US Army Major Exposes American Warfare’s Giant Open Secret…(Make This Go Viral!!)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Major Danny Sjursen via TheNation.com,
ZeroHedge.com
Mon, 01/08/2018

All of the wars waged by the United States in the last 70 years have had one thing in common…

On September 1, 1970, soon after President Nixon expanded the Vietnam War by invading neighboring Cambodia, Democratic Senator George McGovern, a decorated World War II veteran and future presidential candidate, took to the floor of the Senate and said,

“Every Senator [here] is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave.…

This chamber reeks of blood.… It does not take any courage at all for a congressman or a senator or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed.”

More than six years had passed since Congress all but rubber-stamped President Lyndon Johnson’s notoriously vague Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which provided what little legal framework there was for military escalation in Vietnam. Doubts remained as to the veracity of the supposed North Vietnamese naval attacks on ships in the Tonkin Gulf that had officially triggered the resolution, or whether the Navy even had cause to venture so close to a sovereign nation’s coastline. No matter. Congress gave the president what he wanted: essentially a blank check to bomb, batter, and occupy South Vietnam. From there it was but a few short steps to nine more years of war, illegal secret bombings of Laos and Cambodia, ground invasions of both those countries, and eventually 58,000 American and upwards of 3 million Vietnamese deaths.

Leaving aside the rest of this country’s sad chapter in Indochina, let’s just focus for a moment on the role of Congress in that era’s war making. In retrospect, Vietnam emerges as just one more chapter in 70 years of ineptitude and apathy on the part of the Senate and House of Representatives when it comes to their constitutionally granted war powers. Time and again in those years, the legislative branch shirked its historic—and legal—responsibility under the Constitution to declare (or refuse to declare) war.

And yet, never in those seven decades has the duty of Congress to assert itself in matters of war and peace been quite so vital as it is today, with American troops engaged—and still dying, even if now in small numbers—in one undeclared war after another in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and now Niger… and who even knows where else.

Fast forward 53 years from the Tonkin Gulf crisis to Senator Rand Paul’s desperate attempt last September to force something as simple as a congressional discussion of the legal basis for America’s forever wars, which garnered just 36 votes. It was scuttled by a bipartisan coalition of war hawks. And who even noticed—other than obsessive viewers of C-SPAN who were treated to Paul’s four-hour-long cri de coeur denouncing Congress’s agreement to “unlimited war, anywhere, anytime, anyplace upon the globe”?

The Kentucky senator sought something that should have seemed modest indeed: to end the reliance of one administration after another on the long-outdated post-9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for all of America’s multifaceted and widespread conflicts. He wanted to compel Congress to debate and legally sanction (or not) any future military operations anywhere on Earth. While that may sound reasonable enough, more than 60 senators, Democratic and Republican alike, stymied the effort. In the process, they sanctioned (yet again) their abdication of any role in America’s perpetual state of war—other than, of course, funding it munificently.

In June 1970, with 50,000 troops already dead in Southeast Asia, Congress finally worked up the nerve to repeal the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, a bipartisan effort spearheaded by Senator Bob Dole, the Kansas Republican. As it happens, there are no Bob Doles in today’s Senate. As a result, you hardly have to be a cynic or a Punxsutawney groundhog to predict six more weeks of winter—that is, endless war.

It’s a remarkably old story actually. Ever since V-J Day in August 1945, Congress has repeatedly ducked its explicit constitutional duties when it comes to war, handing over the keys to the eternal use of the military to an increasingly imperial presidency. An often deadlocked, ever less popular Congress has cowered in the shadows for decades as Americans died in undeclared wars. Judging by the lack of public outrage, perhaps this is how the citizenry, too, prefers it. After all, they themselves are unlikely to serve. There’s no draft or need to sacrifice anything in or for America’s wars. The public’s only task is to stand for increasingly militarized pregame sports rituals and to “thank” any soldier they run into.

Nonetheless, with the quixotic thought that this is not the way things have to be, here’s a brief recounting of Congress’s 70-year romance with cowardice.

