Obama Invented Pretext for Lawless Aggression
By Stephen Lendman
When US enemies don’t exist, they’re invented. When rule of law principles are clear and unequivocal, they’re twisted to fit US policy.
On August 30, White House Special Assistant to the President/Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said:
“When the president reaches a determination about the appropriate response and a legal justification is required to substantiate or to back up that decision, we’ll produce one on our own.”
In other words, reasons given will fit policy. They’ll be created out of whole cloth. They’ll violate core legal principles, standards and norms.
It doesn’t matter. What Obama says goes. He wants war on Syria. He’ll get it. Who’ll argue with bombs away? Who’ll confront cruise missile diplomacy?
Who’ll hold him accountable? Who challenged past war criminal presidents? They do what they want. They do it with impunity.
Misconceptions exist about America’s Constitution. It reflects
whatever government does or does not do. We the people aren’t involved.
We’re left out entirely. “We” don’t govern directly or through representatives. “We” are governed.
The founders agreed unanimously. America should be run by the rich, well born and able. Government should serve their interests, not ours. Checks and balances are convenient illusions.
Government is autonomous. It’s detached. It operates in a realm of its own. It’s unresponsive to public interests.
Article I, Section 8, Sub-section 1 lets Congress make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution or any department or officer thereof.”
Government alone decides what’s “necessary and proper.” It’s constrained only by the boundaries of possibilities.
Presidents have special powers. In times of war, they’re virtual dictators. They do what they please. They do it with impunity.
Democracy exists in name only. It’s a convenient illusion. Presidents circumvent Congress. They override judicial authority. George Bush usurped “unitary executive” powers.
Chalmers Johnson called it a “ball-faced assertion of presidential supremacy dressed up in legal mumbo jumbo.”
It didn’t matter. It doesn’t now. Obama rules by executive orders, other unilateral directives, and unchecked presidential authority.
He does what he pleases. He gets away with it because who’ll stop him.
Presidents have unlimited powers. They take full advantage. They govern like virtual monarchs. What they say goes.
A single constitutional sentence is misunderstood. It best explains presidential power.
It grants near limitless amounts. It’s constrained only to the degree incumbents choose.
It’s from Article II, Section 1, stating:
“The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”
Article II, Section 3 adds:
“The President shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
It omits saying they’re virtually empowered to make laws and implement them. They do it despite no explicit constitutional language permitting it.
Executive power is what presidents want it to be. Some usurp more. Some less. They use as much as they wish. They can take full advantage.
If Obama wants war, he’ll get it. He’s military commander-in-chief.
Although Article I, Section 8 affords Congress alone the right to declare war, presidents do it without consulting anyone.
They make treaties the law of the land. They do it without Senate ratification. Advice and consent only are involved.
They can terminate treaties unilaterally. Bush ended ABM by presidential declaration.
They can rule by decree. They can do it through executive agreements with foreign governments.
They appoint key officials, diplomats and federal judges. They do it with Senate approval. It’s usually rubber-stamp.
They can veto congressional legislation. The great majority of the time it’s sustained.
Congress alone has appropriation authority. Presidents can release funds for executive branch spending.
They have a huge bureaucracy at their disposal. It includes Secretaries of Defense, State, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department.
They have bully pulpit power. They can command center stage any time they wish. They can get national prime television coverage on request.
They can promote anything they want. They’re empowered to do almost anything.
They can govern without constraint. They’re virtual sovereigns in their own right.
Never underestimate the power of executive authority. Never imagine rogue leaders won’t take full advantage.
Never expect congressional or judicial challenges. Don’t expect what rarely ever happens.
No president ever lost office by impeachment. Waging lawless aggression never removed them.
The only thing presidents can’t do is violate law flagrantly. Creatively circumventing it permits the same thing.
Impeachment and conviction requires proving “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
It’s virtually impossible to do so. It’s never been done. Only two presidents were impeached. Neither was removed.
John Adams once said doing so would take a national convulsion. Doing it once creates possibilities.
Perhaps it would end presidential invulnerability. It’s high time it happened. It’s nowhere in sight.
One-man rule persists if presidents choose it. Doing so lets them wage aggressive wars with impunity.
Obama’s already waging multiple direct and proxy wars of aggression. He’s insatiable. He wants more. He targets Syria. It’s based on lies.
He wants Syrian sovereign independence destroyed. He wants subservient pro-Western puppet governance replacing it.
Mass killing and destructions are small prices to pay. Obama bears full responsibility. Syria is his war. He won’t quit until it’s entirely ravaged and destroyed.
He seeks a coalition of the willing. He’ll go it alone if necessary. He lost his key partner. British MPs did what most observers thought impossible. They voted no. They rejected force.
London’s Guardian said doing so throws Obama’s plans into “disarray.” It doesn’t stop him. It just makes things tougher.
