FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Tim Kaine’s War Scam Hits a Speed Bump

Virginia ought to be in the running for worst U.S. senators in the country, a couple of walking catastrophes empowered in part by their status as Democrats and, in one case, the status of rightful Vice President if not for various outrages, real (the Electoral College, vote suppression) and imagined (Vladimir Putin’s evil manipulation of the time-space continuum). While Senator Mark Warner loves him some torturers he can confirm to high office, Tim Kaine has bigger plans.

Senator Tim Kaine has short- and long-term scams for permawar. But his short-term racket just ran into an obstacle. When Kaine proposes a new AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a.k.a. formal renunciation of Congressional war powers), he pretends it’s a means of taking war powers back for Congress from presidents. That pretense has just become a lot harder to maintain, because Senator Jeff Merkley has announced that he will introduce a new AUMF that actually does what Kaine falsely claims his does. In fact, 50 members of Congress have just signed a letter backing actual, rather than pretend, retaking of war powers for Congress. According to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, “After 16+ years of war, the last thing we need is another blank check like #CorkerKaine.” (The reference is to the AUMF proposed by Kaine and Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee). Even the ACLU, which only just this year began opposing wars, has joined other groups in opposing Senators Kaine’s and Corker’s duplicitous efforts to bestow royal war powers on the White House.

Now, any AUMF unconstitutionally circumvents a real declaration of war, and utterly fails to in any way legalize the international crime of waging war, which is banned with narrow exceptions by the UN Charter and without exceptions by the Kellogg-Briand Pact. But an AUMF as broad as Kaine’s is significantly more dangerous than one with greater limitations.

Then there’s the long-term strategy. The War Powers Act of 1973 unconstitutionally circumvents the Constitution’s provision of war powers to Congress, and utterly fails to in any way legalize the crime of war. But the existing War Powers Act is highly preferable to Senators Tim Kaine’s and John McCain’s (Republican, Arizona) War Powers Consultation Act. The Constitution gives the power to declare war to Congress. The existing War Powers Act requires a president who launches a war on his/her own to notify Congress within 48 hours and to end it within 60 days unless Congress authorizes it. The McCain/Kaine bill would repeal the War Powers Act, turn Congress into an impotent consulting firm, and arrange for a vote without consequences on “approval” of each war within 30 days of its start. Only if Congress voted down “approval” would its invertebrate members vote on “disapproval.” And if they passed “disapproval,” nothing would follow from that. This amounts to nothing less than unconstitutionally bestowing the power to make war on the president.

That, of course, is something that everyone would expect of John McCain and nobody will believe of Tim Kaine even if he succeeds in doing it. But you can read the bill. Like most direct sources of information it is shorter than the commentary on it, and leaves little doubt what it would accomplish.

What can be done? I’d propose a 4-step program.

1. Admit that we have a problem.
2. Read the bills, ignore the rhetoric.
3. Persuade some member of either house of Congress to introduce a better war powers bill, as Senator Merkley has proposed to introduce a better AUMF.
4. Introduce into U.S. schools the existence of the U.N. Charter, what it says, what it means, and the understanding that laws do not cease to be laws based on 5. whether a legislature or an executive violates them.

More articles by:

David Swanson wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org  His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition.

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
We Are Winning
Graham Peebles
Climate Change, Extreme Weather, Destructive Lifestyles
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Mel Gurtov
Saving Democracy
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Negin Owliaei
Toys R Us May be Gone, But Its Workers’ Struggle Continues
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail