Monday, April 28, 2008

Yet more of the decline of America and all things good

The following is cross-posted from Dumb Looks Still Free.

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics, and laborers-who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles.

- President Andrew Jackson's Bank Veto Message, 10 JUL 1832 (Source: The Avalon Project)

Michael Hirsch's latest article at Newsweek on How the South Won (This) Civil War, 25 APR 2008, brings to mind the outlook and views of President Jackson and Jacksonians as he cites them as being a part of America that is doing things that he just doesn't like. Apparently he, like Bill O'Reilly, is bemoaning the slow decline of American culture and cites the Scots-Irish in the South as the source of it, and I will take the liberty of extensively quoting his article so as to examine just what it *is* that he is going after:

In part this is a triumph of demographics. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge observed in their 2004 book, "The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America," the nation's population center has been "moving south and west at a rate of three feet an hour, five miles a year." Another author, Anatol Lieven, in his 2005 book "America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism," describes how the "radical nationalism" that has so dominated the nation's discourse since 9/11 traces its origins to the demographic makeup and mores of the South and much of the West and Southern Midwest--in other words, what we know today as Red State America. This region was heavily settled by Scots-Irish immigrants--the same ethnic mix King James I sent to Northern Ireland to clear out the native Celtic Catholics. After succeeding at that, they then settled the American Frontier, suffering Indian raids and fighting for their lives every step of the way. And the Southern frontiersmen never got over their hatred of the East Coast elites and a belief in the morality and nobility of defying them. Their champion was the Indian-fighter Andrew Jackson. The outcome was that a substantial portion of the new nation developed, over many generations, a rather savage, unsophisticated set of mores. Traditionally, it has been balanced by a more diplomatic, communitarian Yankee sensibility from the Northeast and upper Midwest. But that latter sensibility has been losing ground in population numbers--and cultural weight.

This is, as they say in refined circles, garbage. The lineage of both the Scots-Irish and the Protestant English, Dutch and Germanic peoples that came to the Northeast and Upper Midwest had very similar lines of society to those of the Scots-Irish, although with a more taciturn view of things than the more rambunctious cousins to the South. The differences between rural life in the Deep South and Northeast was that of basic religious outlook between the deep Protestants in the North East and the more Catholic lines in the South, but both led to similar problems for poor, rural communities in both regions. The Yankee tinkerer is no different in outlook than the Southern Frontiersman, save that one had to fight climate and government to keep kith and kin alive while the other had to fight hostile natives, government, and brew up whisky while keeping kith and kin alive. In fact, as Rev. A. L. Perry would write about in 1890, the Scots-Irish were very much IN New England (Source: Library Ireland):

The Scotch-Irish did not enter New England unheralded. Early in the spring of 1718 Rev. Mr. Boyd was dispatched from Ulster to Boston as an agent of some hundreds of those people who expressed a strong desire to remove to New England, should suitable encouragement be afforded them. His mission was to Governor Shute, of Massachusetts, then in the third year of his administration of that colony, an old soldier of King William, a Lieutenant-Colonel under Marlborough in the wars of Queen Anne, and wounded in one of the great battles in Flanders. Mr. Boyd was empowered to make all necessary arrangements with the civil authorities for the reception of those whom he represented, in case his report of the state of things here should prove to be favorable.


I have lately scrutinized with critical care this ancient parchment stamped by the hands of our ancestors, now in the custody of the Historical Society of New Hampshire, and was led into a line of reflections which I will not now repeat, as to its own vicissitudes in the seven quarter-centurys of its existence, and as to the personal vicissitudes and motives, and heart-swellings and hazards, and cold and hunger and nakedness, as well as the hard-earned success and the sense of triumph, and the immortal vestigia of the men who lovingly rolled and unrolled this costly parchment on the banks of the Foyle and the Bann Water! Tattered are its edges now, shrunken by time and exposure its original dimensions, illegible already some of the names even under the fortifying power of modern lenses, but precious in the eyes of New England, nay precious in the eyes of Scotch-Irishmen every-where, is this venerable muniment of intelligence and of courageous purpose looking down upon us from the time of the first English George.

The direct addressing of issues via community based democratic means in towns in the North East and upper Mid West have mirrors in the social and societal organizations that may have taken a slower pace in the South, but still assured that families and clans were all brought up to date on issues of the day. The more taciturn and somewhat puritanical North Eastern Yankees did have different societal customs across the North East and Mid West, ranging from that small town view of democracy in Vermont and New Hampshire to the more blue-blooded cosmopolitan forms in the big cities (Boston, New York, Philadelphia) to the backwoods Dutch who had settled across Western NY to Ohio and Indiana, centered in Pennsylvania Dutch territory. From there the Appalachian family and clan views of the Scots-Irish intermingle and shift down through the Virginias and Carolinas to Georgia, forming the lovely Multi-Culti, wide spectrum of religious and social outlooks that gave birth to this Nation. Those differences in culture showed up in language, so you can chart out the Mason/Dixon line by the bucket/pail line, and numerous other words used to refer to items. Yet the presence of Scots-Irish in New England is demonstration that the divide being spoken of is *not* that of the Scots-Irish vs. the Elites of New England and the Mid West.

No, what Mr. Hirsch is describing is a different cultural divide, not the North-South one but the Big City - Small Town divide of America. In fact it was many of the 'East Coast Elites' that *were* elites because they sat in the halls of power in the larger cities of America and had their own derogatory view towards their Small Town and Rural cousins. A piece I did on Sam Adams clearly shows some of what that city-based elite saw as it viewed other parts of the culture in the Colonies and the Early Nation. While a noted thinker, theorist, brewer and patriot, Sam Adams did have his prejudices against Roman Catholicism, here writing in his untitled document on the Rights of the Colonists:

In regard to Religeon, mutual tolleration in the different professions thereof, is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced; and both by precept and example inculcated on mankind: And it is now generally agreed among christians that this spirit of toleration in the fullest extent consistent with the being of civil society "is the chief characteristical mark of the true church"2 & In so much that Mr. Lock has asserted, and proved beyond the possibility of contradiction on any solid ground, that such toleration ought to be extended to all whose doctrines are not subversive of society. The only Sects which he thinks ought to be, and which by all wise laws are excluded from such toleration, are those who teach Doctrines subversive of the Civil Government under which they live. The Roman Catholicks or Papists are excluded by reason of such Doctrines as these "that Princes excommunicated may be deposed, and those they call Hereticks may be destroyed without mercy; besides their recognizing the Pope in so absolute a manner, in subversion of Government, by introducing as far as possible into the states, under whose protection they enjoy life, liberty and property, that solecism in politicks, Imperium in imperio3 leading directly to the worst anarchy and confusion, civil discord, war and blood shed-4

So, when Mr. Hirsch starts talking about a more 'diplomatic, communitarian' North East, one does have to wonder just *which* North East he is talking about? The rural North East would put up with a hell of a lot from the officious governments in their State Capitols, as seen during and after the Revolutionary war. Sam Adams was a *very* enlightened thinker for his time and period, and yet the clear distrust of Roman Catholics is demonstrated. That is neither 'diplomatic' nor 'communitarian' to seek outright restriction upon individuals because they happen to believe in one form of christianity over another.

Part of the Big City Elite vs Small Town and Rural is seen in the long and gloried career of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln who would be called out after the Revolution for a problem that faced the Confederacy (Source: History of War site):

Lincoln’s one remaining official post was first major general of militia. He accepted this post in December 1785, and made a series of suggestions for improving the state of the militia, but if he expected them to see any action, it would only have been guarding the borders of the state against Indian incursion. To his shock, he was to find himself leading troops against his fellow citizens.

At the heart of the divisions in Massachusetts was the split between the commercial towns and cities of the east coast and the entirely rural western part of the state. Just as the British had found western Massachusetts almost impossible to rule, now the state authorities found themselves facing a violent uprising. In the summer of 1786 protests began as a protest against the increasing burden of taxes. Added to the tax burden was an attempt to force the payment of private debts. Most of this debt was owed to the wealthy merchants of the east coast. The farmers in the west of the state felt that they were being oppressed by an oligarchy and were not properly represented by the state government. Many of their complaints were similar to those of the revolutions of the 1770s, an irony that appears to have escaped Lincoln, but that many did see (especially British visitors to the state).

The initial response of the state government was to grant a eight-month debt moratorium, but at the same time habeas corpus was suspended, and a new Riot Act put in place. Protest in the west soon turned into armed revolt. Leaders began to emerge, amongst them Daniel Shays (after whom the revolt was named). They began by closing the courts in the west of the state, but by the end of 1786 their rhetoric had grown to include a direct threat to march on Boston and overthrow what they felt was an illegitimate government. The similarities to the events of 1775 worried many, including Washington. As commander of the militia, Lincoln found himself in the front line against his fellow Americans.

The payment of debts incurred during the Revolution and the extremely heavy burden upon the poor, rural farmer caused many families to go into poverty as their land was confiscated to pay those debts. Here the Elite center of commerce in Boston put large debt repayment loads on individuals and enforced the payment of private debts, which further burdened farmers already close to the brink of going under. It is that view from the central, establishment in the Cities upon the rural folks that *is* the Elitist brand that Mr. Hirsch talks about, but the resentment OF IT is in no way limited to Jacksonians and the Deep South.

One of the reasons Washington did so well as General and President is that he did not cut himself off from his own frontiersman roots as a scout and surveyor for the British Army, and he continued to brew Rye Whiskey at Mount Vernon. These things and his humility in listening to his enlisted officers who had better knowledge of terrain and the army itself during the Revolution allowed Washington to manage that and so inspire the volunteers that many went without pay for long, long months. And while President Jefferson would not have religious practices during his term, and, in fact, formed a religious group of one individual (Source: Thomas Jefferson letter to William Short, 13 APR 1820 via Library of Congress), he would not seek to enforce that Elitist view upon the Nation and, instead, adhere to the wisdom of letting his fellow man decide for himself about what is right and proper in their lives in regard to religion. His continued support for agrarian views would continue to endear him to the more rural population, while his elitist views put him into the 'radical thinkers' camp in the realm of human liberty and religion. Would that latter day Elitists could take the lesson from that and learn to understand and even live with Small Town and Rural America.

