Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Agenda is the Constitution -- The President Must Be Confronted

One thing worse than imagining a slow train wreck is to see the train wreck, but nobody cleaning up the mess.

America has a mess in the Oval Office. The agenda is to clean up this President's mess. The first step is to review what he is doing with a Constitutional confrontation.

Until the President is confronted, Americans can reasonably expect non-US actors to fill the power vacuum. Solutions can either come in the form of reforms, new leadership, or direct confrontation on the battlefield.

America chooses to loose on the battlefield while leaders from Iran and Venezuela solve problems.

* * *

Ref It's difficult for the Americans to credibly argue that they are about principled leadership when those, they supposedly oppose on principle, rise above the petit squabbles and solve problems.

When I see articles like this, I scratch my head wondering, and I thought I would share with you some thoughts which were prompted by this:

This is the course we seem to be on now. And it doesn't need to be this way. There are alternatives -- but nearly all of them require a creative, bold approach that might enable us to leap-frog over our massive failures in the region.

We need to consider an alternative plan, and I'll be posting my thoughts on that soon -- but we need to have squarely in our mind how nasty and brutish the results of our current policy course are to help muster the consensus needed to make the President and Congress uniformly change course. . .and change course for real.

I appreciate the sense of the blogosphere that things are not what they could be. Yet, consider what the world is doing: Rather than "come up with new plans" -- that may or may not get attention -- world leaders like the President's of Iran and Venezuela are talking about solutions:
‘We’ll underpin investments in countries whose governments are making efforts to liberate themselves from the (US) imperialist yoke,’Ref

I appreciate the concern that the US Administration may have in re the Global War On Terror, yet the issue for the world to consider, which they already have: To what extent is the United States creating the very problem it's been talking about it's supposedly fighting.

* * *

For the sake of argument, consider Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq as one common pattern: US disagrees with the leadership in the country; enters the nexus; removes the leadership; then lets the country spiral into chaos.

Similarly, rather than look at the world as a playground for the US to muddle with, consider the legacy of the US in Lebanon: Once the US pulled out in the 1980s, in effect, the power vacuum required someone -- in this case the Syrians -- to enter the nexus.

The common "problem" with Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq has been the consistent US contribution to a bigger mess, without credibly working with reality on the ground.

The US may want stability, but replacing one government unpopular with the United states with one that is unpopular and unstable is hardly a legacy American political leaders would solve.

* * *

It's difficult to find a credible argument with the Administration when they point to "threats" overseas, but the US is consistently making the problem worse. Consider Nicaragua: Supposedly they were on the US Southern Border, on the verge of invading America, but what was the US leadership going to do once this supposed enemy arrived on the border?

As always, use their incompetence as an excuse to unleash more problems.

* * *

People connected to the DC Academia and Intelligence can talk all day long about the options required or possible to solve these problems. It's a waste of time, in my view, to have worked to support change in November 2006, but the DC leadership is not willing to assert its power to contain this President.

We don't need new plans. We need real leaders who are responsive, not acting like Chamberlain hoping to play nice.

Bush isn't going to stop. Until the DC leadership awakens to the reality -- that there is a nutcase in the White House who is unresponsive to the rule of law -- it doesn't make sense to develop a plan that he's going to reject.

Consider the non-sense over the Iraq escalation plan. The President absurdly argues that the people have a responsibility to provide a "better plan" that is going to solve things, or they're being responsible. Wait a minute: Many have discussed other plans, but these have been rejected: Biden, Murtha, and the ISG, to name a few.

The irresponsible one is for the world's intellectuals to pretend that if they make the right plans, which the leadership -- that will not respond -- is going to respond to. I argue that no amount of new planning, changes, or responses to the US government -- both DNC and GOP leaders -- will make a difference. They talk about solutions, but they bring messes; they talk about going forward, but are stuck with what isn't work.

* * *

Consider what the US had after Sept 2001: World support. Iran was there in Afghanistan willing to cooperate with the US.

Its as if at every opportunity this leadership has had to put aside differences with others, and focus on common enemies -- as was done during WWII, when the US and Russians put aside their Capitalism vs. Communism differences, and focused on the Nazis.

