15 September 2007

The Worst Wars of All

From Monsieur de Vattel in Law of Nations, Book IV:

§ 6. How far war may be continued.

The love of peace should equally prevent us from embarking in a war without necessity, and from persevering in it after the necessity has ceased to exist. When a sovereign has been compelled to take up arms for just and important reasons, he may carry on the operations of war till he has attained its lawful end, which is, to procure justice and safety. (Book III § 28.)

If the cause be dubious, the just end of war can only be to bring the enemy to an equitable compromise (Book III. § 38); and consequently the war must not be continued beyond that point. The moment our enemy proposes or consents to such compromise, it is our duty to desist from hostilities.

But if we have to do with a perfidious enemy, it would be imprudent to trust either his words or his oaths. In sucli [sic] case, justice allows and prudence requires that we should avail ourselves of a successful war, and follow up our advantages, till we have humbled a dangerous and excessive power, or compelled the enemy to give us sufficient security for the time to come.

Finally, if the enemy obstinately rejects equitable conditions, he himself forces us to continue our progress till we have obtained a complete and decisive victory, by which he is absolutely reduced and subjected. The use to be made of victory has been shown above. (Book III. Chap. VIII., IX., XIII.)
This is how wars end and was written far before the era of 'Total War', and yet presages it completely. Yet it points out how one is to behave to achieve this thing known as 'peace'. Amongst honorable and worthy foes that have shown themselves to hold by their word and agreements, and have demonstrated no duplicity in their activities in conduct of war, then when one proposes compromise, it is time for a 'cease-fire' and to start working towards a compromise.

To a foe who shows no ability to hold to any word, acts contrarily to the customs of war and such things as a flag of truce or abiding by a cease-fire to tend to wounded on each side, then that is not to be considered and set aside to continue prosecution of war against same: those that cannot abide by civilized conduct on THEIR side of war are to be held to that lack and fighting continued.

Finally there is the enemy that rejects equitable conditions, refuses to abide by agreements during a cease-fire or other armistice, and will not be held to an agreement nor give any reason to demonstrate that they mean to move past their current positions in outlook to broker agreement. That is an enemy dealing in bad faith and is an oath breaker. They get no further chance at peace EVER as they have demonstrated their inability to know what peace is and how it is built.

In each of these the demonstration of honoring agreements by a Nation is paramount: they determine the course of that Nation by those in charge of it. The first order of brokered agreements and peace have a long history, with the 20th century seeing the Armistice Agreements of WWI and the Peace Treaties of WWII as prime examples, but lesser examples in the Philippines, Cyprus and elsewhere points to the viability of this Nation based outlook. Nations can go to war for their own reasons and come to equitable terms to end conflicts. The question of those terms lasting, is something else again.

The second category, unfortunately, also has 20th century views, where an enemy seeks to utilize an armistice or other agreements made during wartime to then extend their capability or make NO final peace agreements. North Korea is a stand-out, with only a 'cease-fire' holding on the Korean Peninsula and no valid attempts by the North Korean governments to come to a lasting peace. While India and Pakistan have a series of agreements, the 'war of artillery' in the high mountain regions continues with desultory shelling because few, if any infantry can operate at such altitudes.

And the last category, of a foe that abrogates agreements outright, has seen a few during the last century. Saddam Hussein would hold to no cease-fire nor to his agreements for full ending of his WMD programs. In the Balkans peace can last for days, months, years or, under the dictator Tito, decades, but they also seem to fall apart with undo ease and individuals committing war crimes, like Slobodan Milošević and, well, it must say something when an entire page at Wikipedia has to be set aside to list war criminals for the Balkans.

These are the things growing out of warfare, both just and unjust as seen by Vattel in Book III:
§ 1. Definition of war.(136)

WAR is that state in which we prosecute our right by force. We also understand, by this term, the act itself, or the manner of prosecuting our right by force: but it is more conformable to general usage, and more proper in a treatise on the law of war, to understand this term in the sense we have annexed to it.

