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(Slate)   Why hasn't the US declared war?   (slate.msn.com) divider line 246
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6974 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Dec 2001 at 12:01 AM (12 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2001-12-06 12:01:57 AM
Because it's easier to have others fight for us. Less risk to our own personnel.
 
2001-12-06 12:06:51 AM
Obvious.
 
2001-12-06 12:08:04 AM
I think we should have a Who Cares? tag. Kinda moot considering we ARE at war....
 
2001-12-06 12:08:51 AM
Correct answer is: because the check and balance system has been thrown out of whack by idiots running this country.
 
2001-12-06 12:09:25 AM
Of any party, that is. They are all equally worthless.
 
2001-12-06 12:10:03 AM
Congress lacks direction when not being guided by money to espouse a certain view.

Shocking.
 
2001-12-06 12:18:46 AM
We ARE at 'war' but have not declared war.
 
2001-12-06 12:22:45 AM
we arent at war, because to declare war, w eneed a country or opposing political party that we recognize to declare war against.
 
2001-12-06 12:31:03 AM
That's right! the US hasn't declared war because what its doing is not war.. its TERRORISM.
 
2001-12-06 12:32:45 AM
>>>> FifthColumn: Correct answer is: because the check and balance system has been thrown out of whack by idiots running this country. .......
>>>> Of any party, that is. They are all equally worthless.

This is, essentially, correct. But there is another reason, I think. Aside from granting extraordinary powers to the executive branch, a declaration of war, is pretty much a carte blanche to the military to use "whatever means necessary" to defeat the enemy. There IS oversite - but it is oversite from, mainly, the Executive branch. My sense of the situation during WWII is that the military objectives were constrained by the political ones, but that those political objectives were largely determined by Roosevelt, his advisers, and the Allied war leaders. Congressional oversite was sort of "second fiddle."

Examples: the British fire-bombing of Dresden, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the decision to attack Tokyo (Dolittle) early in the war, the vast majority of the major strategic decisions (invasion of Sicily, Normandy, etc.).

The above paragraph indicates the other reason for not declaring war. Since WWII, we have been in two major wars and several minor engagements that COULD have been declared wars, and probably WOULD have been in an earlier day. The difference, now, is the existence of nuclear weapons. My sense is that Congress is reluctant to do anything that might "give the nod" to the professional military types. Their thinking is probably that a formal declaration of war would increase the chance of the tactical use of nukes.

If there is another major terrorist attack on American soil, however - or even a major action that kills a large number of US troops overseas [nuke truck bomb?] - that reluctance to "unleash" the military may change, and rather quickly.

Just my 2¢. My 1st degree was in Political Science.
 
2001-12-06 12:35:51 AM
War! Good god, y'all, what is it...

Ah, nevermind.
 
2001-12-06 12:38:51 AM
You're all wrong. My understanding is that our laws only allow the U.S. to declare war on either a country or a government. Well, we're not at war with Afghanistan and we don't recognize the Taliban as a government (actually nobody does, except Pakistan).

We can't officially declare a war on terrorism, or a person (bin Laden) or a group of people (al Qaeda or the Taliban). There is nothing against which we could make an official declaration. That's why Congress had to approve that "sweeping resolution" that the story talked about. Without it, the war on terrorism would violate our own laws.
 
2001-12-06 12:40:14 AM
Bookman "Aside from granting extraordinary powers to the executive branch, a declaration of war, is pretty much a carte blanche to the military to use 'whatever means necessary' to defeat the enemy."

I'd say that congress has done this without declaring "We're at war", since they gave Bush the authority to command the armed services as he sees fit. Since he is on record (many many times) saying we're at war, and congress gave him the go ahead, I'd say we're formally at war. Despite congress being too sheepish to state it explicitly.

If that makes any sense.
 
2001-12-06 12:42:04 AM
Epsilon "You're all wrong

Its called tact, try it sometime :)
 
2001-12-06 12:42:50 AM
"That's because Congress, three days after 9/11, passed a sweeping resolution authorizing the president to

use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons."

