• “surge” is such a manly word

    by  • April 8, 2008 • music & politics • 14 Comments

    politek.jpgmight as well suggest this viewing, since Petreus is doing the dance today in front of our “elected peers” …

    but i still stumble over the question ~

    is the Iraqi war/occupation illegal under international and domestic law?

    UN Security Council Resolution 1441 is cited by the Bush administration as the international legal leverage for our invasion of Iraq.

    I agree with those who say Resolution 1441 does NOT authorize the use of force, and what’s more – believe the precedent set in the invasion/occupation is immoral and unethical … two rather significant elements of how i believe (the collective…) we should determine law.

    Murswiek warns that the US is establishing a precedent with far-reaching repercussions. “When Bush says he is not required to ask anybody’s permission, this cannot just be attributed to the arrogance that comes with power. There is a legal issue at stake… If this standpoint becomes established and becomes a new rule of international law, then the general ban on force will have been done away with in a practical sense.”

    Either, according to Murswiek, “every state can wage war against any other state that it regards as ‘rogue,’ which means there will be no more international security, or the right to wage a preventive war is regarded as the exclusive right of the US, which puts an end to the principle of equal national sovereignty of all states.” {LINK}

    dooneyantiwarmongering.jpgbut, ah well.

    As for domestic illegality ~ i guess presidents have balked at the War Powers Act since it’s passing … so, i think there’s little hope of enforcing any violations or limits the Act imposes under the Bush administration.
    – –
    And, it’s not like we had a congress that could/would stand up to Bush in 2002-3 when he beat the drums of lies and propaganda … one impeachable, the other, perhaps, only immoral.

    ah well, ah well.



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    14 Responses to “surge” is such a manly word

    1. Sabine
      April 8, 2008 at

      I thought the word was now “pause”

      we have so much damage to undo…not just the fiscal mess.

    2. Matt
      April 8, 2008 at

      Michael – I hope you saw the Frontline “Bushes War” – it was 4 hours and tremendous! Just a succint reminder of the many mis-guided, ill fated, and just plain illegal actions under taken in the run up to the war and its current incarnation….

    3. JHL
      April 8, 2008 at

      Countries obey international law as long as it suits their interests and not a minute longer. Treaties are a different story, but countries also ignore those with some frequency.

      As for domestic law, we may be loathe to admit it, but the interpretation of domestic laws (including the constitution) nearly always changes when U.S. forces are engaged in battle at home or abroad.

      Perhaps the most interesting question is how much we should change our laws in response to armed conflict. As a number of academics have pointed out, the history books are most kind to changes that are made in response to “real” threats to the safety of the country. The same academics have pointed out that Iraq (before we invaded) did not pose a threat that justified the changes that were made to our laws. Who knows how much of a threat we face now.

    4. chatterbox
      April 8, 2008 at

      Hernando – You’re preaching to the choir! But, hopefully some of the 51% that re-elected our current pres will be convinced to change course come Nov. or perhaps “pause” and “surge” in a new direction….

      Matt – I saw a couple hours of “Bush’s War” and agree it was a good piece – fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Wish I could have stayed awake for the rest.

    5. jen
      April 8, 2008 at

      “When Bush says he is not required to ask anybody’s permission, this cannot just be attributed to the arrogance that comes with power. There is a legal issue at stake… If this standpoint becomes established and becomes a new rule of international law, then the general ban on force will have been done away with in a practical sense.”

      I’m not sure I understand what Murswieck is saying here. What legal issue is precisely at stake? I don’t believe the US has ever conceded its right to act unilaterally in international affairs, including the use of force. This was a crucial point in the debate over the UN at its founding, and a primary reason for the defeat of its predecessor, the League of Nations, which required a submission on the part of member states to the will of the majority. No way was Congress ever going to concede to the UNO the right to declare war. That was made very clear from the start. With the principle of unilateralism protected, the door is wide open to preventive or pre-emptive (they’re different, but whatEVAH) war. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. This legal issue is a chimera.

      As for War Powers, wasn’t there a vote on the war? You know, the vote where Obama voted no and Clinton voted yes? As far as I understand it, the admin has covered itself very carefully in re War Powers, which in truth, has a fair amount of leeway anyhow.

      If you want to argue criminality on the part of the Bush admin in re the Iraq invasion, that they acted in bad faith at the outset and provided false representations of the truth to Congress is the likeliest route. I am convinced they did so, but finding the evidence to prove it is a different matter altogether. Documenting government decisions made in good faith without the intention to deceive is difficult enough. More than one future Ph.D. dissertation will be made or broken on this question of who lied and how much.

