The three day annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group is now being held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Today’s Alex Jones radio program denounced the gathering for attempting to destroy America’s sovereignty and plotting to create a single global currency. Similar to most accusations made by Jones, the claims have no merit and there is no evidence to support them. Since 1945 the world has had a single reserve currency, and it is the American dollar. Continue reading
Many isolationists use quotes from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to claim they represent the Founders’ viewpoint. This was also the tactic of the America First organization in its campaign to keep the nation neutral in World War II. At every large rally they displayed Washington’s portrait, and even though the Nazi’s controlled all of Europe, they claimed America would never be attacked by the “Axis of Steel.” They went out of business the day after Pearl Harbor. Continue reading
David Bahnsen of Newport Beach, California is a Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley, and also serves on the Board of Advisors of the California Recovery Project with Dr. Arthur Laffer. Bahnsen has abandoned his earlier support of the Ron Paul crusade, and now describes himself as an “economically literate Republican.” He wrote the recent article “The Undiscerning and Dangerous Appreciation of Ron Paul.” Continue reading
“If we want to talk about freedom, we must mean freedom for others as well as ourselves, and we must mean freedom for everyone inside our frontiers as well as outside. . . When we talk of freedom and opportunity for all nations, the mocking paradoxes in our own society become so clear they can no longer be ignored.” – Wendell Willkie, the first major political figure to address the NAACP.
Wendell Willkie was the 1940 Republican nominee for President. He was the only major-party nominee who never held elected office, a Cabinet position, or high military rank. Willkie, an attorney and utility company executive, had been a delegate to the 1924 Democratic convention, and changed his registration only a year earlier. According to the Gallup Poll, he was receiving just 3% support from Republicans seven weeks before the start of their 1940 nominating convention.
Public opinion completely changed during that time period because of the rapid German invasion of France, and the nation clearly realized WW II was no longer a “phony war.” Many Republicans thought they would be foolish to nominate staunch isolationists such as Senators Robert Taft (OH) and Arthur Vandenberg (MI), who later changed his viewpoint. France surrendered to Germany one day after the opening of the GOP convention.
Willkie’s nomination on the 6th ballot is still regarded as one of the most dramatic moments in convention history. Columnist Joe Alsop said Willkie’s bandwagon was a demonstration of grass roots power, while Alice Roosevelt Longworth retorted that the candidate had actually come from “the grassroots of ten thousand country clubs.”
His campaign to secure the nomination had the support of many establishment figures within the party, and they made sure the Republican Platform called for the integration of the armed forces. This never happened while President Franklin Roosevelt was in office. In the general election Willkie was defeated by Roosevelt who won an unprecedented third term. The GOP nominee received 45% of the vote and carried 10 states.
Willkie helped to break the isolationist grip on the Republican Party. He was always a civil rights champion, even though it was not politically popular. Roosevelt not only carried all 16 states of the “Solid South,” but won them by huge majorities.
Willkie temporarily put partisanship on the back burner after his defeat. He campaigned for passage of the Lend-Lease bill to help Britain, even though it significantly increased FDR’s power. Willkie said Lend-Lease was needed to help the war effort:
I am greatly concerned about the Republican party. . . Whether we like it or not America cannot remove itself from the world. Much as we would like to withdraw within ourselves and much as we would like to disregard the rest of the world—we cannot. We cannot be indifferent to what happens in Europe. We cannot forget the fighting men of Britain. They are defending our liberty as well as theirs.
If they are permitted to fail I say to you quite deliberately that I do not believe liberty can survive here. I take issue with all who say we can survive with freedom in a totalitarian world. I want to say to you even though some of you may disagree with me, and I say it to you with all the emphasis of my being, that if Britain falls before the onslaught of Hitlerism, it will be impossible over a period of time to preserve the free way of life in America.
There has been a bill introduced in Congress to give the President quite extraordinary power to deal with the present crisis. . . . If Republicans are presented as the isolationist party, they will never again gain control of the American government. I beg of you—I plead with you—please do not act in blind opposition. Do not act because of the hate of an individual.
Of all persons in the United States I have least cause to hold a brief for him. Republicans of 1941, you who gave to me the rarest privilege that could come to any man, the privilege of leading the greatest cause of this century —I call upon you now to rise to the opportunity of preserving the blessed principles of freedom . . . If during this critical period we play a wise and proper part, America in the near future will call us into power. Let us not fail.
