Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Obama in Afghanistan: Tragic History Repeating Itself

In the tradition of George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon Johnson, Barack Obama has just committed 30,000 American troops to fight an undeclared, unconstitutional war in Afghanistan.

It is amazing and depressing to hear how similar the rhetoric of our current and past Presidents on this issue - the sending of more Americans to fight an undeclared war overseas. They all told us that we need these additional troops to hasten the time when all of our troops can come home, that we need to be in these foreign lands to preserve our own security at home.

But did Johnson and Nixon's actions in Vietnam hasten the return of Americans first sent to fight in Indochina by JFK? It wasn't until after Nixon had been forced to resign that we finally left South Vietnam, as North Vietnam overwhelmed a country that mostly did not want our defense.

There are differences between Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, to be sure. Obama was right to point out that no one situated in Vietnam had ever attacked us, and the same is true of Iraq.

But Afghanistan is nonetheless a country that we have no business in occupying, whatever Obama or anyone may term the presence of our growing number of troops. Osama bin Laden's presence there nearly a decade ago justified a brief military action back in 2001 - an action which failed to get him then. But how does that justify a "war" - Obama's term - right now?

Presidents should not be allowed to send troops for any length of time to fight in any foreign country, without a Declaration of War by both houses of Congress (Senate and the House of Representatives), as required by our Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 11), the Supreme Law of the Land.

Congress and the media failed to do their jobs with Johnson, Nixon, and both Bushes. I hope Congress and the media finally begin to do their jobs with Barack Obama now.
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