could easily stop him.

I believe that Congress as a whole doesn't want to declare war for two reasons--
1) so that they can avoid political responsibility while seeming to support the war, and
2) to illegally interfere with the power of the President during wartime.

As long as we fight this war under the authority of the President, Congress has the power to declare his actions corrupt and stop the war. If something goes horribly wrong and we need a "war crimes" scapegoat, they would have a ready-made patsy.

Congress can even "discover" that the President exceeded his powers, and use the un-Constitutional war as a reason for impeachment. That's a heavy stick to hold over any President's head.

None of that excuses President Bush's usurpation of war powers, though.

The whole batch of 'em are corrupt.

115 posted on 09/14/2002 12:35:18 PM PDT by exodus
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To: M. Thatcher
Iraq should hide it's weapons.

What part of "terms of surrender" -- as in, unconditional surrender -- do you not understand?
# 112 by M. Thatcher

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If our national government decided tomorrow to ban all weapons ownership, millions of private arms would immediately "disappear" from official view.

That is an appropriate response to the tyranny of outlawing a basic right, the right of self-defense.

Just as an individual man has the right of defense, so a nation composed of men has that right.

116 posted on 09/14/2002 12:41:38 PM PDT by exodus
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To: sam_paine
To: exodus
"...It's foolish to look at this in such a naive fashion, assuming that the despot in question here respects ideal rights and ideal morals."
# 111 by sam_paine

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I don't care whether Saddam respects rights and morals.

I want my governmemt to follow the law.

The law IS the Constitution.

117 posted on 09/14/2002 12:46:10 PM PDT by exodus
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To: exodus
Well it seems we almost agree, and that is good enough for me.
118 posted on 09/14/2002 12:48:03 PM PDT by CIB-173RDABN
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To: sam_paine
Just as an individual man has the right of defense, so a nation has that right.

To: exodus
"...Since Saddam has lost a war by might, he signed surrender conditions to prove that he no longer would possess WMM. His loss. The international community consented in 1991 that this particular dictator had forfeited his "right" to possess WMM in his "sovereign" borders..."
# 111 by sam_paine

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Terms agreed to at gunpoint are not binding.

The "international community" agreed to leave Saddam in power. Saddam is still the sovereign of his nation, thus he MUST have weapons to fulfil his duty.

Finally, rights cannot be forfeited.

119 posted on 09/14/2002 12:53:38 PM PDT by exodus
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To: CIB-173RDABN
That's good enough for me, too.
120 posted on 09/14/2002 12:54:14 PM PDT by exodus
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To: Boonie Rat; jwalsh07; CIB-173RDABN
The leading nature of the questions really undercuts the points they may otherwise have made...

The reason this sounds so smooth is that it ignores many contextual issues, imho. For example, if we were dealing with America under President Jefferson in the 19th century, then these constitutional arguments would hold a lot more water. In post Civil War America, the constitution is, for better or worse, a formality at best. The fact is our government does fight wars that are not in the interest of self defense, whether they set up a situation that allows for congressional "approval" (a la Wilson in WWI) or simply bypass the process altogether (Kennedy, LBJ, etc).

Also, I DO think the source matters, especially when Scott Ritter's bizarre situation is in play.

The long and short of it now is that those that are interested in defending the constitution had better pick their battles a lot more wisely than those in the foreign policy forum, because there is a century+ worth of precedent for ignoring the constitution or abusing it in the foreign policy forum. In foreign policy, the real question is whether our unconstitutional, not-for-self-defense acts will be to our benefit in terms of long term goals (Korea), if they will just be a difficult conflict fought poorly (Vietnam), or if, indeed, we are involving ourselves in a conflict where it does not really matter who won (Gulf War...I think Saddam attacked Israel in a pr move to please the masses, and given the precedent we had set for cold, rational dealings with him in the past, he would have been much easier to deal with than the bloody Saudis. But Bush I, for better or worse, saw an opportunity to show the world we were going to clean up the "mess" we helped create, and somehow we were thrust in the position of defending people that despise us against an erstwhile ally).

