Monday, September 27, 2004

Un-Declared War, Treason and Sedition

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Somebody else figured out that just maybe, saying negative things about the US, the military, commenting on potential force structure or capabilities (or lack thereof, even if it's true), calling our allies "frauds", etc, etc, etc might be....


Ralph Peters, retired Army officer, rights in the NY Post, opinion page:

September 23, 2004 -- IMAGINE if, in the presiden tial election of 1944, the can didate opposing FDR had in sisted that we were losing the Second World War and that, if elected, he would begin to withdraw American troops from Europe and the Pacific.
We would have called it treason. And we would have been right.

In WWII, broadcasts from Tokyo Rose in Japan and from Axis Sally in Germany warned our troops that their lives were being squandered in vain, that they were dying for big business and "the Jew" Roosevelt.

Today, we have a presidential candidate, the conscienceless Sen. John Kerry, doing the work of the enemy propagandists of yesteryear.

Is there nothing Kerry won't say to win the election? Is there no position he won't change? Doesn't he care anything for the sacrifices of our troops in Iraq?

And if he does care about our soldiers and Marines, why is he broadcasting remarks that insist — against all hard evidence — that the terrorists are winning?

Go read the rest here

The only reason it is not "treason" is that we are not in a declared war. IE, congress may have authorized the use of force in Iraq, but they did not "Declare War" against Iraq. Had they done so, Mr. Kerry would have shut up or been put up. This is also why Jane Fonda, John Kerry and any number of other people were not arrested for their little trips to Vietnam or meeting with the North Vietnamese in Paris. Vietnam was not a "declared" war. Also why Sean Penn was not immediately thrown into the "pen" (pun intended). No declared war.

At this point, the only thing that might get these folks what they probably deserve is if they are found actually handing battle plans or blue prints to "dirty bombs" to a terrorist or other country. Say....Iran maybe?

But hey...that wouldn't happen? Right?


Paul G. said...

I'm not sure I get your point.
Or maybe I do, and I just don't like it.
I would suggest that the President went to Congress for a declaration of war and did not get it.
Not getting the declaration, we should change the majority party to the opposition (The Democrats?) and change the Presidency to the opposition (The Democrats!), and correct the failure.

Seriously, do you think no one criticizes a president in time of war, or that anyone who does should be locked away?
Or even that it should be that way?

Tom said...

Paul, with due respect you miss the point. Of course you can criticize the president. They criticized FDR during that war, and Harry Truman came in for his fair share during Korea.

But the difference is that those critics wanted to win the war. Kerry seems to want to lose it. To him it's Vietnam all over again (but then, all American wars are Vietnam all over again to the left). And his and Joe Lockhart's comments during Iraqi interim PM Alawi's visit were unforgivable. Kerry didn't even bother to show up in the Congress to hear his speech.

BTY, I do favor actual declarations of war, if for no other reason than that we could have thrown Hanoi Jane in jail.

Anonymous said...

Am I still An Unpatriotic Traitor?
June 13, 2003
By Ed Hanratty

When I spoke against the threat of war, that's what you called me. You told me I had forgotten about the tragic events of September 11th. You told me I was encouraging another attack. You told me I was sympathizing with terrorists. But you never proved a link between Iraq and September 11th. In fact, the only concrete link you've ever proven was the money trail from the Saudi Royal Family to Al Qaeda. But it's okay, if the President chooses to ignore the Saudi's culpability, good little Americans should lockstep behind him.

Forget about the fact that detained Al Qaeda operatives claim that Saddam and Osama Bin Forgotten detested each other and refused to cooperate. Forget about the fact that the only people happier about the collapse of Saddam's regime than Halliburton, were the Shi'ite fundamentalists inside Iraq, demanding a Taliban/Iranian theocratic state in the new "liberated" Iraq. You told me I was a terrorist, because you listen to the message coming down from the top: You're With us or Against us. You fail to see the danger of having a "leader" who thinks in such strict black and white terms. Even a child can see that the world is made up of gray areas. Sure, we know the basic fundamentals of Right and Wrong. Stealing is wrong, Charity is Right. Murder is Wrong, Compassion is Right.

But you can see the danger now, can't you? It's in Tel Aviv. It's in Gaza City. It's in Bagram, and Kandahar, and Kabul, and Basra, and Fallujah, and Baghdad, and Tikrit. It's in Casablanca and Riyadh.

