"Speaking truth to the powers that be..." is our most powerful weapon. "Trading liberty for security results in the loss of both" "Give me liberty or give me death - Patrick Henry" "Government of, by and for the people"

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Solution to United States Declaring Only Necessary Wars

Often you hear that giving peace a chance is the solution to all wars.

Not So.

Sometimes wars are necessary. Fighting against Hitler and WWII were necessary.
Most wars could be avoided if the circumstances giving rise to them are properly addressed early enough to ward off the use of military power. However today, almost all major wars are event driven, sustained by patriotic statements of a higher calling, and fought by the economically disadvantaged and politically powerless.

So who has the power to declare war? Congress and only Congress may declare war, as clearly set out in the Constitution -- the basis of all laws governing our democratic form of government. The President as Commander in Chief may act to protect the country, but may not sustain any military action that amounts to war without the approval of Congress exercising that exclusive Constitutional authority given it. So only Congress can declare war, and it is the check and balance on the power of the Commander in Chief.

So how does Congress determine when a war is necessary and inevitable?

In the past, members of Congress have acted on less than adequate information and with political motives in mind. What is the antidote to this approach to making war? We need to press each member of Congress to weigh the need for war in a real and personal way for them.

The solution could be something like this.

(1) All Members of Congress should be required to pledge that they will serve militarily by sending 1/4 of Congress' standing members to fight in any war it declares. In order to make it fair, tours of duty by members of Congress shall rotate every 3 months, so that any war lasting at least one year would mean that at the expiration of that time every member of Congress would have served on the ground. During any three(3) month period, members required to serve shall be drawn by lottery by their party, and each party shall provide the required number equal to the percentage of seats it holds. (So if the breakdown in Congress in the time of war was Repub 50%, Dem 45% and Indep 5%, then each party would supply that percentage of 1/4 of the total members of Congress by their own lottery).

(2) All members of Congress shall receive the same level of compensation and benefits(including healthcare benefits through VA) as other full-time active military during their tour of duty, and their regular pay and value of benefits they normally enjoy as a member of Congress shall be paid into a designated fund to be used to fund the war they voted to pursue).

(3) Any war which is necessary requires sacrifice by the entire country. So in the interest of proving to the rest of the country that the war declared is necessary, any draft age children or grandchildren of members of Congress shall be required to enlist or be drafted and deployed to fight with active military troops in the war theatre for such periods as are required of active military troops not related to members of Congress.

This three(3) step solution will result in every war declared by Congress being necessary and there being no alternative available. If they are required to serve, along with their children and grandchildren, then you know that the war declared is absolutely necessary and the country will be with them through this sacrifice.

A step (4) could be added by Congress which would also have a beneficial effect. Include all members of the Executive and Judicial Branches of the Federal Government in the same way members of Congress will be required to serve. (So instead of vacationing in Crawford Texas riding his bike, George Bush would spend 3 months in Iraq every year until the war is concluded. Likewise for Rumsfeld, Cheney, Condi and Karl Rove).

I suspect that the resignations in Congress would mount like a tidal wave if war were actually declared. But that is ok, because those left behind might decide to rescind the declaration of war if and when it no longer becomes necessary. The only condition I would put on those resigning their positions is that they may never serve in a governmental capacity again, and may not receive any government contracts in the future.

If we are going to ask others to sacrifice their lives for this country, members of Congress and the other two(2)branches of government should be willing to lead the way since there is no alternative to war.

The idea of public service would mean a good deal more than today, and wealth would not be an issue. Sacrifice by the country would be immediate in following the examples provided by our leaders.

Let's do it!


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about just making it mandatory that wars may only be declared by the PEOPLE - and must have 67% or better "yes" vote for war to be declared.

11:56 AM  

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