Obama Dictates Ominous Consolidation of War Powers

During the Bush years, unprecedented numbers of Americans poured into the streets, oftentimes ignored by establishment media, to protest the Iraq War. Some of those were not so much anti-war, but rather pro-constitution- people who recognized the fraudulent nature of the Bush’s war and total lack of congressional oversight.

As more time passed and the Middle East body count moved into the millions, even more Americans joined the anti-war effort, motivated by revelations of no-bid/cost-plus Federal contracts and carnage by taxpayer funded mercenaries. 9/11 mania faded and ethical concerns about the nature of preemptive strikes replaced it.

When W was elected for a second term the war resistance REALLY heated up, with large numbers of demonstrators continuing to gather until.

POOF!

The Election of Barack Obama.

Barack Obama’s large following was due in part to the perception of him as an anti-war candidate, despite the fact that he repeatedly mentioned his support for military action in Afghanistan throughout his campaign. Regardless of the reality, anti-war activism all but dried up after November 5 ’09. The word on the streets? That “war is a Republican/Bush phenomenon” and will go away when Bush and Cheney do.

What a shock it must have been for those falsely reassured by Obama’s election when reports of unprecedented drone attacks, costing the lives of women and children, were credited not to Bush but rather a commander in chief named Obama. Disillusion must have grown stronger still when reports of atrocities committed by taxpayer funded Blackwater mercenaries continued, this time in Pakistan.

Similarities to Bush’s culture of death and destruction became even more clear as Obama announced the escalation of war. His decision to send thousands of additional American troops to Afghanistan flew in the face of analysts who had dubbed that effort futile and was likely the loudest wake-up call yet for the anti-war community, an alarm that left no doubt about the continued necessity for resistance to unconstitutional acts of military aggression.

So … now what???

Obviously, electing a Democratic president is not the answer for those who oppose war. Obama even went so far as to keep Bush’s Secretary of Defense. Protests did little to prevent the Iraq war in the first place and are almost useless so long as the establishment media ignores them.

The answer to reigning in unconstitutional bloodshed may in fact lie in the powers reserved to the states as codified in law by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. One implication of the 10th amendment is the power of each state to decide where and how their National Guard troops can be used, except in three specific instances spelled out in the constitution, something that may be of particular interest to those in Louisiana for example. One effort to pursue exactly this tactic is being led by an organization who’s motto is “Bring the Guard Home! It’s the Law.” It already has momentum in several states.1

This key principle came under attack last week as President Obama issued an Executive Order that he says ?improves partnership between DC and States’. Partnership? Interesting choice of words considering that his order only further indicates Federal disregard for the sovereignty of the states.

This latest decree by the President should cast aside any doubt- President Obama is not only as imperially minded as his predecessor, but now seeks to mangle the carefully designed balance of our republic in ways that surpass even George W. Bush. National Guard units are already deployed overseas in significant numbers instead of fulfilling their intended mission to protect their respective states, a status which will be perpetuated by this EO unless there is some serious resistance by the states.

For Americans concerned with murderous Federal imperialism that lies far outside of our constitution, it is high time to wake up and realize that nothing has improved under a Democrat president. This move to bind our state governors is the latest indication that our American Values are not valued by DC, that our republic is continuing a steady transition from freedom loving republic to military dictatorship and the only thing that can stop it is we the people.

  1. You can find sample Bring the Guard Home legislation here. []
Bryce Shonka is the state chapter coordinator for the California Tenth Amendment Center and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He welcomes your feedback at bryce@tenthamendmentcenter.com. Read other articles by Bryce.

19 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. bozh said on January 16th, 2010 at 10:37am #

    And yet following simplicity wld have enlightened all or most americans: every prez got an A for executing the will of US constitution.
    Since ?all or most americans deem US constitution sacrosant, expect more wars, many more wars. All wld be constitutionally not only OK but holy because the constitution is holy.

    US cannot ever be governed by polls or from street; it is solely governed as constitution directs-demands. To be accurate-adequate, it is not the constitution which governs US- it is governed by interpreters of the constitution; i.e., congress-judiciary branch of the government!
    This is what Greatness of America and God Bless America mean!

    In short, we have here an ideal form of rule for the dictatorial class of life! tnx

  2. lichen said on January 16th, 2010 at 3:53pm #

    This article starts about by stating things one hundred other’s already have. Then it makes the ridiculous premise that “the constitution” is somehow against the murder, war, and occupation that have been constant throughout america’s history. Trying to rely on the ‘constitution’ to stop what is illegal under international law is stupid–the US political system cannot stop itself. Further, it implies that these wars would be ok if they were in line with the crummy, outdated old constitution. Wrong. Unfortuantely, I’m sure withdrawing some national guard troops by a few of the governors will not have much effect.