___ Why isn't the US putting aside its differences with Iran, and working with the Syrians and Iranians to face the real common threats to all nations: Injustice, and the illegal assertion of power to make the world unstable.

Rather than cooperate with the Iranians, the US, by its actions, is implicitly encouraging other nations like Iran and Venezuela to cooperate to oppose the American non-sense. The likely US response will be to point to this reasonable cooperation -- against a perceived common enemy -- as a pretext to expand war.

The Farmers intended the circuit breakers to activate, not point to a problem as an excuse not to activate.

* * *

The frustration is that the DC leadership and intelligence are not calling this Bush Administration on its non-sense, and saying directly to the President: "You're making the problem worse, you're out of here."

This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

* * *

What I would like to see: An open, honest debate on the House and Senate floors, or in the Committees, about what the US really hopes to accomplish with this non-sense.

___ Does the US leadership understand that the actions of the US leadership is making the problem worse in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia?

___ Does the US leadership understand that in failing to enforce Geneva this is annoying the world's citizens and undermine the Untied States position?

Addington and Cheney may argue that "nothing" can constrain the President's power. Yet, this is a false argument: The President has asserted that the Iraqi "rules" were binding the US troops. Addington-Yoo-Gonzalez argument that this is a "new war" needs to be put to rest, but the world entertains this notions as if they are the status quo.

Indeed, the President is in power, and has a majority in Congress: A majority are willing to do nothing about his illegal activity, and it doesn't matter whether they are in the DNC or GOP.

* * *

The world views America as being incapable of understanding reality. One core issue is the Israeli issue: The perception that Israel has imposed injustice on others, gotten away with it, and not been stopped because of the Holocaust. I appreciate the fact that 13M people were killed, but why is a legacy of the 1940s relevant to keep silent about injustice in 2007?

There is no answer. The lack of an answer, combined with the perception that the US continues to meddle without providing alternatives, is what is infuriating the world. The US refuses to discuss these issues, preferring to be defeated on the battlefield.

There are two options to resolving issues: Peacefully through politics and the law; or in the less desirable forum Combat. Given the US losses and setbacks, one would think the US Congress would go to the President saying, "You know, we really aren’t making much progress in this battlefield-thing; maybe we need to try something different like discussing this issue."

Look at Katrina. The world saw, uncensored, what happens when the US government is left to mange a problem: Disaster, as the world has been otherwise told didn't exist in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.

* * *

American citizen, intellectuals, and policy makers can go around and around all day long about what the "new agenda" should be. The real issue: The problems with Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq are not problems in themselves, but symptoms of the core problem the US leadership will not face: The incompetence of this US President.

It is absurd, despite not confronting this President, that the US leadership has taken impeachment off the table.

____ How much genocide do you want to put that potential consequences back on the table?

It doesn’t make sense for the US government to talk about "how great" democracy is when we have this much non-sense, and no credible leadership to manage this problem within the existing laws. Left and right we're told, not asked, to believe the fiction that the President can veto -- through a signing statement -- what Congress intended.

I could care less what the President or Addington may "construe" the law to mean: The purpose of the courts is to interpret the law; not to defer to the President on what the law means; the purpose of the Conference committee is to document the Congressional intent.

Let's have this Constitutional confrontation:

___ What happened with Chief Justice Roberts' ethics investigation on Hamdan, started while he was in the DC Court? We have no answer, but the American government wants us to believe we have a great system. Without an answer we have no basis to believe the Justice system is led by honorable people.

___ Why, despite Hamdan, does the US leadership go along with the fiction that Geneva doesn't apply; or that legal counsel for the prisoners can be lawfully targeted? If the US will not assert the Geneva Conventions, other nations are not required to enforce them, or recognize the same provisions, especially when it comes to Stimson's threatened retaliation against defense counsel for asserting their Geneva obligations to defend prisoners.

