War in the Constitution: We are aware that the welfare state is crippling to the welfare recipient and to those who are forced to uphold such a debilitating system through their tax dollars. But what about the warfare state? Does it also cause more problems than it solves? What can history teach us about our war, national defense, and foreign policy outlook? Better yet, what does the Constitution and what did our founding fathers warn us to avoid and did they put specific safeguards in place into the Constitution to avoid such a warfare state? There is much to learn as we explore the very current and important issue of war.
Jeff [ph]: All right. Well, welcome to the War in the Constitution. This is number 11 in the series that I do, the “In War in the Constitution” series. And I’ve intentionally placed this war presentation at the end.
There’s a lot that we’ve thought about and learned about in war, and our perspective may be changed today. Hopefully, will be changed a little bit as we look at what the constitution itself has to say about war.
Let me be clear upfront that I very much respect and honor those brave men and women who have been placed in harm’s way. I honored them, those who are currently serving and who have served. There may be some critiquing today that we talk about some of the issues of surrounding the war of the leaders who have placed them in harm’s way.
And so, I want to make a distinction of those. Anything I said today, I hope wouldn’t never be construed to say that I’m not pro-true or pro-America or pro-Armed Forces that I very much am, but I’m very much also for the proper role of war and what the constitution has to say about its role.
Let’s get started. We’ll start talking about the definition. That’s where we always start. So, two terms that often turned around was this idea of isolationism and non-interventionism. A lot of people like to say it’s the same thing, but let’s stick to the definitions, okay.
Isolationism is to not have any dealings of foreign nation. Isolationism then says we’re going to stick our head in the sand and disregard the fact that we live in the world, and it’s kind of a derogatory term, right; whereas, non-interventionism is defined as not getting involved in the affairs of foreign nations. Non-interventionism then says we’re not going to go and meddle in the affairs of other nations. It’s not our issue; it’s their issue, okay.
Now, we could talk a ton about that, the implications of those but we’re not going to. We’ll simply going to define what isolation is and what non-intervention is –two distinct terms.
The next definition is this idea of preemptive war. Now this has a lot of political undertone as well. We’re not going to get into that. We’re just going to stick with the definition.
Preemptive war is defined as being the first to break the peace, the initiation of armed conflict, an offensive act of aggression, making war without being attacked first. So, if you engaged in preemptive war, you are the first to attack. Now, like I said there are some political undertones there. I’m not really going to get into that. I just wanted to clarify what preemptive war means.
Now, lastly, the definition of war itself. War is a conflict carried on by forces of arms. We hear about the war on drugs or the war on poverty. And it’s really semantics but it kind of reduces that word, that word “war” to not mean that much. But war is something that’s very dramatic. And war involves a conflict carried on by force of arms. It involves killing. It involves human beings shooting at each other. And we need to understand that’s what war is, as far as definitions go.
Now, today, we’re talking about war in the constitution. I wanted to make sure we understand these three distinct terms we’re also going to — we’re going to focus on, okay. We’re going to talk about war but we’re also going to talk about national defense and foreign policy. Those three things are intertwined in this idea of war but they’re actually three distinctive ideas as well that we’re going to explore and look at definitions and constitutional references to those three distinct separate issues as well.
A war — is war ever justified? Yes. There is this justification for war. In 3rd Century Christendom, a lot of the Christian leaders got together and said, “Look, we’ve been fighting wars for centuries. People always are killing each other. We need to get together and decide on what is a justified war. “And what they came up was something called “The Just War Theory.”
The Just War Theory has eight principal features. The first one is this — the idea that defensive war alone is legitimate. The damage inflicted by the aggressor nation must be lasting, grave and certain, okay.
There’s a quote by Martin Luther that I like, that’s really an interesting one. He says, “At the very outset, I’m on to say that whoever starts a war is in the wrong. Let this be, then, the first thing to be said in this matter: No war is just, even if it is a war between equals, unless one has such a good reason for fighting and such a good conscience that he can say, ‘My neighbor compels and forces me to fight, though I would rather avoid it.’ In that case, it can be called not only war, but lawful self-defense.'”
That’s an interesting quote supporting this idea of the first point of the Just War Theory that defensive war alone is legitimate.
The second point, it must be formally declared by proper authority. The third point of the Just War Theory is to have a just cause and right intention. Obviously, there are some subjectivity to that. So, there should be a just cause and a right intention.
Number four, the last resort after all else has failed. That’s why we have diplomacy. That’s why we try to talk it out in word before we apply [ph] our swords and fight it out, right. The last resort after all else has failed.
Number five, limited and unchanging objectives, peace must be a central mode even in the midst of the violence. So that limited and unchanging objectives means once you get into a war, and you fight it and you accomplished the purpose, you don’t say, well, while we’re here we might as well do this. And while we’re here, you probably should do this and we might want to do this, too, and do this as well. The Just War Theory say wait, that’s beyond the perspective or the objective for which you enter the war in the first place. You go to war for peace.
All right. Number six, there must be a high likelihood of success. This is kind of a no-brainer. Don’t go to war if you don’t do it to win, or there’s a pretty low chances we’re going to win here.
Number seven, proportionate means. If somebody slaps you in the face, you don’t pull out your RPG or your hand grenade and blow them up. That’s non-proportionate means. A Just War, it say, wait, we’re not going to use a nuclear weapon on someone who did some small thing. There’s a proportion means issue there.
And number eight, non-combatants must not be targeted. Non-combatants are often called “collateral damage.” Why non-combatants not be targeted, because they’re not involved in the war. They’re civilians. They’re not the one that’s attacking. They shouldn’t be attacked, okay.
We can’t have a whole presentation on the Just War Theory, and in some ways we are, at least today, and I don’t want to go into detail of that. I set the point out of those eight defining factors. At least from my perspective, and I think it’s still a current theory that’s floating around out there. The Just War Theory says, you meet these obligations. You comply with these terms and then you have a justified war.
So, I think as Americans, we have a war that we are engaged in, that we all feel was justified. It was the war for independence, right. And so, an interesting that I did, I compared the Just War Theory to the Declaration of Independence, because the declaration kind of says why we went to war.
And it’s interesting as I start to make these comparisons. On the left-hand side, we’re going to set up a little chart here that talks the original wording of the declaration, and on the right-hand side, we’re going to have the Just War Theory that corresponds.