§ 2. Public war.(136)

Public war is that which takes place between nations or sovereigns, and which is carried on in the name of the public power, and by its order. This is the war we are here to consider: — private war, or that which is carried on between private individuals, belongs to the law of nature properly so called.
Public war is what we have grown used to in the industrialized and mechanized era: the wars of the early to mid 20th century were, by and large, Public wars. By the advent and power of the Nation State from the late 19th century onwards, the idea that 'private war' would ever be fought, was slowly being outmoded. Threats to Nations shifted, more and more, to other Nations entirely, as private individuals or groups could not raise funds nor forces to fight a 'private war'. The era in the century after the end of the US Civil War would see the pre-eminance of 'public war' and those waging private wars driven from the landscape.

What happened to the world was a change in how diplomacy and conflict became confined and the worries about 'private war' vanished. But before getting to 'private war', which, as Vattel puts it, 'belongs to the law of nature', a bit on who wages war and what makes a war 'just'. Following in Book III:
§ 4. It belongs only to the sovereign power.(137)

As nature has given men no right to employ force, unless when it becomes necessary for self defence and the preservation of their rights (Book II. § 49, &c.), the inference is manifest, that, since the establishment of political societies, a right, so dangerous in its exercise, no longer remains with private persons except in those encounters where society cannot protect or defend them. In the bosom of society, the public authority decides all the disputes of the citizens, represses violence, and checks every attempt to do ourselves justice with our own hands. If a private person intends to prosecute his right against the subject of a foreign power, he may apply to the sovereign of his adversary, or to the magistrates invested with the public authority: and if he is denied justice by them, he must have recourse to his own sovereign, who is obliged to protect him. It would be too dangerous to allow every citizen the liberty of doing himself justice against foreigners; as, in that case, there would not be a single member of the state who might not involve it in war. And how could peace be preserved between nations, if it were in the power of every private individual to disturb it? A right of so momentous a nature, — the right of judging whether the nation has real grounds of complaint, whether she is authorized to employ force, and justifiable in taking up arms, whether prudence will admit of such a step, and whether the welfare of the state requires it, — that right, I say, can belong only to the body of the nation, or to the sovereign, her representative. It is doubtless one of those rights, without which there can be no salutary government, and which are therefore called rights of majesty (Book I. § 45).

Thus the sovereign power alone is possessed of authority to make war. But, as the different rights which constitute this power, originally resident in the body of the nation, may be separated or limited according to the will of the nation (Book I. § 31 and 45), it is from the particular constitution of each state, that we are to learn where the power resides, that is authorized to make war in the name of the society at large. The kings of England, whose power is in other respects so limited, have the right of making war and peace.1 Those of Sweden have lost it. The brilliant but ruinous exploits of Charles XII. sufficiently warranted the states of that kingdom to reserve to themselves a right of such importance to their safety.
This is the underpinning of all war treaties and conventions, from the Paris Treaty to the Hague Conventions to the modern Geneva Conventions.

First and foremost of all understandings is: Private individuals do not get to wage war. It is damned dangerous, indeed fatal, to Nations to allow individuals within their Nations that are unelected, unselected and are not leading the Nation in any way, shape or form, to wage war. Only the sovereign power of the Nation can decide on war, be it a King or other individual designated by Constitution or other agreed upon compact or tradition for that Nation.

Now onto what makes 'just' war, still in Book III:
§ 26. What is in general a just cause of war.

The right of employing force, or making war, belongs to nations no farther than is necessary for their own defence, and for the maintenance of their rights (§ 3). Now, if any one attacks a nation, or violates her perfect rights, he does her an injury. Then, and not till then, that nation has a right to repel the aggressor, and reduce him to reason. Further, she has a right to prevent the intended injury, when she sees herself threatened with it (Book II. § 50). Let us then say in general, that the foundation, or cause of every just war is injury, either already done or threatened. The justificatory reasons for war show that an injury has been received, or so far threatened as to authorize a prevention of it by arms. It is evident, however, that here the question regards the principal in the war, and not those who join in it as auxiliaries. When, therefore, we would judge whether a war be just, we must consider whether he who undertakes it has in fact received an injury, or whether he be really threatened with one. And, in order to determine what is to be considered as an injury, we must be acquainted with a nation's rights, properly so called, — that is to say, her perfect rights. These are of various kinds, and very numerous, but may all be referred to the general heads of which we have already treated, and shall further treat in the course of this work. Whatever strikes at these rights is an injury, and a just cause of war.

