Since 9/11 and the freakout of the Bush administration, the President has been granted far more powers than he previously had to wage war through a variety of Authorizations to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress over the years. Obama is introducing a new AUMF that, as an article in today’s Salon points out, is problematic, but whether it passes or not, “…we still end up with claims to fairly unlimited Presidential authority to wage war.”
Fourteen years after the attack on the World Trade Center, we find ourselves embroiled in an endless war with an elusive enemy that is not bound by geography. When I say endless, I mean exactly that. Every bomb that falls from a drone or bullet fired by a rifle breeds a new radical willing to pick up the cause for which his comrade died.
A state legislature from Arkansas has offered a brilliant solution: Nuke ‘em. That’s right. He thinks we can end this fight quickly with a few well-place nukes in the Mideast. This is the kind of lunacy frustration breeds. We will never defeat terrorism with violence. It only breeds more. However the great American war machine must be fed, and we can’t just leave all of that oil in the hands of our enemies.
The AUMF is yet one more indication of how off kilter our system of checks and balances has become. We have a completely incompetent Congress, an activist judiciary at the beck and call of this country’s elites, and an executive branch that believes it has the authority to take America to war anytime anywhere for any reason it chooses.
Thank you, George Bush and Dick Cheney, for all that you’ve done for your country.