CONSTITUTIONAL WAR vs. 1984 “Perpetual War”


Congress, originally (in 1787), was supposed to be the successor to Parliament as the highest expression of the Sovereignty of the Anglo-American People.  It seems, over the past 70 years, that Congress has largely abandoned its role as the primary lawmaker in the United States. As noted on this blog recently, Executive Orders have pretty much replaced legislative enactments.  During the 1950s and 60s, the Judiciary was commissioned with implementing the program of desegregation which neither of the directly political branches were willing to impose on the unwilling American people.

But now, as a consequence of all this history, the “legislature” now longer “legislates”–it mostly ratifies bills prepared by bureaucrats or lobbyists.  Debate is almost nugatory, no longer meaningful, and elections seem “rigged” at all levels.  One of the key powers of Congress granted in Article I of the Constitution was the power to declare war, and Congress has done this throughout history—but the last times were in 1941-1942 at the beginning of the Second World War.  

I find myself simply astonished by the following brain-dead (anti-Libertarian, anti-Ron Paul, anti-Constitutional) Republican “Red State” website (http://www.redstate.com/dcacklam/2012/05/16/law-war-security-why-libertarians-are-wrong-about-indefinate-detention/) defense of Indefinite Detention, but I reproduce it here merely to highlight its one key but absolutely fatal flaw—the “War on Terrorism” (like the “War on Drugs”) is an undeclared, unconstitutional war.  It is also a war which is likely to last forever—where there is no Constitutional Declaration of War, there will be no Treaty Ratifying Peace—precisely because the ENEMY DEPENDS ON US FOR ITS EXISTENCE—There can be no Al Qaida, no Terrorist Threat anywhere, that is not nurtured and fostered by the CIA and other elements of the American and “allied” governments.  Long-term terrorism is in essence a fantasy, a very Orwellian Fantasy, just like the “perpetual war” of Eurasia, Eastasia, and Anglo-American “Oceania”: 

I’m sure I’m not alone in having “grown up” on 1984.  In Orwell’s book a very credible “Cold War”-like “perpetual war” consumes what little surplus exists between the economies of London-based Anglo-American Oceania, Bolshevik Eurasia and Sino-Japanese Eastasia, the super-states which emerged from the atomic global war. “The book”, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein, explains how the balance of power is maintained: each state is so strong it cannot be defeated, even with the combined forces of two super-states—despite changing alliances. To hide such ridiculously illogical contradictions, history is  constantly being re-written to explain that the (new) alliance always was so; the populaces accustomed to doublethink accept it.

EXACTLY LIKE THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT AND THE WAR ON TERRORISM, ORWELL’S “FICTIONAL” (or was it Prophetic?) WAR is not fought in Oceanian, Eurasian or Eastasian territory but in the arctic wastes and a disputed zone comprising the sea and land from Tangiers (northern Africa) to Darwin (Australia).  

{{{For those of you with a weak grasp on geography, that includes Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Israel Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, the site of the USS Cole disaster in 1999, the sites of the U.S. Embassy Attacks in Nairobi & Dar es Salaam in 1998, Somalia, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia—in other words EVERY major theatre of war since 1945 EXCEPT for Korea, but including BOTH “Stanleyville and Saigon” and Algiers which were sites of major undeclared “hot spots in the cold war” in the 1950s-60s).  I sometimes wonder whether 1984 was actually an INSTRUCTIONAL manual leaked out, and quickly reclassified as a “fictional” work.  The author George Orwell really DID work for BBC Wartime anti-Nazi propaganda in India, after all, and given his circle of friends and contacts he was probably as privy as anyone outside of government could be to Power-Elite’s Vision of their plans for the next 70 years….}}}

At the start of Orwell’s Perpetual War, Oceania and Eastasia are allies combatting Eurasia in northern Africa.

That alliance ends and Oceania allied with Eurasia fights Eastasia, a change which occurred during the “Hate Week” (comparable to the real world “National Brotherhood Week” maybe?) dedicated to creating patriotic fervour for the Party’s perpetual war.  The public are utterly insensitive and blind to the change; in mid-sentence an orator changes the name of the enemy from “Eurasia” to “Eastasia” without pause. When the public are enraged at noticing that the wrong flags and posters are displayed they tear them down—thus the origin of the idiom “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”; later the Party claims to have captured Africa.  

{{{I personally have, for a long time now, suspected that it is no coincidence that we first went to war with Saddam Hussein and a terrorist named Osama bin Laden and then [had elected for us] a New World Order President named Barack Hussein Obama—so that people would have these similar sounding names confused, just as in Orwell’s 1984}}}.

“The book” by Goldstein, a credible name for a New World Order Theorist if ever there was one, explains the design and purpose of the unwinnable, perpetual war: the war serves to consume all “surplus” or excess human energy, time, labour and commodities, hence the economy of a super-state cannot (or is not expected to) support economic equality (a high standard of life) for every citizen.

Goldstein also details in characteristic doublespeak an Oceanian strategy of attacking enemy cities with atomic rockets before invasion, yet dismisses it as unfeasible and contrary to the war’s purpose; despite the atomic bombing of cities in the 1950s the super-states stopped such warfare lest it cause disequilibrium among the perfectly balanced and perpetually warring powers and thus bring about the uneconomical, politically undesirable, result of an actual peace.