§ 27. What war is unjust.

The immediate consequence of the premises is, that if a nation takes up arms when she has received no injury, nor is threatened with any, she undertakes an unjust war. Those alone, to whom an injury is done or intended, have a right to make war.
'Just' war is seen in defense of a Nation or her rights as a Nation both against attacks and against impending threats to the Nation. As we have seen in Book IV, these also include abiding by rules of war and agreements during wartime, including all cease-fires and armistice agreements. Those that do not do so, do not demonstrate good faith in such agreements or otherwise abrogate them can be attacked and with 'just' cause. However, to be 'just' must also find there to be proper 'motives' for war, and these are just as important and need to complement the 'just' reasons for warfare:
§ 30. Proper motives.

I call proper and commendable motives those derived from the good of the state, from the safety and common advantage of the citizens. They are inseparable from the justificatory reasons, — a breach of justice being never truly advantageous. Though an unjust war may for a time enrich a state, and extend her frontiers, it renders her odious to other nations, and exposes her to the danger of being crushed by them. Besides, do opulence and extent of dominion always constitute the happiness of states? Amidst the multitude of examples which might here be quoted, let us confine our view to that of the Romans. The Roman republic ruined herself by her triumphs, by the excess of her conquests and power. Rome, when mistress of the world, but enslaved by tyrants and oppressed by a military government, had reason to deplore the success of her arms, and to look back with regret on those happy times when her power did not extend beyond the bounds of Italy, or even when her dominion was almost confined within the circuit of her walls.

Vicious motives are those which have not for their object the good of the state, and which, instead of being drawn from that pure source, are suggested by the violence of the passions. Such are the arrogant desire of command, the ostentation of power, the thirst of riches, the avidity of conquest, hatred, and revenge.
War to enrich a state is not a commendable motive. Wars to gain power, control over neighbors or for various other primal reasons, are all 'vicious motives' that are those more proper to animals than humans.

I will digress to the moment, here, and clearly state that those in the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st century, that have imputed reasons of trade or trade benefit for war, must tread carefully. That is not mere rhetorical ground, but ground to give offense to a Nation that sees itself justly at war. Those that state 'No blood for oil' would be right if they could demonstrate that the cost of war was taken up for the mere benefit of oil, but by being unable to demonstrate that and, even in the run-up to the war with Iraq, having the cost outweigh any and ALL benefit of the resource at question, has a serious problem in that they are slandering the Nation, its leaders and those fighting for the Nation. Those that wish to use the economic debasement reason must realize that their sword must be mighty and demonstrable beyond rhetoric, otherwise such outlooks are likely to destabilize civil government in ways that may not be friendly to oneself or the Nation as a whole.

If one implies base motives, it is best to ensure that one does not have their own showing in their implications. That would be, as Vattel goes through it:
§ 31. War undertaken upon just grounds, but from vicious motives.

The whole right of the nation, and consequently of the sovereign, is derived from the welfare of the state; and by this rule it is to be measured. The obligation to promote and maintain the true welfare of the society or state gives the nation a right to take up arms against him who threatens or attacks that valuable enjoyment. But if a nation, on an injury done to her, is induced to take up arms, not by the necessity of procuring a just reparation, but by a vicious motive, she abuses her right. The viciousness of the motive tarnishes the lustre of her arms, which might otherwise have shone in the cause of justice: — the war is not undertaken for the lawful cause which the nation had to engage in it: that cause is now no more than a pretext. As to the sovereign in particular, the ruler of the nation — what right has he to expose the safety of the state, with the lives and fortunes of the citizens, to gratify his passions? It is only for the good of the nation that the supreme power is intrusted to him; and it is with that view that he ought to exert it: that is the object prescribed to him even in his least important measures: and shall he undertake the most important and the most dangerous, from motives foreign or contrary to that great end? Yet nothing is more common that such a destructive inversion of views; and it is remarkable, that, on this account, the judicious Polybius gives the name of causes2 to the motives on which war is undertaken, — and of pretexts3 to the justificatory reasons alleged in defence of it. Thus he informs us that the cause of the war which Greece undertook against the Persians was the experience she had had of their weakness, and that the pretext alleged by Philip, or by Alexander after him, was the desire of avenging the injuries which the Greeks had so often suffered, and of providing for their future safety.