The concentration of industrial capacity in cities would later put that divide into play as the Nation slowly moved from agrarian based to industrial based and the flow of money and power into Big City Elites and their corporations would entrench that view that Big City Establishments were out of touch with Small Town and Rural America. Whenever a politician speaks to the needs and beliefs of Small Town and Rural America they get a derogatory name attached to them: Populist. Populism, itself, is a 'grab-bag' terminology, often employed by the Elite establishment against anything that isn't part of it. Thus when Mr. Hirsch uses the following paragraph to tell what he is seeing he is deploying the 'populist' argument as an Elite:

The coarsened sensibility that this now-dominant Southernism and frontierism has brought to our national dialogue is unmistakable. We must endure "lapel-pin politics" that elevates the shallowest sort of faux jingoism over who's got a better plan for Iraq and Afghanistan. We have re-imported creationism into our political dialogue (in the form of "intelligent design"). Hillary Clinton panders shamelessly to Roman Catholics, who have allied with Southern Protestant evangelicals on questions of morality, with anti-abortionism serving as the main bridge. Barack Obama seems to be so leery of being identified as an urban Northern liberal that he's running away from the most obvious explanation of his association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and former Weatherman Bill Ayers: after Obama graduated from college he became an inner-city organizer in Chicago, and they were natural allies for someone in a situation like that. We routinely demonize organizations like the United Nations that we desperately need and which are critical to missions like nation-building in Afghanistan. On foreign policy, the realism and internationalism of the Eastern elitist tradition once kept the Southern-frontier warrior culture and Wilsonian messianism in check. Now the latter two, in toxic combination, have taken over our national dialogue, and the Easterners are running for the hills.

Notice that his first attack is on 'coarsened sensibility' which he then categorizes as: frontierist, shallow jingoist, backwards looking religious based views, ant-urban Northern liberal, UN demonizing, anti-Eastern elitist foreign policy while being pro-warrior and messianic Wilsonian. Do notice that he puts forward no positive views on this, nor does he recognize the large Roman Catholic populations that came to America from Italy, Poland and Spain. However he does correctly pin the problems of the Elitist as that of 'urban Northern liberal' and puts forward that *that* allows for anything against the United States to be absolutely OK with him so long as it has cover in something like 'inner-city organizer'... while not ever explaining what an 'inner-city organizer' does. Even worse is the attempt to look only at the 'messianic' part of Woodrow Wilson's foreign policy views, while trying to distance THOSE from the fact that they are tied up with the idea of extra-National organizations like the League of Nations and, later, the UN.

That last is particularly galling as Woodrow Wilson, himself, was an East Coast Elitist (to use Mr. Hirsch's terms) who used the messianic views as they were seen as a normal part of the political speech of that day and age. Indeed he did look to 'liberate Jerusalem' but when push came to shove he would not want to *fight over it* when given the opportunity to do so by taking on the Ottoman Empire. No, President Wilson was not going to do *that* to carry out a warrior-based, messianic foreign policy. Those were not Southern views he was giving, but they were part of what is called 'Progressivist' views, which Woodrow Wilson held. 'Progressivism' at that stage of things was decidedly a Christian-based movement, for all the fact it would later morph into one that held beliefs more in line with socialism and atheism.

I looked at the basis for Wilsonianism for Transnationalism, and found that President Wilson actually had a disdain for things like the Declaration of Independence (Source: 14 JUL 1914 speech Independence Hall in Philadelphia, President Wilson's Addresses, via Project Gutenberg:

In one sense the Declaration of Independence has lost its significance. It has lost its significance as a declaration of national independence. Nobody outside of America believed when it was uttered that we could make good our independence; now nobody anywhere would dare to doubt that we are independent and can maintain our independence. As a declaration of independence, therefore, it is a mere historic document. Our independence is a fact so stupendous that it can be measured only by the size and energy and variety and wealth and power of one of the greatest nations in the world. But it is one thing to be independent and it is another thing to know what to do with your independence. It is one thing to come to your majority and another thing to know what you are going to do with your life and your energies; and one of the most serious questions for sober-minded men to address themselves to in the United States is this: What are we going to do with the influence and power of this great Nation? Are we going to play the old role of using that power for our aggrandizement and material benefit only? You know what that may mean. It may upon occasion mean that we shall use it to make the peoples of other nations suffer in the way in which we said it was intolerable to suffer when we uttered our Declaration of Independence.

Yes, like many of the Elites of the 'Progressivist' movement, Woodrow Wilson did not describe the Declaration of Independence as having eternal truths but only transitory ones that lose their significance once the Nation was born. This is not one of those uncouth, ill-bred, ignorant masses telling us about the transitory nature of the Declaration, but a well-heeled gentlemen of the East Coast Elites doing so. Nor are the 'warrior culture' folks of today using the highly linked idea of President Wilson of a Christian Nation that would take part in international bodies for the greater good of the world. You can't import the Wilsonian 'messianic views' without also dragging in the international part as they go hand-in-hand, so saying that the 'warrior culture' would embrace both the pro-international institutional views of Wilson and the anti-UN views of corrupt international institutions doing more harm than good is extremely ahistorical and trying to cherry-pick an ideal here and an ideal there to put together an incoherent mish-mash to tar other folks with.

And if Mr. Hirsch will rail about the lack of holding on to 'realism and internationalism of the Eastern elitist tradition' then perhaps Mr. Hirsch can point to the actual GOOD that tradition has done for the Nation? I have looked at the unreality of those 'realists' and see much that is at fault with their high minded views that want little or nothing to do with the actual dirty ways that Nations and societies run themselves. While they did, indeed, form a semi-coherent position against Communism, these great elitist foreign policy thinkers like Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, and James A. Baker III plus many others across party lines all *missed* the salient problems of Private Warfare, Islamic Fundamentalism and Radicalism, and had taken no price to try and confront either those waging Private War against the Law of Nations nor to confront the underpinnings of Islamic Radicals who started shooting up and blowing up choice parts of the Middle East, Europe, Russia, China, India, Africa, South America, North America and, indeed, other parts of the world. What did these great and oh-so-wise thinkers on all things Realpolitik actually *DO* about this?


For all the combined brain power they couldn't even bother to figure out that war waged by Private groups and individuals is anathema to all Nations and a threat to the entire international system they all so adored. So when a political figure starts to ally himself with a preacher speaking an ahistorical, unfounded gospel to condemn America and a homegrown, unrepentant terrorist, one does begin to look a little askance at just *why* this individual is so 'transcending' politics, when he is supporting those who think the place should be condemned and thrown into the ash heap of history. You don't have to be a coarse, warrior culture individual to know that such ties end up to bad places in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other choice parts of the world being blown up and shot at by other religious and politically totalitarian individuals spouting the EXACT SAME THING.

That set of Eastern elitist views backed by powerful industrialists who seek to dissolve National borders in the name of 'free trade' and their liberal counterparts looking to liquidate society based on illegal immigration do seem to be walking hand-in-hand these days: those are views to strip those outside of the elite enclaves of their ability to have a strong culture, strong society and protect the Nation. In that we are seeing a strange confluence of individuals like Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton and John McCain who are *each* from the elitist establishment either by background or by shifting their views to that of the establishment so as to gain political power from it.

If Mr. Hirsch wishes to look for the problems caused by the Big City Elite establishment with the Nation, it is not the future that he should worry about, but the past and Shays Rebellion. That is the problem he is describing and it isn't a purely Jacksonian one, but is of the vast Red Nation with the isolated pockets of deep Blue in the Big Cities. The last time the Elites tried to push an unfair and destructive regime of taxation that would undermine family and society, that is what the Nation started to get and far beyond just the North East. A direct attack on that culture, itself, by the Elites and backed by politics may see something very similar.

The Big City Elites are one fine Shays away from getting something far worse than a 'coarsening of culture'.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The view that cues

The following is a personal perspective paper for The Jacksonian Party.

Contemplating some of the views of Andrew Jackson given by his work as President makes for interesting thought and reading.  While tied to the immediate events, they often tied to the fundamentals of what America is and how it moves through time.  Jacksonian views come to be held not as top-down ideology, where categories are placed upon things, but, instead, as procedural: your views are carried out by what you do and what you do is done with the energy of those views.  That message comes through clearly over the long decades since that early period of American expansion, and remains a vital part of how Jacksonians view themselves and how they relate to others, even if they don't call it 'Jacksonianism'.  It is a cultural phenomena or, indeed, meta-phenomena that shapes activities by daily work to support those things by that work.  And when the work, itself, does not lead to the end expected, one backtracks to find the fault in the reasoning that led one to those poor ends and adjusts that thinking.  So long as the basic accords and process is done correctly, the work tends to be good and self-correcting.

One of the views most paramount is stated in the First Inaugural Address, 04 MAR 1829 (Source: Avalon Project, which is used unless otherwise stated throughout) after giving brief introduction and then stating how he saw the Constitutional powers and his outlook on using them:

In administering the laws of Congress I shall keep steadily in view the limitations as well as the extent of the Executive power trusting thereby to discharge the functions of my office without transcending its authority. With foreign nations it will be my study to preserve peace and to cultivate friendship on fair and honorable terms, and in the adjustment of any differences that may exist or arise to exhibit the forbearance becoming a powerful nation rather than the sensibility belonging to a gallant people.

In such measures as I may be called on to pursue in regard to the rights of the separate States I hope to be animated by a proper respect for those sovereign members of our Union, taking care not to confound the powers they have reserved to themselves with those they have granted to the Confederacy.

The management of the public revenue--that searching operation in all governments--is among the most delicate and important trusts in ours, and it will, of course, demand no inconsiderable share of my official solicitude. Under every aspect in which it can be considered it would appear that advantage must result from the observance of a strict and faithful economy. This I shall aim at the more anxiously both because it will facilitate the extinguishment of the national debt, the unnecessary duration of which is incompatible with real independence, and because it will counteract that tendency to public and private profligacy which a profuse expenditure of money by the Government is but too apt to engender. Powerful auxiliaries to the attainment of this desirable end are to be found in the regulations provided by the wisdom of Congress for the specific appropriation of public money and the prompt accountability of public officers.

With regard to a proper selection of the subjects of impost with a view to revenue, it would seem to me that the spirit of equity, caution and compromise in which the Constitution was formed requires that the great interests of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures should be equally favored, and that perhaps the only exception to this rule should consist in the peculiar encouragement of any products of either of them that may be found essential to our national independence.

In his first view is the deference to Congress in making the laws and the limitations in the Executive in carrying out those laws.

The second part, however, is key to understanding procedural views: Jackson will seek international friendships on the basis of fairness and honorable terms, and to not display any haughtiness that a large power normally has.  Instead he will attempt to reflect the gallantry of the people of the Nation and seek to ensure that power does not overwhelm when seeking friendship amongst Nations.  That is known as a 'foreign policy doctrine' that guides actions, but does not prescribe any single set of actions.  This is something that in this era of the US believing in 'free trade' to be good for *everyone*, and negotiating on that basis actually loses the view of seeking honorable relationships with friendship and reciprocity in understanding.  To the modern economic doctrine, trade trumps civil and honorable understanding.  That is why politicians revert to it when seeking high office: the doctrine gives them things to tick off on a checklist, but not an outlook as to what is the best way to form international relations.

The third part, and lost in our modern era of trying to centralize everything at the federal level, is that the States have individual sovereignty under the Constitution that is different from the Confederacy.  In reminding the States of that difference, Jackson sought to defuse some problems that had been brewing since 1789, and that the Articles of Confederation were no longer operable.