___ The laws of war permit reciprocity. The US proposes targeting GTMO defense counsel, denying them of follow-on contracts if they do what Geneva requires -- fully assert the Geneva conventions for prisoners. Does the DOJ Staff comprehend that, if they target defense counsel for the prisoners, that should DoJ Staff become targeted and sent to the Hague, other nations may similarly deny the DOJ Staff of a right to a fair trail? Where the US government refuses to fully assert the Geneva Conventions against the US President, world leaders may reasonably conclude, as did NATO in re Yugoslavia, that the US leadership is not sovereign, legitimate, or responsive to international obligations. This is a reasonable basis to conclude the US remains an imminent threat to stability, or a reasonable basis to conclude the US is an imminent threat, worthy of direct attack by the world's leaders, nations, fighters, and militias.

___ The US leadership faces the same pattern of Presidential misconduct – the laws exist; the President ignores them; then absurdly asserts that he is above the law. The US legal community absurdly throws this on the table as if this were a debatable point -- no it isn't, the US leadership is accountable to the law. The issue is whether the US leadership in Congress will or will not assert its oath. How many more examples does the US leadership require? Apparently, the Congress has deluded itself into believing that not asserting their oath is asserting their oath; and that majority control is really minority impishness.

___ What, again, was the reason that the US leadership doesn’t want to keep impeachment on the table – you were worried about what may or may not happen in 2008? What about what is happening in 2007: Continued defiance of the law. Does the US leadership, within action on impeachment, realize that this is raising the bar of what is a “permissible” impeachment threshold? They do not appear to have any problem writing letters to Stimson complaining about his attacks on lawyers; yet they are reluctant to write articles of impeachment complaining about attacks on the Constitution. Some letters are easier to support because the weather is favorable.

The DNC appears to hope, by planning nice, that the GOP will not have a basis to accuse the DNC of revenge over Clinton. This is a stupid argument: The GOP, regardless what the DNC does or does not do, is going to accuse the DNC of something. The voters figured out in November 2006 that the GOP wasn’t worth listening to.

____ Why is the DNC worried that the voters are going to suddenly start listening to the GOP non-sense on whether the impeachment is or isn’t justified? There is no reasonable basis. There is no merit to the DNC argument not to assert their oath, or not support the clash of (Constitutionally required) factions.

The absurdity is that the Constitution, despite its existence in paper, is seen by the NeoCons, DNC and US government in Congress and the Executive Branch as debatable. Let's end the debate and have this confrontation.

___ The US said there was a time limit for Saddam. Why is there no time limit on this Constitutional confrontation?

___ The US said that it was tired of the unresponsive problems with Iraq. Why is the US leadership content to have these unresolved issues floating around?

The US leadership is not willing to look in the mirror: The US Constitution is the agenda they are ignoring.

* * *

The core problem with the US government is the absurd levels of non-sense. When the US government gets into a bind it blames something else. Small problem: Others are not required to accept responsibility; and other nations are not required to play the same game. Rather than argue over whether combat is or isn't working -- which it is not -- some leaders are solving problems and offering alternatives.

The US cannot credibly hope to continue this non-sense, especially after squandering the prestige it had after the Sept 2001 events, to compel the world to believe in America. Again, America of the US Constitution is different than the America of 2007: They are not in the same subset.

Rice can stand before the cameras saying how great America is; or how the US will or will not bring about peace in the Middle East. World citizens view Rice, as the US, as full of non-sense: The US actions are wholly at odds with the non-sense Rice and Bush are spewing forth. It is irresponsible for the US Congress to refuse to challenge this non-sense.

Indeed, nobody should be surprised why the world holds the US government with contempt: It talks about principles is does not practice; it refuses to enforce well known violations of the law; and even when defeated on the battlefield, it pretends it is a Superpower.

The US may have nuclear weapons, but those nuclear weapons are not inspiring the world to grovel on the ground, or wait for the US to “get around” to showing up. Leaders in Iran and Venezuela are solving problems. The US leadership is seen as making more opportunities for the world to distinguish itself, and appear with a credible alterative to the American myth.