§ 32. Pretexts.

Let us, however, entertain a better opinion of nations and their rulers. There are just causes of war, real justificatory reasons; and why should there not be sovereigns who sincerely consider them as their warrant, then they have besides reasonable motives for taking up arms? We shall therefore give the name of pretexts to those reasons alleged as justificatory, but which are so only in appearance, or which are even absolutely destitute of all foundation. The name of pretexts may likewise be applied to reasons which are, in themselves, true and well-founded, but, not being of sufficient importance for undertaking a war, are made use of only to cover ambitious views, or some other vicious motive. Such was the complaint of the czar Peter I. that sufficient honours had not been paid him on his passage through Riga. His other reasons for declaring war against Sweden I here omit.

Pretexts are at least a homage which unjust men pay to justice. He who screens himself with them shows that he still retains some sense of shame. He does not openly trample on what is most sacred in human society: he tacitly acknowledges that a flagrant injustice merits the indignation of all mankind.
These are both the categories being imputed by those doing the 'No blood for oil' concept. Hey, you didn't think this was a MODERN thing, did you? By imputing base motives for war in Iraq, and not citing how the actual justifications and motives given are NOT sufficient for war, are trying to undermine the right of a nation to utilize war for self-protection and to ensure its rights as a nation. Those wishing to impute that for Iraq oil is the only and over-riding concept and that the war is unjust because of that have not done two important things:

1) They have not demonstrated that the actual reasons given for the conflict, upholding of treaties with multiple nations, protecting those that had been captured during the previous conflict and being a threat to neighbors and genocidal behavior towards his own population are not sufficiently 'just' nor 'proper' motivations. Under the law of nations these are ALL 'just' and 'proper' motivations for war between nations, with the abridgment of sworn treaties and agreements during wartime being 'just' and 'proper' ALONE.

2) That all motivations given are 'pretexts' for the underlying one of material advantage to the nation or its ruler. To date, while companies the sovereign had been associated had gained contracts, their fulfillment is done under federal law falling under the jurisdiction of Congress for its writing and via its rules for enactment. To demonstrate profiteering for personal gain, one would need demonstrate that war-time contracts and long distance mobility of individuals and goods during war in an active war zone are being charged too high a rate for those things. The US Code and Federal regulations sets outlooks on those, and prosecution of such cases would demonstrate some validity to a company, but direct profiteering by intent for the sovereign has not been demonstrated. And as the other motives and justifications are sufficient, in and of themselves, for warfare, those would have to be completely countered 'in detail': each and every single one of them. To date no one nor any organization has demonstrated this.

Thus the form of the Iraq War as continued after the original Gulf War findings are:

  1. The Nation of Iraq did not hold to its signed agreements to demonstrate disarmament of WMD capabilities.

  2. The Nation of Iraq did not hold to its cease-fire agreements.

  3. The Nation of Iraq attempted to undermine (1) with its blatant blocking and abridgement of inspectors during the cease-fire.

  4. The Nation of Iraq did not return captured Kuwaitis nor US military personnel missing in their territory.
  5. The Nation of Iraq was aiding and harboring known enemies of those it had a cease-fire with in an attempt to undermine it.

