Forever War Anywhere

May 18, 2011

Overburdened or maybe in need of more war?


(Illustration found here).

After the killing of Osama bin Laden, about any near-sane person would recommend a kind of slow down in the worldwide war on terror, at least allow US GIs some breathing room — and not just taking a quick break loaded down with equipment on a road far, far away.
Although last year, CIA director Leon Panetta blubbered there’s most-likely less than 100 al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the US is at war in that near-destroyed country.
And on top of that, Iraq is a place that keeps on giving, or taking away — US troops are facing increasing dangers in the southern part of the country — there’s still about 46,000 GIs there and all are scheduled to leave at the end of this year, despite what the generals think.

So along comes the warmongers and a new attack plan.
From the ACLU:

But Congress is considering monumental new legislation that would grant the president — and all presidents after him — sweeping new power to make war almost anywhere and everywhere.
Unlike previous grants of authority for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the proposed legislation would allow a president to use military force wherever terrorism suspects are present in the world, regardless of whether there has been any harm to U.S. citizens, or any attack on the United States, or any imminent threat of an attack.
The legislation is broad enough to permit a president to use military force within the United States and against American citizens.
The legislation contains no expiration date, and no criteria to determine when a president’s authority to use military force would end.

The little item is a “sleeper provision” hidden in the bowels of the US House Armed Services Committee’s National Defense Authorization Act — and a pile of shit.
This little gem, Section 1034, was added to the bill by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA).
One must remember McKeon’s nickname, ‘Buck,’ which actually means contributions from defense contractors — a warmonger, greedy asshole.
In a pile of stinking bullshit heaved up at The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing, warmongering operation, big Buck explains:

Cutting military items wholesale, given the challenges I’ve laid out, is irresponsible and dangerous, but let’s be honest: In a $530 billion defense budget, there has to be room for some savings.
The Pentagon is going to need to do some housecleaning.
That’s just the fiscal reality that we’re facing.
But any savings that are identified by the Defense Department must go back into defense: not to health care, not to Social Security, not to cowboy poetry — and that’s a real one, by the way — and not to any other pet project the Obama Administration deems a higher priority than our security.

Not to benefit ordinary folks.

From Death and Taxes and the nasty part of Section 1034:

Congress affirms that —
(1) the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad;
(2) the President has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note);
(3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who—
(A) are part of, or are substantially supporting, al‐Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
(B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A); and
(4) the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority to detain belligerents, including persons described in paragraph
(3), until the termination of hostilities.

The cover, ‘termination of hostilities,’ gives it an open-ended result, to wage war anywhere, even within the good-old-US and against US citizens.

An ACLU lobbyist (from Wired):

“At a time when most Americans want the country to start pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and limiting use of the military, the new declaration of war would give the president unchecked authority to use the military practically anywhere and everywhere,” says Chris Anders, a top lobbyist with the ACLU.
“Congress should certainly exercise far more care and caution when turning over so much war authority to the president.”

War and the never-ending rumor-mongering of war.

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