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Democracy is Not A Disease

It is a mind boggling thing to hear an international journalist compare democracy to disease but that’s just what happened this week, in a CNN debate around military action in Syria.

In the context of a discussion of President Obama’s decision to seek Congressional approval, CNN chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour said “It’’s all  about America’s place in the world now… “And let’s face it, was Britain who… started this sort of vote ball rolling.”

Not a minute later, Amanpour was expressing concern that the voting craze was spreading:

“France right now is catching the sort of vote bug.” It’s what she called “a big problem.”

If the President were to fail to get Congressional approval, Amanpour suggested (her voice hushed with the horror of it),  it’d be “a catastrophe” not just for him, but for the entire United States.

Susan Sontag where are you when we need you?  Illness as metaphor is one thing, but Democracy?

Whatever next?

Fast food workers in dozens of cities staged a national day of strikes August 29 to galvanize public support for a living wage of $15 per hour. Are they seized by fair wage fever?

David Coombs, chief attorney for WikiLeaks whistle-blower PVT Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, has filed an application for a Presidential Pardon on Manning’s behalf.  Tens of thousands of supporters have signed on in support. Are they suffering from mercy madness?

Before Obama went to the Congress, more than 200 members had signed one or another letter demanding that the White House consult them. Perhaps Amanpour would call them sick from an overdose of due process.

But just a reminder. The Constitution does actually give Congress the power to make war.  The United Nation’s charter, further, requires Security Council approval for any armed intervention for anything other than self defense.

The “vote bug” may slow things down but catastrophe it’s not. American military intervention without international and national approval is not only immoral and unlikely to produce a positive result. It’s also, buggy as it seems, illegal.

Listen to Laura Flanders’ weekly commentary, “The F Word” on Soundcloud. 

LAURA FLANDERS is the host and founder of GRITtv.org. Follow her on Twitter: @GRITlaura.