It's in Detroit and Chicago and Los Angeles and Houston and Montgomery and Little Rock and Newark - where our schools are failing miserably and our public servants are losing jobs. Why? Because of "No Child Left Behind" and "Homeland Security", ideas in principle that may have some merit, but ideas that provide strict spending standards and no money to back it up. Where is the money? Haven't you read? Tax cuts for the rich: the Alka-Seltzer of the Republican Party. Take two and call me in the morning. And the money's in Iraq. And the money's in Doha and Afghanistan. And the money's buying off barely industrialized nations to say "I do" at our altar of infamy.

Am I still an Unpatriotic Traitor?

That's what you called me when I said let the inspections play out, let them continue. But no, you said "enough was enough". You told me Saddam was building this apocalyptic arsenal. He had VX and Sarin and Anthrax and Mustard Gas and Salmonella and The Cooties. You told me was capable of launching a biological attack at the drop of a hat. You told me he presented a clear and imminent threat to my security. You told me to gift-wrap my house in Saran-wrap and Duct Tape.

You told me we'd march right into Baghdad and find all of these horrible weapons. And you told me that they'd have inscriptions written in French, and German, and Russian, and Chinese, and maybe even Mexican - because hey, they were "against us too". You told me the evidence was overwhelming. You told me a graphic drawing of an 18 wheeler was overwhelming proof that we were facing the biggest threat to mankind since the Empire began construction of the Second Death-Star. You called Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix an insignificant crybaby when he disagreed with you. You told me that France and Germany and Russia were the "Axis of Weasels", and it was spread throughout all of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

But we haven't found the weapons yet, have we? We've been looking pretty hard. And we're hearing the rhetoric coming out from every nook and cranny of the Bush Administration. We're hearing it from the Ministry of War in Arlington and we're hearing it from the Ministry of Information on FOX News. We're told that Saddam may have buried them. We're told that he may have destroyed them on the eve of the attack (which would have made this conflict even more illegal than it was to begin with). We're told that they were smuggled out to Syria, or Iran, or shipped directly to Bin Forgotten.

We're speculating as to every possible place that these magical mythical "Weapons of Mass Destruction" could be. But ask Tony Blair, the public's beginning to speculate too. They're speculating that they just might not have ever existed in the first place. What an odd and unconventional thought! Could it be that Blix and France and Russia and 80% of the world's population was right in the first place - that Hussein wasn't an imminent threat to begin with? That maybe he didn't have these super-weapons? That maybe he wasn't hell-bent on world domination? That maybe he wasn't the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, the correlation your pResident tried to make while standing on the sacred soil of Auschwitz?

Am I still an Unpatriotic Traitor?

That's what you called me when I marched with a quarter of a million others in February. You told me I didn't support the troops. You told me that I was undermining their confidence. You told me that I, along with Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Martin Sheen and the Dixie Chicks, were subversives aiding and abetting Saddam Hussein. You told me that I was a "coward", even though most of you never served. You ran off a plethora of straight-from-the-bumper-sticker slogans to me: Freedom Isn't Free; These Colors Don't Run; Love it or Leave It; Love Your Freedom - Thank a Vet; God Bless America; We Will Never Forget.

You had Neandercon attack dogs like Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and that Q-tip known as Ann Coulter making their rounds on the air and in print, launching an attack campaign against dissent that would have made Joe McCarthy proud. You painted everyone who showed up to say Not this War, Not this Time as a hippie-pot head-criminal-communist that hasn't showered in weeks. Even though the demonstrators looked just like Savage, and Hannity and Culter, well, maybe not as anorexic. They were doctors. They were lawyers. They were grandmothers. They were clergy. They were Republicans. They were children. They were teachers. They were firefighters. They were students. They were stockbrokers. They were immigrants. They were athletes. They were you and I.

Somehow I didn't support troops. But do you want to know what's ironic? If you had listened to me, the teachers, the clergy, and Tim Robbins - we'd still have 183 (as of 6/12/03) brave, young Americans spending Christmas with their families this December. One hundred and eighty three. Sure, you'll build them some statues, dedicated some parks, and wear some yellow ribbons. But in the end, that's 183 families that now won't be able to celebrate long, healthy and prosperous lives with their sons, daughters, grandchildren, parents, cousins, aunts or uncles. No graduations, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmations, Engagements, Weddings or Promotions. All you're allowing them is a flag on a casket and some depressing pomp and circumstance. 183 might not sound like a lot to you. It may seem insignificant. But the next time you lose somebody close to you, look around at the service. See how many people were affected by that death. Then multiply that by 183.

Am I still an Unpatriotic Traitor?