The Korean War
The last time Congress actually declared war, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president, the Japanese had just attacked Pearl Harbor, and there were Nazis to defeat. Five years after the end of World War II, however, in response to a North Korean invasion of the South meant to reunify the Korean peninsula, Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman, decided to intervene militarily without consulting Congress. He undoubtedly had no idea of the precedent he was setting. In the 67 intervening years, upwards of 100,000 American troops would die in this country’s undeclared wars and it was Truman who started us down this road.

In June 1950, having “conferred” with his secretaries of state and defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he announced an intervention in Korea to halt the invasion from the North. No war declaration was necessary, the administration claimed, because the was acting under the “aegis” of a unanimous United Nations Security Council resolution—a 9-0 vote because the Soviets were, at the time, boycotting that body. When asked by reporters whether full-scale combat in Korea didn’t actually constitute a war, the president carefully avoided the term. The conflict, he claimed, only “constituted a police action under the UN” Fearing that the Soviets might respond by escalating the conflict and that atomic reprisals weren’t out of the question, Truman clearly considered it prudent to hedge on his terminology, which would set a perilous precedent for the future.

As American casualties mounted and the fighting intensified, it became increasingly difficult to maintain such semantic charades. In three years of grueling combat, more than 35,000 American troops perished. At the congressional level, it made no difference. Congress remained essentially passive in the face of Truman’s fait accompli. There would be no war declaration and no extended debate on the legality of the president’s decision to send combat troops to Korea.

Indeed, most congressmen rallied to Truman’s defense in a time of… well, police action. There was, however, one lone voice in the wilderness, one very public congressional dissent. If Truman could commit hundreds of thousands of troops to Korea without a congressional declaration, Republican Senator Robert Taft proclaimed, “he could go to war in Malaya or Indonesia or Iran or South America.” As a memory, Taft’s public rebuke to presidential war-making powers is now lost to all but a few historians, but how right he was. (And were the Trump administration ever to go to war with Iran, to pick one of Taft’s places, count on the fact that it would still be without a congressional declaration of war.)

Vietnam and the War Powers Act
From the start, Congress rubber-stamped President Johnson’s Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which passed unanimously in the House and with only two dissenting Senate votes.
Despite many later debates and resolutions on Capitol Hill, and certain strikingly critical figures like Democratic Senator William Fulbright, most members of Congress supported the president’s war powers to the end. Even at the height of congressional anti-war sentiment in 1970, only one in three members of the House voted for actual end-the-war resolutions.

According to a specially commissioned House Democratic Study Group, “Up to the spring of 1973, Congress gave every president everything he requested regarding Indochina policies and funding.” Despite enduring myths that Congress “ended the war,” as late as 1970 the McGovern-Hatfield amendment to the Senate’s military procurement bill, which called for a withdrawal from Cambodia within 30 days, failed by a vote of 55-39.

The Rest…HERE

3 Responses to “US Army Major Exposes American Warfare’s Giant Open Secret…(Make This Go Viral!!)”

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  2. Doug

    It’s such a dirty old world of deceit .rise and fall.
    That’s all!!!

    #3524089
  3. OldReb

    America’s first CAESAR–Lincoln, invaded peaceful states to “crush” the rebellion. What rebellion? The seceded states just asked to be left alone. Lincoln promised to vacate all Union forts in the South–He LIED, keeping 70 troops at Ft. Sumpner to agitate the South into firing the first shot. They did but over the fort not wanting to harm anyone. The Constitution clearly states that funding for a war could not go beyond two years. It did setting a precedent that exists to this day. Undeclared war against the Native Americans went on 37 years. FDR, after Pearl Harbor was the only President to ask for a Declaration of War. The Tyranny of the United States is in force in three countries that we know about. I love my Country but have hated the Government for 79 years. Harry Truman called Korea a UN police action. Lies and more lies is all I have ever heard from D.C.

    A warning, do not take a reverse mortgage or HARP as THEY are plots to take everything you own. Every time I see Tom Sellect I am sickened by his damn LIES. No amount of money can buy my honor, not so with Tom.
    Prepare for the “HELL about to befall us all.

    #3524223

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