First of all, the declaration says this. “A nation should declare the cause which compels them to the separation.” That equates and corresponds with the Just War Theory that says must be formally declared by proper authority. So, the declaration there.
Now, the Declaration of Independence says. “Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” The founders says look, we’re so sure about what we’re doing that we’re going to appeal to God himself to say judge us for what we’re doing. We feel like it’s right.
Now the Just War Theory that goes along with that is this idea of just cause and right intention. They are just cause and right intention. We feel so right about it, we’re going to have God judge us.
Another thing that the founders put together was this idea in the declaration that says, “To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.” Not only will we let God judge us, we feel so right about what we’re doing that we’re going to submit facts to a candid world. Let them judge us for the justness and the rightness of our intention. So kind of the two interesting things they used that applied to that Just War Theory of just cause and right intentions.
The next one that say, “Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.” You know this change — oh, something went wrong, we’re going to change the whole government. No, no, no. We’re not going to do that. That corresponds to the Just War Theory that says “the damage inflicted by the aggressor nation must be lasting, grave and certain.” You see the correlation there?
Nextly, the declaration in keeping the same Just War Theory principle there,” When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism.” Over, over and over — the same pattern — it’s lasting, it’s grave, it’s certain.
And one more point that they made that corresponds, “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations.” Repeated over and over — lasting, grave, and certain.
Next, the Declaration says, “Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies…”And that corresponds to the idea of, “As the last resort after all else has failed.” That the colonies have patiently suffered over and over and over. They don’t want to go to war. They tried to resolve things. They tried to communicate with the Kind of Britain. They tried to talk about how to fix these issues, and those things didn’t happen, didn’t occur.
Lastly, the Declaration says, “It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government,” which to me corresponds to the idea that defensive war is legitimate. It becomes their duty and their right at some point when they’ve been oppressed over and over and over and over. The founders said, “We have no other choice than an act of defense to declare war and engaged in war against the Mother Country.”
We’ve all accepted the idea that the War for Independence was a just war, and hopefully, now applying the ideas and the declaration to the Just War Theory helps us legitimize it. Yeah. It was a just war. All right. Hopefully, I don’t know. That’s interesting to me. I hope it is to you.
Now, what we’re going to do is we’re going to get into the founders’ view now. First, we’re going to talk about the founders’ view on foreign policy, and then we’re going to get into the founder’s view on national defense, and then we’re going to get the founders’ view on war. We have some interesting quotes from them.
The founders’ view on foreign policy. John Quincy Adams kind of has grand-daddy of them all to me. This is a very, very applicable quote, a very true quote. He says this, “America abstains from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings.” Isn’t that an interesting concept?
There may be — this principle to freedom to which other governments are fighting or people fighting that such that he says,” Even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings, America abstains from interference.” Okay, in the concerns of others.
He continues, “She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. “Now that’s a pretty powerful quote, but it’s actually a pretty foreign policy to the current foreign policy that we have, isn’t it? It’s very quite the opposite.
We’re not going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. Well, actually, it’s quite a bit what America is doing — finding different dictators that are bad and going out and policing the world in a lot of ways. Now, whether or not you agree whether that should happen, I’m simply saying that our current foreign policy is very much different than the original intent of our foreign policy according to the founders.
Washington do agree, he says, “Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.”
The history of Europe has been — boy, we’re all entangled with these alliances. You’re my friend and if you insult my friend then I’m going to attack you. And if you attack them, then I’m going to fight… Look what happens, right? Look at World War I, that’s exactly what happened. The killing of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife by a rebel Serb in Austria, the next thing we know we have the World War I, right, because everyone’s connected.
George Washington says, “Wait. Those are not our concerns. We shouldn’t entangle ourselves with the imagination of artificial ties and these entangling alliances. “Of course, the famous quote relate to what Jefferson [inaudible] [0:11:48] that talks about that.
Washington substantiates this. He says, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” We’re not going to associate and alley ourselves or make alliances with any portion of the world. We’re an independent nation that is not dependent on anyone else. And other people’s actions are not going to impel us to act a certain way.
Jefferson says, “I deem one of the essential principles of our government to be peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” So, I don’t know. Hopefully, you see Quincy Adams and George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson; they’re very clear about what our foreign policy intent is. It’s nice to get their quotes to understand the intent behind what they formed in the constitution. We’re going to get to the constitution to find out where these principles, these ideas show up in the actual word of the constitution, but it’s nice to get that background as well.
There’s a man more recent, not one of the founding fathers. His name is Ezra Taft Benson. He was the Secretary of Agriculture under Dwight D. Eisenhower. He said this, kind of an interesting quote. “There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal — the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. ”
He continues, “Nothing in the constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to uplift their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies.”
A pretty bold statement, right, but I bet it coincides with these ideas of Washington and Jefferson, “No entangling alliance.” We’re not going to get involved in that. We’re not going to uplift other people’s cultures and economies, or fight their enemies for them. It goes along with the same idea of our founders.
One thing that’s tied into that is foreign aid. An interesting fact, an interesting thing to know in 2013, America sent $37 billion overseas in foreign aid. With about 100 million taxpayers in America, that equates about $500 per taxpayer being sent overseas to take care of uplifting their economies, bolstering their cultures, right, things that [inaudible] [0:14:08] have been talked about.
Let’s have a breakdown who the top 10 countries that are receiving foreign aid. Israel receives $3.1 billion; Afghanistan, $2.3 billion; Pakistan, $2.1 billion; Iraq, $1.7 billion; Egypt, $1.6 billion. In the billions — we talk about billions all the time. It’s not a big deal. Billion is big– that’s a lot of money. We’ve given that much money overseas in foreign aid.
I mean, you look at these countries and you start to — wait, there’s a pattern here. Some of those countries we’ve had conflicts with. Some of those countries we’re giving foreign aid to and they’re not reciprocated or anything. And the fact they’re — they’ve been our enemies in some cases.
I’ll let you make the tie there. There are some interesting money issues when it comes down to that foreign policy, and the war that goes along with that and the money that could be made or lost. That’s for you to kind of tie together.
Now, we’re going to switch over to the founders’ view on national defense. Hamilton had this to say, “Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct,” if you want to be safe from an external danger.