“The White House was forced to consider the unpalatable option of taking unilateral action against” Assad, said the Guardian.
It lost its “most loyal ally.” Doing so’s unprecedented in modern times. According to Obama’s National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden:
“The US will continue to consult with the UK government – one of our closest allies and friends.”
“As we’ve said, President Obama’s decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States.”
“He believes that there are core interests at stake for the United States and that countries who violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need to be held accountable.”
He lied pointing fingers the wrong way. It bears repeating. No evidence whatever links Syria to chemical weapons use throughout months of conflict.
Plenty shows Western-enlisted death squads used them multiple times. They bear full responsibility for Ghouta’s August 21 attack.
According to the Guardian, Washington took Britain’s support for granted. British MPs surprised. They voted 285 to 272 against attacking Syria.
The Guardian called doing so “disastrous for Obama.” Administration officials scrambled. They rushed to keep key congressional lawmakers on board.
Carl Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. He urged caution, saying:
“I have previously called for the United States to work with our friends and allies to increase the military pressure on the Assad regime by providing lethal aid to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition.”
“Tonight, I suggested that we should do so while UN inspectors complete their work and while we seek international support for limited, targeted strikes in response to the Assad regime’s large-scale use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.”
Administration officials scrambled to cobble together international support. It’s waning.
Arab League nations blame Syria for Ghouta’s attack. At the same time, they oppose punitive strikes.
Losing Britain’s support makes things tougher for Obama. It doesn’t deter his plans.
White House Special Assistant to the President/Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked if Obama plans going it alone.
“The president of the United States is elected with the duty to protect the national security interests of America,” he said.
Planned strikes will be “discreet and limited.” Cruise missile diplomacy is hugely destructive. There’s nothing “discreet and limited” about it.
Hundreds of missiles are poised to launch. Shock and awe best describes what’s coming. Enormous damage will be inflicted.
Thousands may die. Many more will be injured and displaced. War is hell and then some.
Civilians will suffer most. They pay the greatest price for war. Syrians suffered enormously already. Obama plans inflicting much more.
Give peace a chance is verboten. Bombs away is official US policy. UN inspectors are expected to leave Syria Saturday. They’ll report when lab analysis is completed. Doing so make take “more than days.”
According to UN spokesman Farhan Haq:
The team’s “mission is to determine whether chemical weapons were used. It’s not about attribution.”
It’s not to say who’s responsible. Failure to do so lets Washington and complicit allies point fingers the wrong way.
At the same time, said Haq:
Investigators “have large number of facts at their disposal – they have collected a considerable amount of evidence through samples, evidence through witness interviews – and they can construct from that evidence of a fact-based narrative that can get at the key facts of what happened on the 21 of August.”
On August 29, Mint Press News headlined “Exclusive: Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack,” saying:
“Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.”
Abu Abdel-Moneim lives in Ghouta. He’s the father of an insurgent fighter. “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” he said.
Some were “tube-like” in structure. Others were like a “huge gas bottle.” They were stored in tunnels.
Abdel-Moneim said his son and other insurgents died during the Ghouta attack.
A female Jabhat al-Nusra fighter named “K” said:
“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”
Another fighter named “J” said:
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions.”
According to Mint Press:
“Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault.”
“More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.”
Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s directly involved. He’s Washington’s point man against Syria. He’s advancing the kingdom’s top goal – destroying Assad, Iran’s government and Hezbollah.
Doing it involves arming and funding some of the most extremist elements. They’re cutthroat killers. They’re committing outrageous atrocities. They brag about them. Media scoundrels give them short shrift. Most often their crimes go unreported.
False flags are involved. They permit pointing fingers the wrong way. Assad’s wrongfully blamed for death squad crimes.
On Friday, so-called White House intelligence on Syria was released. It turns truth on its head. It’s created out of whole cloth. It lacks credibility.
It claims a “preponderance of publicly available information” points fingers at Assad. He had nothing to do with Ghouta’s attack. Administration propaganda claims otherwise.
It’s repeated ad nauseam. It’s used as pretext for lawless aggression.
So-called evidence in part at least comes from alleged Israeli intercepted chatter. Israel claims its IDF 8200 intelligence unit heard Syrian officials discussing Ghouta’s attack.
An anonymous former Mossad official reported the Big Lie. He blamed Assad for using “nonconventional weapons.”
Big Lies launch wars. This time’s no different. Bombs away are imminent.
They look planned for next week. Perhaps Obama will surprise and begin earlier. He’ll likely wait until UN investigators leave.
US forces are poised to attack on command. Lawless aggression will follow. It’s longstanding US policy.
According to Michel Chossudovsky:
“Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads.” Attacking Syria risks a “broader Middle East-Central Asian war.” Doing so affects other regions.
They include “South East Asia and the Far East.” China, Russia and North Korea are threatened. What’s ongoing risks WW III. Advancing America’s imperium alone matters.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.