The de jure test for recognition of a government was an invention of Wilson's, back in the day, and one selectively applied as a pr measure ever since then. I honestly don't care who they are ruled by so long as he sells us oil at a reasonable price and keeps them from crashing airplanes into our buildings. Has Saudi Arabia more definitely failed to be in line with our interests? Yes. But I think we have an opportunity to get rid of a really complex situation in Iraq right now, and then phase III should involve the rest of the Arab world.

Now, Saddam has no reason to work with the US again. Indeed, we have set things up, between Bush I and Clinton, so that we have little choice but to flatten him, and then work on Saudi Arabia.

I apologize for any lack of fluidity in these statements, as I am still a little rattled in the head after an afternoon at the shooting range.
121 posted on 09/14/2002 1:55:06 PM PDT by Lizard_King
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To: exodus
Just as an individual man has the right of defense, so a nation composed of men has that right.

You are an idiot. Iraq was defeated in a war. The victor dictates the terms of surrender. A defeated nation has NO "right of defense." ZIP. ZERO. NADA.

Did you know that Japan cannot have a military? Or is your understanding of history as deficient as your understanding of "rights."

122 posted on 09/14/2002 2:04:45 PM PDT by M. Thatcher
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To: exodus
> Iraq should hide it's weapons

Well yeah, after it's own interest, it should be expected.
But after the gulf war, Iraq did agree to cooperate with the UN for what was described in the media as "weapons inspections". And if you want to agree with what the infamous William S. Ritter said in the earlier days of the program, Iraq reneged on the agreement (and by appearance, that allegation is true, Ritter's more recent statements notwithstanding).

> Just as an individual man has the right of defense, so a nation has that right.

A nation does not posess rights as an individual would, it's people do. It's people can empower it's government to protect national interests, but in Hussein's totalitarian government, it isn't exactly playing out that way, is it?

Even if it were, Iraq and all the other involved sovereign nation parties agreed to a contract knowing full well that the possibility existed that we would be right where we are today.

I'm no fan of the UN. I hate much, if not most of, of the things this organization stands for and proposes, and I would just as soon see the US out of it and it's headquarters removed from our soil, but to me it just doesn't violate libertarian principles that we and other sovereign nations have cooperated as we have in this matter, to find Hussein's actions and statements to date to be a danger to our own interests on many levels.

Mideast stability and it's effect on the oil economy is an entirely legitimate interest, if you want to boil it down to that.

Dave in Eugene



123 posted on 09/14/2002 2:09:32 PM PDT by Clinging Bitterly
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To: Boonie Rat
Uh-oh Re: #4....This from the IEAE web site - 9/15/2002

Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions Relating to Iraq For nearly four years,the Agency has not been in a position to implement its mandate in Iraq under United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 and related resolutions. Since December 1998 when our inspectors left Iraq, we have no additional information that can be directly linked without inspection to Iraq's nuclear activities. I should emphasize that it is only through resumption of inspections that the Agency can draw any conclusion or provide any assurance regarding Iraq's compliance with its obligations under these resolutions. In May and July of this year, I participated in two rounds of talks between the United Nations Secretary General and Iraq. I do hope that Iraq will be in a position soon to accept the return of inspectors and that the resumption of inspections will take place without delay. This is clearly in the interests of both the international community and Iraq itself. The Agency remains prepared to resume its verification activities in Iraq under the relevant Security Council resolutions at short notice.

What else is not accurate with this ? So much for the premise.
124 posted on 09/14/2002 3:43:38 PM PDT by stylin19a
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To: stylin19a
Agh.......It's IEAE=IAEA...and they do have OTHER inspections, called safeguard inspections, verifying stocks of nuclear material ALREADY sealed under IAEA safeguards. The safeguarded material is low- enriched, natural, and depleted uranium.
125 posted on 09/14/2002 3:57:03 PM PDT by stylin19a
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To: exodus
Terms at gunpoint are not binding ?

When you surrender because you no longer have hope of winning, you ARE at the mercy of the victor. Only in relatively recent times has being on the losing side not meant execution or enslavement for life. The U.S. has been a very merciful nation since 1900. The record of the American Indian Wars is how it used to be done.