He says, “Nations the most attached to liberty to resorts to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights.” We’re attached to liberty but boy, when there’s some insecurity there, we have a tendency to say, oh, just let me buy myself to this institution as leader, and they tended to destroy their political rights and their civil rights.
He ends by saying this very clearly, “To be more safe, they run the risk of being less free,” which reminds us of the quote by Benjamin Franklin. This is his famous quote. He says, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
That study, at least in my stance, the way I look at things, the security idea and this freedom idea, they’re polar opposites. If you want security, we can guarantee you security. Hitler can guarantee you security. Give me your guns, give me all of your laws, give me all of your youth, give me all of your education. I’ll guarantee security, right. Communism, that’s what Communism does.
Security and freedom, I want to be free. And Benjamin Franklin says, “Look, if you want that freedom, there’s a price that comes with that. You can’t have liberty and try to purchase liberty by giving — or purchase security by giving up liberty. You will get neither. ”
One last quote. I know we’re getting a lot of quotes in here. And I think it’s interesting to get the intent of the founders. This is the last one for the national defense by James Madison. “The means of defense against foreign danger, historically, have become the instruments of tyranny at home. “This is an interesting quote to remember. We’re going to talk about later in the presentation.
“The means of defense against foreign danger, historically, have become the instruments of tyranny at home. ” The building of defensive measures — historically not theoretically. He’s just talking about history, looking back in time what have they done. They’ve been the proper tools in the way that the government can tyrannize their own people at home. Interesting.
So, that’s the national defense. Now, we’re going to move on to the founders’ view on war. And this principally revolves around one quote from Madison that I think is quite powerful. He says, “Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.” What does he mean by this?
He clarifies, “War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes.” We pay for the war, right? “And armies and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.”
He ends by saying this, “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Luckily, America hasn’t been continually at war. Ever since the United Nation has brought to fast [ph], in 1945. Oh, wait, no we have been continually at war since 1945, perpetually.
And what does Madison say, “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Is he right? Yeah, I think he may be right. There may be some war that is destroying our freedoms, right. Think about the Patriot Act. Think about all of the NSA issues and such, okay. And some people would say, well, the war on terror isn’t really a war on terror. It’s a war on us, on our freedoms, on our rights — something to kick around.
Now, this next slide is fairly controversial. Some people say, Jeff, you got your head in the sand. You don’t realize what the danger [ph] is and we could roll this out there. You need to be a little more open-minded. That’s all right. I guess that’s what’s good about America. We could all agree to disagree.
The facts I want to present to you I think may tell a story that you may not feel comfortable with or you may. But I just want to point out what I think is interesting in these facts.
The first thing, U.S. military budget has doubled since the year 2000. Now, all we hear is that military is going to cut back, cut back, cut back, and yet the fact is since the year 2000, our military budget has doubled. Now, when we hear about cutting back, it may be seemed like the budget, right, when they say hey, we’re cutting back. We’re not really cutting back. What we’re saying is it was going to be a 15% increase and now it’s only a 13% increase, and therefore, we’re cutting back billions of dollars. Well, not really. We’re cutting back in the increase. Maybe that’s what’s going on there, too, in the military area.
Next point, the U.S. spends more annually on the military, $682 billion than the next 10 highest spending countries combined. And when you talk about Russia and China and Pakistan and India, all of these — the next 10 highest spending countries combined isn’t as much as the single highest spending which is America.
$682 billion — there’s an asterisk there. The reason I put the asterisk is because if you apply that same standard of 100 million taxpayers in the United States of America, then that means each taxpayer is tagged with about $6,800 in spending for the military. Some of you will say, well, that’s not me because I get refund on my taxes. I don’t spend 3,600 in taxes. Actually, you do.
Whether you spend it in a form of taxes or spend for you by the Federal Reserve and then you’re on the hook to pay for it, your portion of that is $6,800. And remember, we’re $17 trillion in the whole as we speak, at least that’s the admitted debt that the government admits to, $682 billion were spent on the military.
Now, point number three is the United States has over 500 military facilities in over 135 nations. Some people will say, well, we need that many. We need more. I look at that number and I say that’s high. I say it’s very high, 500 military facilities. That’s a lot.
There are some people who said there’s more like 735, there’s other people who’ve been quoted to say 900. So, 500 is kind of a low bar, in fact, half as many than some people say. To have 500 military facilities — some would argue well, that means that could just be one marine in one country. Yeah. That’s true. That could be that one of those 500. But 500 is a lot of military facilities.
The double asterisks here says — points to you the idea of the question I’ve been asked — is where in the constitution gives the authority to the establishment of those military facilities? You know there? It’s not there. There is no establishment or no cause to the constitution that grants authority to the United States of America to have over 500 military facilities permanently set up throughout the world. I think that’s a high number. I really do.
Fourth, the U.S. currently has 250,000 personnel in over 100 countries. Once again, that seems high to me — 250,000. The U.S. still has 30,000 troops in Korea; 50,000 in Germany; 40,000 in Japan; 10,000 in Italy; and 10,000 in the UK. That’s a lot of numbers. That’s a lot of people.
And I think about those being Americans out there in a military establishments and bases throughout the world — 250,000 is 250,000 moms and dads; 250,000 moms and dads who had to be away from their family. I see that as a challenge. I see that as a major problem in our nation. One of the things that’s really plaguing our nation is the downfall of the family. And how can we have those families really intact when there’s 250,000 moms and dads serving aboard.
Once again, that’s not a critique at the people doing that. They’re doing that honorably and they’re doing standing in the harm’s way. But it is a critique at the leaders who established that huge military industrial complex.
And say, what are they doing this? Some of you would say, “Well, they’re protecting.” Well, I would say let them protect themselves. That may sound mean. I’m not trying to sound mean, I’m trying to say bring them home. What if the 30,000 troops in Korea were brought home and stuck on the border. We might be able to fix our border issues or immigration issues. I don’t know.
Obviously, I can be controversial. People in the service could be very offended by that comment. I’m not meaning it to be offensive to the person. I’m meaning it to critique the wisdom on having a quarter of a million Americans abroad. I think that’s a huge challenge.
The U.S. Navy has 280,000 ships and submarines. The U.S. has 10 aircraft carriers and service, but no other country has more than two in service.
The question I have is that if we’re not at war then what in the world are we doing? And in the pun is intended. What in the world are we doing? What are we doing if we’re not at war with these huge amounts of money and people and supplies and resources across the world?
I don’t know if people have answers to that. And I’d like to say well, let’s look at what our foreign policy, our national defense, and our war stance should be according to the founders’ intent. And we’re going to look at what the constitution has to say. We’re going to bring that home and say we could debate on this. We could say what about this and what about that? Well, there could be a debate. I’d say the founders are on the side of maybe a more conservative viewpoint on that. The constitution happens to be on the same side as well. We’ll talk about that.
I don’t want — I’m not trying to be harsh or critical. There is a quote that I think that maybe wraps up, sums up for me some of these ideas. It’s by a man named Spencer W. Kimball. He says this, “We are a warlike people easily distracted from our assignment on preparing for the coming of the lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods, of stone and steel — ships, planes, missiles, fortifications — and depend on them for protection and deliverance.”
“When threatened, we become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God. We train men in the art of war and calling him a patriot, does in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the savior’s teaching. Love your enemies, bless them that curse to get to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you that you may be the children of your father which is in heaven.” An interesting quote to consider.
Once again, I have to be crucial clear. I openly admit, I’m not an insider. I don’t understand all the military affairs of the nations. Some may say those are completely justified. Maybe I’ll simply say from the outsider’s point of view, that’s a lot of, that’s a lot of resources. That’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of lives on the line to be doing external policing of the world or getting involved in international affairs.
I’ll end with the quote by James Madison. “In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”
So that leads us, it gives us the segue into finding out what does the constitution have to say about these three things. We’re going in a reverse order now. We’re going to talk about war first and then national defense, and then foreign policy.
The constitution on war, the classic, very, very simple article in section in classic that I’m going to talk. There’s many other presentations. Congress shall have a power to declare war. So what does that mean, especially the part of the 17th Amendment which took out the state’s representation in the federal government?
But before the 17th Amendment, a Declaration of War by Congress meant the people who represented the House and the states who represented in the Senate both agreed to dedicate their resources and their blood to the cause. So, if they’re the ones who are sacrificing what they have and who they are, shouldn’t they be the ones who decides through their elected officials? It shouldn’t be the president, right? It only makes sense just like Madison said.
It shouldn’t be the president, because the history of war isn’t a history of vindictive king and potentates [ph] and jealousies, fighting back and forth and using the people as pawns. If the people are going to do this, they need to be behind that. So it makes sense that congress shall declare war.
An interesting that happens six months before launching the 2003 attack in Iraq. Representative Rand Paul offered a motion to declare war in Iraq and then said he intended to vote against his own motion because he didn’t think the U.S. should be attacking Iraq. He did this to show his opposition to the idea that we can’t ignore the constitution requirement that only Congress can declare war.
So Representative Rand Paul said, “I want to have a congressional declaration of war and I’m going to vote against that. “Making the point that no one else can declare war. Only we can declare war.
Henry Hyde who is the Ranking Chairman of the International Relations Committee is a Republican from Illinois says this, “There are things in the Constitution that have been overtaken by events, by time. Declaration of war is one of them.” There are things that are no longer relevant to modern society. We’re saying to the president, use your judgment. Your measure represents the policies that inappropriate and anachronistic, it isn’t done anymore.”
So, the Ranking Republican says, “Oh, come on, that’s outdate. We don’t follow Article 1 Section 8 Clause 11 anymore. That’s anachronistic.”
Now, it’s interesting to note, one week later, the House authorized the president to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he deems necessary to enforce all relevant United Nation Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq. In this authorization, the UN was mentioned 21 different times. And was the constitution ever mentioned? No.
That is a non-delegation principle here. If you delegate power to someone to make a decision on your behalf, they can’t take that power and give it to someone else, which is exactly what happened here. We, the people have delegated through our state, the Senate, through the House the ability to declare war, to obligate us to go to war.
Now, if we give them that decision-making power and they say, oh, no, we’re not going to have that power anymore. We’re going to give to somebody else. You can’t do that. That’s a violation of principle.
If I authorize someone to act for me as my agent and that person doesn’t want to do it and he gives it to somebody else, that’s a problem, isn’t it? If they don’t want to do it, they need to get back to me and I’ll choose who’s my new agent. They don’t just choose for me. That’s a problem that somebody’s violated over and over with the UN.
When was the last time — we already talked about this over and over? When was the last time the United States Congress declared war? In World War II. We were perpetually at war since then. The UN insists to be that this great peace organization yet there’s been war after war after war since then.
Now, Article 1 Section 10 Clause 3 says, “No state shall without the consent of Congress engage in war unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.” I like this one because it gives some insight, contextual information behind why we ever do go to war.
While this says, “Or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay,” we’re going to actually attack or invaded. It only makes sense. Of course, natural law says if under attack, I’m going to defend myself. It gives us a little bit of insight into the founders saying why you need go to war.
Other war powers, I call this slide. In Article 1 Section 8 Clause 10 and the next one as well, the next couple. Says, “Congress shall have the power to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and other offences against the law of nations.”
And this might bring to mind the idea of Barbary pirates. What are the Barbary pirates doing? They say, look, if you want to go in the Mediterranean waters, you better pay us off and bribe us; otherwise, we’ll destroy your ships.
In Article 1 Section 8 Clause 10 gives a provision for who? For Congress — not for the President — for Congress to define and punish those piracies. What does that do? It helps us not to declare war on Morocco because some lived there, some Barbary pirates were there. In Libya, because of them lived there and some lived — no, no, no. The Congress is going to define and punish those piracies as specific pirates. You’re not going to declare war expansively, we can declare war simply on them.
The next, in Article 1 Section 8 Clause that goes much along with this. Says, “Congress shall have power to grant letters of marquee and reprisal.” What do letters of marquee and reprisal? What does that mean? In short — there’s a longer definition, but in shorter, it means a bounty in someone’s head.
So someone who were to come in to America, wreck havoc, destroy World Trade Centers, okay. According to the Constitution, instead of having to declare war on an adjective, on terror, they can put a bounty on someone’s head and say, look, we’re spending $682 billion. We better know who did that and let’s go get them.
Then we go follows those people responsible. We’re not going to declare war in the country. We’re not going to declare war in a cause. We’re going to declare war on those individuals who did that thing. It’s an interesting concept.
These ideas, when you look at it, I think they’re fabulous. They’re fascinating. They’re in the constitution. They already have solutions for the things that are happening. When we make decisions that are outside the constitution and then there are some challenges.