Here’s a plan for American: Why not listen to what the Iranians and Venezuelans are doing and dare to do it better, not show up with gunboats making big deals out of minor issues. Gunboat diplomacy doesn’t work, especially when the gunboats aren’t solving problems, but making the situation worse.

The US needs to start doing at home what it refuses to do at home:

___ Face reality

___ Hold leaders accountable

___ Perform

___ Get results

Then the world might have confidence in the US model; until then, America’s leaders and the intellectual community can talk all they want about making new plans. The world isn’t talking about planning, they’re solving problems. This President and Congress, despite refusing to admit the problems in Iraq are not solvable with the US presence, are attempting to pretend that there is some magic solution that is going to solve this problem.

The President has failed. He is incompetent. His staff has run out of ideas, they are not listening, and they have waged illegal war.

Congress is complicit. It refuses to assert its powers.

America’s leadership are not legitimate – they defy the law, refuse to enforce it, and openly defy their oaths of office. This is seen as an unsolvable situation. Yet, the world is solving the problem: By taking this dispute to the battlefield, and lawfully destroying illegally used US combat forces. Where the US leadership refuses to assent to the Constitution and Geneva Conventions, foreign fighters are imposing Geneva and imposing lawful consequences, reciprocity, and retaliation on American interests, forces, and infrastructure around the world.

These are issues of needless escalation. The world, as it did when facing the Roman Empire, was not forced to choose between accepting barbarity, and the absurd extension of unchecked abusive power. The Roman Empire does not exist. The American empire is not sustainable.

If you would like to make new plans, go ahead. Meanwhile, other leaders are solving problem, demonstration results, and the US leadership is talking about solving a problem that could have been solved had the US done what was done in WWII with the Marshall Plan: Implement a comprehensive approach, not expand combat.

Patton wanted to invade Russia in WWII. The US leadership said no. The thinking was the WWII conflicts should have been brought to an end. This President and Congress ignored the example of WWII, and expanded the combat zone from Afghanistan into Iraq.

The NeoCon’s approach to these challenges has been to pretend that history is over, and cannot be changed; that we only need to focus on the future. To those who ignore history, the NeoCons will be given a green light to continue.

America needs to confront the issues the NeoCons do not want to have confronted:

___ The illegal use of military power – war crimes – to impose American democracy abroad; while failing to fully support that objective with military and civil society efforts.

___ The open defiance of the Constitution

___ The abuse of power which has emboldened forces contrary to the US interests

It is too late. The US blew it. The US is outnumbered.

Nobody told the US that it had to invade Iraq; the way forward, as was done in WWII, would have been to end combat operations, and rebuild Afghanistan, showing the US model can work. But as with Katrina, the NeoCons want to press on to “more important things” and ignore what has not been done.

___ What is the reason the NeoCons have for the timeline in Iran?

___ What is the “imminent threat” that the NeoCons are pointing to in Iran; but the NeoCons can’t say what basis the US combat targeting teams are targeting these sights?

Where there are no targets connected with imminent threats, the NeoCon targeting in Iran is not lawful. The same absurdity of Iraq WMD is playing itself out again. These were issues the DNC, when they were in the minority, argued they could solve if they had the power. They have the power, but are not solving them. Why should we trust them with more power in 2008?

Rebuking the DNC approach does not mean that the GOP is going to get a pass. Rather, it means, as with foreign combat operations, forces which are not consistent with the US leadership are capable of rallying to lawfully oppose the GOP and DNC. It may not be soon, it may not be in 2008, but the combined reckless approach by the DNC and GOP has one reasonable alternative: A new political party that dares to really challenge.

The founders intended for factions to clash. The DNC cannot credibly argue the are fulfilling their Constitutional mandate when they, out of fear of being called “partisan” refuse to assert power. The GOP objective to argue, defend, and avoid a DNC confrontation is to label them. DNC action is not partisan but Constitutionally expected factional conflict.

As long as the DNC is in power, but grovels before the GOP paper tiger, America might as well not bother having a Congress. Congress has the power to shut down funding, but is afraid of something.

