Moral imperative and war
There are a number of lies being passed around in the media regarding how America should respond to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
The first idiocy is that America is compelled to do anything. There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to intervene in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations.
Another is the claim that the president can commit United States combat forces without congressional approval. Article I, Section 8 specifies that Congress alone has the authority to declare war (except invasions). Congress was never given authority to delegate this warmaking power — which invalidates the un-Constitutional War Powers Act.
Some claim the president has such authority as commander-in-chief. However, Article II, Section 2 states that the president is only commander-in-chief of forces “called into actual service of the United States.” If Congress does nothing, or if it refuses to commit U.S. combat services to a specific deployment, then there are no military resources called into actual service for the president to be commander-in-chief of.
The Founders understood that tyrants used war to assuage their ego and in the process impoverished the people by taxing them of their money to pay for war, and their youth in conducting war. Therefore, the Constitution provides only a navy to protect shipping and otherwise relies on citizen-soldiers for defensive purposes. The Constitution does not authorize a standing army because the Founders knew that if we had one we’d find excuses to use it. Hundreds in Congress will resist war more than one executive.
Finally, America was founded on the principle that life is an inalienable right endowed upon each of us by our Creator (not a gift of government). Both the 5th and 14th amendments demand that no life can be taken without due process of law. Despite these irrefutable principles, everyday in America we kill 3,700 innocents for convenience without due process of law.
To suggest that we have a moral imperative to go to war whenever some foreign despot murders their citizens, as we blithely murder our own, is idiotic and indefensible.
To restore America we must restore Constitutional governance.
Frank D. Banta