Lastly, in Article 1 Section 8 Clause 11, the last part says, “And make rules concerning captures on land and water.” The point we made here is who makes those rules? Congress. Congress makes the rules, because Congress is the one in charge of the resources and the lives of the people who are involved in that. And Congress can see unintended consequences.
We can debate this. We can think it over. We don’t just have one man who says, “We’re going to do this.” That becomes a major interaction [ph]. It’s not something that’s wise and thought out in relation to war and our foreign policy.
Once again, I hope I’m being clear. I’m not trying to attack individuals. I’m not trying to attack causes, and I know there are great men and women in the Armed Services who feel very loyal and so they should. What I’m trying to do is question. We’re sending these good men and women. Why are we putting them in a harm’s way? What are we doing in putting their lives in the line for something that may not be constitutional nor principlist.
Now, we’re going to the constitution on national defense. What does the constitution itself have to say about national defense? Article 4 Section 4 Clause 1 says, “The United States shall protect each state against invasion.” So, who’s in-charge of protecting the whole United States from invasion? The United States, okay, very clear.
Article 1 Section 8 Clause 17 gives us some insight in to how that could be accomplished. It ends by saying, “The erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings.” So how do they do that? The United States can’t protect the nation from invasion within the 10 square miles of D.C. They have to be able to build forts and magazines, and arsenals, and dock-yards all the way around the edges of the United States in order to — or within as well — in order to protect the United States against invasion.
The previous part to Clause 17 there is under some certain conditions, they can have the land to do those things if the state legislature allows them and if they purchase that. We talked about that under property rights presentation. But it’s important that they can do so, and it’s their job to do so. They’ve been tasked to protect us against invaders. So, yes, they need to have the opportunity to provide forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards and other needful buildings in that pursuit.
Now, let’s go back to Article 4 Section 4 Clause 1 and look at the rest of it because it says, “And on application of the legislature — means the state legislature — or of the executive, meaning the governor, when the legislature cannot be convened against domestic violence.”
So, it’s very clear to you. The federal government can come in to the, into the individual states to help them with domestic violence upon what condition? If the state invites them. If the state invites them. But what does that do? It establishes clear jurisdiction lines. Within the State of Wyoming, we’re in charge. If you want to come in, you can’t unless we invite you. That makes sense. There’s jurisdiction, that there’s a line of authority established within the state.
Now, take that same principle, the same application. Let’s first look at it at an individual level. Do I as an individual see problem in my neighbor and can I use force to enter into their house and say you will do it this way or there will be some physical consequences? Can I do that as an individual?
If I can’t, which I can’t, then I can’t delegate to my agent government to do that on my behalf. Just like the United States can’t come in to any individual states and say you’re going to do this, this way. We’re going to — we’re going to take charge here. The United States also can’t go to other nations and say, “We’re here to take charge and tell you how to fix your problems.” That’s not our rule. That defies logic, it defies the constitution. I think that gives us some insight there.
Article 1 Section 10 Clause 3, “No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, keep troops or ships of war in times of peace.” Making sure I understand these troops of war, these ships of war, they’re under the jurisdiction of whom? Of Congress. It’s the Congress that the constitution also defines and delineates the jurisdiction in issues about war. War is for who? The national level, for Congress to be in charge of.
The matters of war are not left out to the states. So, there are some jurisdiction things lined out. I don’t know. I don’t know if you guys see these. But I love the constitution because of all these seems [inaudible] [0:35:02]. We’ve talked about probably 20 clauses so far that deal with national defense and war and foreign policy. It’s interesting to see that it’s written out there.
We don’t just say, well, what do we do? There’s a whole new world. No. What we do is we look to the constitution. We’re a republic. The republic means the rule of law. Follow our law. It’s there.
Now, let us take a little segue here into looking at the Army specifically and then the Navy, and then the militia. What we’re going to do is we’re going to do the constitutional definition of the Army then the constitutional operating standards of the Army during peace, and the constitutional operating standards of the Army during war. We’ll do the same for the Navy. Those three issues and the militia. Those three issues, so, let’s start with the Army.
Article 1 Section 8 Clause 12, “Congress shall have the power to raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.” And I underlined the word “raise.” Raise armies as opposed to standing armies.
Madison had this to say, “A standing Army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen.” Now, you apply that to his previous quote. Remember his previous quote that talked about the means of defense against foreign enemies, historically, had become the instruments of tyranny at home, because a standing Army says we’re going to turn on to our own people. Historically, that’s what’s happened. That’s the tool that government uses to tyrannize their own people. So it’s a mischief to have a standing Army.
Here’s an interesting question. Can there be a standing Army during times of peace? Well, we actually looked at the constitution. What does it say? You review Article 1 Section 8 Clause 12, it doesn’t say only during times of war.
It seems nice, and theoretically, it would be very nice to say, look, we’re only going to have an Army when there has been a congressionally declared war, and therefore, we have congressionally raise an Army to fight that war. That would be nice. But there are times when Congress can be informed. Look at, there’s an attack pending, there’s things happening. We need to have an Army ready to go. Can that happen? Yeah.
Under these two conditions in Article 1 Section 8 Clause 12. It says, “First, Congress is in charge.” They’re the ones who authorized that an Army may be raised. So they can think of all unintended consequences. They’re taking the people’s resources and people themselves, and the people should be able to decide together with Congress.
And secondly, “No appropriation of money to that use shall be for a term, for longer term than two years.” So, it’s a very narrow length wise, time wise power to raise that Army. So they can be raised by Congress and for term less than two years.
If there a war that last longer than two years, can they appropriate money? Yes. But only every two years, they have to revisit that decision. They have to make that decision. Why? What happens every two years in the United States? The House is reelected. The people’s representatives are re-elected. And if they don’t like that we’re spreading and be the police force the world, they can elect someone else that has a different policy. They’re going to follow the constitution policy behind that.
But there’s no research that you cannot raise armies during times of peace. But the principle of freedom is we don’t want to have a standing Army that could turn on its people, because historically that’s what they’ve done. All right.
Going on to the standard operating procedures of the Army during the times of peace. Article 1 Section 8 Clause 14 says, “Congress shall have power to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” Who’s in charge in making rules and regulations for the Army? Congress, right. That’s what it says. Not the president.