Somehow... that seems... i don't know... a little bit.. too powerful?
 
2001-12-06 12:46:03 AM
Congress lacks direction when not being guided by money to espouse a certain view.

Shocking.


Best statement ever.
 
2001-12-06 12:47:14 AM
 
2001-12-06 12:47:32 AM
cant declare terrorism on someone. america's new terro.. i mean, war on terror.
 
2001-12-06 12:54:20 AM
Why hasn't the US declard War?

Because the terrorists have already won.
 
2001-12-06 12:54:37 AM
I love Canadians with seething envy. Tickles me pink!
 
2001-12-06 12:56:15 AM
"My sense is that Congress is reluctant to do anything that might "give the nod" to the professional military types. Their thinking is probably that a formal declaration of war would increase the chance of the tactical use of nukes."

***

Bookman, I have a feeling Congress, as a headless body busy pursuing disparate special interests as well as dealin with the endless cycle of reelection, haven't come up to such a collective conclusion. Nice piece of theoretical work, though.
 
2001-12-06 12:57:27 AM
Mujika:
'That's right! the US hasn't declared war because what its doing is not war.. its TERRORISM.'

Huh. And here I was thinking that terrorism was flying a couple of planes full of innocent people into a couple of buildings full of innocent people. Silly me.
 
2001-12-06 12:57:44 AM
Man, someone better fix this HTML tag problem or the terrorists really have won!!!

(Sorry. Had to get one of those out of my system.)
 
2001-12-06 12:57:44 AM
actually the U.S. has and can declare war on an idividual or group...we did it to the Barbary Pirates in the 1800's
 
2001-12-06 12:59:34 AM
"My understanding is that our laws only allow the U.S. to declare war on either a country or a government."

Congress writes the laws. They could declare war on Jesus if they wanted to.
 
2001-12-06 12:59:56 AM
Was that a declared war, though? Or did Jefferson simply send out the armed forces? Argh. Too lazy to look it up.
 
2001-12-06 01:04:46 AM
Epsilon is correct: a Formal declaration of war requires a government on the otherside of the piece of paper-- this is really kind of a Klauswitz 18th century concept.

The resolution Congress passed within 48 hours specifically addresses (and answers) the question raised in the first paragraph of the article, which pretty much negates the author's entire point-- oh wait-- his real point was a sorry attempt to bait conservatives (with that Hail Mary in the last two sentences). How does MS still support Slate? Who pays these authors? What morons. As if there are a lot of conservatives reading this self-congratulatory rag in the first place (probably as many liberals reading All Hail Amerika NewsMax...
 
2001-12-06 01:28:26 AM
"a Formal declaration of war requires a government on the otherside of the piece of paper-- this is really kind of a Klauswitz 18th century concept."

--I don't think Vom Krieg is controlling on the question of Congress' war powers. While it's customary for declarations of war to be limited to conflicts with other states, there is no legal requirement that that be the case. The Constitution gives Congress power to declare war against literally anyone or anything.
 
2001-12-06 01:29:41 AM
"we did it to the Barbary Pirates in the 1800's"

--I don't think it was a declared war.

"Or did Jefferson simply send out the armed forces?"

--I think it was Madison.
 
2001-12-06 01:30:44 AM
It's all about responsibility. If we declare war, the Congressmen become responsible for it. Their 'sweeping resolution' means simply that if we win they (Congress) are heroes, if we lose or if it drags on beyond American patience ,they can say "hey, we never authorized or supported this effort, don't blame us, blame Bush". It's a win-win to save their poltical arses. Bush, that fuzzy little fascist, bears the burden of the outcome of the Afghani conflict. If things don't go well, it is political suicide , pure & simple, if they do, he gets a nod in our gloriously tainted history books. A brave decision on his part actually.

