23rd, the order to commence hostilities was given to an American general
by a Spanish Marxist NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana.
"I have just directed
the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, General [Wesley] Clark, to initiate
air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia," announced Solana,
who insisted that the attack "is intended to support the political
aims of the international community." Congress played no role in defining
those political aims, which means that the American people in whose name
Congress is empowered to act were not permitted to play any role in the
decision to commit our nation to war.
In the run-up to our war with
Yugoslavia, Congress was permitted by its leaders to carry out an impotent
charade of debate. On March 11th, the House approved a non-binding resolution
endorsing the use of American troops to enforce a peace agreement between
the Yugoslav regime of Slobodan Milosevic and secessionist leaders in Yugoslavias
Kosovo province. On March 23rd, just hours before Solana issued the order
to begin the bombing, the Senate approved a resolution supporting the military
campaign. But Clinton Administration officials, including the President,
had by that time made it clear that while they sought approval of the military
action from Congress, they did not consider it necessary for Congress to
authorize the military strike on Yugoslavia.
A few senators seemed to understand
the constitutional implications of these actions. Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)
pointed out, "If we start a massive bombing campaign, were going
to war." Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) described
the prospect of waging an undeclared aggressive war upon Yugoslavia as
I dont want to be involved in."
more pointed were the comments of Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM). "I
say shame on the President," declared Domenici, momentarily forgetting
that Bill Clinton has repeatedly demonstrated that he is incapable of shame.
"If this is such an important matter, why couldnt [the President]
trust the United States Senate and United States House and ask us whether
In order to appreciate the
depth of the Administrations deception regarding the war over Kosovo,
it is necessary to understand that the war was "authorized" by
NATO long before the bombing began on March 24th. The day after the war
began, the London Telegraph reported that General Clark, NATOs supreme
military commander, "received his activation order for hostilities
last October. The order was the official moment when authority over the
forces to be used was transferred to him from the top brass of the member
countries supplying them. The supreme commander [of
NATO] does not need new permission from politicians or diplomats
whenever he wishes to change tactics, or increase or scale back operations."
At 1:43 P.M. Eastern Standard
Time on March 24th, with American bombers en route to Yugoslavia and just
minutes before the first explosions were reported on the ground in Kosovo,
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart explicitly admitted
that the power to take our nation into war had been surrendered
to a foreign official namely, the NATO Secretary-General. Lockhart
was asked by correspondent Helen Thomas, "Who gives the green light
on this now? Is the President himself, or the Supreme Commander of NATO...?"
Lockhart replied, "The Supreme Commander of NATO acts on the authority
of the political leaders of the NATO countries, and he has that authority."
the power to declare war in Kosovo was exercised by NATO Secretary-General
Solana; the power to make war was given to NATOs Supreme Commander; the
President of the United States played the role of "selling" the
war to the public, and Congress was tacitly told that its duty was to rubber-stamp
the decision to take our nation into war, and to authorize payment of the
power but Congress can declare war," observed
Daniel Webster in 1846, "but what is the value of this constitutional
provision, if the President of his own authority may make such military
movements as must bring on war?" The Administrations actions in committing
our country to enforce, through military action, diplomatic initiatives
in Kosovo presented Congress with a fait accompli.
The only recourse left to
Congress was to defund military deployments to which the Administration
had previously committed our country but the political will for that
is not evident. Unfortunately, the majority in both houses of Congress
have abdicated their responsibility and have acquiesced in the usurpation
of their powers. The passivity of the House in allowing
Bill Clinton to carry out an illegal war is particularly galling in light
of the fact that the same body impeached him last December for much less
Under the Constitution, explained
Alexander Hamilton, "It is the province and duty of the Executive
to preserve to the Nation the blessings of peace. The Legislature alone
can interrupt those blessings, by placing the Nation in a state of War."
By surrendering to a series
of executive usurpations (those of Bill Clinton being the most brazen),
Congress has abandoned the separation of powers and embraced in its place
a version of fuhrerprinzip the "leader principle" in which
Congress meekly endorses the decisions of an imperial "commander-in-chief."
"Kings had always been
involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally,
if not always, that the good of the people was the object," wrote
Abraham Lincoln in 1848. The royal war-making prerogative, which permitted
one man to commit his country to war, was regarded by our Founding Fathers
"to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions," Lincoln
For this reason, the statesmen
who gathered at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 "resolved to
so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing
this oppression upon us."