Anybody heard of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Who made that rule? President Clinton. The Executive made that rule. The president. Does the president have the authority to make rules and regulations for the Army? No. Very clearly, that’s what Article 1 Section 8 Clause 14 says. All right.
A lot of people point to the Commander-in-Chief clause. We all know that the president is the Commander-in-Chief. He’s in charge. Well, there’s a quote that says, Article 12 Section 2 Clause 1, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army.” Whenever there’s a power granted in the constitution, there’s always a corresponding condition. What’s the condition? When they’re called to the actual service of the United States.
Who calls armies into an actual service to the United States? Congress does. And when Congress calls them into the actual service, then the president becomes the Commander-in-Chief. So the president is not an ever present president of an ever present Army. He’s a Commander-in-Chief once Congress calls him into an actual service to the United States. There’s a huge difference there.
It’s not very well understood. Everyone tends to think, well, the president is always the perpetual Commander-in-Chief. He’s only the Commander-in-Chief when, according to Article 2 Section 2 Clause 1, “When called into the actual service of the United States by Congress.” Congress declares war, Congress raises the Army, Congress appropriates. It is the distinctions that are important to understand.
It is important to remember when that decision is made about war, it should be the thoughts of 535 congressmen, House and Senate, [inaudible] [0:39:55] to think of all the unintended consequences that their commitment to the monetary and life and blood of the commitment to the war. Do we want to do this? They should be the one that’s making that decision not the president.
And he’s only the Commander-in-Chief, because once he get to war, you want that war to be finished as quick as possible. War is brutal and ugly. You want to get in and get done. So what needs to be done when you only have one person execute that war? In a well-defined, in a well-declared war, we’ll hope that president to execute it and get out. Make that happen and be done with it.
A well-declared war and we need to have one first. Can you imagine how it would be to have a war with 535 generals trying to decide how to do it? No. We need one who’s going to make that happen. That’s a principle that makes sense.
Now, a little review here. Who declares war? Congress, right? Who raises the Army and finances them? Congress. Who makes rules for the Army? Congress. Who makes decisions about the use of the Army when it is called into the actual service of the United States, for example, to fight a declared war? That’s when the president makes those decisions. But Congress is in charge of declaring, raising, and financing, making the rules. The president is only the Commander-in-Chief once all of these things have happened.
Remember a very basic level. What does the Legislative Branch do? They make decisions. They make rules. What does the Executive Branch do? They carry it out. They execute those laws and those rules, those decisions. Congress makes decision; the president executes the decision. It’s the same in war.
Let’s go on to the Navy. Article 1 Section 8 Clause 13, “Congress shall have power to provide and maintain a Navy. “Now, does that sound like to raise a Navy or a standing Navy? Standing, right? To maintain a Navy is a standing Navy. Why would that be? Why do the founders say we’re fine with having a standing Navy not just a standing Army? Why a standing Navy?
In my mind there’s at least three reasons. One is a Navy, by definition, is a defensive unit. It’s only when we’re going to get attacked, in the pass was with the Navy, by sea protecting us because it’s a defensive unit.
Secondly, if we need to have a ship. Can we say, oh, we need a ship tomorrow, we’re being attacked? No. It takes a while to build up a Navy, doesn’t it? So it makes sense to have a standing Navy for that regard.
Thirdly, and one of the most important ones I think is how easily can an Army tyrannize their own people? Really easily, right. How easily can a Navy tyrannize their own people? Not too easy. Just along the shoreline, correct? So, for those three reasons, they said let’s have a Navy that’s standing, that’s maintained. There’s a difference there between the Navy and the Army.
Article 1 Section 8 Clause 14, “These rules and regulation of the Navy, Congress shall have power to make rules for the government and regulation of the naval forces.” There may be a little bit of gray areas here. We could say, wait, the Navy is a standing unit, so shouldn’t the Commander-in-Chief always be the standing president?
People may say that’s a gray area there. Well, what it says very clearly is Congress has the power to make the rules and regulations for the naval forces. That’s what the constitution says. Let’s look at it a little more detail. Let’s go to the Commander -in-Chief clause again.
It says, “The president shall be the Commander-In-Chief of the Navy of the United States.” The condition again is, “When they’re called into the actual service of the United States. “The Navy is ever present, but when they are called into the service of the United States by Congress, that’s when he becomes the commander-in-chief.
Now, does any discrepancy there? Let’s go back. Let’s go back to Article 1 Section 8 Clause 14, “Congress shall have power to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.”
It explicitly says, the constitution explicitly says that the Congress is in charge of making the rules and regulations of the naval forces. That if they didn’t want it to happen. They just wanted the commander-in-chief to make all the rules and they would have left out the naval forces but they didn’t. They included that.
Even though the Navy is standing and the Army is a raised Army, it’s still the same provisions. Congress has to call them into actual service now and then the president becomes the commander in chief. All right.
So, let’s move on. The first was Army, Navy, and now the third one is militia. Opps, I just gave you the answer here okay. James Madison, “A ___ is the best most natural defense in a free country.” He says, “A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms is the best, most natural defense in a free country.”
A lot of people say, and this is very true — what are you saying, Jeff, that we’ll just kind of sit around? Who knows what’s going to happen? Someone attacks us and next — okay, now I have to pull up an Army. We have to — no.
No, what I’m saying is that we had, and we talked about this in my gun control constitution presentation very thoroughly about the militia. If we have a militia already there, we would have a hundred million strong standing Army, right. Their attack is maybe ready, must be ready in order to defend ourselves already. That’s why Japan didn’t attack us, they said. Their general said, “There’s going to be a gun behind every door and bush. We’re not going to go attack them.”
That’s should what happen with the militia, and we already have that protective force so we have the initial defensive unit already in place. And if we need to raise an Army and appropriate funds for that, we can. But the militia is self-defense because free citizens are already available and always have the duty and responsibility to defend themselves. That’s why they called it the best most natural defense in a free country.
Now, let’s look a little bit more about the militia clause. We’re not going to go into a lot of detail. Like I said in gun control in the constitution, we spent 20 minutes talking about this, so let’s going to hit some highlights that applied to what we talked about earlier with the Army and Navy.
“Congress shall have the power to provide for calling forth the militia.” If you remember the militia is an entity of the state, and the governors are in charge of the militia. So if Congress wants to call them forth, who they call them forth from [ph]? From the governor. The governor can say yes or no, correct?
