The War Powerless Act

Remember what a horrible dictator Bush was, how he arrogantly disregarded any rules that might have constrained his ability to wage endless war wherever and whenever he wanted?  Well, thank goodness we have Team Obama in office now to restore a little humility to the executive branch.  Oh, wait, what’s that?

The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon.

My favorite part of the article quoted above, though, is this:

The War Powers Act of 1973, passed in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, puts limits on the ability of the President to send American troops into combat areas without congressional approval. Under the act, the President can only send combat troops into battle or into areas where ”imminent” hostilities are likely, for 60 days without either a declaration of war by Congress or a specific congressional mandate.

Seriously, what a fucking joke.  The War Powers Act doesn’t put any limits on the President’s ability to do anything.  Bush was right: the congress is an impotent debating society whose only real function is to sit and roll over at El Presidente’s command.  It exists to give the illusion that the “people’s interests” are represented in Washington, and it’s the same whether there’s a Republican or a Democrat in the white house.  The only difference between Bush and Obama is that Bush was uncouth enough to say it in public.

Rodeo Clowns

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added her disapproval at a dinner in observance of Iftar, the breaking of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths,” Clinton said.

Of course, Clinton was not referring to the latest Predator drone attack gone awry in Af-Pak; no, instead she was referring to the Koran-burning publicity stunt dreamed up by a crackpot preacher in Florida.  Because what are a few lives snuffed out by an errant Hellfire missile or two compared to an egregious act of cultural insensitivity?

Elsewhere in the article, General Petraeus and White House Secretary of Misinformation, Robbie Gibbs, worry that “images of the burning” might “inflame public opinion and incite violence” and thus put “our [sic] troops in harm’s way.”  Though apparently neither is concerned about the possibility that the presence of a couple hundred thousand US troops in muslim lands and a policy that involves the killing of actual muslims might be inciting and inflaming and putting the troops in harm’s way.

Here we have yet another example of thoroughly corrupt public officials attempting to convince us that empty symbolic gestures are somehow more significant than concrete realities—or, maybe more to the point, attempting to distract us from those realities by making a big stink over largely inconsequential events.*

*In this light, the Clinton bit is particularly layered with irony.  Here we have the US Secretary of State condemning of an act of nonviolent symbolism during a symbolic appearance the ulterior purpose of which is to convince muslims that actual violence being committed by the US against muslims is not actually anti-muslim violence.