13 Years of War Have Left Us Poorer, Not “Safer”

Bradshaw Opposes Obama’s Unconstitutional Acts of War
Says Thirteen Years of Constant War Have Not Made Us Safer – Just Poorer
Green Party Congressional Candidate for the 12th District of Illinois, Paula Bradshaw issued the following response to President Obama’s unilateral commitment of U.S. armed forces to attack the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria:
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility to declare War, to raise and support Armies, and to appropriate money to that use. This was to ensure that the power to wage war would be in the hands of the people’s representatives, and not in the hands of one man.
The Constitution has been so degraded that we now have Congress meekly allowing Obama to openly declare, and exercise, the power to wage a war of aggression, which is illegal under the Constitution, the U.N. Charter and other established international law. Meanwhile, the media opines that if Obama did go to Congress and Congress refused to declare war, it would be a sign of Obama’s weakness, and not an outcome of representative democracy.
As he has done previously in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and Libya, the president is once again engaging in acts of war, and just spending the taxpayers’ money in the process, without any Congressional declaration. Congress has not only abdicated its responsibility to declare war, it has also abdicated its responsibility to raise adequate funds to pay for the Bush/Obama wars, choosing instead to put it on the national credit card.
Democrats are quick to point out that the two undeclared wars that Bush started, in Afghanistan and Iraq, were not funded by the traditional increase in taxes. Instead, Bush cut taxes on the rich and ran up a record deficit. Yet this has now been increased by the Obama tax cut extensions and the increased Obama wars of aggression. The various wars, as well as the drone strikes, and increased military bases, are running up trillions of dollars of debts that we are told must be paid by cutting vital services at home.
The administration, with Congress’s complicity, has also swelled the national debt with a massive expansion of the military generally, national spying programs and other so-called homeland security measures that have undermined civil liberties and the right to privacy. Americans are now videotaped, spied upon, and groped and radiated at airports. Every electronic communication, as well as medical, consumer, biometric and other records are stored in a national database. We are told that this is to “keep us safe.” This multi-billion dollar expense was also put on credit, and Americans are now being told that we must accept massive cuts in our social safety net, to “keep us safe” from terrorists.
But after 13 years of wars and repression, the “keep us safe” Obama now tells us that we are still not safe. We must go into deeper debt to kill more people, because our trillion dollar wars and “Homeland Security” has not done the trick. We must now bomb Syria, as he wanted to do last year. And, since the last weapons we sent to the “moderate” Syrian opposition were funneled to ISIS, his solution is to send more weapons to a non-existent “moderate” opposition – and have them trained, at a mere cost of $500 million, in Saudi Arabia — itself an Islamic state that regularly punishes offenders with beheadings, far outpacing ISIS in that category.
The Syrian military had almost defeated ISIS, and would be quite capable of doing so, with cooperation from other countries around them. The best thing that our government could do would be to stop sending arms and to tell our allies to stop funding and training the jihadists.
Real defense means defending our own country, not going broke trying to dominate other countries. Real security for the American people means rebuilding our energy and transportation infrastructure at home, providing full employment, health care for all, full quality educational opportunity for all, and restoring environmental health and civil liberties for all. It is time to stop the oil wars, and learn to live in peace with other peoples in the world. But we can’t get there with a Congress that refuses to stand up to executive abuses of power and that carries out the agenda of its big corporate paymasters. Real change can only begin by electing real representatives of the people to Congress.