FADED CELEBRITY AND BIG BLATHERER BARRY O IS DETERMINED TO KNOCK KRIS AND BRUCE JENNER OUT OF THE NEWS CYCLE AND SO HE DECLARED TODAY THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD SHOULD FOLLOW AMERICA'S LEAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE.
SO, CHINA, GET WITH THE PROGRAM. SET YOUR A/C DOWN TO 65 DEGREES BECAUSE YOU'RE PLANNING ON BARBECUING LATER AND CAN LEAVE THE SLIDING GLASS DOOR OPEN TO COOL OFF THE PATIO WHERE YOU'VE SET THE GRILL UP.
AND, ITALY, NO MORE NEARBY WORK. BUY A GAS GUZZLING CROWD AND HIT THE HIGHWAY. ANYONE DRIVING LESS THAN AN HOUR FROM HOME TO WORK SHOULD BE PUT BEHIND BARS. AND ANYONE CAUGHT CAR POOLING SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY SHOT.
YES, THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS MUCH TO LEARN FROM THE U.S. ABOUT HOW TO WASTE ENERGY AND, YES, ABOUT HOW TO POLLUTE.
David D. Kirkpatrick and Omar al-Jawoshy (New York Times) report, "After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government's forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country, in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines." The two go on to note that it may have stopped or diverted a "march toward Baghdad" but the bombings have not stopped the Islamic State which has seized Sichar.
They write that today "the government acknowledged that it had lost control of the small town of Sichar" and they note the large number of Iraqi soldiers the Islamic State continues to kill.
Where do you go from there?
Let's go to a former US President: Jimmy Carter who declared today in video posted at WoodTV.com:
Because when ISIS forces go into a city and take it over and then the United States goes over there with bombers and drops bombs, we are likely to kill more civilians than we do ISIS members. And that's why it's very necessary to have our own people on the ground that can give us -- give us accurate information about exactly where to let a missile land or a bomb land to make sure it kills the ISIS terrorist instead of normal civilians.
At least Jimmy noted civilian casualties.
Because civilian casualties -- though overlooked by the press and ignroed by the White House -- do exist.
Sunday, NINA reports, the military's (continued) bombing of Falluja's residential neighborhoods left 1 civilian dead and ten more injured. Monday, mortar and rocket attacks left 7 civilians dead ("including a woman and a child") and twelve more people injured.
Again, David D. Kirkpatrick and Omar al-Jawoshy (New York Times) report, "After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government's forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country, in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines."
It's not working.
Is it legal?
On this week's Law and Disorder Radio, an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed included the legality of Barack's current war actions.
Heidi Boghosia: Michael, the US recently began bombing the Islamic State or ISIL with the promise that there will be no ground troops. Let's talk a bit about the legality of this.
Michael Ratner: I think the legality of this is important but of course the first thing is this was a promise not to use any ground troops that was -- Obama made that publicly -- and a few days later, perhaps two days later, Gen Martin Dempsey, who's head of the Joint-Chiefs of Staff, said he would not rule out the use of ground troops and said, that if necessary, he would recommend that to the president. The Times then wrote a very strong editorial saying, here we go again, a slippery slope into a ground war, an endless war in the Middle East. Not that I didn't think they had ground troops in there already, they did. They called them advisors. Who knows what they are doing? I know my experience with "advisors" whether back in Vietnam or El Salvador is they don't just stand there with no weapons. They often accompany the troops. They give advice. And, if fired upon, they have the right to fire back.
Heidi Boghosian: And are they -- the advisors -- sort of top level military personnel? Who are they exactly?
Michael Ratner: I don't think they're necessarily top level Some are, but some are training units, etc. So I think already we are having a certain number of so-called "ground troops" there. But certainly, Gen Dempsey's statements indicate that we're only seeing the beginning and, as usual, the US population is "being lulled into" another major ground war in the Middle East. One question as lawyers -- and this is technically a lawyers' show -- is the question of the legality of what the president is doing. I've spent -- a number of us have -- a lot of our lives trying to restrain US war powers and the US, particularly the president or the Congress together, going to war around the world. And it's been a task that's been particularly unsuccessful starting with Vietnam where we brought case after case and only at the end of the war really did Congress finally act to restrict the president, after there were secret wars carried out in Cambodia, in Laos, not just Vietnam. As the devastation became too great, as the opposition here became great, and, really, as the Vietnamese started to win the war.
Heidi Boghosian: Now, Michael, lets just give a basic lesson in government structure. Right now, what could Congress do to restrain the president?
Michael Ratner: Let's step back one second, Heidi, and that is where I'm going. Right now, the president has not asked for any authority from Congress to either bomb targets in Iraq that he claims are Islamic State targets or, presumably, if they've begun it, bombing in Syria -- again targets that they claim are Islamic State targets. He has not asked for any authority. He has , of course, had to use some funding that Congress, I think, will approve if he asks for more. That is not considered "giving authority" by Congress just because they fund a war, that's some specific legislation. But let's talk about what the president should be required to do and essentially how my office, other people, and I've litigated a dozen case around the world have utterly failed to be able to force the president to obey the Constitution or to force the president and the Congress to obey the UN Charter which also has a prohibition on the use of force. Coming out of Vietnam, Congress did a sort of mea culpa. They said, 'Well, the president dragged us into this war. We passed this Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which was this open-ended resolution that the president said he could do whatever he wanted in Vietnam. And he kept fighting the war based on this one broad authorization the Congress gave him over a false incident that took place when one Vietnamese boat supposedly -- but did not -- actually fire on a US ship. President went to the Congress and they passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. They fought that war for years based on that open-ended resolution.
Heidi Boghosian: Sort of like the Weapons of Mass Destruction justification.
Michael Ratner: Like that exactly. That resolution, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, you could liken to the authority that Congress gave the president to go to war in Afghanistan called The Authorization To Use Military Force. But let's keep stepping back to Vietnam. So after Vietnam, it cost some 50,000-plus American lives, possibly 2 million Vietnamese lives, the devastation of our country politically and in the streets but particularlly of course in Vietnam where it's still paying a very heavy cost from Agent Orange to the numbers of people killed. So Congress then passes what's called a War Powers Resolution. People here that bandied about a lot. What the War Powers Resolution did was Congress said, "Look it, we don't want to be in the situation of Vietnam again.' The president, yes, is required to go to Congress before he can go to war with any country. That's Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the US Constitution. The framers were very clear, 'We don't want a president making war on his own. We want war to be harder to make not easier. We think it's harder to make if the people who are actually representatives of people and who are paying the costs and are losing their children will have to consent to that war.
And we'll pick up from there later in the week (hopefully tomorrow).
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