      But Congress and the press also hold responsibility for failing to ask the hard questions, for failing to maintain their autony, for failing to think critically. It’s too easy to condemn the Bushies as a pack of criminals, true as it may be. Amidst a rhetoric of fear and apocalyptic threats to American security, Congress and the majority of the press accepted with too few questions the “facts” as they were offered. This war is their war, too. The run-in to the invasion had a surreal quality as events churned inexorably forward. I’m not much for inevitability, historians generally aren’t (even non-practicing ones), but rarely has an outcome felt so pre-determined. I can’t believe they’re doing this, oh, shit, they’re actually doing this. The parallells to the 1964-65 period of America’s involvement in Vietnam are as inescapable as they are eerie.

      And sad, sad because it’s our war, too, no matter how little we may have wanted it, and how much we may have opposed it. How did we come to so lose control of the government that exists to serve us? How did we fail so badly to convince enough Americans to oppose the course Bush sought as doomed to failure and disgrace? And how do we avoid again making the same mistake?

    6. jen
      April 8, 2008 at

      shit, sorry that was really long. i can never tell in the stoopid leetle boxes 😛

    7. Michael Hernandez
      April 8, 2008 at

      70% of our national debt, for the history of our national debt, was run up during the presidencies of Reagan, Bush and Bush (if we are to believe everything we read). There was a very small group of individuals who were in positions of influence during all three of those administrations.

      very small.

      i’m just saying.

    8. Matt
      April 8, 2008 at

      jen, in quick response to your question of ‘evidence’ of the questionable legality of the Bush doctrine and run up to war the easiest smoking gun is the ‘yellow cake’ issue which was repeatedly refuted by the CIA and others prior to it’s inclusion in the UN address by Bush. Additionally one only need look at the repeated over-rulings of the bush administration by the supreme court vis-a-vis the warrantless surveilance act, the methodology of guantanamo (specifically the exclusion of any rules of thee code of military justice), the expansionof executive power, and more ad nauseum!

      point of clarification- obama wasn’t a senator when the original authorization was passed by the congress.

      in the end you are correct that it is our war, our combined apathy that led us here….sad though it is.

    9. Scot
      April 9, 2008 at


      Can you please just create another site for your political ranting? Some of us just want to read a race report.

    10. Michael Hernandez
      April 9, 2008 at

      got it, politics out.
      what about the homo-erotic imagery?

    11. pedro
      April 9, 2008 at

      Let’s get real. The War is a money machine. Why would the people making billions off of arms contracts, infrastructure destruction and rebuilding, and of course oil exports want to stop the flow of money. To them, death and destruction is small price to pay to make themselves even richer.

    12. Scot
      April 9, 2008 at

      MH said “what about the homo-erotic imagery?

      As long as it’s cycling related. Do you have any pics of a naked LA riding up Alpe d’Huez? You did say (Homo)-erotic.

    13. Michael Hernandez
      April 9, 2008 at

      “any pics of a naked LA riding up Alpe d’Huez?”
      well … he was pretty homo-erectus from what i remember … that chalky widow’s peak dread set over rector-rigid shades.

      so upright and shouldery-tall as he stood and spun pedals up.

      While ullrich, more the quivering thorough bred … under bridle.
      for prize.

    14. Tim
      April 9, 2008 at

      “MH said: 70% of our national debt, for the history of our national debt, was run up during the presidencies of Reagan, Bush and Bush (if we are to believe everything we read). ”

      Not sure if I buy that statistic (and would want a constant value of the dollar weighting for it to be valid anyway). But since those three guys were Presidents for almost twenty years, it is believable that they did have an impact on deficits.

      On the other hand, the nitpicky side of me would have to point out that CONGRESS, not the President, set budgets. The President can veto bills, but he can’t allocate funds to one department or another. So Olaf, any guesses who controlled Congress for most of the time those guys held office? What was that? Did you say the Democrats controlled Congress and voted for all of those budget busting expenditures without raising revenue or cutting costs in other programs to fund the new things? So feel free to give as much billing to the wasteful spending of Congressional Democrats as to the Republican Presidents. And if you’re going to claim Bill Clinton was so great about controlling deficits, then Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and the Congressional Republicans get credit too.

      But yeah, I came here to read about cycling, freaks of nature, funky riffs on gear and training, tactics and other silliness (and hopefully not about more dopers). If I wanted the Gospel according to Saint Barack I’d visit the SFGate comments pages where the holy writ is worshipped and dissenters are scourged like an Olympic Torchbearer.

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