It doesn’t matter what the excuse is. When war criminals in the Oval Office are not lawfully confronted in Court, or the DOJ Staff and US Attorneys refuse to enforce the law, then factional conflict is what the Framers Expected to preserve the Constitution. Without factional conflict the Constitution is left in an inferior state.

* * *

Franklin warned us that the Republic will only survive if it is protected. America citizens have been told, not asked, to accept Presidential abuse but that we won’t do anything about it. Incorrect. American citizens may legally choose to lawfully oppose the abuse of power with like options. If the President asserts his use of power is lawful, then all others may legally oppose that power; the President cannot assert powers without expecting opposition; We did not delegate the President the power to abuse power, nor the reasonable expectation his abuse of power will not be checked.

The debate needs to be ended. It is time for Congress to decide: Are they, or are they not willing to assert their oath. If they are not, then the American public needs to work to form a Third Party, develop a New Constitution, and continue to launch 603 Proclamations from the States into the House.

Let history records that the DNC-GOP leadership jointly agreed not to assert their oath; and the US Congress refused to check power of the President. They jointly put 2008 interests before the needed faction challenge of the 2001-2007.

Without a credible challenge by opposing factions, it is reasonable to expect the President to continue his abuse of power, but attempt to secretly hide the evidence. America’s system of checks and balances used to work; it is not working. Either it is fixed, or the system is modernized to compel the factions to force it to fix.

America’s intellectuals have asked for a plan of “what to do.” The plan has already been developed: It is called the US Constitution. If you want a new plan, then you’re going to have to be open to an open debate about a New Constitution. Either way, we don't need to make new plans; we need new leaders.

Next time you want “We the People” to come up with a plan, listen to what we’ve already provided – The Constitution. Because this President, Congress, and Academic Intelligencia have jointly agreed to play stupid about the clearly promulgated statues, they’ve jointly agreed – directly or indirectly – not to face the problem that is causing the mess in Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan: The President.

Until the President is Confronted, no American should waste their time taking seriously any claims by anyone like Clemons or Greenwald that they are going to come up with a “big solution” to this mess.

The President is not above the law. It’s time to stop debating whether we will or will not hold the President to account; this debate should be taken out of the blogosphere, and launched into the House floor. If Pelosi and Conyers jointly hope to avoid this issue, then all the more reason to compel them to vote on whether the President should or should not be impeached. I care little that the clash of factions may be unpopular; they took an oath, agreeing to bind them to do things that were not popular: Asserting the rule of law. If they do not want to do that, then We the People need to work with the Constituents in Michigan and California to find new leaders who will lawfully replace Conyers and Pelosi. If Americans are not willing to assert the law and compel the US Congress to check the president, then you no longer have a Republic, but a dictatorship disguised as something else. This is the reason that foreign fighters oppose the US, and actively wage war against the non-sense in Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

We can go around and around all day long about what should or should not be the “new plan.” The plan is the US Constitution. It is time to call your local leadership, and compel them to wake up: This Congress is complicit with war crimes; and despite grave breaches of Geneva, the US Majority Party – the DNC – refuses to assert its oath. Time for the States to send more wakeup calls: Tell your elected officials about the 603 Proclamation in New Mexico.

If people dare to say that you are “wasting their time,” remind them what the Founders intended: For factions to clash. America is forming a Third Party which will credibly challenged the US government, and directly compete with the abuses, inaction, and laziness of the DNC and GOP. There is nothing the GOP and DNC can do to stop this, except jointly agree to stop the debate about new plans, and face the plan they took an oath to fully assert, not pretend is off the table: The US Constitution.

* * *

If there “might be” a Constitutional confrontation over Iran, then let’s have it now. If there “might be” some “bad feeling” about impeachment, then let’s get those “bad feelings” on the record:

___ Who is or is not willing to openly discuss this issue;

___ Who is or is not willing to have their remarks memorialized on in the Congressional Record

___ Who is or is not willing to fully assert their oath

___ Who is or is not willing to face the Number one Agenda Item: The US Constitution, and need to have a Constitutional confrontation with the President over whether he is or is not fit to remain President.