Will we still be in Afghanistan come the next presidential election? It's likely we will be in some capacity. Is anyone going to vote Bush out of office? Historically, the chances of us kicking out a president during a 'war' (undeclared or not) is very remote. LBJ came closest, but he surrendered, he wasn't voted out.

If those goes on too long we better become knowledgeable about Presidential term limits ....and quick.
 
2001-12-06 01:35:59 AM
Aren't presidential elections cancelled during a war? I think I read that in some government or history or civics book.
 
2001-12-06 01:39:05 AM
It's semantics. To say Viet Nam was a "police action" and not a war is to deny the truth. To say any war isn't a war if it isn't voted for as a "war" by congress is semantics. The congress granted the power for the president to wage war this time, and may others, no matter if you call it a war or a picnic, the result is the same. Ny post is neutral on the issue of the war, but one exists, no matter who denies it, or what they call it.

It's not a war because you didn't fill out the right paperwork. Go to the back of the line.
 
zkm
2001-12-06 01:42:48 AM
If you don't know for sure don't post things. No elections aren't cancelled during war. Someone has bee getting facts from questionable websites and assuming there true again.

Let slip the trolls of Fark!!!!!!
 
2001-12-06 01:43:29 AM
Suicide Boy: FDR and Lincon both won elections during formally declared wars. There is no provision anywhere to cancel presidential elections for any reason. Good thing, too.
 
2001-12-06 01:44:17 AM
Thunder, I actually have a feeling that Bush is goign to do the exact same thing as his father did. Bush Sr. had that little war with Iraq, and he was still voted out of office. Of course, it didn't help that Reaganomics had failed, and the economy sucked ass, but hey, that's a different thread.

Anyway, we might be "in" Afghanistan in some capacity, but really, is Joe Public going to care? Setting up a new government isn't juicy enough for the media, and they will find a new story to follow once the war is over.
 
2001-12-06 01:46:15 AM
We did not delare war on the pirates or panco via.

Some mexicans are still pissed at our little romp threw mexico looking for panco. So thats two little adventures we got into without delcaring war. This is the third and from news reports we might me making some trips to south east asia to deal with the problem of Islamic Extremists in those islands.
 
2001-12-06 01:47:09 AM
Zkm:
So curiousity isn't ample enough reason to verify something I read years ago? And since I stated that it was a book instead of a website, I guess you decided that you didn't need to bother to read my whole post before starting to act like an asshole. And since we're being assholes, you should have used "they're" instead of there. Dick.
 
2001-12-06 01:50:40 AM
Agreed, Quick1. Once the excitement is over, people won't pay attention anymore to what is actually happening there, and run the risk of starting the whole vicious cycle again. Not much media coverage of anything in the former Yugoslavia now either, and it wasn't long ago that the US bombed Serbia everyday for a month. Few in America know or care what is happening there now.
 
2001-12-06 01:51:25 AM
Thunder, I actually have a feeling that Bush is goign to do the exact same thing as his father did. Bush Sr. had that little war with Iraq, and he was still voted out of office. Of course, it didn't help that Reaganomics had failed, and the economy sucked ass, but hey, that's a different thread.

Bush's father lost to clinton because of Ross Perot temping millions of republian voters and spending insane amounts of money trying to form a Conservative party with members from the non christian members of the republican party. Clinton did not get a mandate and won with less of a % then George W. Bush got when he won against Gore.
 
zkm
2001-12-06 01:53:18 AM
SuicideBoy-

You missed the point of my post: This is a troll article if I ever saw one. I didn't mean to really insult you.

Let loose the trolls of Fark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
2001-12-06 01:56:13 AM
MediaMadeMeKill: The US has bombed, fought in, or invaded far more countries than three without a formal declaration of war. Hell, Mexico alone can claim three. Viet Nam, Korea, Panama, Grenada, Serbia, Somalia come to mind quickly. There are others. It's semantics and formality to "declare" war when one exists anyway.
 