Now I have been one of those calling for an official declaration of war, and admit to having overlooked the surrender terms. What is unusual is to leave the same leader in charge after his losing a war. Be that as it may, IF Saddam Hussein agreed in treaty to dispose of, and not acquire more WMD, THEN his violation of those terms is grounds for a Declaration of War. So the justification is there. Still, I would rather he had surrendered to the Allies sans U.N. , because this is another step in the U.N. acquiring supranational authority.

Remember that the U.S. of A. could be outvoted by the myriad little socialists, and could find ourselves at war with the U.N. ! Actually, the U.N. has been making war on American values for 60 years and using our money to do it.

126 posted on 09/14/2002 4:08:36 PM PDT by hoosierham
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To: exodus
The War Powers Act is un-Constitutional. Congress does not have the authority to delegate ANY legislative power to the Executive branch.

The War Powers Act is the law of the land whetehr you like it or not. If you think it's unconstitutional, then you should have Ron Paul challenge it in court. He, at least, has standing to do so.

And the reason I didn't provide a link is because some folk just need the truth right between the eyes. Like you for instance. :-}

You can scream all you want about this and that being unconstitutional but I don't want to hear you say again that the Congressional Authorizations are not legal because it's a lie. They are the current law of the land.

127 posted on 09/14/2002 4:55:33 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: jammer
Keep shouting, Mr. Goebbels. It has been working. But you had better shout louder: it is working with less and less Americans.

Gobble this pal.

128 posted on 09/14/2002 5:16:08 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
OOOh, you knock me out with your catcalls. Now prove your allegations.

What?? You offer no basis for your "thesis", now you run on home to the RHP, where you belong.

129 posted on 09/14/2002 5:42:02 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Ragin1
yes, when you've just got your "ass kicked" & lost a war of aggression!! doc
130 posted on 09/14/2002 6:05:10 PM PDT by Doc On The Bay
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To: exodus
Just as an individual is fully justified in lying and hiding his weapons, so a nation is justified in lying and hiding it's weapons from foreign invaders.

There is no civilization without law. There are a whole mess of bad-laws and confiscating privately owned weapons is one of them. It doesn't happen often...CA seems to have taken the lead in demanding some weapons be surrendered...and I would hope that is winding its way through the courts.

That said, the United States has not forced you to hide or lie ... unless you are a convicted felon ... on probation ... or parole and you desire to obtain a weapon.

The Iraqi regime has been on probation a long time ... and the world wants him to live up to the conditions of his parole ... and he doesn't want to...so, we are going to kick his ass into undifferentiated molecular soup just as the judge will do to you if you break parole.

We are just as sovereign today as we were when the United States signed its first treaty ... the only difference is that today ... the world is a quieter place because of the United Nations ... with a little help from its best friend, the USA.

Now, if you have neighbors, I suggest you moderate your position when it comes time to move the weeds from around your mailbox ... which just happens to be on your neighbors side of the road. Your weeds just might be his flowers... so talk to him ... and neither one of you has to give up any sovereignty to agree on how to tidy up the space.

We are about to tidy things up. I don't happen to agree that we should ... but we AND the UN have the right.

131 posted on 09/14/2002 6:20:00 PM PDT by harrowup
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To: exodus
The War Powers Act is un-Constitutional.

Cite?

132 posted on 09/14/2002 6:24:13 PM PDT by Roscoe
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To: Illbay
"People like you, in my opinion, have no right to the protection this nation affords you under the Constitution"

LOL!

What you really mean is, People like you, in my opinion, have no right to the protection this nation affords you, by the first amdt, because you dissagree, and have the balls to proclaim it. Therefore you should be shot by firing squad for your lawfull dissent.

No?

133 posted on 09/14/2002 6:35:29 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: M. Thatcher
"A defeated nation has NO "right of defense." ZIP. ZERO. NADA."

Under what terms does a nation have no right of self defense? Another bullet in the head, eh?

