Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Responsibility and Wars

"Grandpa, I hear people calling the war in Iraq Geo. Bush’s war what do they mean by that?

Grandpa just glanced at me as he said, "boy, when you hear words like that you can be assured that it is an ideological argument."

With that said he went back to reading his book. I just sat there at his feet in hopes he would elaborate on his thought. After he did not I asked, "Grandpa, what do you mean by that?"

Grandpa put his book on the table next to the chair and leaned over putting his elbows upon his knees as he answered.
"Boy, our founding fathers created a federal government with three independent branches, the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. Being independent each branch has its own responsibility in the running of this country. No one branch can function without the help of the other branches.

The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court. Its function is to interpret the Constitution in such a manner to determine whether any issue brought before it belongs within the domain of rights of the people themselves, the individual state governments, or the federal government. The problem here is that the Supreme Court has no authority to enforce any decision they hand down. It requires the help of Congress to pass any laws necessary to enforce that decision. It then requires the help of the Executive branch to actually enforce the laws as passed or to enforce the decision if there is no need for new laws.

The legislative branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. We refer to this as Congress. Its function is to enact the laws but it has no authority to determine whether or not any law is constitutional nor does it have any authority to enforce any law that it enacts. It requires the help of the other two branches to accomplish this.

The executive branch consists of one man, the President of the United States. His function is to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to enforce the decisions of the Supreme Court. He has no authority to enact any law or determine its constitutionality.

War is spelled out in the Constitution so that there is no doubt that any war waged by this country is constitutional. The Constitution requires that Congress is to be the branch that declares war thus giving the President the authority to wage war. Without this authority given to the President he has no power or authority to wage war. So, in line with this any war waged is done so with the assent of all three branches of government. This declares that all three branches are responsible for any war waged not just one branch.

So, when you hear someone say that the war in Iraq is Geo. Bush’s war they are declaring that he is waging a war without the assent of the other two branches of Government. Since that would be, on the basis of the Constitution, a false argument then it can only be an ideological one." With this said he sat back into his chair, picked up his book and started reading again.

I could only smile and say, "thank you grandpa"

Grandpa said one more thing as he was reading. "One more thing, boy, when Congress declares war they do so with the declaration of intent of achieving victory not surrender. And once war is declared Congress implies that they will back that war until victory is achieved. Without those implications Congress is not living up to its responsibility to their constituents nor to the other two branches of government."


Mike's America said...

Unfortunately, so many of our nation's traditions, like Grandpa's statement or "politics stops at the water's edge" have been overturned by a new political class that easily exploits the woefully inadequte education of most Americans.

When we live in a time when the meaning of "is" is open to debate, then every other value becomes relative to the prevailing political reality.


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