March 22, 2012
by Philip Giraldi

Think about it for a minute. People who passionately want the United States to go to war should have to accept that there will be consequences for themselves personally. This is why the U.S. Constitution mandated that only Congress could vote to go to war, denying the authority to do so to the office of the president. That was because Congress was considered to be the house of the people, while the country’s chief executive was more analogous to a monarch. Only the people could make the decision to go to war, and the entire nation would henceforth bear the consequences of that action, both in terms of providing the soldiers and sailors to do the fighting and paying the costs of the conflict.

Today’s American elite apparently sees things very differently. Mitt Romney wants to go to war to disarm Iran and even favors increasing the size of the Army and Navy to face the many threats that he perceives lurking to bring our republic down. Rick Santorum also wants war against the mullahs, as does Newt Gingrich, who is being bankrolled by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a man who openly puts Israel’s interests ahead of those of his own country. It does not matter whether these candidates for president are being honest in their opinions or are complete hypocrites. Whether they are arguing for conflict because they want to be on the good side of Israel or for no good reason at all, the bottom line is that they have absolutely nothing at stake if they should become president and start a war. None of the three has personally served in the U.S. military, and, even though they have 14 children among them, not one of their offspring has ever entered the armed forces. All three men are also multi-millionaires, Romney many times over, but all are on record as being against new taxes, even to pay for the wars that they are advocating.

In the world of insurance, a no-fault policy means that no one is to blame in an accident. Unfortunately, the doctrine has been adopted by America’s political leaders. No-fault means no accountability, which is precisely what we are seeing in the three leading Republicans, a tradition that certainly dates back to Bill Clinton if not before and that has been flourishing under George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. No one has been punished in any way for the debacle of Iraq, which has been described rightly as the greatest foreign policy disaster in the history of the United States. The ticker is still running on that conflict, but it might have cost as much as $5 trillion, 4,486 soldiers killed, and several hundred thousand dead Iraqis, nearly all civilians. Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of that war, was rewarded by being given the presidency of the World Bank, a position he could not continue to hold because of a lack of personal integrity. He is now ensconced at the American Enterprise Institute. He appeared recently on NPR and advocated arming the rebels in Syria, which suggests that some people never learn from their mistakes.

Under the current “progressive” administration in Washington, accountability has taken several steps backward. CIA torturers are not responsible for what they did, soldiers who massacre foreign civilians are protected or slapped on the wrist if they are punished at all, American citizens are assassinated, and drones kill suspects living in countries with which we are not at war. Recently, the president declared that he can take control of “all national resources” in case of an emergency, a sweeping dismissal of the right to property guaranteed by the Constitution. And if anyone challenges any of these abuses in court, the proceedings will be stopped by the government’s declaration of state-secrets privilege.

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