The fourth part, that of economics, is that to be a free and independent Nation the US cannot be in debt at the federal level.  Again in this era of massive federal government and debt, this is a lost item but is a touchstone of having limited government and independent sovereignty.  Much good is spoken about how debt gives government the 'leeway to act' on economic matters, and yet that very measure of control is something very dangerous to hand to government as it is the least amenable to being held to account as this is a bureaucratic function, not directly elected function.  Unchecked government will spend more and move the Nation deeper into debt, thus demonstrating lack of self-restraint by the American people via their government.

As a follow-up to that point on the origin of government finances, trade is to be encouraged and the only restrictions are to be on those things in agriculture, commerce or industry that are so vital to the sovereign independence of the Nation that they need protection so that the Nation can remain independent. 

Each of these is not a checklist approach, in having programs in-hand to enact: they are descriptive of the process he will use to make judgements and come to conclusions.  They are procedural guidelines, not doctrine, and thus guide thought and action but allow leeway in their enaction, so long as the actions retain fidelity to the process.  In today's checklist politics we hear much about what government does, but very little rationale given as to *why* it should do these things.  Here Jackson tells you how he will go about crafting policy so that people can understand not only how he came up with it but why he reaches the conclusions he gets to.  This is government by outline and methodology.

As President, Andrew Jackson would be tested on each of these views and seek to come up with a proper solution that fits the methods and limitations of the office of President and the federal government as a whole.  One major test came as South Carolina attempted to nullify the ability of the federal government to levy taxes upon the state.  It is one of the most robust statements of why States cannot voluntarily leave the Union without the consent of the other States prior to the Civil War.  Any State, once taking up that compact to unify with the other States, is then obligated to the well-being of all citizens of all the States. That is put at jeopardy when any single State attempts to leave without seeking consent and assent *first* from the totality of the other States.

Remember, Andrew Jackson is FROM South Carolina.  And his answer to what to do when the federal government over steps is bounds:  go to the Judiciary.  He derives that from the structure of the Constitution, the grant of powers via it and the internal checks and balances system.  If a tax is levied outside of those grants of powers and restrictions upon them, then get the federal judiciary to nullify it for ALL of the States.  The States have rights to autonomy within the Union and to common safeguard of those rights, but the compact that commits a State to be United with the other States is an agreement that is not to the federal government but to ALL the other States.

Here the stated guiding view is:

The right of the people of a single State to absolve themselves at will and without the consent of the other States from their most solemn obligations, and hazard the liberties and happiness of the millions composing this Union, can not be acknowledged. Such authority is believed to be utterly repugnant both to the principles upon which the General Government is constituted and to the objects which it is expressly formed to attain.

That is the guiding principle given, that in signing on to the Constitution and becoming a part of the United States any single State may not leave on its own.  To do that ignores the obligation the people of a State took up to become part of the Union.

From that compact that puts the consent of the governed above all, namely the Constitution, he then looks at how it works:

Against all acts which may be alleged to transcend the constitutional power of the Government, or which may be inconvenient or oppressive in their operation, the Constitution itself has prescribed the modes of redress. It is the acknowledged attribute of free institutions that under them the empire of reason and law is substituted for the power of the sword. To no other source can appeals for supposed wrongs be made consistently with the obligations of South Carolina; to no other can such appeals be made with safety at any time; and to their decisions, when constitutionally pronounced, it becomes the duty no less of the public authorities than of the people in every case to yield a patriotic submission.

That a State or any other great portion of the people, suffering under long and intolerable oppression and having tried all constitutional remedies without the hope of redress, may have a natural right, when their happiness can be no otherwise secured, and when they can do so without greater injury to others, to absolve themselves from their obligations to the Government and appeal to the last resort, needs not on the present occasion be denied.

When a State takes up an attempt to do otherwise in regards to the Union and abrogate its pledge, and when all other forms of reason are exhausted to remind a State and its people of their responsibilities to the Union, then the Sword must be considered.  The attempt to reason must be honest, genuine and with a spirit of amity, as those are fellow citizens in the Union.  The people of a State, when suffering intolerable oppression by tyrannical government do have a duty to secure their own liberty while not causing greater harm to others.

From those things, the making Union between States, the use of reason to work out problems between the larger needs of the people of all the Union and the needs of particular people in a State and the right to step from oppression or tyrannical government comes this result:

The existence of this right, however, must depend upon the causes which may justify its exercise. It is the ultima ratio, which presupposes that the proper appeals to all other means of redress have been made in good faith, and which can never be rightfully resorted to unless it be unavoidable. It is not the right of the State, but of the individual, and of all the individuals in the State. It is the right of mankind generally to secure by all means in their power the blessings of liberty and happiness; but when for these purposes any body of men have voluntarily associated themselves under a particular form of government, no portion of them can dissolve the association without acknowledging the correlative right in the remainder to decide whether that dissolution can be permitted consistently with the general happiness. In this view it is a right dependent upon the power to enforce it. Such a right, though it may be admitted to preexist and can not be wholly surrendered, is necessarily subjected to limitations in all free governments, and in compacts of all kinds freely and voluntarily entered into, and in which the interest and welfare of the individual become identified with those of the community of which he is a member. In compacts between individuals, however deeply they may affect their relations, these principles are acknowledged to create a sacred obligation; and in compacts of civil government, involving the liberties and happiness of millions of mankind, the obligation can not be less.

Once all appeals to reason, good faith and all other means to end a problem in an amicable or negotiated way have failed, then it is not up to the State but to the people as individuals in a State to secure their liberty and happiness.  To get free government, one gives up some essential liberty to gain the security of that government.  Individuals who find themselves in government that they cannot abide by, that does not suit their needs, must then find means to secure their liberty and happiness.  The obligation to one's government, no matter how vile, continues to exist as one seeks avenues to escape it.  To band together as a society to get government for better governance, the absolute liberty known as the Law of Nature must abide by the laws that derive from that greater association, known as the Law of Nations.

The reason *why* is also given:

Without adverting to the particular theories to which the federal compact has given rise, both as to its formation and the parties to it, and without inquiring whether it be merely federal or social or national, it is sufficient that it must be admitted to be a compact and to possess the obligations incident to a compact; to be " a compact by which power is created on the one hand and obedience exacted on the other; a compact freely, voluntarily, and solemnly entered into by the several States and ratified by the people thereof, respectively; a compact by which the several States and the people thereof, respectively, have bound themselves to each other and to the Federal Government, and by which the Federal Government is bound to the several States and to every citizen of the United States." To this compact, in whatever mode it may have been done, the people of South Carolina have freely and voluntarily given their assent, and to the whole and every part of it they are, upon every principle of good faith, inviolably bound. Under this obligation they are bomb [sic] and should be required to contribute their portion of the public expense, and to submit to all laws made by the common consent, in pursuance of the Constitution, for the common defense and general welfare, until they can be changed in the mode which the compact has provided for the attainment of those great ends of the Government and of the Union. Nothing less than causes which would justify revolutionary remedy can absolve the people from this obligation, and for nothing less can the Government permit it to be done without violating its own obligations, by which, under the compact, it is bound to the other States and to every citizen of the United States.

As it is the people, as individuals in the majority, that have given assent to common government at the federal level, no matter how that was accomplished.  Only revolutionary needs against that government going against the liberty and freedom of the people can be resisted.  If the laws are so onerous, the oppression so fierce and total that no other remedy is left and that leaving the nation causing this is the only and absolute remedy, that of people reclaiming their sovereignty, it is the last and very last of all things that can be done.  Unlike wars against other Nations, those against your fellow citizens cannot and should not be done quickly, easily or without the greatest of all possible grievances against personal liberty and freedom.

President Jackson puts it in these terms as that is his understanding of how honorable compacts are made and kept, and the Constitution is paramount amongst all these compacts within the Nation.  When South Carolina complains against a tax rate that is *equally applied to all other States* and wishes to over-rule their fellow citizens wishing to take up that burden, they are not meeting up to the sufficiency of need that would require their final reclaiming of sovereignty.  They haven't even sought to negotiate a leaving of the Union with their fellow citizens in other States.

This is government by derivation from principles to ensure that good policy can be constructed from it on a firm foundation of reason.  From such policy comes a course of action or actions, which is a final appeal to reason, once more, and putting forth that if the obligations freely taken up to get the benefit of the entirety of being in the Union are not abided by, then the remedy is the Sword.  The people of South Carolina had representatives in the federal government and have a republican form of government as is necessitated by the Constitution.  This is not a case of 'no taxation without representation', this is taxation done with full input via regular means in the taxation process that the people of each and every State adhere to.  By examining the necessary foundation of what is proper, how joining the Union is done, what States get and what they give up and what they retain, President Jackson is not 'making it up as he goes along' and must tell his fellow home state citizens that they are acting contrary to their honorable obligation to the Nation.

It can also be said that his background wasn't unknown: after being taken POW by the British during the Revolution, he would seek to get revenge upon them and did at New Orleans; he would go after the enemies of the Nation and take western Florida even if it was by exceeding his authority; and there were more than a few that would come to regret crossing him in regard to his protection of his wife's honor.  When President Jackson said he would use the Sword to enforce the Union it was known he did not make idle threats.  What this would do, however, is put the entire issue of State's rights on hold to attempt to rectify some of the structural changes going on as the US shifted from an agrarian and southern basis to a manufacturing and northern basis.  The original power sharing arrangement of the Constitution was first done to protect the relatively poor northern States from the economically affluent southern States.  As that shifted, the southern States would find that they needed refuge for their societal well being and came to understand that the restrictions that had helped them in the way of markets and processing was now working against them.  The first views by South Carolina would spread and come to a head in the US Civil War, and even then not really addressed until the latter part of the 20th century.

In foreign affairs President Jackson would open up trade with the Austrian Empire to reciprocate for the same done with the vessels of the US.  He would do the same with the Grand Dukedom of Oldenburg for similar reasons of reciprocity between Nations.  Additionally he would certify that Great Britain and her colonies were open to trade with the US and show reciprocity by opening the US to trade with them.  Here honorable and open relationships is seen as a key, and reciprocity the established standard so that Nations can have regularized trade and civil intercourse beyond trade.  These are things done on a fully mutual basis between Nations, and reflect the views given at the inauguration.  Those statements of how President Jackson views the way the US should act in foreign affairs is carried out by the actions taken.