When Congress calls them forth, the governor says yes, it’s all right. They can only call them forth for three reasons and they’re listed in Clause 15. “To execute the laws of the union, to suppress insurrections and repel invasions.” Those are all internal domestic reasons, not external, international foreign reasons, because [inaudible] [0:45:48] and we talked about that in the gun control presentation.
Next, in the Commander-in-Chief clause, “The president shall be the commander-in-chief of the militia of the several states.” Do you want to guess under what condition? When called into actual service of the United States. So, once again, he’s not the commander- in-chief of the militia until Congress ask the governor, the governor says yes, they’re called in to the service for three specific reasons, one of those, and then the commander in chief is the president. Then he becomes the commander in chief. It follows that same pattern.
Once again, another quiz here. Who’s in charge of local defense? The militia. Who’s in charge in national defense? The Congress. Now which organizations are under Congress’ direction? First, the Navy, which is a standing Navy. Secondly, the state militia which is also a standing at the local level but actually called up by Congress for specific purposes. And lastly, the Army which must be raise by Congress. Those are the tools that Congress has to use in our national defense.
Who makes the rules for the armed forces? Congress. Who makes decisions about the use of the Armed Forces when called into the actual service to the United States? That’s when the president does. But he can’t use them however he wants to. He can only use the militia, for example, for one of those three purposes.
The constitution aligned these things out, have great jurisdictional lines of authority, has a great jurisdictions as what people are supposed to do, what they aren’t supposed to do, what authority is given to outstanding versus raised, all of these different elements. They’re all in the constitution.
Now, we’re going to move on to the constitution on foreign policy. We just talked about war, constitution, what it defined and talked about war. Constitution has talked about national defense and the constitution has talked on — now it’s going to talk on foreign policy.
Let’s see some definition out away real quick. These are the definitions or words that show up in the constitution. That’s why we’re defining them. An alliance or a confederation is the union between nations entered into by contract. It’s a long-term high level commitment. That’s how you think of about alliance or confederations, long term. It’s a union between nations. And agreement or compact is more of a short term, lower level commitment. It’s just a union of opinions or sentiments.
Lastly, a treaty. A treaty is a contract between two or more nations formally signed by authorized powers of each nation. It’s a binding agreement to conditions. Those are some of these that are brought up in our constitution with regards to our foreign policy. So I want to look at some of those.
Under the Article 1 Section 10 Clause 1, it refers to the states. How do the states interact with these ideas of alliance and agreements compacts and confederations? Well, it says, “No state shall enter into any alliance or confederation.” Notice, the constitution ties those two together, alliance and a confederation because they’re more long-term, high level commitments, and it says no states shall. States can’t enter into alliances and confederations, the long-term agreements, high-level commitments, they can’t.
Article 1 Section 10 Clause 3, say, “No state without the consent of Congress enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power.” Now this agreement or compact, remember is a lower level, less commitment. They can enter into in those agreements but only if Congress allows them to, consents them doing so.
So it’s very clear in reference to these four things. Alliance, agreements, compacts and confederation, states can’t enter into a long-term, high-level, but they can if Congress has its consent enter into that kind of the low-level, light commitment agreements and compacts.
On the other hand, where does it talk about the federal in relation to alliances, agreements, compacts, and confederation? Well, it’s not mentioned. So, the constitution is silent on a federal power. What does that mean? Hopefully, we’ve learned a lot by now that what that means is you turn to the 10th Amendment.
The 10th Amendment says, “The powers that are not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”
So if a power is not delegated, the power to enter into the alliance or an agreement or a compact or confederation. If that power is not given, it’s not there. It doesn’t exist. So the federal government doesn’t have the power to enter into alliances and confederations, compacts and whichever the one I missed — agreements. According to the strict interpretation. Look, if the power isn’t given, it’s not there.
Now, there are some other mentions of the word of treaties. What’s a treaty? OK. Article 1 Section 10 Clause 1 says, “No states shall enter into any treaty. “It’s pretty straightforward. States can’t enter into treaties. On the other hand, the federal government has been given some authorization in regards to treaties.
Article 2 Section 2 Clause 2, “The president shall have power bind with the consent of the Senate to make treaties provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur. “So, can a federal government get involved?
What is a treaty? It’s how other nations treat each other. That’s what a treaty is. Can they get involved in that type of agreement? Yes, they can get involve in treaties. The federal government can.
It’s interesting to remember treaties are for external — we talked about this in the gun control and probably other presentations. Treaties are for nations who decide to externally how they’re going to agree on things. Treaties are not for any group of nations or a nation to say inside your state, this is how you’re going to do things. Inside your nation, this is how you’re going to do things.
That’s not what a treaty is for. That would declare law that would declare rules. And the only thing that declares rules and laws in our country is a legislature not a treaty, not an international body, not an outsider. It’s our elected accountable representatives to do that.
So, along those lines, there’s an interesting quote by a man named St. George Tucker. Kind of an interesting name. He was a contemporary of the founders. He wrote a great book called, “The View of the Constitution.” It’s an excellent book.
Here’s what he said in this, and we need to think through this. “Can a treaty do things that are reserved of Congress?” Here’s how he says this. It’s specifically about war. “Can a treaty declare war?”
St. George Tucker says, “Let it be supposed, for example, that the President and Senate should stipulate by treaty,” right, because it’s the president that entered in the treaties. It says, “Stipulate by treaty with any foreign nation, that in case of war between that nation and any other, the United States should immediately declare war against that nation.” Kind of sounds like these UN that’s mentioned now. He just says, “Let’s supposed that happens.” Well, it is happening.
Can it be supposed that such a treaty would be so far to the law of the land as to take from the House of Representatives their constitutional right to deliberate on the expediency or in inexpediency of such a declaration of war and to determine the act thereon according to their own judgment.
So can a treaty commit us to war? St. George Tucker means that the great and important truth, no, because what does that do? It only includes the President and the Senate.
In Article1, Section 8 Clause 11 says, “Who shall declare war? Congress,” which isn’t the president. It’s the Senate and the House. And who is the House? The People.
So for a treaty that took – impel us to war is a violation of the constitution. A treaty can’t violate the constitution. A treaty can’t push us into war, because what does it do? It excludes the House from being able to deliberate and decide for themselves.
We’re representing the people who are giving their resources and their sons and daughters to the war. They need to be included in that decision. No wonder all of the treaties that have happened – there’s UN treaties over and over, the police action being [ph] involved — and we got a list of those later — has been really unsubstantiated, unconstitutional because it’s the treaty that push us into war instead of Congress declaring war.
Interesting. Just a little review here then. Constitutional foreign policy powers of the states, they cannot participate in alliances and confederations. The Federal? They can’t either. What about agreements and compacts? Yes or no the states can’t unless Congress consents for them to do see.
What about agreements and compacts with the federal? No. What about treaties? States cannot enter into treaties and the federal can — and the two stars there, the two asterisks — because the president – they can enter into treaties if the president and two-thirds of the Senate approve it. And they can’t supersede the constitution, right? They can’t declare a war with the treaty or take away people’s guns at the treaty. You can’t supersede the constitution.
It’s interesting because the federal government can’t enter into except for treaties, and so what do they call everything nowadays? They call everything treaties. Or they use treaty law. They use treaty provisions to negotiate agreements and alliances and all these things.
There’s a challenge there. It’s like a mom saying to a child, “Hey, you can’t have a candy bar for lunch. You’re not going to eat candy bars for lunch. You can eat a sandwich.” And the child says, “Oh, well then I’ll just take these candy bars and stick them between two crackers and I’ll call it a sandwich.” Wait. Some off limit things there that the Congress is doing, that the federal government is doing that is not allowed.
All right. This is a long slide. We’re going to through it. And I’ll admit it’s fairly biased and fairly heavy the way it says some of these things. It’s just something to get you thinking. Yes, you’ll see where I get to certain points. Oh, boy, this slide– that’s a little overboard.
We’re going to compare constitutional foreign policy to modern day foreign policy. A constitutional foreign policy is no entangling alliances. The modern day foreign policy is we’re the world’s police force.
Secondly, non-interventionism. That’s the constitution’s view. Nowadays, we overthrow governments. Constitutional foreign policy is based on the golden rule. Our new foreign policy is spreading democracy. We just talked about democracy in the last presentation. If you tie those together, you’d see what we’re getting there.
A quick note, if we’re spreading democracy and our form of democracy here domestically is socialism essentially, why don’t we be selling socialism abroad? It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
Constitutional foreign policy is less than [ph] peacemakers. Modern day foreign policy is foreign interests, assets, and allies. Our constitutional national defense versus a modern day national defense is standing defense in Navy versus a standing policing Navy. A well-regulated standing militia in each state versus a national guard. The difference there is expounded on the gun control presentation.
And this is the one where it sounds a little bit heavy. Keeps family members at home, modern day national defense sends the family members abroad. The point being simply that in a militia, men and women are going home each night to their families, whereas in the National Guard, they’re all fighting international wars.
Constitutional war powers versus modern day war powers are defensive war only under the constitution; modern day, preemptive empire building. Declared by Congress; whereas, nowadays have undeclared peacekeeping UN Security Council resolutions that do our declaring. Lead by Commander-In-Chief under the constitution; nowadays, lead by UN coalition forces. Fought by a raised Army who goes home and done; fought by standing armies and National Guard who were kept from home. And this is overly generalized statement. War is avoided versus this idea of perpetual war.
I know some of those things may be hard to solve. You may not agree and that’s fine. That’s something that we’ll have to work into or you’ll never, never agree to. I just want to make the point of what the constitution says what the principles of freedom stand on. It’s important to understand that and incorporate that into big decisions about money, but more importantly people’s lives when war is involved.
So we’ve gone through some definitions regarding foreign policy, national defense and war and also the constitution in relation to those three issues. And now, we’re going to start talking about modern day abuses of the constitution in relation to war.
There’s an interesting quote, you may have heard of a man named Hermann Goering, one of the top Nazi officials. He was brought to Nuremberg Trials and he was asked some questions. Here’s one of his responses. It’s really kind of heinous and grotesque.
He says, “Of course the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best thing to get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?” See the gross negligence for human life, right?
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America nor for that matter in Germany. That’s understood.” He goes on, “After all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it’s a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.” He says, “It’s easy to – it’s easy to trick people into war. The leaders are the ones who make the policy.”
Now, there was a man named Dr. Gustave Gilbert who was questioned him and he says this, “There’s one difference in a democracy” and he misnamed us. We’re not a democracy; we’re a republic, right. “In a democracy, the people have some say in the matters through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare war.”
Only Congress can declare war, that’s true. And you can almost hear Hermann Goering laughing as he says this. He says, “Oh, yeah. That’s all well and good. But voice or no voice, the people can always brought to the bidding of their leaders. That’s easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
Kind of interesting words behind the scenes of an interesting person an interesting cause. Like you bring people into war, you just to have denounced the pacifist for lack of patriotism or exposing the country to danger. Remember those ideas that he brings up.
Now, as an insider, General Douglas MacArthur, a five-star general who was relieved of his duties, probably for making comments like this. He says this, “Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear, kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency.”
This is the one who might know. He might understand. He served his whole life in the military, right? He’s a five-star general. He says, “There are some challenges here. “Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power is going to gobble us up if we do not blindly rally behind it.”
Interesting comment from a five-star general to substantiate what we’ve been saying essentially, right, beating the war drum. We’ve got to rally. We’ve got to be at war. We’ve got to start fighting somewhere. We got to go over the seas and destroy monsters, right?
Why would the government do such things? Well, one answer at least is by a man name Smedley Butler. In 1940, he was the most decorated Marine in history. His book called War is a Racket. He said this, “I spent 34 years in active service as a member of the Marine Corps, and during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle man for big business, Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I helped to make Mexico safe from American oil interests in 1914. I helped to make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank to collect revenues.”
Now, don’t read between the lines here. I’m not saying that our government is instituting terror. But here are some interesting quotes about terror from Adolf Hitler, “Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”
Joseph Stalin, “The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. The public will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.”
Plato, “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant spring; when he first appears he is a protector.”
James Madison, fairly prophetic, “If tyranny and oppression comes to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
Since we’ve declared war on terror, what type of tyranny and oppression has come to our land? Very clearly, a lot of tyranny and oppression to our privacy, to our – the escalating debt which is really a horrible taskmaster to the loss of lives, et cetera, et cetera. It’s interesting comment and interesting quote.