That's what you called me when you discovered the Mass Graves. You told me this is what I was supporting. You told me we stopped the greatest genocidal maniac since Hitler. Can you define "Genocide"? I didn't think so. You told me Saddam was a monster that needed to be dealt with. I say with all due respect, I can smell the stagnant stench of hypocrisy before you even open your mouth. Let's think for one minute.

When the towers fell, you threw eggs at Mosques in Texas, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, California and in many other places. You're palms sweat when you see an Arabic man in an airport. You've said within the past two years "Camel Jockey" or "Towelhead" or "Sandnigger". You care about Islamic peoples about as much as I care about the role that Windex plays in our everyday lives.

And how many bodies, how many lives does it take to fill a "mass grave"? Would the roughly seven thousand civilians killed in Afghanistan and Iraq fill a mass grave? Would they fill 70 mass graves? How many bodies does it take? We've more than doubled the death toll of the 9-11 attacks. Was that the point? Does that quench your thirst? Do you, like me, find it ironic that we're uncovering mass graves in Iraq at the same time that we're filling them?

You're the one that told me that Iraq was married to Al Qaeda, responsible for the 9-11 attacks - and they were not. You're the one that told me that Iraq had this awesome stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. They didn't. You found and empty truck. You're the one that told me I didn't support the troops, while you're beliefs and your line of thinking deprived almost 200 families of their loved ones. You're the one who out of one side of your mouth cursed the people of the Middle East, and out of the other side cried alligator tears about mass graves. Meanwhile, the US military campaign was piling up enough civilian casualties to fill Radio City Music Hall one and half times over.

You're the one who subscribes to this dogma that America stands for aggression, America doesn't believe in diplomacy, America can go ahead and wage war whenever it wants with little of no justification. This isn't what this great nation was founded upon. This isn't what the founding fathers had in mind. This isn't what brave men and women have fought and died to protect in Concord, Lexington, New Orleans, Gettysburg, Bull Run, the Western Front, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Chosin, or Saigon. Why, I just might think that you might be an Unpatriotic Traitor

David M said...

Interesting that whoever posted the prior message, or should I say screed, would not leave his/her name.

Hanratty has put forth so many fallacious straw men that it's hard to know where to begin. I'll pick an easy one to start with: You (i.e., Bush) told us Saddam was a clear and imminent threat. No! Bush said we could not afford to wait for Iraq to become an imminent threat.

Kat said...

Paul: I'm not sure I get your point.
Or maybe I do, and I just don't like it.
I would suggest that the President went to Congress for a declaration of war and did not get it.
Not getting the declaration, we should change the majority party to the opposition (The Democrats?) and change the Presidency to the opposition (The Democrats!), and correct the failure.

Seriously, do you think no one criticizes a president in time of war, or that anyone who does should be locked away?
Or even that it should be that way?

Me: Paul, I'm not sure what you are missing, but I'll explain it a little more simply (hopefully)...

When war is "declared", if a citizen of the united states, such as sean penn, went and visited the country that we were declaring war against and voiced their support of that country or leader or even, from that country's soil, voiced their opposition, they would be in direct violation of the law, giving aid and comfort to the enemy. This would be treason.

When we didn't "declare war" on a country, the laws regarding treason are less succinct and would only apply say, if sean penn went to that country and took the plans for troop movements with him. Or, say a soldier sent the enemy the specs for an M1A1 and pointed out where the weaknesses were. That is treason under our current circumstances.

There is such a thing as criticism of the President in times of war. It certainly did happen in WWII. But, I have been looking at historical records and I cannot find anything (maybe you can) where an elected representative of the united states actually stood up and repeatedly said we were "losing" the war; our troops were under supplied (not in public anyway); that the war was wrong or that our young men were dying for nothing.

And...I cannot find anywhere where some elected official or his wife or other high profile person said that FDR or Truman was holding off the capture of Hitler or the destruction of Japan for a final "coup" to win the election. As with Mrs. Heinz making that implication about OBL. The worse sort of undermining conspiracy theory and degradation of our troops. Does she think they are traipsing through the mountains of Afghanistan and sleeping in the sand as a fun new resort location?

Show me in history where that is? Even Charles Lindberg, who opposed our intervention in WWII, knew when to shut the hell up.

So...the difference here is what is apparently acceptable to some folks and under our laws when we have not "declared war" as opposed to having "declared war".

Having said that, I believe that there are certain things that should not be said by elected officials on international TV or to reporters whose pieces will be repeated around the world and particularly to our enemies. Things like our troops are under manned or under supplied.