These are made by the policy driven by principle and limited by the Constitution, clearly stated up front.  He also had a view that was later to be called 'populist' but looked in a different venue than pure popularity, which he already had, by and large.  This was stated in his Bank Veto Message so as to not re-instantiate the National Bank.  It is one of the most excerpted of his messages but, for all that, rarely read in its entirety.  And it is not that he did not understand *why* a National Bank could be good, but almost immediately he looks to the balance of government and the people:

A bank of the United States is in many respects convenient for the Government and useful to the people. Entertaining this opinion, and deeply impressed with the belief that some of the powers and privileges possessed by the existing bank are unauthorized by the Constitution, subversive of the rights of the States, and dangerous to the liberties of the people, I felt it my duty at an early period of my Administration to call the attention of Congress to the practicability of organizing an institution combining all its advantages and obviating these objections. I sincerely regret that in the act before me I can perceive none of those modifications of the bank charter which are necessary, in my opinion, to make it compatible with justice, with sound policy, or with the Constitution of our country.

The President has the duty and obligation to safeguard the Nation against bad laws by vetoing them which, if it does not stop them entirely, will at least make the public aware that the Executive gives call and attention to such legislation.  The President had told Congress of his problems with the current arrangement and had worked to get them addressed.  Congress, in not doing so, incurred a veto that would remain in place until 1913, when finally instantiated by the progressivist Woodrow Wilson.  President Jackson addressed the short-comings of the original act, signed by Jefferson, which had long-term implications that could not have been foreseen.

In one of the ironic twists of fate, President Jackson would ask a question that would dog every government monopoly:

It is not conceivable how the present stockholders can have any claim to the special favor of the Government. The present corporation has enjoyed its monopoly during the period stipulated in the original contract. If we must have such a corporation, why should not the Government sell out the whole stock and thus secure to the people the full market value of the privileges granted? Why should not Congress create and sell twenty-eight millions of stock, incorporating the purchasers with all the powers and privileges secured in this act and putting the premium upon the sales into the Treasury?

Yes!  Privatize it!  Sell all the stock to American Citizens and let the people own the bank which is for their own good.  It is a cruel and ironic twist of fate that the political party Jackson founded cannot, for the life of them, understand this concept. He then points to citizens petitioning government to allow this privatization to take place and can find no justification why it must remain a monopoly that is partly owned by overseas interests.  Now comes a meaty portion that is clearly understandable and yet would be vilified by the modern Republican party:

But this proposition, although made by men whose aggregate wealth is believed to be equal to all the private stock in the existing bank, has been set aside, and the bounty of our Government is proposed to be again bestowed on the few who have been fortunate enough to secure the stock and at this moment wield the power of the existing institution. I can not perceive the justice or policy of this course. If our Government must sell monopolies, it would seem to be its duty to take nothing less than their full value, and if gratuities must be made once in fifteen or twenty years let them not be bestowed on the subjects of a foreign government nor upon a designated and favored class of men in our own country. It is but justice and good policy, as far as the nature of the case will admit, to confine our favors to our own fellow-citizens, and let each in his turn enjoy an opportunity to profit by our bounty. In the bearings of the act before me upon these points I find ample reasons why it should not become a law.

This is taking the view that a National Bank, chartered for the good of all the people, must be owned by citizens and not overseas interests.  That is justice to the citizenry of the Nation, and yet many would claim, today, that it is 'protectionist'.  If an organ of commerce chartered by government for the good of all the people cannot have its ownership restricted to those self-same people, then of what good is government?  This is not a private bank or other private institution, but a publicly chartered one, and this concept of having those things government does for all the people being able to benefit those people *beyond* the good of the institution is one that is, apparently, lost to our modern ears.

Then comes the 'populism' part, which doesn't sound like what is implied by 'populism' either a few decades later or over 170 years later:

The fourth section provides " that the notes or bills of the said corporation, although the same be, on the faces thereof, respectively made payable at one place only, shall nevertheless be received by the said corporation at the bank or at any of the offices of discount and deposit thereof if tendered in liquidation or payment of any balance or balances due to said corporation or to such office of discount and deposit from any other incorporated bank." This provision secures to the State banks a legal privilege in the Bank of the United States which is withheld from all private citizens. If a State bank in Philadelphia owe the Bank of the United States and have notes issued by the St. Louis branch, it can pay the debt with those notes, but if a merchant, mechanic, or other private citizen be in like circumstances he can not by law pay his debt with those notes, but must sell them at a discount or send them to St. Louis to be cashed. This boon conceded to the State banks, though not unjust in itself, is most odious because it does not measure out equal justice to the high and the low, the rich and the poor. To the extent of its practical effect it is a bond of union among the banking establishments of the nation, erecting them into an interest separate from that of the people, and its necessary tendency is to unite the Bank of the United States and the State banks in any measure which may be thought conducive to their common interest.

Special privileges that are the purview of government must benefit all of the people, equally, and not favor certain institutions nor create an organization separate from the interests of the people.  Here the concept that over-rides is that all of the people deserve equal protection and benefit, as stated in the Constitution, and when Congress makes a law that specifically is *not* geared towards equal protection and benefit, the duty and obligation of the Executive is to veto that and call attention to it or find extremely good and compelling rationale why *anyone* should be treated differently under the laws of the Union.  To Jacksonians this message strikes at the heart of modern 'identity politics' as the government now sets up arrangements to favor small portions of the population with special favors that are not available to all of the citizens of the Union.

From there President Jackson does a step-by-step analysis of how the then current National Bank works and what it means to extend that charter in the way of taxation for the people of the States by their States.  He also steps through the ownership of the Bank and that roughly 1/3 of it is owned overseas, which causes a currency drain on the US.  In an era of industrial expansion and new States looking to form up and enter the Union, that drain deprives those States most in need of cash of that very cash that is needed to build infrastructure.  If it were solely in private hands in the US, that would not happen.  It is an older argument for a different Nation, but the concept still holds to this day for US government chartered institutions.

Then there is a view that is still echoed in the modern era:

In another of its bearings this provision is fraught with danger. Of the twenty-five directors of this bank five are chosen by the Government and twenty by the citizen stockholders. From all voice in these elections the foreign stockholders are excluded by the charter. In proportion, therefore, as the stock is transferred to foreign holders the extent of suffrage in the choice of directors is curtailed. Already is almost a third of the stock in foreign hands and not represented in elections. It is constantly passing out of the country, and this act will accelerate its departure. The entire control of the institution would necessarily fall into the hands of a few citizen stockholders, and the ease with which the object would be accomplished would be a temptation to designing men to secure that control in their own hands by monopolizing the remaining stock. There is danger that a president and directors would then be able to elect themselves from year to year, and without responsibility or control manage the whole concerns of the bank during the existence of its charter. It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions millet flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.

By not diversifying the stock of the Bank to all of the Citizenry, the Bank, itself, slowly shifts to a smaller and smaller voting group that is in near perpetuity for retaining control of the institution.  This, too, is 'populism' as it decries that the few gain wealth and benefit out of proportion to the rest of the people.  Unlike in modern times, this would be done by government charter, and not by private companies gaining market monopoly.  Something similar to this can be witnessed in modern day Russia where the ownership of companies is roughly 1/3 each to government, private ownership and organized crime groups.    As time goes on and the organized crime syndicates work their funding into the economy via money laundering, they gain slowly more disproportionate share of these industries... and slowly is a relative term as this has been seen in many of the heavy metals and energy companies since the early-1990's, right after the end of the USSR.  Those first investors with cash proved out to be unsavory characters and that initial investment now reaps much larger benefits for them, but not those they exploit in factory towns or in crime.

Then there is something that would be decried as 'nativist' and 'protectionist' today if any politician dared to speak it:

If we must have a bank with private stockholders, every consideration of sound policy and every impulse of American feeling admonishes that it should be purely American. Its stockholders should be composed exclusively of our own citizens, who at least ought to be friendly to our Government and willing to support it in times of difficulty and danger. So abundant is domestic capital that competition in subscribing for the stock of local banks has recently led almost to riots. To a bank exclusively of American stockholders, possessing the powers and privileges granted by this act, subscriptions for $200,000,000 could be readily obtained. Instead of sending abroad the stock of the bank in which the Government must deposit its funds and on which it must rely to sustain its credit in times of emergency, it would rather seem to be expedient to prohibit its sale to aliens under penalty of absolute forfeiture.

Yes, you can't say such things in the era of 'free trade' anymore.  Might make you out to be a 'patriot' or 'nationalist'!

To go beyond that, President Jackson then cites a Supreme Court ruling and then gives his view of the reasoning behind it.  What we see is something that can only be termed as 'strict constructionalism' not of the SCOTUS but of the entire framework of the federal government:

But in the case relied upon the Supreme Court have not decided that all the features of this corporation are compatible with the Constitution. It is true that the court have said that the law incorporating the bank is a constitutional exercise of power by Congress; but taking into view the whole opinion of the court and the reasoning by which they have come to that conclusion, I understand them to have decided that inasmuch as a bank is an appropriate means for carrying into effect the enumerated powers of the General Government, therefore the law incorporating it is in accordance with that provision of the Constitution which declares that Congress shall have power " to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying those powers into execution. " Having satisfied themselves that the word "necessary" in the Constitution means needful," "requisite," "essential," "conducive to," and that "a bank" is a convenient, a useful, and essential instrument in the prosecution of the Government's "fiscal operations," they conclude that to "use one must be within the discretion of Congress " and that " the act to incorporate the Bank of the United States is a law made in pursuance of the Constitution;" "but, " say they, "where the law is not prohibited and is really calculated to effect any of the objects intrusted to the Government, to undertake here to inquire into the degree of its necessity would be to pass the line which circumscribes the judicial department and to tread on legislative ground."

The principle here affirmed is that the "degree of its necessity," involving all the details of a banking institution, is a question exclusively for legislative consideration. A bank is constitutional, but it is the province of the Legislature to determine whether this or that particular power, privilege, or exemption is "necessary and proper" to enable the bank to discharge its duties to the Government, and from their decision there is no appeal to the courts of justice. Under the decision of the Supreme Court, therefore, it is the exclusive province of Congress and the President to decide whether the particular features of this act are necessary and proper in order to enable the bank to perform conveniently and efficiently the public duties assigned to it as a fiscal agent, and therefore constitutional, or unnecessary and improper, and therefore unconstitutional.

Yes he does stretch the point to a degree, and perhaps to breaking, but the point of it holds that the interpretation of the Constitution for necessary and proper action, when it is not breaking the structure of the Constitution, is decided upon by the legislative and affirmed by the executive.  If it is within the powers granted to government, then it is up to these elected bodies to decide how to enact them.

It is hard to say that there has been *any* veto message that I have read that is this lengthy and detailed in its views.  But the best part starts near the summation and continues from there, after a lengthy review of the impact of the Bank upon the States, the case law behind it, and the problems seen with foreign ownership of 1/3 of the National Bank.  These words have echoed from the day the veto was sent and retains a solid ring to our ears:

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics, and laborers-who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles.