  6. The Nation of Iraq continued to attempt attacks on its own population either directly or via those mentioned in (5).

  7. The Nation of Iraq abridging (1-6) with multiple nations as co-signatories of the cease-fire, inspection and protection agreements both separately and via multiple UN resolutions.
Each of these are grave and deep offenses amongst nations, and as they are ALL under the wartime purviews, they can be viewed not as wilfull repudiation of the law of nations making Iraq an enemy for all nations via the UN defiance. What this type of war is, is *also* described by Vattel, in Book III:

§ 41. War undertaken to punish a nation.

When offensive war has for its object the punishment of a nation, it ought, like every other war, to be founded on right and necessity. 1. On right: — an injury must have been actually received. Injury alone being a just cause of war (§ 26), the reparation of it may be lawfully prosecuted: or if, in its nature, it be irreparable (the only case in which we are allowed to punish), we are authorized to provide for our own safety, and even for that of all other nations, by inflicting on the offender a punishment capable of correcting him, and serving as an example to others. 2. A war of this kind must have necessity to justify it; that is to say, that, to be lawful, it must be the only remaining mode to obtain a just satisfaction; which implies a reasonable security for the time to come. If that complete satisfaction, be offered, or if it may be obtained without a war, the injury is done away, and the right to security no longer authorizes us to seek vengeance for it. — (See Book II. §§ 49, 52.)

The nation in fault is bound to submit to a punishment which she has deserved, and to suffer it by way atonement: but she is not obliged to give herself up to the discretion of an incensed enemy. Therefore, when attacked she ought to make a tender of satisfaction, and ask what penalty is required; and if no explicit answer be given, or the adversary attempts to impose a disproportionate penalty, she then acquires a right to resist, and her defence becomes lawful.

On the whole, however, it is evident that the offended party alone has a right to punish independent persons. We shall not here repeat what we have said elsewhere (Book II. § 7) of the dangerous mistake, or extravagant pretensions, of those who assume a right of punishing an independent nation for faults which do not concern them — who, madly setting themselves up as defenders of the cause of God, take upon them to punish the moral depravity, or irreligion, of a people not committed to their superintendency.
Not only does the Nation get punishment for its actions, but individuals who are the cause of the motivations to be taken, can also be punished. With justification of the Nation breaking war-time agreements, breaking the cease-fire multiple times, and harboring those that threaten the agreements and those under its safety provisions, a war to punish Iraq, though never stated explicitly, is what happened.

There aren't many of these types of wars on the books: where those in power are so blatantly disingenuous, so self-serving in their outlook, and unwilling to abide by any agreement made during wartime, that one must fight to end them. We do wish, in this enlightened age, that all of those in the role of sovereign for their Nation would actually hold out some welfare for those they govern over as a prime thing to do in this world. Even when they don't, giving agreements and holding to them to other sovereign Nations, would at least demonstrate that no matter how foul you were, as a person, you were willing to acknowledge *some* responsibility for your actions. Saddam Hussein could have ended all sanctions against Iraq within a month or two of signing the cease-fire: take the inspectors to each and every facility they wanted to go to, have them catalog everything and cart it off for destruction. Literally, less than a year to do that.

Saddam would have been left in power, with the remains of his Armies, secret police forces, murderous conduct, and even most of his short range missile capacity. Throw in a couple of snap inspections a year to ensure that no new WMD material is coming in, and his *conventional* forces could SWELL in size and the US would have left Saudi Arabia with a token force of advisors, at most. He would still have the ability to threaten his neighbors, boss them around and play his hand as a secular dictator who was *much better* than that Islamic sort next door in Iran. Probably would have gotten in another war, sooner or later, maybe with the Saudis or the Jordanians or the love/hate finally going cold with Syria. Maybe even encourage Kurds in Turkey while trying to expel the Kurds in Iraq, just to cause trouble.

He would not keep his agreements, and so missed out on all of that. He wanted to play the 'Arab tyrant that stood up to America'.

If a tyrant cannot be trusted for agreements made during wartime then how can *anyone*, in their right mind, trust him during *peace*?