2001-12-06 01:58:54 AM
Zkm:
Well then, my apologies for calling you a dick.
 
2001-12-06 02:01:34 AM
MediaMadeMeKill: At least Clinton got more votes than his opponent.
 
2001-12-06 02:17:36 AM
The day we declare full on 'war' is the day it becomes time for you to buy a new map of the world.

A smaller map.

As the rednecks would say, it's a Yee-had.
 
2001-12-06 02:33:48 AM
Quick1-

Don't succumb to the most devilish lie of Clinton's campaign. It was not the worst economy in 50 years by any stretch of the imagination. I suspect Bush Sr.'s primary economic sin was going back on his "no new taxes" pledge.
 
2001-12-06 02:34:08 AM
Remember people we are at war facing an unseen and faceless enemy. More than 3 Million man hours of FBI work and not one creditable link as to who was behind the 9-11 attacks.

We will be in Afganistan come the next election. We will be there building a nice oil and natural gas pipeline across it. And making sure the poppy crops are doing ok.

Speaking of 9-11 how's this for a little obscure fact. Exactly when were most Americans first made aware of the impending New World Order? On September 11, 1990, exactly eleven years to the day before the World Trade Center disaster.

On 9/11/90, just before our destruction of Iraq began, President Bush Sr. told us that "Out of these troubled times, our objective 'a new world order' can emerge a world quite different from the one we've known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. America and the world must support the rule of law and we will." NWO

...
 
2001-12-06 02:41:51 AM
Oh yeah, I paid $.99 a gallon for Chevron unleaded yesterday. Thank you. Good night. And God bless the United States of America.

...
 
2001-12-06 02:44:55 AM

Most of this will be written while I am in a really pissed off mood so I'll probably regret it tomorror . . . maybe now.

Call it what ever the hell you want! Police Action or War, doesn't really matter what you call it.

When the terrorist attacked on 9-11, they declared war on us, damnit! We could not be respectable human beings if we didn't repond with deadly force. This is, so far, a case of self defense. If other don't see it this way, your insane.

I need sleep now. bye bye.

BTW, when you say that we Americans are terrorist then (and I'm not joking) the terrorist have won.

That's it, honest.

 
2001-12-06 02:49:30 AM

I think we all know who's behind this...

Thats right folks..


Frank Stallone (With Mr. T.)

 
2001-12-06 03:08:32 AM
For all your conspiracy theory needs in the future, please contact CobraBoy.

Not one credible link to who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, huh? I suppose you're saying Bin Laden is a scapegoat, something you're making up because the FBI has refused to divulge EVERY PIECE OF EVIDENCE and EVERY STEP OF THE INVESTIGATION, huh? Did it ever occur to you that revealing every piece of information might give away a whole shiatload of security secrets? This is ignoring the Al-Queda's proven connections to the WTC bombings in the early 90's, the embassy attacks, the USS Cole attacks... If the US decided to glass the whole country, I certainly wouldn't shed a tear. Regardless of Rei's lies that "Afghanistan civilians love us," you need to grow up and realize that the majority of the Middle East hates us with a passion. It's the price that comes with being a superpower. Our allies there are allies solely because we buy their oil. Even that ungreatful biatch Kuwait has been complaining that the US is nothing but a bunch of anti-Muslim heathens, and I recall saving their sorry country about a decade a go.

Secondly, we don't give a shiat about Afghanistan's oil, because there's not enough of it. This has been discussed already -- we'd run them dry in months. Not that I care really, we should be focusing on alternative energy and driving farking OPEC into bankruptcy, or just bombing the hell out of anyone who opposes us. It's what being in power means.

Thirdly, New World Order conspiracy speech is retarded. Any futurist would tell you that the NWO is the key to saving the goddamn planet. Once all countries are completely intwined in a world economy, no government can risk war because it would destablize their own economy and place in world society. The key is to remain the lone superpower until that happens, so that we can "lead" the NWO similar to how we basically own NATO and the UN and just about everything else.
 
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