Steve Farrell
Why I oppose the war in Libya
By Steve Farrell
April 13, 2011

From the moment of the first notification of U.S. missiles being fired on Libya, I've been opposed to this war. I have my reasons.

First, I believe in the United States Constitution as an inspired document, a Heavenly Banner; and those who serve under it take a solemn oath before God to uphold it. Remarkable, isn't it? Yet, this document requires a declaration of war from the United States Congress before we go to war, and did we get one? No. Did we even get a resolution of support for this war? No. Was Congress even consulted? No.

Thus, the President violated his oath of office for going to war on his own whim. And Congress violated their oath for letting him do it, or more precisely, because he kept them out of the loop, for not immediately stirring a furor heard round the world leading up to what is already well deserved for this out-of-the-bounds of the Constitution President, impeachment. Okay, that won't happen, not with this set of something far less than statesman currently serving in DC.

But back to why I oppose the war. Why was it the Founders insisted that the power to declare war must reside in Congress? Answer: because it was one of the dear powers of kings to go to war at their personal whim. It was all too often about opportunism, or godsends to further concentrate power in their own hands, making such wars self-serving to the King, and dangerous to the rights of the people, let alone to their lives and their savings. So no, the Chief Executive should have no such power and didn't under our Constitution. The Founders learned from history.

Why else? Americans believe, and their Constitution makes it the law, that legitimate government must be by the consent of the people, that's because people possess a gift from God called agency. To uphold this belief our Founders made it so that the legislative power was put in the hands of an elected House of Representatives, or that body closest and most accountable to the people, and in the hands of the Senate, or the State Legislatures (who prior to the uninspired 17th Amendment elected U.S. Senators to provide an additional check against the tendency for the executive to empower himself).

It is important to remember that our forefathers fought a Revolutionary War against England over the defense of this principle: No taxation (and thus no legislation) without representation. During the colonial era we had no representation in England. Sure, England gave us something called virtual representation. Under this system the King appointed somebody to represent us. But that didn't fool anybody. The representative represents whoever puts him in power, and that meant the King, not the people. It is an old formula that in time brings tyranny, and it did, and thus brought an end of our Union with England.

We were inflamed about being taxed without our consent. But we were also inflamed about our sailors being impressed and forced to fight for the King without our consent as well. A protest over this power of the King was in the Declaration of Independence as well, and outlawed by our Constitution. Only Congress, the representatives of the people, could declare war; only Congress could lay down the rules that regulated the armed forces; only Congress could fund wars; only Congress could make requisitions for soldiers from the militias. To permit a King to do this, or a distant out of touch executive is to bring men to fight in wars and pay for wars without their consent violating not just, again, that solemn oath of office, as regards our Constitution, but the very agency of man that God gave to him.

Which makes this war again, contrary to the Constitution, contrary to the principles of morality, and contrary to the Eternal Laws upon which our Constitution was fashioned.

More on this subject next time.

© Steve Farrell


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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