Yes, full and equal protection under the law as no human institution can make amends for the different gifts of heaven nor for the differences in application or social status.  But government has no business instituting its OWN divisions upon the people and giving benefits to some and not others outside of dire need.  Strange how dire need has gone from poverty to retirement and now to health care... something that are part of the gifts of heaven and differences within society.

Nor is our Government to be maintained or our Union preserved by invasions of the rights and powers of the several States. In thus attempting to make our General Government strong we make it weak. Its true strength consists in leaving individuals and States as much as possible to themselves-in making itself felt, not in its power, but in its beneficence; not in its control, but in its protection; not in binding the States more closely to the center, but leaving each to move unobstructed in its proper orbit.

This, too, is a strong and resounding support that strong government is not good government.  For a democracy the government is a reflection of the people in it, not the controller of society.  From this, President Jackson then draws upon the framework of the Constitution, the rulings of the court and the observation of the shifts in ownership of the Bank and draws a more broad and stunning conclusion:

Experience should teach us wisdom. Most of the difficulties our Government now encounters and most of the dangers which impend over our Union have sprung from an abandonment of the legitimate objects of Government by our national legislation, and the adoption of such principles as are embodied in this act. Many of our rich men have not been content with equal protection and equal benefits, but have besought us to make them richer by act of Congress. By attempting to gratify their desires we have in the results of our legislation arrayed section against section, interest against interest, and man against man, in a fearful commotion which threatens to shake the foundations of our Union. It is time to pause in our career to review our principles, and if possible revive that devoted patriotism and spirit of compromise which distinguished the sages of the Revolution and the fathers of our Union. If we can not at once, in justice to interests vested under improvident legislation, make our Government what it ought to be, we can at least take a stand against all new grants of monopolies and exclusive privileges, against any prostitution of our Government to the advancement of the few at the expense of the many, and in favor of compromise and gradual reform in our code of laws and system of political economy.

This warning came long, long before 'identity politics' and seeking the grant of government to give special privileges to some over others became a prevalent and, indeed, daily part of our lives.  When government steps in to try and make society 'right' it oversteps its bounds given to it by the people.  Government can grant monopolies but for limited times, and for hard and pressing reasons: to make them into perpetuity is to distort government, society and the economy no end.

Today this is called "corporate welfare", "farm subsidies", "affirmative action", "small and minority business set-asides",  and outright grants of the people's funds to private institution for works that do not become part of the public's property.  We call such things "earmarks", and it distorts the power and privilege of those able to grant such public largesse no end.

These structural touchstones of proper and limited process applied to full equality and honorable interactions remain with Jacksonians as a basic understanding to this very day.  When government is prostituted to the will of the few to the benefit of the few, it is the many who are impoverished and the laws distorted to protect those few who have gained benefit of power and place.  'Identity politics' of class, race, gender and even trying to dissolve the idea of citizen divide the people against themselves and we have received warning through history from the founding onwards that this is not only unwise, it is deadly to us as a nation. 

When policy is distorted for 'good programs' then it must be asked:  good for who?

When equal ends is via just means is changed to render unequal ends that distort society, then it must be asked: who voted the people out of power and voted this minority into power?

And when government cannot even get a majority of its Citizens to vote for it just why, exactly, is government of, by and for the minority a good thing?

We, the people, dare not shirk our duty to vote and to render judgement upon those who seek to distort our society by the means of government.  Because a vote of 'no confidence' is one that can be heard.  Perhaps not liked, but heard...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

When does Iraq end?

This, it would seem, is a simple question with a simple answer: whenever the President declares victory. Very simple in concept, that the CinC and Head of State and Head of Government declare victory, and is in the powers of sovereignty generally held by the Office. The Legislative branch, however, in the Republic of the United States, also holds power and that is the originating authority to go to war. With that power comes the setting of the goals for the Nation to meet in the authorized conflict. Here I will take a moment to address that a 'Congressionally Authorized Use of Force' is the same thing as a 'Declaration of War' as it sends the forces of the Union against a foreign State under the auspices of the Legislative command power to engage the Nation in war. It may have a more modern, and longer, title, but the end result is Congress using one of its few direct Foreign Policy powers to initiate combat against a foreign State. The Congressional war powers come in these lines from Article I, Section 8:

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

These two sub-sections define the Congressional war powers in Private War, under the first sentence, and Public War, under the second sentence. These are two different areas of war and are given separate sentences to differentiate between these powers, although Congress may incorporate *both* into making war policy.

Now, as Law of Nations is cited in capitalized form, it gives the broader categories of these powers an incumbent responsibilities to those who have them. Republics, however, may even divide *those* up and the Republican form of governance is recognized as Sovereign, so long as all are made aware of its divisions of power. And for all things directly related to War in Law of Nations (although many other interactions with this phenomena are given elsewhere) one needs go to Book III.

The very first paragraph of Book III is as follows:

§ 1. Definition of war.(136)

WAR is that state in which we prosecute our right by force. We also understand, by this term, the act itself, or the manner of prosecuting our right by force: but it is more conformable to general usage, and more proper in a treatise on the law of war, to understand this term in the sense we have annexed to it.

The next paragraph defines Public war as that between nations or sovereigns and is in accord with the public and open use of national capability. Private war is that done by individuals and is part of the more base Law of Nature of which all are at perfect liberty and no liability of exercising those liberties via codified law. After that the right of making war is given only to the sovereign, but the right to defend oneself is universal and paramount. And as only sovereigns may declare war for a nation, and as Republics act as sovereign government, those powers may duly be divided for that government.

One of the primary misunderstandings about the conflict that started up in 2002-03 was that it was not a new conflict. The cease-fire for the previous conflict of Desert Storm/Shield went into stasis to allow for the signatory sides to carry out their cease-fire agreements and work on a final peace solution. Skipping over much of the text, although pertinent parts play a role in Iraq, we skip to Ch. XVI:

§ 233. Truce and suspension of arms.

WAR would become too cruel and destructive, were all intercourse between enemies absolutely broken off. According to the observation of Grotius,1 there still subsists a friendly intercourse in war, as Virgil2 and Tacitus3 have expressed it. The occurrences and events of war lay enemies under the necessity of entering into various conventions. As we have already treated in general of the observance of faith between enemies, it is unnecessary for us in this place to prove the obligation of faithfully acting up to those conventions made in war: it therefore only remains to explain the nature of them. Sometimes it is agreed to suspend hostilities for a certain time; and, if this convention be made but for a very short period, or only regards some particular place, it is called a cessation or suspension of arms. Such are those conventions made for the purpose of burying the dead after an assault or a battle, and for a parley, or a conference between the generals of the hostile armies. If the agreement be for a more considerable length of time, and especially if general, it is more particularly distinguished by the appellation of a truce. Many people use both expressions indiscriminately.

§ 234. Does not terminate the war.

The truce of suspension of arms does not terminate the war; it only suspends its operations.

§ 235. A truce is either partial or general.

A truce is either partial or general. By the former, hostilities are suspended only in certain places, as between a town and the army besieging it. By the latter, they are to cease generally, and in all places, between the belligerent powers. Partial truces may also admit of a distinction with respect to acts of hostility, or to persons; that is to say, the parties may agree to abstain from certain acts of hostility during a limited time, or two armies may mutually conclude a truce or suspension of arms without regard to any particular place.

Thus comes the hard fact of the cease-fire that Saddam had voluntarily signed on to. He was to repatriate Kuwaitis he had abducted, restore POWs, allow searches for the remains of POWs, and, yes, create a system to openly dismantle his WMD production capability for ALL TO SEE. A more general truce was not given and the war was suspended for Saddam to demonstrate that he could act in good faith to uphold his word on a mere cease-fire. This was not a truce nor a treaty made during war which has even higher prerequisites, but they would be built on the demonstration of openness and good faith in the cease-fire. The cease-fire and adhering to its terms were to be the fundamental building block to a truce and then, with luck, a treaty to ensure that Saddam would not, again, re-build his WMD industries and seek to threaten his neighbors.

Saddam did not do even that, however, he tried to undermine the cease-fire, fired on coalition personnel and then played games to ensure that no one would know for sure if his WMD creation capability had been dismantled. It was not just his weapons that had to go, but his accountability on creating them and demonstrating that he would not keep those systems going. He obligated himself to this accountability by the contract made with his enemies. Nor would he account for all of those he had kidnapped, nor aid in the searches for missing soldiers. He would do as many things to show that he was making 'an effort' but those efforts were not full, nor complete, nor open, nor honest and he did not want to be held accountable for what he was holding back.

What Saddam wanted to do was wear down his opponents to do what is described in the next paragraph:

§ 236. General truce for many years.

A general truce, made for many years, differs from a peace in little else than in leaving the question which was the original ground of the war still undecided. When two nations are weary of hostilities, and yet cannot agree on the point which constitutes the subject of their dispute, they generally have recourse to this kind of agreement. Thus, instead of peace, long truces only have usually been made between the Christians and the Turks, — sometimes from a false spirit of religion; at other times, because neither party were willing to acknowledge the other as lawful owners of their respective possessions.

It is a very strange thing in this world when many people wanted to give up to a *cease-fire* and capitulate during a conflict that lasted 100 hours. Yes, such great war weariness must have happened during that time, no? Unfortunately Saddam continued to snipe, fire miles, and have other actions taken to ensure that the actual conflict was not seen as ended, and yet, in the great and grand coalition that everyone crows about was put to the simple test of saying 'enough is enough', not a single ONE OF THEM DID A DAMNED THING. The UN may have asked for Nations to restore Kuwait, but it is those nations that put it on the line to do so that created the coalition, ran the war, passed their articles of conflict and declared that such belligerency would be put to an end that took up that cause. If you want the UN to be considered in the original Gulf War, then make sure that you can find all the bureaucrats with briefcases in the front lines in the news footage... the UN could do *nothing* beyond create common agreement for that conflict. And when the UN asked for nations to help in doing that, it put ITSELF at the mercy of the Law of Nations and must abide by that as a mere treaty organization.

Thus liberating Kuwait, the theoretical 'hard part' led to the cease-fire, which should have been 'the easy part' as Saddam would realize the error of his ways. No? Didn't happen that way, and when years dragged on and Saddam was still not holding accountable to his word given to SAVE HIS PEOPLE, Congress took up its part and decided to look at another part of Law of Nations, just to make sure that all the bases were covered. They issued the *second* authorization and it would fall under this section in Ch.III :

§ 41. War undertaken to punish a nation.

When offensive war has for its object the punishment of a nation, it ought, like every other war, to be founded on right and necessity. 1. On right: — an injury must have been actually received. Injury alone being a just cause of war (§ 26), the reparation of it may be lawfully prosecuted: or if, in its nature, it be irreparable (the only case in which we are allowed to punish), we are authorized to provide for our own safety, and even for that of all other nations, by inflicting on the offender a punishment capable of correcting him, and serving as an example to others. 2. A war of this kind must have necessity to justify it; that is to say, that, to be lawful, it must be the only remaining mode to obtain a just satisfaction; which implies a reasonable security for the time to come. If that complete satisfaction, be offered, or if it may be obtained without a war, the injury is done away, and the right to security no longer authorizes us to seek vengeance for it. — (See Book II. §§ 49, 52.)