Willkie died in 1944 at age 52 after suffering 20 heart attacks. His running mate, Senate Republican Leader Charles McNary (OR), had died six months earlier at 69. This was the only occasion where both members of a major party Presidential ticket died during the term for which they sought election. During his 2004 keynote address to the Republican National Convention, Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA) said:
“Shortly before Willkie died, he told a friend, that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between ‘here lies a president’ or ‘here lies one who contributed to saving freedom,’ he would prefer the latter.”
What is not conservative about saying, ‘Don’t go to war unless we go to war properly with a full declaration of war, and no other way?’ Unconstitutional wars cost a lot of money, they undermine our constitutional principles.” – Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, February 19, 2010
“Congress is about to circumvent the Constitution and avoid the tough decision of whether war should be declared by transferring this monumental decision-making power regarding war to the President. Once again, the process is being abused. . . A declaration of war limits the presidential powers, narrows the focus, and implies a precise end point to the conflict. – Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), debate on the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists” in Afghanistan, October 3, 2002
As usual, the truth is the exact opposite of what is being claimed by Ron Paul, Libertarians and the Constitution Party. The U.S. Constitution explicitly does grant Congress the power to declare war, and the last time this occurred was in December of 1941. America responded the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and three days later the U.S. Congress reacted again when Nazi Germany declared war on the United States.
No other nation has adopted a war resolution specifically against America since that time. The Korean War (1950 – 1953) and 1991’s Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait were military actions pursued under a United Nations mandate. If President George H.W. Bush had insisted on a declaration of war, he would have received it. He did not feel it was necessary, and the fighting lasted for only 100 hours. Republicans wanted a formal declaration but the Democratic majority did not want to give Bush any additional power.
Why Doesn’t Congress Declare War?
A declaration of war only requires a 51% majority vote in Congress. The “Declare War” clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) does not spell out any exact powers, and Presidents have taken a broad mandate after the passage of a war resolution. The presidents war powers have been recognized numerous times, and most recently by the Supreme Court in the Hamdi v. Rumsfeld decision of 2004.
Since World War II, the Congress has preferred to use an Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF]. This serves a very different role from a formal declaration of war. By passing an AUMF instead of a declaration, Congress is limiting the scope of power given to a president.
Past legislative history under a declaration of war gives the president broad inherent constitutional powers to deploy U.S. armed forces into combat abroad without specific authorization from Congress. The AUMFs passed by Congress signal support for the military actions but they do not go so far as to cede lawmaking power to the president. A declaration of war has been viewed by the Supreme Court as ceding legislative power by Congress.
What Has Happened in the Past?
Only two Senators voted against the Vietnam Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, and it passed the House unanimously. Only one lawmaker in the entire Congress opposed George W. Bush’s 2002 “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists” in Afghanistan.
Of the more than 220 situations in which the U.S. armed forces have been used (half of them involving fighting for less than 30 days), only five have involved declarations of war: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II.
Any of our post war presidents could have easily obtained a declaration of war. There was very little Congressional opposition at the outset of the post WW II conflicts. Instead, the Congress used a process called authorization of forces rather than war declarations.
The presidents would have preferred war declarations which once again significantly expand their power. Ron Paul’s claims that a war declaration limits the president is totally false. As I indicated, the Congress prefers AUMF’s because they increase the stature of the legislative branch.
Why Does Congress Insist on an AUMF Rather Than a War Declaration?
By using an AUMF, if Congress wishes to oppose military actions pursued by the Commander-in-Chief, it can do so in several ways. It can revoke any resolutions supporting the President. The Congress did that in 1970 when it revoked the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Congress can also cut off appropriations for Presidential war making. During the Vietnam War, it barred troops from engaging in operations in Thailand and Laos (1969) and from using ground forces in Cambodia (1970) and bombing Cambodia (1973).
America Was Not Tricked Into The Vietnam War
Another false claim made by the isolationists concern the Vietnam War. They say America was tricked into this conflict. The 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed after the attack on the U.S. destroyers Maddox and C. Turner Joy. Everyone could see the visible damage on the USS Maddox. It was later discovered that a radar mistake was responsible for the USS C. Turner Joy’s response. Nevertheless, the attack on the Mattox took place.
They are teaching your children. This is Dr. Frank Purcell of the City University of New York who describes himself as a “pacifistic paleoconservative with libertarian leanings.” He has a graduate degree from Columbia University but believes Israel was behind the 9/11 attack. Continue reading
Antone Blansett of Springdale, Arkansas is a libertarian supporter of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), and is an active member of his Campaign for Liberty. He refused to support the 2008 McCain/Palin ticket because “A vote for McCain is just another vote for Obama with about 8 years of delay. I want a real change!” He served as a Staff Sergeant in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Continue reading