  3. Michael Boldin said on January 16th, 2010 at 6:09pm #

    @lichen

    are you saying the state governments SHOULDN’T resist the war machine by refusing or calling back their guard troops? Whether you or the author is right about what’s effective to stop the murderous empire, the reality is plain – nothing so far has stopped the machine.

    Protests haven’t worked. Electing the “peace candidate” didn’t work. Calling congress, appealing to international law – it’s all a complete failure. The bombs keep falling and people keep dying.

    Maybe a little resistance is in order, don’t you think? I sure do!

  4. bozh said on January 16th, 2010 at 6:32pm #

    Yes, lichen
    Even ?all bloggers on DV beat Bush or around bushes. Nobody ever goes dwn to the basement. They all look at shingles, paint, nice looking rails, door nobs, sidewalk, etc. and then buy the house! tnx

  5. lichen said on January 16th, 2010 at 6:36pm #

    “The reality is plain – nothing so far has stopped the machine.” That was largely my point. Ultimately, it would be fine if some states did this–but who would do it? Perhaps a few. There are obviously other kinds of resistance, and ones that don’t need to be couched in this reactionary propaganda about america once being a ‘freedom loving republic,’ ‘state’s rights,’ or the ‘constitution.’

    And, of course, I always knew obama, just like the republicans, was a murder-afghan-children candidate; that’s why I supported Ralph Nader and Cynthia Mckinney.

  6. lichen said on January 16th, 2010 at 6:43pm #

    Yes, bozh, we do need to look at the basement before accepting the house; need to rip up the lawn and put fruit trees and edible perrenial vegetables there in it’s place.

  7. Deadbeat said on January 16th, 2010 at 10:31pm #

    Mr. Shonka engages in some historical revisionism about the anti-war movement. The anti-war movement never recovered after the Left decided to weaken the movement behind the “anybody-but-Bush” strategy of 2004.

    The Left not wanting to confront Zionism as an explanation for the War on Iraq divided as International Answer brought up the Israel/Palestine question while UFPJ is still remains in constant denial over the power that Zionist have on the U.S. government and its ability to influence Foreign Policy (read: war for oil).

    Blaming Obama will only continue to divert this reality and that the Left much mobilize to confront both Zionism and Capitalism. This failure by the Left for decades and especially in 2004 set the Left up for utter failure and irrelevancy in 2008. The Left’s failure created the political vacuum for Obama to waltz through.

  8. freescv said on January 17th, 2010 at 12:46am #

    It’s alright people, if the red team and blue team BOTH don’t support “your views” then you can always vote for the least evil guy NEXT time, LMAO

    Or if that doesn’t fly for you, you can support DAILY VOTING!

    I push for it at my website here:
    http://www.opensourceg.com

    Sure love an iVote app to downvote bailouts, murder for oil, copywrong sueing regular people, war on citizens, imaginary terrorism, and corps buying the laws 3 days after elections.

    You think a federal vote MATTERS every 5 YEARS????

    If yer vote’s important then why do we check Facebook, Hotmail/Gmail, Twitter, My Space, Reddit, Slashdot, CBC/CNN, Vancouver Sun each day yet DON’T have a daily voting machine, open source code to protect the integrity of the code from hacks…..restoring public trust????

    Against the law? Ignored protests? Well voting seems to be their weak point. More voting = less corruption, daily voting might shine the sunlight on these vampires! 😉

    God bless America (b/c us Canadians are stuck with their laws even, our PM is American, lmao)

  9. bozh said on January 17th, 2010 at 9:19am #

    Presently, things can cld wld [depending on the mood of the ruling class and changing conditions] get worse for us and better for them.
    It cannot ever be the other way around.
    People who own america, govern america. People who owned rome, governed rome.
    People who own america had many good teachers: hitler, franco, bismark, senacherib. sargon, darius, herod, sharon, adams, jefferson, churchill, just to mention a few of the asocialistic warlords and feudal lords.
    All of these, tho, wld gasp in disbelief seeing what US warlords and feudal lords have achieved: a near perfection in control of and powers over the lower classes. tnx

  10. bozh said on January 17th, 2010 at 12:45pm #

    Hello, any intelligence out there?. Asks the prez and speaks:
    The wagons r circled. All around us, from novaya zemya to maoristan, stans, pethagonia, china r the ‘indians’.