James Madisons notes on the
Convention record the care with which the Founders assigned the power to
declare war to the legislative branch. This was done, as George Mason of
Virginia noted, for the purpose of "clogging rather than facilitating
war." At the initiative of Madison and Elbridge Gerry, the original
language authorizing Congress to "make" war was changed to the
power to "declare" war, thereby (in Madisons words) "leaving
to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks."
In an April 2, 1798 letter
to Thomas Jefferson, Madison further elucidated the reasoning behind this
careful assignment of powers. "The constitution supposes, what the
History of all [governments] demonstrates, that the [executive] is the
branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly,
with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature."
Alexander Hamilton, who favored
a strong Executive branch, observed in The Federalist, No. 69: "The
President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United
States. In this respect, his authority would nominally be the same with
that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it."
(Emphasis added.) Where the
power of the English king "extends to the declaring of war and to
the raising and regulating of fleets and armies," Hamilton explained,
the authority of the U.S. President "amounts
to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the land and
naval forces, as first general and admiral" after
the declaration of war has been issued by Congress.
The text of the Constitution
itself (Article II, Section 2) specifies, "The President shall be
Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the
Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the
In other words, "Commander
in Chief" describes a specific and limited role played by the President.
Rather than Congress having a Commander in Chief before which it must prostrate
itself, it has in the President an executive it may entrust with delegated
It bears repeating that in
the Kosovo war, the role of commander in chief, by
the Administrations own admission, has been assigned to NATOs Supreme
Commander, who exercises (in Hamiltons words) "the supreme
command and direction of the land and naval forces" called into service
by Secretary-General Solana. Perhaps, given Mr. Clintons own history of
"loathing" for the military, personal cowardice, and bottomless
corruption, it is of benefit to the morale of American servicemen fighting
in Yugoslavia to know that it is General Clark who serves as their commander
in chief. Nevertheless, this arrangement gravely
undermines the constitutional mechanisms designed to protect our liberties
and national sovereignty.
In my remarks to the House
of Representatives during the March 11th debate, I reminded my colleagues
that nothing in the laws or the Constitution suggests that a determination
by the United Nations Security Council or by the North Atlantic Council
(NATOs governing political body) is a substitute for a congressional declaration
of war. Furthermore, by making war on a sovereign nation, NATO
acted in violation of both its own charter and that of the United Nations.
The North Atlantic Treaty
states that NATO will "refrain in [its] international relations from
the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes
of the United Nations." The document specifies that NATO was created
to defend "the territorial integrity, political independence or security"
of its members in exercising the right of "collective self-defense
recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations." Whatever
one thinks of the actions of the Milosevic regime in suppressing a secessionist
movement within its own borders, it must be admitted that the Yugoslav
regime did nothing to threaten the "integrity, political independence
or security" of NATO members.
attack on that regime violated the alliances founding treaty.
Furthermore, NATOs commitment
to act in harmony with "the purposes of the United Nations" requires
that the alliance be bound by the UN Charter.
Article 2, section 7 of the
UN Charter states, "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall
authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially
within the domestic jurisdiction of any state"; the suppression of
Kosovos ethnic Albanian secessionist movement is clearly within Yugoslavias
the precedent set in the Kosovo war, America may find itself committed
to military intervention in ethnic conflicts around the world. Should
we attack Turkey to protect the Kurds, who chafe under Turkish rule? Should
we go to war with China in support of independence-minded Tibet? Will U.S.
planes attack Sri Lanka in defense of Tamil separatists, or bomb targets
in India on behalf of Muslims in Kashmir? The logic of the Kosovo precedent
dictates that U.S. troops can be committed to war, without congressional
sanction, anywhere in the world where atrocities are captured by the camera
The war on Yugoslavia, we
must remember, was brought about by NATOs demand that Milosevic consent
to the foreign occupation of his country by an international army,
which would enforce the terms of an agreement intended to grant "autonomy"
to ethnic Albanian rebels. When Milosevic refused to permit the occupation,
NATO threatened to bomb his country, and ultimately carried out that threat.
Once again, the Clinton Administration has been devastatingly candid about
key facts. On February 10th, in testimony before the Committee on International
Relations, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering
confirmed that Kosovo is part of Yugoslavias sovereign territory, and
that an attack upon Yugoslavia waged because of Milosevics refusal to
allow foreign intervention would be nothing less than an act of war.
It is a remarkable spectacle
to see the Clinton Administration and NATO taking over from the Soviet
Union the role of sponsoring "wars of national liberation."