134 posted on 09/14/2002 6:37:45 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: jwalsh07
"They are the current law of the land"

Drink up, the kool-aid is sweet.

A law by any name does not mean it passes the constitutional muster. Of course it's convenient when the said law keeps real topics from the media.

You really are simple and silly.

135 posted on 09/14/2002 6:42:37 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Roscoe
The War Powers Act. lol!

Use the head God gave you man.

136 posted on 09/14/2002 6:43:31 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Ragin1
The War Powers Act. lol!

That's your best attempt at a cite?

137 posted on 09/14/2002 6:45:11 PM PDT by Roscoe
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To: jwalsh07
If you think it's unconstitutional, then you should have Ron Paul challenge it in court.

And trailer park "common law courts" don't count.

138 posted on 09/14/2002 6:46:54 PM PDT by Roscoe
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To: Roscoe
No Roscoe, you cite the legality, and please do cite a constitutional binding law, please.
139 posted on 09/14/2002 6:48:53 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Roscoe
Of course you would prefer the courts "definition" of constitutionality, instead of the founders, eh?
140 posted on 09/14/2002 6:49:51 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Ragin1
Your bluff was called, you folded.
141 posted on 09/14/2002 6:52:02 PM PDT by Roscoe
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To: Roscoe
Only in your small gov't compensated mind.
142 posted on 09/14/2002 6:53:40 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Roscoe
Come on Roscoe P. Cheerleader, can you prove the WPA passes the review of The Constitution of The United States?
143 posted on 09/14/2002 6:57:17 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Roscoe
Tell you what Roscoe, while you figure out the slip slide act, I'm going to get a shower, and a full nights sleep. Have a good one.
144 posted on 09/14/2002 6:58:27 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Ragin1
Under what terms does a nation have no right of self defense? Another bullet in the head, eh?

Look up: JAPANESE MILITARY.

145 posted on 09/14/2002 6:59:09 PM PDT by M. Thatcher
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To: M. Thatcher
OOOh. That was a good one. You should have said, have gun, will shoot.

g'nite all.

146 posted on 09/14/2002 7:00:47 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: Ragin1
Your ignorance of history equals your ignorance of the law.

"An early controversy revolved about the issue of the President's powers and the necessity of congressional action when hostilities are initiated against us rather than the Nation instituting armed conflict. The Bey of Tripoli, in the course of attempting to extort payment for not molesting United States shipping, declared war upon the United States, and a debate began whether Congress had to enact a formal declaration of war to create a legal status of war. President Jefferson sent a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean to protect our ships but limited its mission to defense in the narrowest sense of the term. Attacked by a Tripolitan cruiser, one of the frigates subdued it, disarmed it, and, pursuant to instructions, released it. Jefferson in a message to Congress announced his actions as in compliance with constitutional limitations on his authority in the absence of a declaration of war. Hamilton espoused a different interpretation, contending that the Constitution vested in Congress the power to initiate war but that when another nation made war upon the United States we were already in a state of war and no declaration by Congress was needed. Congress thereafter enacted a statute authorizing the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Bey of Tripoli 'and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify . . .' But no formal declaration of war was passed, Congress apparently accepting Hamilton's view."

http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/constitution/article01/41.html#f1423
147 posted on 09/14/2002 7:03:17 PM PDT by Roscoe
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To: M. Thatcher
By the way margie, Iraq did not start a war with the US. It was the other way around. (after the admin ok'd the taking of Kuwait. Please tell us how good the soveriegn of Kuwait is, and outline its worthiness of our tax dollars while your stuttering.
148 posted on 09/14/2002 7:03:55 PM PDT by Ragin1
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To: M. Thatcher
Time for him to take it on the lam.
149 posted on 09/14/2002 7:05:04 PM PDT by Roscoe
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To: Roscoe
So what are you trying to say Roscoe, Tripoli extorted rights of passage from our ships, equates to, USA overuns Iraq?

Or are you saying Hamilton proved that Bush can shoot anytime he wants?

150 posted on 09/14/2002 7:07:33 PM PDT by Ragin1
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