I posted something last month about "projecting force". Even if you are undermanned or under supplied, why in the name of God would you say that some where that was going to be repeated around the world? Part of force projection is psychological. You want the enemy to think that you are the biggest and baddest bastards walking the planet and that they have only two choices: surrender or die. That makes it a lot harder for the enemy to stand up uncommitted forces against you. They are more likely to break and run.

That won't change the minds of some of the more fanatical folks (like the Japanese on certain Pacific islands and the "we love death" cult of the Jihadis), but it certainly helps reduce the forces and capabilities against you. The enemy understands this very well, which is why they like to put out those little beheading videos and other home videos showing themselves blowing up US (or russian) tanks and killing people. PROPAGANDA.

I know propaganda has taken on some dirty meaning in our times, but it's a viable tool when you are fighting the enemy. We must psyche them out. You don't psyche them out when somebody is going around putting out gloom and doom on the international airways, particularly when they allegedly represent the US government.

In which case, my point was that, if we had declared war, a lot of these folks would have shut the hell up or been censured by their commrades in the house or senate.

And let's talk about declarations of war and what the president asked for. The last time a President declared war was 1941. No military action has required nor has any president asked for, a declaration of war since then.

Why? Lot's of political reasons. No declared war against North Korea in 1947. Political. Red China was backing them. If we had declared war and brought our allies in under said declaration instead of a UN resolution, China (and possible USSR) would have declared war on the side of NK. What they did was bad enough.

Same issue with Viet Nam. We did not want an official declaration. We were "assisting" the south Viet Namese. This kept the chinese from "officially" entering the war, althought their assistance to the North was bad enough.

In regards to the President asking for a declaration of war. You should get some info. He did not EVER ask for a declaration of war. For two reasons:

1) We were under a "truce" or "cease fire" for which there were conditions to be met in order for the ceasefire to be held. There was no "surrender" or "treaty" which declared the war "over". Therefore, technically (and literally considering they were continuing to target our air craft), we were still at war.

2) In 1998, President Clinton pushed through the "Iraqi Liberation Act" which specifically gave the President (whoever it was) the authorization to use any means, including force, to "liberate" Iraq. This act was never repealed.

The President was not required to declare war to take up this action. He only asked congress to authorize use of force. The authorization had many reasons why, not the least of which was Iraq's violation of the terms of the ceasefire, which did include cooperation with the UN arms inspections, staying within certain guidelines about types of arms he could have "for defense only", etc.

Being in violation of a ceasefire means that hostilities can resume automatically should one party or the other violate the terms. This is even true under the oft touted Geneva Conventions or "international law" which is pretty clear about when "declarations of war" or official notification must be presented.

This is why the Kofi Annan screed about "illegal wars" is a bunch of bullshit. It wasn't illegal. The only issue here is that the UN did not want the terms of their ceasefire agreement to be used as the reason for war. Not wanting it to be used and being an "illegal war" is two different things.

You will note that even Kerry and the other politicians that are not in support of the war draw the line at calling it "illegal". If they supported that line, they would put the US and her allies in direct conflict with international laws and would set our troops and commanders and President up as some sort of bizarre version of the Serbian bastards Milosevic and Radzic and crews. That would be an unprecedented and disasterous move.

Ok..started to go a little off topic. But my point is that because of the difference in "authorization of use of force" vs. "declaration of war" some folks feel, inappropriately to my way of thinking, empowered to make statements and take certain actions they might not otherwise have done so under other circumstances.

And, I don't like anyone telling our enemies that we have ANY weakness. It makes it that much harder to fight the war and does embolden the enemy.

Think about this clearly for just a second. If, during WWII, the opposition to FDR had stood up and said that part of his plan was to reduce or withdraw the number of troops in Europe and say that the European war is not our concern, just the Pacific because, after all, it was Japan that hit Pearl Harbor, what would Hitler have done?

If some folks in government,during WWII, had issued Press statements insisting that FDR was a failure and we were losing the war, what would Hitler or Hirohito have done?

I am more than positivie that they would not have said, "oh good, now we don't have to attack america." They would have redoubled their efforts to destroy us. And that is the issue with our enemies now.

So....I don't like it and I won't like it. You can tell me about your rights and the right of john kerry or any number of other Democrat party members to speak their minds, but my concern is with the enemy and our fighting forces. Somethings should be left off the table. since we went into Afghanistan and Teddy kennedy was screaming 'quagmire" after 3 weeks, the Democrat party hs been going down hill on this subject, in my mind.

Paul G. said...

H.J. RES.63 September 13th, 2001
I've argued this issue before at Redleg's Blog