More remarkable still, and
even more unsettling, is the fact that the beneficiary in the case of Kosovo
the so-called Kosovo
Liberation Army (KLA) is a collection of Maoist drug-peddlers and
terrorists who have been armed by Iran and provided with training and support
by Saudi terrorist financier Osama bin Ladin, who is the worlds most notorious
sponsor of international terrorism.
When Bill Clinton, in an earlier
crime against the Constitution, unilaterally launched missile strikes on
Afghanistan and Sudan, he claimed that his target was the terrorist network
operated by bin Ladin. However, in Kosovo, Bill Clinton
has committed Americas military might to the support of bin Ladins Balkan
allies, and the policy of the Clinton Administration seeks the creation
of a Balkan outpost for bin Ladins terrorist network.
The New American was the first
national publication in this country to document the KLAs narco-terrorist
background ("Diving into the Kosovo Quagmire," March 15th issue),
and I made this magazines findings available to many of my colleagues
on Capitol Hill. Although few U.S. publications have looked into the KLAs
role in international narco-terrorism, the Times of London for March 24th,
in a story published just before NATO commenced airstrikes upon Yugoslavia,
reported that the KLA, in "the judgment of senior police officers
across Europe," is "a Marxist-led force funded by dubious sources,
including drug money." Police forces in three Western European countries,
together with Europol, "are separately investigating growing evidence
that drug money is funding the KLAs leap from obscurity to power,"
continued the report.
A report filed on the same
day by Steve Rodan of the World Tribune described how an "autonomous"
Kosovo under KLA control could serve as a springboard for Iranian sponsored
terrorism throughout Europe and beyond. According to Western European security
experts, wrote Rodan, "Iran, Saudi Arabia and some of their terrorist
beneficiaries have exploited the fighting to establish a sphere of influence
that spans from Greece to the Austrian border."
NATOs willingness to go to
war on behalf of Muslim ethnic Albanians in Kosovo could ignite insurrections
across Europe, to which the KLAs terrorist sponsors would eagerly lend
"The concern of European
strategists is that an Iranian sphere of influence would do greater damage
to such Western countries as Britain, France and Germany," reported
Rodan. "France has about two million Muslims, most of them poor and
alienated. Britain has about 1.5 million." A European diplomat told
Rodan, "Once these minorities feel that they can obtain the support
of NATO, we could see flare-ups everywhere."
We could see "flare-ups"
within our own nation as well and the Kosovo precedent would justify
military intervention by the "international community" to settle
such conflicts within our own borders. Consider the case of the southwestern
United States, a region referred to as "Aztlan," the mythical
homeland of the Aztecs, by such militant groups as the "Brown Berets."
Aztlan radicals have announced their intention to conduct la reconquista
the re-conquest of that region through unrestrained illegal immigration,
as well as subversion and violence. It is not difficult to foresee a future
scenario in which the "international community" authorizes the
use of military force in support of "autonomy" for Aztlan, in
the same way that the war in Yugoslavia was launched in support of "autonomy"
for an Albanian Muslim-dominated Kosovo.
Had Congress performed its
constitutional duty, all of these facts would have been rigorously examined
before our nation found itself committed to an illegal war in Yugoslavia.
We would have demanded that the President make his best case to the peoples
representatives in a formal request for a declaration of war.
This would have given us the
opportunity to require that he defend an alliance with drug-dealing Marxists
bent upon promoting terrorism throughout Europe. Had Congress been willing
to exercise a check on presidential ambitions by withholding funds for
the envisioned military deployment, we would have learned, in a timely
fashion, about the unconstitutional arrangement through which the power
to declare war was delegated to a Spanish Marxist, and the power to make
war was assigned to NATOs military commander. Had we acted with statesman-like
deliberation, we would have soberly discussed and contemplated the implications
of the Kosovo precedent for our nations future.
It was our duty to do all
of this before deciding whether or not to interrupt "the blessings
by placing the Nation in a State of War." Instead, Congress
submitted to the usurpations of a corrupt, impeached President, and made
itself complicit in his crimes
against our Constitution and our national sovereignty.
Congress can reclaim the powers
it has surrendered. Indeed it must, if our descent into tyranny and the
erosion of our sovereignty are to be arrested. But this will not happen
until a critical mass of public understanding is reached, and informed
pressure is brought to bear. The actions of an imperial President can,
as Lincoln warned, "bring this oppression upon us" but only
if, through our indifference, we allow those malign designs to flourish.
Take a look at The
War Powers Act of 1973 that was breached.