Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Foreign Affairs

Libya vs. Iraq?

This now viral video comparing Obama the awesome and Bush on their war-making rationales raises some serious points.  It's clear that the President can wage war without declaring it--perfectly constitutional.  A constitutionally dubious law, the War Powers Act, hedges in that power, while acknowledging its temporary use.  Moreover: as important as the discussion of constitutionality is, it is subordinate to prudence and statesmanship.  A perfectly constitutional action can also be perfectly stupid.  And the humanitarian issue is at best secondary.  But the President is obliged to explain.  It's finals. 

Primary issues:  Is this the moment for vengeance against Ghadaffi for his killing of Americans?  (We don't necessarily need civil war for that purpose.)  Can we influence his successors?  Will the oil keep flowing?  Will the European powers act in concert in a way that supports our interests?  Which regional powers will make use of a post-Ghadaffi Libya for good or ill? 

I don't exclude the possibility of Obama/Clinton making the best of a demanding situation after initial flailing (viz. Honduras), but there is little in the Obama record to inspire confidence.  One would think we are seeing a foreign policy produced by a man who is totally unrooted, completely anchorless.  Exactly what one would expect from the author of Dreams From My Father.

How appropriate that the Libya operation has been dubbed Odyssey Dawn.  Recall the first line of Homer's epic poem: "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns/ driven time and again off course once he had plundered/ the hallowed heights of Troy."

Treppenwitz:  I had forgotten to remark that the hypocrisy concerning this issue may work to a better understanding of what it means to live in a republican (small "r") form of government.  To rule and be ruled under republican principles requires an understanding of and commitment to them.  That is the basis of loyal opposition, not opposition for its own sake.  A public person who could teach this lesson would deserve honor.

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Discussions - 11 Comments

John Woo is certainly a controversial scholar. Any sort of ballance would require watching this video by Erwin Chemerenski


I am doing my part to spread the video. I know variations on that blonde who are not always blonde and not always female. Having that video handy will save a lot of personal blab.

I wanted us to help the opposition forces in Libya, but not in the worst way. No, this president does not inspire confidence. As this has been done, leaving Gadhafi in power invites a world of trouble. Of course this is vengeance against him for having been such a nutty pain in the world community.

Our president had a considerable knack for making a bad situation worse.

Yoo? Woo? Are the arguments more important than the author?

Yes, and I hit the wrong keys, too, as in my last; had should be has.

I teach, therefore I correct.

I too would not pooh-pooh a John Woo movie about John Yoo. Would you? Quite a coup. Nu?

I too am doing my part to send this video to friends, especially my liberal friends. The website that did the video also has couple more - the really funny ones are Bush and Obama discussing the deficit and campaign finance reform. Funny Stuff.

And also, for all my friends on this board telling me that Egypt was on its way to democracy and freedom .. You might be interested in the link below:

Egyptian Women Being Forced to Take Virginity Tests:

Of course here in the United States we have are own bigots like Bill Mahr - left wing radical - calling Palin and Bachman Bimbos... The only upside is that Bill Mahr would know a virgin from a non-virgin.

They are both highly skilled, but some would argue insulated from the consequences of their art.

Con Law proffesors would be happy if Ron Howard made an update to Frost/Nixon with say Chemerenski/Yoo. I am not buying its wide commercial appeal.

There might be answers out there for people willing to do homework.

Chemerenski is pretty good on the internet as well.

John Lewis -- thanks for posting the talk by Chemerensky. It is remarkable that "conservatives" are now taking the position that the executive power is unlimited.

Daniel, yea I can see what you did there. I actually liked that part, however hehe I'm not that harsh like my dad with these things. He all the time tells me loopy tales again within the day and calls me a loser. I suppose it is time I move out of my dad and mom' basement LOL. Aaanyways, what about you? what does your dad suppose xD" Anyway, in my language, there aren't much good source like this.

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