Even the Perpetual War military technology in Orwell’s 1984 is prophetic in that, although it differs little from that of World War II, strategic bomber airplanes have been largely replaced with an evolved species of Werner von Braun’s Rocket Bombs (not quite the ICBMs of the Cold war, or the ABMs of the Star Wars Dreamtime).  True to the reality of Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, helicopters were heavily used as weapons of war (while they didn’t figure in WW2 in any form but prototypes) and surface combat units have been all but replaced by immense and unsinkable Floating Fortresses, island-like contraptions concentrating the firepower of a whole naval task force in a single, semi-mobile platform.  Orwell’s novel describes one such platform anchored between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, suggesting an Political and Practical “Perpetual War”-perpetuating preference for sea lane interdiction and denial).

In any event: serious students of U.S. History will recognize in the passage below, but see the logical and moral flaws in, the direct comparison to the U.S. Civil War of 1861-1865—when the rights of Americans, North and South, were first repressed and began their long decay into the nightmare of what I can only call either “the Brave New World” or “The New Dark Age”—although fans of George H.W. Bush like to call it “The New World Order”:

Law, War & Security – Why libertarians are wrong about ‘Indefinate Detention’

Posted by Dave_A (Diary)
Wednesday, May 16th at 2:56AM EDT
14 Comments
Recommenders: mikeymike143 (Diary), PowerToThePeople (Diary)

We hear complaints on this subject from time to time – in the past it was Bush’s opening Gitmo, the 2006 Military Commissions Act, and now it’s the NDAA & Obama not closing Gitmo…

Supposedly, this is a ‘grave violation’ of people’s rights, and we should all be very, very afraid because ‘It might be us next’…

Predictably enough, it’s usually lefties, extremists, libertarians, and Paul supporters (but I repeat myself on the last one, it seems – as that group encompasses all of the ones preceding) making these claims…

And rather than using the correct terms – such as EPW (Enemy Prisoner of War) or POW, and ‘detention for the duration of hostilities’, they use ‘indefinite detention’ and ‘violation of habeas corpus’ – as if the situation is one of holding every-day civilian criminals indefinitely without trial, rather than holding enemy combatants (some lawful, some very much unlawful) captured while engaging in hostilities against the United States…

So, with that said, here’s the case FOR proper handling of EPWs – or as the L’s call it ‘indefinite detention’:

1) The traditional treatment of captured persons, and specifically the concept of taking prisoners & holding them for the duration of hostilities or until an exchange can be negotiated, is older than the United States – and something we practiced ourselves in every war we have fought.

If it was Constitutional and right to hold British, Mexican, Spanish, German, and Japanese prisoners for the duration of the war-in-question – and to hold captured rebels for the duration of hostilities during the Civil War (despite their holding US Citizenship (the Union never recognized the CSA as a foreign nation) it being legal under the Constitution to try and execute them for treason instead – a decision likely influenced by the mutual possession of prisoners by both sides & the Union’s desire for reconciliation after eventual victory), what has changed to make it suddenly unconstitutional to hold Al Queda and Taliban prisoners in the same manner?

2) There are international agreements on the treatment of captured and retained persons – a subset of what is referred to in the military as ‘Law of Armed Combat’ or ‘Law of Land Warfare’ – that require certain things & prohibit others. Shooting surrendered enemy forces is prohibited, as is torture and various other offenses. <b>So is subjecting captured enemy troops to the capturing nation’s CIVILIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM.</b> Prisoners found to have engaged in unlawful combat/war crimes (through a hearing process spelled out in the aforementioned agreements) are to be tried by <b>military court</b>, NOT civilian court.

3) Of the alternatives, indefinite detention is the only legal way to keep captured enemy forces from returning to the battlefield (that’s why we’ve done it in every other war).

History – including OUR OWN history – shows that when combatants escape or evade capture, they routinely rejoin friendly forces and return to the fight. This isn’t unique to bad-guys – the US military has a good list of medals awarded to troops who escaped from or evaded capture, then returned to friendly lines & re-entered combat. In this war, we have a Marine of Muslim descent, who after being captured in Iraq tricked his captors into releasing him to a neutral Muslim country with promises that he would desert – of course when he got there he immediately went to the US Embassy & returned to the Marines. In addition, there are documented cases of released EPWs returning to the fight against us in this war.

– We can’t shoot them – that’s kind of illegal and immoral (Yes, they’d do it to us, but the price of being good guys is, well, being good)…
– We can’t try them as civilians – they’re not civilians, and it’s illegal.
– Releasing them to a foreign country means they’ll be back in the fight against us as soon as they can find a way home (as a Soldier myself, that’s what I’d do to them if I managed to get captured & released alive (fat chance – which is why anything is preferable to capture in this war, but let’s allow the example))…
– (For Taliban captured in Afghanistan) Turning them over to the Afghans results in them being treated as civilian criminals by the Afghan government, and that results in their being released due to the Afghan rules of evidence being ridiculously too limited.

So that leaves the one thing every single nation has done during a war – lock them up in a POW camp, in military custody (a place like, um, Gitmo) until the war is over…

3) The notion that we are in danger of EPW measures being used against US citizens, on US soil & not engaged in hostilities against the United States, for political or other nefarious purpose is unjustified paranoia. We have been at war for over 10 years now, and it hasn’t happened. Now it’s understandable to hear various revolutionary movements complaining, because at their core you usually find extremists who are willing to levy war against the US to achieve political ends – and who want to make winning that war as hard as possible for the US. But for everyone else, it’s paranoia… Plain and simple…

Personally, I’d say the violent-revolutionary types should be more worried about what we’ll do to them if they actually try to have their revolution – getting captured & held for the duration is the least of worries (compared to being killed by vastly superior pro-US forces, or captured & executed for treason)….

 (http://www.redstate.com/dcacklam/2012/05/16/law-war-security-why-libertarians-are-wrong-about-indefinate-detention/

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