A “Moral Obligation”? What About…

Posted By on March 24, 2011

Recently these United States have become embroiled in yet another foreign military effort with questionable national interests. President Obama, ignoring Constitutional restrictions, sought approval from the U.N. to impose a “no-fly zone” to protect the suffering citizens of Libya without consulting with Congress. Now House Speaker Boehner has stated the United States has a “moral obligation.” A “moral obligation”? A “moral obligation”? What about a Constitutional authority?

Where, if anywhere, have we heard of the Constitution being consulted? Haven’t the new class of freshman and the new found Republican majority committed to citing the Constitution for the actions they take? Where are the pressing national interests, the threat to our national security, the imminent attack on American citizens? Where does the Constitution authorize the federal government to protect citizens of a foreign country based on a “moral obligation”? Beyond even these considerations, where can we find the authorization for the President to subjugate our national sovereignty to a collective body of the nations?

Some may say we are paying back a debt from our own War of Independence. Others will cite how our fledgling rebellion received immeasurable support from the French, a foreign country, so we should support the rebels fighting against tyranny. But what would history teach us? What lessons might we be able to glean from the pages of history that might enlighten our discussion? Still others will tell us how our Founding Fathers were rebels striving against the oppressive rule of a tyrant. So, what are the comparisons and lessons?

Our Founding Fathers were organized, united with clear representation of the people. They were organized and spoke with one voice. They had developed a clear plan of action, and initially only desired to reestablish their rights as English citizens, not to establish a new independent nation. It wasn’t until they had done everything the could, short of armed aggression, before declaring their independence from England.

What of the French, and other sources of foreign support received during the War of Independence (most call it the Revolutionary War which I dislike). We, the Americans, had to demonstrate to them the voracity of our claims and the possibility of success before they contributed the first gold sovereign. They, the French, had to see these demonstrated through victories on the battlefield and at sea. Even with victories they still vacillated on providing their monetary and military support, almost until it was too late.

Now to the Libyans, the Egyptians and all the other Arabs “rebelling” against their dictators or tyrannical governments. Do we observe any organization or structure within their ranks? No. Have we observed any ongoing collective activity to overthrow the existing government? No. Can we read a statement prepared by the rebels leadership establishing a list of charges against the tyrant? No. Do they even have an established representative government or government in exile? No. Have we witnessed a clear chain of successes as they attempt to free themselves from the chains of tyranny? No.

So, are there any similar circumstances which might compare? How about when the French citizens threw off the tyranny of their monarchy? They were an unorganized rabble got up in the emotion of the moment. They yielded to what has become known as the “mob mentality”. They held no established agreements, goals or government. They were simply a mob seeking to throw off an oppressive tyranny. What happened? Those who rose to leadership slaughtered thousands, upon thousands in the ensuing anarchy. The anarchy in turn made the environment ripe for the establishment of yet another tyrant/dictator named Napoleon.  As a result, more thousands of Frenchmen lost their lives in this one mans obsession with power and domination.

Then we can look to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russian. Again, the unorganized citizens rose up to toss off the oppression of a perceived tyrant. They were, like the French, a rabble with little organization, no established goals, short of deposing the Czar. They had little organized leadership, and like the French yielded to the “mob mentality” of the day. What was the end of this revolution? Again, it was anarchy leading to the establishment of a tyranny more brutal than the Czar could ever have been, and millions, MILLIONS lost their lives to the oppression of the resultant Soviet Union.

So, what does history teach us? What lessons may be gleaned and hopefully acted upon? How about, unorganized, spur of the moment, emotional rebellious protests against tyrants without adequate forethought, pre-planning and adequate communications lead to anarchy. The anarchy in turn brings on greater tyranny and greater loss of life. The loss of life often is not limited to just the citizens of the country experiencing the upheaval, it spreads to include other nations, other soldiers, eventually the entire world (as in a similar situation spawned from Wiemar Germany).

Learning the lessons, then what becomes our “moral obligation”? To leap in where angels fear to tread? To repeat the failures of the past? To facilitate anarchy and the establishment of yet another tyranny? To send America’s finest into harm’s way to free an oppressed people who have heretofore exhibited no inclination towards freedom?

No, Congressman Boehner, your responsibility, Congress’s responsibility, the President’s responsibility is first and foremost to the American people. It is to the limitations imposed upon you by the Constitution. It is to learn the lessons of history, and refuse to become a party to the same dismal failures of the past. Your, and America’s “moral obligation” is to be diligent, circumspect and slow – yes – SLOW to conduct military action on foreign soil, and that only when the American people can support such action.

“Moral Obligation”? Get our troops out of harm’s way where they are supporting either a tyrant, or an unorganized rabble.

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One Response to “A “Moral Obligation”? What About…”

  1. David Bozarth says:

    Margo from Denver writes:

    I know we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t but circumventing his authority regardless of whether we’re focused on helping from a human rights standpoint or protecting our oil interests, it’s just another disregard for what he can and can’t do and continues to show his arrogance.

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