    Folks, no! We can’t change the system mid-war pacifying the planet and getting rid of the ‘indians’.
    No, folks, we cannot tell u everything; it wld only aid the ‘indians’. Once we pacify the planet and get rid of the ‘indians’ we can give u heatlth care, information, free higher education.
    We wld then never allow our people to be deformed as now [70% of pop]. The first thing we wld do is get u some food.
    So be patient. Don’t be stupid and try to change the system. U can, if it pleases u, beat bush and around bushes.
    Talking ab palin is an excellent topic. Also the longer we talk ab warming and consequences of it, the better for our glorious nation.
    Remember, we r surrounded [israel also] by ‘indians’. Our very existence is at stake.
    So, be with us or against us. tnx

  11. lichen said on January 17th, 2010 at 3:42pm #

    Lol, deadbeat comes out with his statement about “blaming Obama,” showing that he clearly believes the rich and powerfull are not responsible for their crimes, but in fact an imaginary “left” is. Indeed, this is typical red-scare propaganda that military dictators have employed for decades–from Chile to Honduras; the dictators murders and clampdowns were all the fault of ‘communists’ or ‘chavezistas.’ I suppose we shouldn’t blame netanyahu or bush either; just the left. Obama has made choices, and he is responsible for those choices; he could have done differently, but chose not to, and people have been murdered, have starved to death, have been polluted as a result; he is to blame.

  12. bozh said on January 18th, 2010 at 10:17am #

    Deadbeat,
    Antiwar movement is a mere label. To me, at least, labels often obscure reality or occlude an elucidation.
    nevertheless, while we r labeling, i choose the label self not as antiwar, but antiwars
    And furtermore, on a principle and not on even one reason, but solely on necessary truth that all wars of aggression r antihuman.

    Antiwar movement, of which i had been an active part, in canada and US had utterly failed as i expected.
    An anti-all-warfare political party does have chance to abolish wars of aggression.
    Asocialistic ceos-rich shareholders, amirs, lords, kings, aghas, princes will never, i aver, allow a rule from the street or by any movement.
    And especially not now that asocialists or anti-lower class people r uniting like never before.
    A protest by 50-100 mns amers might prevent or stop a war. A protest by 0001% in canada or US is a waste of time! tnx

  13. Deadbeat said on January 18th, 2010 at 12:27pm #

    To me, at least, labels often obscure reality or occlude an elucidation.

    It depends on who is doing the defining and who is doing the obscuring of definitions. Those that do the obscuring tend to be the powerful. What is unfortunately is that those who should be in opposition to the powerful ADOPT THEIR definitions rather than to RESTORE the meaning of terms.

    For example “anarchy” is now “chaos” or Michael Albert having to abandon “Socialism” for “Parecon” rather than defend the tradition and history of the Socialism. These are but a few examples. If the opposition is unwilling to defend it’s own terms and its own language then it will be an utter failure when it has to any real confrontation. The oppositions abandonment of its own ideas is a signal of defeat as well as betrayal.

    Therefore bozh by 2003 when there was a real desire among the public to stop the U.S. from going to war on Iraq, was that the Left has already abandoned their core principles. Thus it was a failure waiting to happen. I was naive then and I thought there was more cohesion on the Left. It was revealing to see that it was all a display.

    I hoping that the rally behind the Gaza effort may mushroom into something substancial. We shall see.

  14. bozh said on January 18th, 2010 at 1:38pm #

    Deadbeat,
    Note please that i was talking ab labels and not the definitions of the labels. In short, a symbol is not what it symbolizes.
    I am aware that the word “peace”, “war on terror”, “chaos”, etc., have an entirely different symbolic value to a person like bush or obama than to me or u.

    One can only ascertain what that value is for obama or bush by noticing what US does and says. And what do we see? Well, we saw wars on terror in redlands, iraq, afpak, palestine, and elsewhere.
    We saw US nuke japan. We see innocent people die daily from US peace-keeping and -making. So, that’s what symbols “peace” or “justice” mean to them or to US ruling class.

    Since we r symbolic class of life, it wld be valuable to understand that of necessary truth, symbolic values of words like water, peace, war mean what even instantly every child, let alone adult wld grasp: as unexplainable, undefinable, they mean what they mean.

    Every child and adult in vancouver knows what bread and peace r. To get out of the messy situation of [ab]using words, wld be to avoid labeling some situations as peaceful, just, truthful, necessary and instead use descriptions for them first and labels only after that.

    One shld also distinguish btwn low order symbol like water from a higher order symbol like justice. Symbol like water may be likened onto 2+2=4. Not a single human being wld argue ab either.
    Of course, one can put poison in water and still call it water. Here we r dealing with lying; yet another word that has full symbolic value for each person.

    I do think that people like bush, obama, clinton, and possibly another 10o mn americans learned what US system of rule is when they entered the first grade.
    To them, a teacher’s or parent’s word was the word of god.
    Methodology of turning people into servants and even killers has been known for at least 10 k yrs. It is used everywhere, except some socialist lands.
    Tell them the biggest lies u can come up with. US flag stands, e.g., for greatness of america; its hallowed or infallible constitution, but, of course, not for slavery, lynching, or killings of indians and neoindians.
    It is or seems so simple: do a pavlov on them. Once conditioning of children had been done, they jsut like pavlov ‘s dog, stay that way for lifetime.
    But of necessary truth, there must be way out. Hopefully, we continue to educating people. Some stirring is taking place! tnx

  15. Max Shields said on January 18th, 2010 at 6:59pm #

    lichen,
    Your point on the constitution is well taken. The constitution of the USA was not drafted to condemn a war-machine state or to create a purely democratic society. It was created to establish an elite order. It is a charter not unlike those that govern corporations.

    When the people rose up to fight against the British it was not the elite who rose up, but those indentured by an imperial empire. Once the revolution had been “won”, the elites – the “founding fathers” – quickly moved to establish a militia to suppress the frequent upraisings by the people and to bring about, not democracy, but a top-down plutocracy. That is the legacy of the USA, the legacy that quickly became and exceptionalist and expansionist mass murder of indigenous people, quickly conquering lands here and there; oppressing and occupying.

    So, it is a false claim, a mythology that we cling to a better angle called the constitution and the founding fathers that held slavery deep within their bossom. A bit of hope was apparent with the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, truly radical documents…but these are not what mapped the future of this imperial nation-state. It was the constitution…with some of its fine words, but much to support an elite government, not by and for the people…not by a long stretch.

  16. Deadbeat said on January 19th, 2010 at 1:30am #

    bozh writes …

    But of necessary truth, there must be way out. Hopefully, we continue to educating people. Some stirring is taking place! tnx

    Thanks for the clarification and I appreciate your deeper perspectives on this topic. IMO it is only via the truth that trust is built and via trust is how solidarity is achieved.

  17. Melissa said on January 19th, 2010 at 10:30am #

    Max,

    Thank you for the latest post here on this thread. Others have tried to explain the same concept in ways that I just couldn’t (wouldn’t ?) wrap my brain around (hi bozh). My question still remains, however, and I am interested in your, and others’, responses if you are inclined to offer . . .

    Q: Is there any usefulness/protection offered by the current form of constitution? If not, what then? The process of amending/redrafting seems dangerous (co opted by same corporate interests, or boob mentality of American voters).

    Lichen, excellent point about there being a sense of “o.k.” for imperialistic violence if “in line” with the constitution. That slapped me in the face . . . I agree with what you have said there. And yes, green carpets around our homes are a superflous “trinket” when our neighbors are in line at the food shelf.

    Michael, yes, I think resistance IS in order. With our consumer dollars, with our kids, with our voices, with our bodies, our brains and with our attitudes. The spirit of peaceful non-cooperation and a sense of true freedom for individuals to choose, or not, is the weapon of choice that can’t be corraled into a free-speech zone or turned into a lucrative cause-marketing ruse. (Can I really spread peace and democracy by buying chocolate? Really?)

    Anyhow, thanks to all for bits of wisdom, opinions and daring to think and question. Who says the internet is a complete cesspool?

    Peace, Resistance, Hope,
    Melissa

  18. bozh said on January 19th, 2010 at 2:00pm #

    Hi melissa,
    I regard any constitution as a law. US constitution is also a set of laws, wishful thinking, deceptive utterances.
    Suppose now i am a wrong ab US constitution; the only right view or judgement of the constitution wld be that of all branches of US governance: cia/army echelons, judiciary, ceos, media, congress, educators, clergy, WH, which as we know is that US constitution is infallible and totally understandable.

    If that is true why did it take supreme court seven yrs to determine that the torture was not an OK? And being infallible and clear, cldn’t have a prez, media, cia/army echelons, the torturers known that constitution does not allow torture?

    Alas, US constitution is dead as a door nail until supremes [no dianne’s] pick it up, study it for days, weeks, months, years and come up with their own conclusion ab what any passage means!
    Nevertheless, not any different than that what of a prez, collumnist, general, priest, imam, rabbi had in mind.
    Now, that’s what Greatness of America and God Bless America mean: a perfect rule!
    And it seems the torture is as of yet not banned! tnx
    a

  19. lichen said on January 19th, 2010 at 3:13pm #

    Max, you make some good points; we know all of the terrible things, the inequalities and genocide and CIA actions that the constitution has completely failed to prevent in the history of the US. Melissa describes a constitutional convention or whatnot as dangerous–and it may be, but I still think that if it can be forced from a large grassroots movement to happen and be a totally democratic process by the people of this country, we can end up with something really good; something that will advance a direct democracy and a different kind of country, society. We could even make it so that the people as a whole could prosecute any delegates, officials or whatnot if they do truly violate the document–not end up in a situation where, for instance, large swaths of the populace wanted to impeach bush/cheney, but the political elites did not and were caught up in their own petty games anyway (and, criminally, they have refused to prosecute at all.) We just have to work hard towards comprehensive system change instead of being caught up in futile campaigns all the time, and I beleive we can stop the corporate cooptation of what we do.