The nation in fault is bound to submit to a punishment which she has deserved, and to suffer it by way atonement: but she is not obliged to give herself up to the discretion of an incensed enemy. Therefore, when attacked she ought to make a tender of satisfaction, and ask what penalty is required; and if no explicit answer be given, or the adversary attempts to impose a disproportionate penalty, she then acquires a right to resist, and her defence becomes lawful.

On the whole, however, it is evident that the offended party alone has a right to punish independent persons. We shall not here repeat what we have said elsewhere (Book II. § 7) of the dangerous mistake, or extravagant pretensions, of those who assume a right of punishing an independent nation for faults which do not concern them — who, madly setting themselves up as defenders of the cause of God, take upon them to punish the moral depravity, or irreligion, of a people not committed to their superintendency.

Thus, when Congress authorized its use of force a *second time*, it was doing so because Saddam had not kept to his cease-fire. The United States had a grievance against Saddam and, thusly, was the aggrieved party. The interval between the authorization and actual re-start of hostilities gave Saddam more than enough time to see that this was no joke, that he did have to come clean, that he did have to be accountable and that his word, to be worth anything to anyone *ever* he would have to abide by it.

Instead he played diplomatic games.

The US and other Nations had gone to the UN for over a decade seeking to get Saddam to comply.

Small operations were conducted in response to his firing on coalition forces, and that got only more bluster.

Kuwaitis beseeched Saddam to let go those who were picked up by his secret police while in Kuwait, and he did *nothing*.

Thus the Joint Resolution of Congress to authorize the use of force is as follows and I will give some context between pieces:

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and
illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition
of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the
national security of the United States and enforce United Nations
Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

[P1 - Note that this paragraph re-iterates the nature of the first conflict, and the unjust actions of Saddam. This was done in accord with international agreement brokered at the UN. As Saddam had agreed to this body to oversee inspections of his facilities, when it was thwarted in getting full accountability it called for action to force Saddam to comply to his word. From that the groundwork of the rest of the authorization follows.]

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a
United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq
unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear,
biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver
and develop them, and to end its support for international

[P2 - This paragraphs stipulates that Saddam had signed a cease-fire. As was seen in Law of Nations, the sovereign is required to adhere to that cease-fire agreement and all of its terms. One things that those decrying Iraq forget is that Congress and the cease-fire stipulated the entire weapons programs: not just munitions, but everything from facilities to make pre-cursor material to casting to production to storage, plus all knowledge used in those things for those purposes. That includes all production systems and their attendant tool and die equipment. There are specific provisions for 'dual-use' equipment and its oversight for purely civilian manufacturing, and Saddam violated that, too. Saddam was not forced to agree or sign these things, he did so willingly at the time.]

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States
intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that
Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale
biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear
weapons development program that was much closer to producing a
nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

[P3 - Here Congress cites the programs that were found as cited by the Kay report, and by initial INTEL. Additionally the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds indicates a large scale chemical weapons program. The ongoing programs also include phosphorus processing facilities for triple use in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.]

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire,
attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify
and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and
development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal
of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

[P4 - This is a direct citation by Congress to the cease-fire violations by Saddam. When invoking this Congress is utilizing its power "and Offences against the Law of Nations" to cite such offences and then prescribe activity to remedy them. That power is beyond just Private War, and yet is limited by the scope of the other Congressional powers. In this instance the ability to formulate the laws of the Armed Forces, uphold and supply them, and identify those taking action against them puts that power into play in those areas. As the wartime cease-fire requires good faith and upholding by Saddam, his lack of same is a clear threat not only to the US, but to all Nations dealing with him.]

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that
Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened
vital United States interests and international peace and security,
declared Iraq to be in ``material and unacceptable breach of its
international obligations'' and urged the President ``to take
appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant
laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its
international obligations'';

[P5 - Congressional citation of previously passed law in this area. Congress has urged action, previously, to force Saddam to either abide by his cease-fire. He had not done so. Further, the President was obligated to use activities under under that law, including withdrawing from the cease-fire as that is a power of the President, to force the issue.]

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of
the United States and international peace and security in the
Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach
of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing
to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons
capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and
supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

[P6 - Congress now cites the omnibus form of threat that Saddam poses not only to the US, but to all Nations. In seeking to promulgate Private War groups inside and outside of Iraq, along with his WMD infrastructure, Congress can no longer abide by the threat he poses. This, again, uses the Private War area and the Public War under the Law of Nations (Book III, para 34), which is a rare citation. Less rare is that of the gathering threat (para 44), and the previously cited punishment (para 41). What has become more prevalent is the citation for international stability under Law of Nations (paras 47-50) which is the Leftist view of warpower. Note that terrorism is not stated to be of any single sub-type and that all support and harboring of terrorists is a resultant cause.]

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations
Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its
civilian population thereby threatening international peace
and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or
account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq,
including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property
wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

[P7 - This is a more clear and fundamental statement of Law of Nations (paras 47-50) for stability by Saddam adhering to the cease-fire accords. He is also cited as breaking with the Geneva Conventions by his refusal to all non-Iraqi citizens to go free and to safety. He additionally violates the proper accounting for captured soldiers and notifying their home country of their disposition (even if it is remains that are found). Property unlawfully seized by Iraq in Kuwait (notoriously premature infant sustainment equipment and killing infants using them in Kuwait) are violations under the GC and the larger Law of Nations Book III, Ch. IV, VIII, IX and X. By committing crimes against civilians, women and children, and taking private property by no legal proceeding, Saddam Hussein has broken with all norms of Nations in warfare.]

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and
willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations
and its own people;

[P8 - Iraq, having such outlook has also demonstrated that it will do the exact, same, thing to its own people. This is the strongest citation of a 'rogue nation' with a sovereign that will aggrandize everything to himself and inflict harm against his own people. Government is established as seen in Book I, Ch. IV, para 39, solely for the safety and advantage of society. In that doing as seen in Book I, para 54, he has become an enemy to his own people. Even more deeply, Book II, Ch. I, para 4 sees a duty of nations to preserve other nations, especially when threatened by a powerful enemy that attacks or oppresses it. This is not a direct humanitarian appeal, but one of Justice between nations, and in citing the abrogations of Saddam against his own people, resulting in his becoming their enemy, Congress lays the foundation for removal of that enemy for that nation. With the prior examination that all good offices of all of humanity have been disrespected by Saddam (multiple signatories to treaties of the GC and UN; specific bodies set up by those treaties to address Saddam's misdeeds; and even the re-direction of aid to his own aggrandizement) Congress puts forward that this is not only an enemy of the US and the international order, but to all of mankind. All civilized manner of non-interference to gain compliance to Saddam's wartime agreement have been rebuked, thwarted, corrupted or failed outright. Congress, by its Private War power has just declared this Public enemy, deserving of sovereign rights, to be outlaw and international criminal under Law of Nations.]

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing
hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States,
including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush
and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and
Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the
United Nations Security Council;

[P9 - This is the supporting paragraph to P8. It is the citation of those things that are making Saddam Hussein outlaw. Every bullet fired is a violation of the cease-fire, and yet the US has held itself in abeyance. By doing so he has put at risk all standard and recognized obligations of a sovereign during war and simultaneously threatens the international order. His perfidy stoops so low as to try and assassinate a former President who is no longer in power, and is a common citizen due to all rights and protections due to all citizens lawfully engaged in the normal course of their lives.]

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for
attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including
the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in

[P10 - Saddam has made common cause with those waging Private War against the US. Al Qaeda in the form of Ansar al-Islam/Sunnah, had been invited in by Saddam in the 1990's and had been waging Private War on his behalf against his own people in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Al Qaeda had attacked the US prior to 9/11 and those attacks along with 9/11 make it an international outlaw. As with the more common case of Piracy, those who help, aid, abet and actively support those engaging in Private War are seen as helping those acts they support by those actions.]

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist
organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and
safety of United States citizens;

[P11 - Nor is al Qaeda the only organization that has gotten such support. Abu Nidal had sought and gotten direct aid from Iraq. Likewise Nadhmi Auchi had orchestrated finances between Iraq, al Qaeda and HAMAS. Further Saddam supported the Mujahedin-e-Kalq, which was headquartered in Iraq. Saddam has also supported al-Turabi in Sudan, which was a supporter of al Qaeda and who was with the Muslim Brotherhood. More famously he had provided checks to the families of suicide bombers who had attacked Israel, including many PLO and associated organizations.]

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001,
underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of
weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist

[P12 - Congress is citing the threat of those making Private War on the US and that these organizations can no longer be considered to be minor nor inconsequential. State support in the area of WMDs for these organizations is particularly troublesome as the cost to creation, once the technology is known and understood, yields relatively low cost weapons with a high fatality rate across large areas. Indeed, at the beginning of operations, the Ansar organizations announced it was using equipment provided by Saddam to create chemical weapons. The ricin investigation in London post-invasion also shows the knowledge of basic chemical weapons spreading into terrorist organizations. The most worrying of organizations was the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan, unassociated with any state support, independently creating the capability for Vx, Sarin, and the weaponization of anthrax. Similarly the numerous citations of nuclear material flowing through Russian criminal channels makes nucleotide dispersal technology via conventional explosives a troubling threat.]

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of
mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either
employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United
States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international
terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that
would result to the United States and its citizens from such an
attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend

[P13 - The threat of Saddam smuggling WMD components and capability out of Iraq was not something that could be ignored. Not only was his Mukhabarat capable of such, but assassinations by Mukhabarat agents and sophisticated weapons components in their hands had already made that threat clear. Leading up to the war, individuals held by the Kurds for smuggling had demonstrated knowledge of Saddam supplying similar capability to the Taliban and al Qaeda. This threat could not and cannot be ignored, given state sponsorship and technical support by North Korea, Iran and Syria to terrorist organizations, and Saddam's was one of the worse of the supporters in this arena seeking influence for himself beyond ethnic affiliation, religion or ideology.]

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes
the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security
Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions
and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten
international peace and security, including the development of
weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United
Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security
Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population
in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688
(1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations
in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution
949 (1994);

[P14 - This is the 'laundry list' of support for Saddam's perfidy. All the cease fire definitions and supporting international accords are cited.]

Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq
Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President
``to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations
Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve
implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664,
665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677'';

[P15 - Congress cites what is to be done: use military force against Iraq in pursuit of all breaches of the cease-fire. When a nation announces they are going to remove a cease-fire, this is more textbook than one can imagine: Saddam gets clear and ample forewarning that Congress is setting aside that agreement if he will not come into accord with his given word. That is what using force to get compliance means: the cease-fire is ending. Saddam is given one last chance to demonstrate that he has any rational mental capabilities and duty to his nation left to his soul. He squandered that opportunity. So that any who cannot comprehend get it plainly: you cannot heal a cease-fire with force as that ends a cease-fire.]

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it
``supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of
United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent
with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against
Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),'' that Iraq's repression of its
civilian population violates United Nations Security Council
Resolution 688 and ``constitutes a continuing threat to the peace,
security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,'' and that
Congress, ``supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the
goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688'';

[P16 - Congress cites its previous support in doing this. That previous resolution had bi-partisan support and was signed into law by a Democratic Administration under President Clinton. Congress supports its sovereignty powers to keep international order and to see to the safety of the United States and when that safety and that order are threatened, Congress is to act. Again, Saddam is given a last chance by adhering to his agreements and international accords made to give him a chance to keep to his word.]

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed
the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United
States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi
regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to
replace that regime;

[P17 - Congress had previously cited the threats of the regime. Congress has allowed that any other way to remove the threats of the regime of Saddam Hussein should be tried first. They had been tried both before PL105-338 and subsequent to it to no avail. Congress calls for the creation of a democratic government in Iraq to replace the regime and safeguard Iraqis and bring stability to the region.]

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United
States to ``work with the United Nations Security Council to meet
our common challenge'' posed by Iraq and to ``work for the necessary
resolutions,'' while also making clear that ``the Security Council
resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and
security will be met, or action will be unavoidable'';

[P18 - Congress agrees that other means should be exhausted in pursuit of bringing Saddam to see reason and adhere to his word. Force will be used if he does not as he will demonstrate one last time, that he will not abide to wartime agreements.]

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on
terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist
groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction
in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and
other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it
is in the national security interests of the United States and in
furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations
Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use
of force if necessary;

[P19 - Congress cites that removing support for international terrorist groups from Iraq is now a legitimate concern of the US and force can be used to do that. Congress is adding this in to the bill of particulars against Saddam Hussein and is above and beyond the cease-fire problem.]

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on
terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested
by the President to take the necessary actions against international
terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations,
organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or
aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or
harbored such persons or organizations;

[P20 - Congress cites its funding power for the armed forces to go after terrorist organizations. There is missing from this paragraph any mention of Iraq or Saddam Hussein. It is a direct citation against al Qaeda and those who helped it in regards to 9/11 or those that harbor such organizations. This singular paragraph, by not delimiting itself to Iraq or the problems of Iraq and not citing them in any way, is a much larger scope than many want to admit. I will address this later.]

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take
all appropriate actions against international terrorists and
terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or
persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist
attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such
persons or organizations;

[P21 - This, too, is like the preceding a wider scope paragraph. Note lack of Iraq citation.]

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take
action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism
against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint
resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law
107-40); and

[P22 - Again, like the preceding, this is not dealing solely with Iraq.]

Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to
restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region:
Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Authorization for Use of Military
Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. 50 USC 1541 note.>> assembled,


This joint resolution may be cited as the ``Authorization for Use of
Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002''.


The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the
President to--
(1) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security
Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq
and encourages him in those efforts; and
(2) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security
Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay,
evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies
with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

[S2 - Congress supports these efforts on the diplomatic front, to get Iraq to comply. Congress does have a memory of all past efforts, so this is the 'last chance' notice, not a 'status quo' notice. Congress doesn't much bother with the status quo in foreign affairs, but in a Use of Force document, this is a finality to such efforts.]


(a) Authorization.--The President is authorized to use the Armed
Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and
appropriate in order to--
(1) defend the national security of the United States
against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq.

[S3a - Congress calls on the President to uphold his Oath and sovereignty powers. Also to give all agreements a fair chance of enforcement.]

    (b) Presidential Determination.--In connection with the exercise of
the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President
shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible,
but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make
available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the
President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or
other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately
protect the national security of the United States against the
continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to
enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent
with the United States and other countries continuing to take
the necessary actions against international terrorist and
terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations,
or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the
terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

[S3b - The President is given to make a determination on the feasibility of the use of force and the utility of continued diplomacy in this matter. Further Congress extends this to go beyond Iraq and to those that aided and abetted the 9/11 attacks in the ways listed.]

    (c) War Powers Resolution Requirements.--
(1) Specific statutory authorization.--Consistent with
section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress
declares that this section is intended to constitute specific
statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of
the War Powers Resolution.
(2) Applicability of other requirements.--Nothing in this
joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers

[S3c - This is a statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution.]


(a) <<NOTE: President.>> Reports.--The President shall, at least
once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant
to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the
exercise of authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning
for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are
completed, including those actions described in section 7 of the Iraq
Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).

(b) Single Consolidated Report.--To the extent that the submission
of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission
of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution
otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting
requirements of the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), all such
reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the
(c) Rule of Construction.--To the extent that the information
required by section 3 of the Authorization for Use of Military Force
Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) is included in the report
required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the
requirements of section 3 of such resolution.

Approved October 16, 2002.

That is the CAUF (with some bureaucratic things removed at the header) and it is a wide-ranging document. While addressing Iraq in the main body of P1-19, at P20 the document takes a sudden change from Iraq and addresses a wider sphere in which Iraq is an instance: the wider effort to fight terrorism. I will set that aside for the moment to get after the Iraq portion of the document, which is quite clear in its goals.

First, Saddam is to comply with his cease-fire and all subsequent attempts to thwart it are to be recognized and all such attempts to thwart it ended. Congress painstakingly goes through the list of reports, problems and other calls by those organizations agreed-to in assuring the world that Saddam had, indeed, complied with his word. Those are all to be ended and Iraq to 'come clean'.

Second, in not expecting the first to work, force is to be used and the cease-fire ended. Congress did not give a blank check to continued diplomacy, and that long list of things done over a decade demonstrates that diplomacy has its limits lacking force. This is one of the few times that the generally spineless institution known as Congress has shown more backbone than EVERY OTHER LEADER in the coalition. You remember that listing of nations going beyond the obvious and heading down into small contingents from South Korea, Norway and Hungary from 1991? Not a single leader of a single nation in that contingent would call for the cease-fire to be ended. The time to end diplomacy was 1992-3 when Saddam started his violations, not a decade later. International institutions and the lethargy they inspire has proven to be too slow to that most spineless and sluggish of institutions known as the US Congress. Fascinating that those that place such investment in Congress don't want to address this: it is doing better at addressing international problems that relate to the US better than the UN or President Clinton did. Heaven help the United States of America... because no one else will.

Third, is the ending of support for terrorism in Iraq. This becomes a subheading of the more global Congressional view of P20-21. At the end, it is not even the then current regime's support that is to be ended, but *all* support inside Iraq for international terrorism of *all* kinds. Particularly called out is al Qaeda, but a more general rule is applied that terrorism of any stripe is not to find a safe harbor in Iraq. This is something of a shock to the Kurds, no doubt, as the PKK is within that scope, too, and the Kurds are starting to realize that dreams of a greater Kurdistan supported in Iraq are not going to be given a 'wink and a nod' by anyone. Turkey has been more than willing to make that point and it is getting across. The Sadr and Badr organizations to the south are likewise in the 'my god they mean it!' boat, and the Badr organization has tried to infiltrate its way into Iraqi security institutions, but has found COINTEL by the US and, more recently, Iraq is making that difficult to do with national organs. Support for terrorism does not begin nor end with al Qaeda and Congress is very, very clear on that. It may be the worse, but it is only the most foul of a rotten barrel of fish.

Fourth, help the Iraqi people found a democracy of some sort there. Really, anything has got to be preferable to the 'strong man du jour' of the Middle East. Using a bit of historical experience, the US failed with the Articles of Confederation (although it got the colonies through the Revolution) and its run length to dissolving from 1776-1787 points out that it can take decades to get a reliable democratic system up and running. Actually that can be a rather open-ended commitment as democracy is not an end-state of being, but a process of governing, but getting something up that has open, free, and fair elections with devolution of power to lower levels (provincial/governate, municipal, town, local) is the goal of democracy. To that end the first round of provincial elections this fall will spell the end of the beginning of this process. The first set of parliamentary elections after that will see how Iraq fares shifting from its wartime government to one more regularly secured. Like the US in the early 1780's, the initial Articles proved to have serious drawbacks and Iraqis, once they get a relatively stable process in place, will need to address that. This was expected to be the hardest thing to achieve, but may actually outpace the removal of terrorism by a few years.

Fifth, and largely glossed over, is that Iraq *still* has to ensure that WMDs are not created nor that technology and material fall into the wrong hands. This will require that Iraq get on-board with some agreements, perhaps draft some treaties, and otherwise assure the international community that the import/export controls it will put in place ensure that no trafficking in these goods to illegal parties happens. In the longer run this will require the equivalent of an FBI with some industrial legislation to create civil laws on this. A foreign information service to ensure that Iraq is not infiltrated by terrorist or rogue regime supporters will be necessary, too. Even industrialized nations, like Japan, have problems in this area as witness the 10,000 or so nuclear separators sold on the black market by Mitutoyo in the 1990's. Also a large effort to find what Saddam actually *did* with the WMD equipment and stockpiles needs to be mounted. Just as MiG jets buried in the desert can easily go undiscovered, so, too, can barrels of toxic materials, pre-filled warheads and equipment. Some went to other nations, and reports of Syrian and Russian support for the movement of equipment has been brought to light, and the Netherlands has found illegal equipment headed to the scrap heap via its disposal contracts in the region. Still, much of the larger hardware pieces that are not easily transported or destroyed, must be *somewhere*.

What has plagued the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, however, are the lack of individuals to create and sign this thing known as a 'Peace Treaty'. Unlike regular nations, Saddam and the Taliban do not see mere removal from power as a 'loss'. By not acceding to a victor, like Germany, Italy and Japan did in WWII, the US lacks a definitive end-point to these conflicts. The older route, taken in the Philippines, is to get a relatively stable government up and running and then draw down over a few years with only minimal support via treaty to newly recognized government. That recognition and normalization usually ends the actual wartime participation, although it may involve the US in much longer term problems of insurgencies. If the Taliban or Ba'athist regimes had laid down their arms and ordered all under arms for their nations to do so, we would not have these problems. They did not take the honorable way out and surrender, thus they are left with the less honorable path: being ground down to nothingness and final defeat.

Exactly how close is the US to meeting the goals set by Congress?

