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Old May 11th, 2016, 02:48 PM   #1
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Bush-Obama Powers Will Pass to Next President

On the question of starting wars, Obama has radically altered what is acceptable. He began a war on Libya without Congress. He told Congress in his last state of the union speech that he would wage a war in Syria with or without them (which statement they applauded). That power, further normalized by all the drone wars, will pass to the next president.

Lawyers have testified to Congress that drone killing is murder and illegal if not part of a war, but perfectly fine if part of a war, and that whether it’s part of a war or not depends on secret presidential memos the public hasn’t seen. The power to render murder possibly legal, and therefore effectively legal, by declaring the existence of a secret memo, is also a power that passes to the next president.

In reality, there is no way to even remotely begin to legalize drone murders, whether or not part of a war. The seven current U.S. wars that we know of are all illegal under the UN Charter and under the Kellogg-Briand Pact. So, any element of them is also illegal. This is a simple point but a very difficult one for U.S. liberals to grasp, in the context of human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch taking a principled stand against recognizing the illegality of any war.

If, on the other hand, the drone murders are not part of an illegal war, they are still illegal, as murder is illegal everywhere under universal jurisdiction. The defense that a foreign dictator, exiled or otherwise, has granted permission to murder people in his country, so that sovereignty is not violated, misses the basic illegality of murder, not to mention the irony that helping dictators kill their people conflicts rather stunningly with the common U.S. excuse for launching wars of overthrow, namely punishment of a dictator for the ultimate sin of “killing his own people.” Sovereignty is also an idea very selectively respected; just ask Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or Syria.

Bush-Obama Powers Will Pass to Next President
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Old May 11th, 2016, 03:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sabcat View Post
On the question of starting wars, Obama has radically altered what is acceptable. He began a war on Libya without Congress. He told Congress in his last state of the union speech that he would wage a war in Syria with or without them (which statement they applauded). That power, further normalized by all the drone wars, will pass to the next president.

Lawyers have testified to Congress that drone killing is murder and illegal if not part of a war, but perfectly fine if part of a war, and that whether it’s part of a war or not depends on secret presidential memos the public hasn’t seen. The power to render murder possibly legal, and therefore effectively legal, by declaring the existence of a secret memo, is also a power that passes to the next president.

In reality, there is no way to even remotely begin to legalize drone murders, whether or not part of a war. The seven current U.S. wars that we know of are all illegal under the UN Charter and under the Kellogg-Briand Pact. So, any element of them is also illegal. This is a simple point but a very difficult one for U.S. liberals to grasp, in the context of human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch taking a principled stand against recognizing the illegality of any war.

If, on the other hand, the drone murders are not part of an illegal war, they are still illegal, as murder is illegal everywhere under universal jurisdiction. The defense that a foreign dictator, exiled or otherwise, has granted permission to murder people in his country, so that sovereignty is not violated, misses the basic illegality of murder, not to mention the irony that helping dictators kill their people conflicts rather stunningly with the common U.S. excuse for launching wars of overthrow, namely punishment of a dictator for the ultimate sin of “killing his own people.” Sovereignty is also an idea very selectively respected; just ask Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or Syria.

Bush-Obama Powers Will Pass to Next President


Sab, I feel for ya, I really do. You are the most disenchanted American I've ever had the pleasure of debating. I can't imagine living in this country--waking up every morning and being so incredibly disappointed by it's government. Of course your reply will be something like "I don't hate America"......"I just hate____________(fill in the blank)". And that blank spot will be FILLED and FILLED again with America's failures, foibles, social programs, takers, Bible Thumpers, wars, injustices......
And here's why I feel for you. The country you WANT--the country you hunger for does NOT exist. We the people are crazy mixed up flawed ignorant goofballs. We the people are a work in progress. We the people are NEVER going to live up to your expectations.
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Old May 11th, 2016, 03:36 PM   #3
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Sab, I feel for ya, I really do. You are the most disenchanted American I've ever had the pleasure of debating. I can't imagine living in this country--waking up every morning and being so incredibly disappointed by it's government. Of course your reply will be something like "I don't hate America"......"I just hate____________(fill in the blank)". And that blank spot will be FILLED and FILLED again with America's failures, foibles, social programs, takers, Bible Thumpers, wars, injustices......
And here's why I feel for you. The country you WANT--the country you hunger for does NOT exist. We the people are crazy mixed up flawed ignorant goofballs. We the people are a work in progress. We the people are NEVER going to live up to your expectations.
i know this and it is why i volunteer. i make small differences in an otherwise flawed and gorgeously imperfect world. what i find utterly deplorable is not the awful crimes committed by the state but more so the mindless sheeple who applauded them.
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Old May 11th, 2016, 04:44 PM   #4
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i know this and it is why i volunteer. i make small differences in an otherwise flawed and gorgeously imperfect world. what i find utterly deplorable is not the awful crimes committed by the state but more so the mindless sheeple who applauded them.

We (the mindless sheep) applaud (including me) awful crimes, because we are easily swayed. We crave acceptance. We want to fit in. We don't want to be duped but we usually are. We are self-absorbed, greedy, silly, lazy and not particularly intelligent in some ways. IN fact, when someone DOES 'march to the beat of their own drum' they are ostracized, criticized and called unconventional. They DON'T conform to our mainstream.
WE are all slightly defective, Sab. So, how can our government be great--be perfect--be inspiring when we the people are not...?
I'm proud of you for volunteering. I wish everyone would give their time to worthwhile causes.
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