Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Yesterday I wrote about the Constitutional showdown looming over the Iraq War. Now, I’d like to examine some other things that the NYS Times article brings up. The most important thing to be examined is who’s hands the blood would be on if Congress cut off funds for Iraq.

Prof. Robert Turner of the University of Virginia suggested that Congress had made itself responsible for the deaths of the 1.7 million Cambodians estimated to have been slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge, by denying funds for President Nixon to wage war inside Cambodia. Similarly, he said Congress bore responsibility for the deaths of 241 marines killed by a suicide bomber in Lebanon in 1983 because it raised the question of forcing a withdrawal there.

The wisdom of the Founding Fathers is proven by their insisting that the Commander-in-Chief sets and executes war policy. A Democrat congress made the major mistake to cut off funding for the South Vietnamese and Cambodia, with 1.7 million Cambodians getting killed as a direct result. If this Democrat congress cuts off funding for Iraq, there will be a bloodbath both in Iraq and here.

When we left Vietnam, we were certain that the Soviets wouldn’t follow us home. If we leave Iraq in defeat, the terrorists will know that they can wear down Democrats simply by surviving. They’ll know that we are a paper tiger. When that becomes proven fact, they’ll become emboldened just like when Clinton pulled the troops out of Mogadishu.

One common denominator in Beirut and Mogadishu is the loudest anti-war critic today: John Murtha. He talked Reagan out of Beirut and Clinton out of Somalia. Now he’s trying to run President Bush out of Iraq. You’d think that he’d feel guilty about Beirut and Somalia but you’d be wrong:

MURTHA: But the thing that disturbs me and worries me about this whole thing, we can’t get them to change direction. And I said over and over in debate, if you listen to any of it. In Beirut President Reagan changed direction, in Somalia, President Clinton changed direction, and yet here with the troops out there every day, suffering from these explosive devices, and looked at as occupiers. Eighty percent of the people want us out of there, and yet they continue to say we’re fighting this thing.

Simply put, John Murtha’s hands are bloody. They’re bloody because his foolish advice, especially about Somalia, led bin Laden to conclude that America is a paper tiger. Now he’s working hard to prove bin Laden right.

There are a few senators who were around when Congress cut off funding for Vietnam, namely Kennedy and Byrd. I don’t know if they voted for cutting off funding but I wouldn’t be surprised. If they did, the blood of the Cambodians and Vietnamese is on their hands.

Other experts testifying at the hearing said that Congress had the power not only to declare war, but to make major strategic and policy decisions about its conduct. Louis Fisher, a specialist in constitutional law for the Library of Congress, said, “I don’t know of any ground for a belief that the president has any more special expertise in whether to continue a war than do the members of Congress.”

It isn’t a matter of expertise; it’s a matter of whether the military can function with 436 commanders-in-chief. It clearly can’t. That’s why the Founding Fathers assigned the role of Commander-in-Chief to the executive branch.

He said that the title of “commander in chief” was meant by the framers to emphasize unity of command and civilian control over the military. “The same duty commanders have to the president, the president has to the elected representatives.”

The Constitution demands that there be checks and balances to everything. The checks and balances in this instance is the power of the purse and the power to declare war. While I’m certain that Sen. Feingold is serious about cutting off funding for the war, I suspect that he knows his own leadership won’t agree with him. I’d be surprised if they cut funding off.

Then again, these are irrational Democrats we’re talking about.

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