Well the immediate WMD capability is gone, so that is a plus. As noted above the new Iraqi government will need to put restrictions and controls on their industrial capacity to ensure that such things don't happen again. Like all parliamentary systems, that is receiving a lower priority to actually ending the insurgency, standing up reliable forces, getting a democratic system in-place and securing the Nation. The final legislation I cannot imagine taking all that long to pass and joining with other Import/Export agreements to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Because it *is* now a low priority, a five year expectation is not out of bounds of reason. It *could* happen tomorrow, but it does require an actual understanding of Iraq's needs, as a Nation, and its ability to stand-up industrial capacity. The US could help immensely, there, but I expect the ability to recognize this as a need by anyone in the Executive Branch (current or from any of the contestants) will make this impossible to even conceive of.

The removal of support for terrorism in Iraq is now going apace, with al Qaeda/Ansar al-Sunnah/Islam on the run, the Mahdi Army now in disarray, and the PKK being targeted by Turkey and that is getting some help from Iraq and the US. These elements are 'in progress' at the moment and will remain so until Iran stops supplying the JaM/Qods "Secret Cells" and Hezbollah operatives entering into Iraq. Ditto with Syria, though it has had a lesser role to play, it must also stop that. The Kurds need some strong coffee and to start cutting off the PKK and *that* may be the most difficult of the things to do... yes Iran may actually start the end of its support for insurgents in Iraq before the Kurds stop their support of the PKK. Lovely world, no? This period of the 'second half-life of COIN' should take about as long as the first, so... given we really started doing COIN in late 2005, give that another 3-5 years with the possible long-term problem of divorcing and extinguishing the PKK lingering on until *it* becomes a sticking point.

Getting a democratic system in place that is stable is usually more than one election deep. This requires organic parties with popular support and diverse views coming together to get an electoral base. With the first round of provincial elections, I expect the post-war government basis to crumble. Luckily parliamentary elections come the following year and most of what is now the present government of Iraq I expect *not* to be around after that. The Kurds represent a cohesive viewpoint and are an exception to this and will retain 'organizational memory' between the two parliaments. Already the calls by Shias to amend the Constitution to better suit the Sunnis and cultural make-up of the Nation are being heard and that marks a hard realization that the current arrangement will engender bad blood if not changed. This is a *good* thing as it represents a higher order of thinking above tribe and religion. Plus the technocratically oriented 'Iraq Awakening' movement will be heard from in the provinces, first, and then the parliamentary system. Each of those systems should get a thorough shake-out with at least two election cycles each (provincial and parliamentary) plus local election cycles (which should be an interim election cycle or coincide with either of the other two). That is, depending on how well the parliament holds up, based on the length of time for provincial elections, but call it 4 years after this year leading to 8 years to get a full three provincial cycles done. Three is a magic number and if things hold up with stable parties, any need for worries should be largely gone by then.

If you want to get out of Iraq quickly and create something better, then we are at the one-third to one-half point, depending on how reliable the elections are... democracy is a process based system, so once the process is safely established it takes unusual intervention to change it. And the Kurds really do have to give up supporting the PKK. And Iran and Syria face some harsh realities about trying to upset a relatively large and sophisticated neighbor. I expect that after the next parliamentary elections the next US President will try to get some sort of deal for final withdrawal or stand-down or equivalent of US forces there and ensure an orderly turn-over of operations. Call it security operations until 2010, then withdrawal out to 2015/16.

The way *out* is *forward* and *through* the problems so we never, ever have to go back and deal with something similar AGAIN. Worked in Germany and Japan so far, and Iraq deserves just that sort of outreach. I never want to hear any calls for the US to go *back* to Iraq to get rid of some dictator, tyrant or terrorist sponsoring government/organization again AFTER the place is stabilized and trustworthy.

Now to the other part of the CAUF - the Global War on Terror part in P20-21. This is interesting as Congress has enacted previous language before for fighting a very similar problem. I looked at this concept in a lengthy piece tracing the history of Private War as it existed before the modern era and leading right up to the 1920's in: Piracy, terrorism and the wider view. The language that Congress created to address terrorism in the CAUF sounds very, very familiar. Let us take P20 and see what it says:

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Now for the US Civil Code 18USC Chapter 81:

Sec. 1657. Corruption of seamen and confederating with pirates

Whoever attempts to corrupt any commander, master, officer, or mariner to yield up or to run away with any vessel, or any goods, wares, or merchandise, or to turn pirate or to go over to or confederate with pirates, or in any wise to trade with any pirate, knowing him to be such; or

Whoever furnishes such pirate with any ammunition, stores, or provisions of any kind; or Whoever fits out any vessel knowingly and, with a design to trade with, supply, or correspond with any pirate or robber upon the seas; or

Whoever consults, combines, confederates, or corresponds with any pirate or robber upon the seas, knowing him to be guilty of any piracy or robbery; or

Whoever, being a seaman, confines the master of any vessel--

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Those are the Civil punishments for being brought in by civilian forces (police, citizenry, giving oneself up to authorities) and it has an astounding correlation to the CAUF in the broadness and extent of who is to be punished when aiding and abetting Pirates. To drop back to 18USC1653 we see that Piracy is, indeed, warfare:

Sec. 1653. Aliens as pirates

Whoever, being a citizen or subject of any foreign state, is found and taken on the sea making war upon the United States, or cruising against the vessels and property thereof, or of the citizens of the same, contrary to the provisions of any treaty existing between the United States and the state of which the offender is a citizen or subject, when by such treaty such acts are declared to be piracy, is a pirate, and shall be imprisoned for life.

Piracy is a form of Private war and this legacy comes from Law of Nations in Book III, the relevant paragraphs follow:

§ 2. Public war.(136)

Public war is that which takes place between nations or sovereigns, and which is carried on in the name of the public power, and by its order. This is the war we are here to consider: — private war, or that which is carried on between private individuals, belongs to the law of nature properly so called.


§ 67. It is to be distinguished from informal and unlawful war.

Legitimate and formal warfare must be carefully distinguished from those illegitimate and informal wars, or rather predatory expeditions, undertaken either without lawful authority or without apparent cause, as likewise without the usual formalities, and solely with a view to plunder. Grotius relates several instances of the latter.5 Such were the enterprises of the grandes compagnies which had assembled in France during the wars with the English, — armies of banditti, who ranged about Europe, purely for spoil and plunder: such were the cruises of the buccaneers, without commission, and in time of peace; and such in general are the depredations of pirates. To the same class belong almost all the expeditions of the Barbary corsairs: though authorized by a sovereign, they are undertaken without any apparent cause, and from no other motive than the lust of plunder. These two species of war, I say, — the lawful and the illegitimate, — are to be carefully distinguished, as the effects and the rights arising from each are very different.

§ 68. Grounds of this distinction.

In order fully to conceive the grounds of this distinction, it is necessary to recollect the nature and object of lawful war. It is only as the last remedy against obstinate injustice that the law of nature allows of war. Hence arise the rights which it gives, as we shall explain in the sequel: hence, likewise, the rules to be observed in it. Since it is equally possible that either of the parties may have right on his side, — and since, in consequence of the independence of nations, that point is not to be decided by others (§ 40), — the condition of the two enemies is the same, while the war lasts. Thus, when a nation, or a sovereign, has declared war against another sovereign on account of a difference arisen between them, their war is what among nations is called a lawful and formal war; and its effects are, by the voluntary law of nations, the same on both sides, independently of the justice of the cause, as we shall more fully show in the sequel.6 Nothing of this kind is the case in an informal and illegitimate war, which is more properly called depredation. Undertaken without any right, without even an apparent cause, it can be productive of no lawful effect, nor give any right to the author of it. A nation attacked by such sort of enemies is not under any obligation to observe towards them the rules prescribed in formal warfare. She may treat them as robbers,(146a) The inhabitants of Geneva, after defeating the famous attempt to take their city by escalade,7 caused all the prisoners whom they took from the Savoyards on that occasion to be hanged up as robbers, who had come to attack them without cause and without a declaration of war. Nor were the Genevese censured for this proceeding, which would have been detested in a formal war.

When Congress created the military codes of law, as that is their power under the Constitution, they have previously given this view in that law to this species of warfare:

Art. 82.

Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers - such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.

That from:


Prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Orders No. 100 by President Lincoln, 24 April 1863.

That from the Avalon Project document cache of historical documents. Here we have a continuous thread of thought from Grotius through de Vattel through the Congress of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln himself signing off on it through the updated Piracy codes all the way to the CAUF. This line of historical power for a nation rests far back in history and Congress is given the headache of defining the civil judgements and military code to keep the actions of those civilians who take up warfare ON THEIR OWN straightened out. And the Article 82 concept points out that Piracy is only one form of the broader category of depredation as seen by Congress in 1863. Note, also, the summary part of this: do the activity and the punishment during wartime is automatic.

With the CAUF the Congress is directing the President to use military means, indeed *all* means, to go after 'terrorists'. Terrorism is, however, a thing known as a *tactic* utilized by Pirates, Brigands, Robber Armies and such all the way into the 20th century when the Soviet Union staged the first military paratroop drop to counter a similar problem back in 1929. Thus Congress can lay its power for this on this historical arrangement. That said, Presidents are to go after these *on their own* as President Jefferson did against the Barbary Pirates so as to secure the Nation. The actual CinC power is more accurately defined in the Constitution, this from Art. II, Sec. 2:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

As the Commander in Chief of the Navy the President gets the Admiralty power for ensuring the regularity of commerce on the High Seas which Congress, by later statute, has moved to include the space from the core of the planet to the edge of the atmosphere that is demarcated by the High Seas. Thus when the US is confronted with any transgression against its civil commerce via those seeking to put it in harms way via the means of warfare, the President, to safeguard his duties, must respond to them. This has happened with the USS Cole bombing and the bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania who have US Marine Corps protection. By being members of the Navy and under the Admiralty power, those officers carry the representation of the President and the United States with them in their official duties of protecting and safeguarding the Nation. Thus when Private War impinges upon the US in extra-territorial assets (Embassies) or direct representatives (ships at sea connected to the open ocean), that is not only Private War, but Piracy when done by no one affiliated with any army of any Nation.

Yes each and every President since... well, when was the first real attack on a Embassy by terrorists? Before Carter, surely, but he serves as the signpost for neglect of duty in 1979. For the *second* time the CAUF is doing something that any President from Jimmy Carter through George W. Bush should have done but has not had the wisdom or guts to do, and thus the most sluggish, least able to figure out the difference between its ass and random holes in the ground has had to do it: get the President to go after these miscreants waging illegal war on the US because it is his DUTY TO DO SO. And even if Iraq gets thoroughly cleaned up and stabilized, and the US withdraws with a treaty of some sort, the two paragraphs that invoke this ancient power in P20-21 will *still* be operative.

For a few short days the US Congress coalesced a bit of cartilage around its notochord and had something that was almost spine-like.

Don't worry, it dissolved after the passage of this and things went back to 'normal'.

But those two paragraphs still stand even if Iraq and Afghanistan become the new Gardens of Eden.

Can we get a Presidential candidate who will recognize this?