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Mark and War

Posted by Bob on December 21st, 2005 under Comment Responses, History

I will get off my self-flagelaton for time to address the point Mark made me think of.

What ever happened to DECLARING war?

As Mark pointed out, we have repeatedly killed off tens of thousands of our young men, time after time, since 1941 and not even THOUGHT of declaring it a WAR.

This phenomenon is not at all limited to the United States. I vividly remember the one time I totally took Israel’s side against the Arabs.

Ignoring the complications, which are fascinating to someone interested in international and a bore to anybody else, all of hte Arab states except Lebanon declared war against Isreal in 1948.

When I went into Israel, just as when I went into Rhodesia, I would get my visa stamped on a separate peice of cardboard, not in my passport. The reason for this was that if yo had a Rhodesian visa in your passport you could not get into black-ruled countries.

By the same token, a passport with an Israeli visa meant you could not get into the Arab countries who were officially at war with Israel.

Then around 1980 Israel conducted a sneak attack and bombed out Iraq’s nuclear power plant because it might make them capable of obtaining nuclear weapons.

I was in a peculiar position. I was certainly no friend of Israel, and I had no interest in whether they were right or not in attacking the plant.

No, my problem was entirely different.

I DESPISE the guy in the bar who acts like he is about to fight someone but waits until there are people to grab his arms and shouts, “Lemme at him! Lemme at him!”

He is a coward posing as a real fighter.

Iraq had an official state of war declared between itself and Israel. So when Israel bombed Iraq, Iraq went whining and crying to the United Nations.

When you have a state of war declared against another country, you have given that country the right to bomb the hell out of you. That’s what a state of war IS.

I have championed the Arabs a long time, and it was EMBARRASSING to me to see a coutry that had been beating its chest and yelling how rough and tough it was and how it would fight to the death against Zionism go squealing to the UN when Israel took them up on it.

Which reminds me. Did Iran and Iraq DECLARE war on eaxh other? There were over a million deaths in that conflict, but i honestly don’t know whether war was ever formally declared.

In the Falkland Islands War (sic) there was an actual naval conflict going on and neither side ever even considered declaring war and nobody expected them to.

What has happened to declarations of war and why?

  1. #1 by Sam on 12/21/2005 - 7:22 pm

    Since mark posted his question on “what happened to the declaration of war” I’ve been pondering the same question myself. I have neither the personal observation of these conflicts or the complete knowledge of them so please help me fill in the blanks. But what I will rely on is what I have witnessed in Iraq and my sub-par public education.

    I have found in common with each of these conflicts where America is included, each begin as a police action to “maintain balance of the world” or entanglement with the UN. The reasons for involving America are so flimsy that they need a false flag event or ignoring the declaration of war that is prescribed in the constitution as it wouldn’t hold up to the scrutiny of congress and the American public. Of course I am probably giving the populace too much credit after watching this Australian television skit.

    If the above sounds too ridiculous, could it be that its about deniability for the leaders incase something goes horribly wrong? What would have happened if congress had declared war upon Iraq only for America to find out she was led to war on false grounds? At least without the declaration of war there are to many people who are guilty that it would be impossible to punish anyone.

    Remember, I’m here to learn and attempt to better myself. Rip me to shreds.

  2. #2 by CL on 12/21/2005 - 7:29 pm

    CYA It’s the same reason the Supreme Court legislates the important stuff.

  3. #3 by willing on 12/22/2005 - 2:33 am

    IMO,in the current political reality,the requirement of a Congressional declaration of war would
    have the effect of a white veto over the warmongering of the presidents advisors.That’s an act of
    sovereignty that no longer exists.If it did,then then America would not be at war now.

  4. #4 by CL on 12/22/2005 - 4:31 pm

    I think Sam and willing both make good points. Also, asking a parliament to sign-off (other than to rubber stamp the checks ) on what’s clearly an imperial entanglement is probably asking for way too much. I remember there were some fairly loud grumblings from certain Senators during Iraq War I, but I didn’t notice much this time. Now that I think about it, those that grumbled were dead by this latest go’round.

    Does anyone else recall Bush II stating in the (I think it was) ’04 State of the Union that Iraq War II “has been won” (or “is over”) or words to that effect? The Congress clapped so loudly, I just can’t believe they didn’t take it seriously. “Declarations of War” and “Peace Treaties” have about as much substance as that remark.

    And aren’t we still in perpetual war for perpetual peace in Afghanistan? Is it now out of style to speak of that “war?” I guess those poor guys won’t even be spit-on when they return (note: that didn’t happen in the South); they’ll just languish in “terror” Crusader’s Obscurity. Afghanistan’s another one we’ve “won,” but for some reason still budget body bags.

  5. #5 by CL on 12/22/2005 - 5:24 pm

    Since this is a seminar, I’ll unashamedly add some other thoughts on this topic:

    All of these banana republics (from Korea to Iraq) that we’ve attacked–but haven’t “declared war” on–have had -0- capability of performing a real military operation in the United States. Is it possible a “declaration of war” would only be considered for an “equal?” Bullies don’t usually make a big deal of beating-up a pipsqueak.

    To follow the question of what constitutes a “real military operation” in the nuclear age would take the discussion way off course.

    But maybe that’s another reason “declarations of war” aren’t used anymore: Did the end of the “conventional warfare” era make such declarations obsolete?

    And we haven’t established what the actual purposes of such declarations were–other than as matters of convention, I mean. Did they have a purpose other than pomp and circumstance? If not, wouldn’t today’s omnipresent media be more effective rousing for war than a carnival barker type declaration to be reprinted next week on the front page of the county newspaper? Maybe it’s not the new military age, but the new propaganda age, that has made declarations of war superfluous.

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