A commentary by
By Chuck Baldwin
February 10, 2004
(Used by Chuck Baldwin's permission on CR's Range)
Before President Bush ordered the attack against Iraq, I spoke against it. I believed it was wrong then; I believe it was wrong now. It also seems obvious that time has vindicated my position.
First of all, the attack against Iraq was unconstitutional and, therefore, illegal under our laws. Before the U.S. goes to war against any country, it is obligatory that Congress declares war. This was never done. Beyond that, President Bush never asked Congress for a Declaration of War. Thus, both President Bush and Congress violated the Constitution, with the result that the war against Iraq was fought illegitimately.
That Congress passed a resolution supporting Bush's decision to wage war against Iraq was irrelevant and non-binding. A resolution is not a Declaration of War. It has no legal authority whatsoever. In essence, Congress said, "This isn't our war, Mr. President. You do what you want."
The unwillingness of Congress to declare war or to demand that the president seek a Congressional Declaration of War is a serious violation of the Constitution, a serious dereliction of duty, and a serious betrayal of the American people. As our elected representatives, they, and they alone, are authorized to take America into war. No president has the right to send Americans to war on his own authority! Therefore, without a Declaration of War, the war against Iraq was not America's war; it was G.W. Bush's war.
Secondly, President Bush finally admitted what we all expected: he was planning to invade Iraq from the time he was first elected. On January 12, Bush acknowledged "that he was mapping preparations to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as soon as he took office." (Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 13, 2004). Bush's remarks came in response to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's contention that the president "was gunning for Saddam nine months before the September 11 terrorist attacks and two years before the U.S. invasion of Iraq." Therefore, all the talk about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) was a ruse to justify his personal desire to attack Saddam Hussein.
It is now clear to the whole world that Iraq never posed an imminent threat to the United States. President Bush lied to the American people when he said it was. Furthermore, Bush continued to lie about Iraq.
Syndicated Columnist George Will recently quoted President Bush saying on Polish television last May, "We found the Weapons of Mass Destruction. You know, we found biological laboratories." Of course, that was a lie. We found nothing of the sort.
Now that everyone knows there were no WMD, Bush said, "So, what's the difference? If Saddam were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger." That Bush could be so flippant with the truth is a serious matter indeed!
Beyond that, the legitimate mastermind of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden, remains at large. Moreover, President Bush has proposed granting millions of illegal aliens amnesty within the United States knowing that many of these aliens are potential supporters of bin Laden.
Question: how is it that President Bush is willing to spend billions of dollars and sacrifice hundreds of American lives to attack a country half way around the world that posed no imminent threat to our country while at the same time proposing to grant millions of potential terrorists legal status within the United States?
If there is any doubt as to the potential for terrorism by illegal Mexican aliens within the United States, look no further than the recent visit of the U.S. soccer team in Zapopan, Mexico just five days ago. As "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played, thousands of Mexicans shouted, "Osama! Osama! Osama!" How many of those Mexicans shouting support for bin Laden will be living freely and legally in the United States in just a few months as a result of Bush's "guest worker" program?
Thirdly, the idea that America will preemptively attack a country transforms the United States from a constitutional republic to a monarchial or oligarchical empire, not unlike the empire of Japan that ordered a preemptive attack against Pearl Harbor in 1941. Such a transformation is fraught with danger, not only to our national security, but also to our very form of government.
Fourthly, to invade Iraq for the purpose of deposing Saddam Hussein after it was the United States that helped put Hussein in power and helped construct his regime is the height of duplicity!
As late as October 2, 1989, President George Herbert Walker Bush issued National Security Directive (NSD) 26, declaring, "Normal relations between the United States and Iraq would serve our long- term interests and promote stability in both the Gulf and the Middle East." NSD 26 authorized the U.S. government to "pursue, and seek to facilitate, opportunities for U.S. firms to participate in the reconstruction of the Iraqi economy." The directive even authorized joint U.S. Iraq military exercises!
As a result of NSD 26, at least 30 U.S. commercial companies sold tens of millions of dollars worth of military and commercial technologies to Iraq. I wonder if those same companies are now being contracted to rebuild the things that were destroyed during our invasion of Iraq?
There is yet one more consideration. If we attacked Iraq because Hussein was an evil person, how many other countries are we going to attack for the same reason? After all, there are scores of evil despots and dictators in the world. Does America now see it as its responsibility to preemptively attack each of them?
For example, The Sudan must be regarded as the most brutal, bloodthirsty regime of the last two decades. The Khartoum government has murdered more than two million people during that time. Furthermore, most of those people who have been slaughtered, tortured, and sold into slavery have been Christians. Where is Bush's compassion for them? Why do we not send troops to invade The Sudan?
Furthermore, if targeting nations that harbor terrorists is the primary consideration, we should certainly invade Saudi Arabia, should we not? Remember, Osama bin Laden and most of the terrorists who attacked the U.S. in 2001 came from Saudi Arabia. Also, Saudi Arabia has doubtlessly contributed more money and support for al-Qaida than any country on earth. Why do we not attack Saudi Arabia?
And while we are on the subject, let's not overlook Communist China. This regime has murdered tens of millions of people since taking power in 1949. China is far and away a greater threat to the United States than Iraq could ever dream of being. Have we forgotten that only a few years ago the Beijing government threatened to incinerate Los Angeles with a nuclear weapon? Using Bush's reasoning, we should certainly invade China.
As a Christian conservative, I most definitely believe it is right to defend one's life, home, and country with lethal force, if necessary. However, it is not right to disregard the Constitution or to preemptively attack nations that pose no imminent threat to us. It is not right for Congress to acquiesce their responsibility to wage war on behalf of the American people. It is not right that our president should seize king-like powers and send Americans to fight and die for personal purposes. And it is not right for our president, be he Republican or Democrat, to mislead the American people regarding so serious a matter as war.
Again, time has vindicated my original position. President Bush's decision to preemptively attack Iraq was unjust, unconstitutional, and wrong. It is time for all conservatives to face it.
© Chuck Baldwin
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