To really put a fine point on it, lets take Alan Greenspan's view of the war, from his purely economic standpoint, which he has honed to a fine edge while his talents for statecraft appear to be lacking. This from ABC News, amongst many, carrying his views of 15 SEP 2007 [Source: ABC News Australia, AFP article, adding link as it didn't take at posting]:
Mr Greenspan, who as head of the US central bank was famous for his tight-lipped reserve, is uncharacteristically direct, also accusing President George W Bush of abandoning Republican principles on the economy.

"I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows - the Iraq war is largely about oil," he wrote in reported excerpts of 'The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World', which is set for release today.
Thus a man on a book tour brings forth the view that 'Iraq was largely about oil'. Ah, 'political convenience', and I am sure that those that once reviled Mr. Greenspan will now turn right around and *praise* his views on the world of oil markets, Nation states and why Nations go to war! Why, this sounds like pure, naked blind American ambition, as was previously stated:
Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.
Do those on the Left remember that?


Such purely crass motives must only come from someone bent on global domination, no?

Quite the contrary!

It comes from the 1980 State of the Union address by President James Earl Carter. It is called 'The Carter Doctrine'.

Remember now - 'No blood for oil'!

So, if you are shouting 'No blood for oil' then please, let me hear you revile President Carter's doctrine as he stated it, because that is what you are reviling against. You want the guy who started with that concept of 'blood for oil'? Then look no further than President Carter. Economics before life, before anything... 'blood for oil', not stated that bluntly, but the equation is there.

The reason I place the Nation *ahead* of economics, is that it tells the right thing to do in a given circumstance and what to support and *why* that support is important. It does not shift with political winds or 'correctness' or 'safeguarding conservative values': it tells me what is necessary to ensure that we can HAVE values and cherish them as a People. I place no faith in politics, and find it working very hard to destroy this Nation we have because it devalues what it means to have a Nation amongst us. I am more than ready to leave values up to my fellow citizens so long as they do not seek to ramrod them down my throat from *either* of these two, lovely, sterile sides.

That is why I look to the law of nations to tell me what is right *amongst* nations, so I can then gauge how well the politics of my nation is supporting it. I do wish that we actually understood what civilization means to us so that we could hold it and be forthright in our differences, and let those differences end when the safety of the Nation is put at risk. The Constitution guides us within the Nation and the law of nations guides the activities amongst Nations, and all that the Constitution enshrines is that exact same concept.

Do you see that part in Book III, para. 4 above? Goes like this:
It would be too dangerous to allow every citizen the liberty of doing himself justice against foreigners; as, in that case, there would not be a single member of the state who might not involve it in war. And how could peace be preserved between nations, if it were in the power of every private individual to disturb it?
This is one of the most important things to understand about the law of nations, and it is being willfully forgotten and, indeed, purposely pushed down in this modern age. Individuals from a Nation do *not* get to conduct their affairs in other Nations outside of the law of nations. Diplomacy, as one means of addressing the rights and wrongs between Nations belongs only to those empowered to do it by that sovereign nation. Our own Constitution re-iterates this in Article II, Section 2:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Congress gets to regularize treaty language via laws, but those laws only exist so long as the treaty does. The are the Head of State powers for the sovereign nation of the United States and they are vested solely in the Executive Branch. This has been affirmed by the Supreme Court in US v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., which was handed down on 21 DEC 1936 and puts down the Law of the Land when addressing who can and cannot do Foreign Policy for the United States:

(2) The powers of the Federal Government over foreign or external affairs differ in nature and origin from those over domestic or internal affairs. P. 315.

(3) The broad statement that the Federal Government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs. In that field, the primary purpose of the Constitution was to carve from the general mass of legislative powers then possessed by the States such portions as it was thought desirable to vest in the Federal Government, leaving those not included in the enumeration still in the States. Id.

(4) The States severally never possessed international powers. P. 316.

(5) As a result of the separation from Great Britain by the Colonies, acting as a unit, the powers of external sovereignty passed from the Crown not to the Colonies severally, but to the Colonies in their collective and corporate capacity as the United States of America. Id.

(6) The Constitution was ordained and established, among other things, to form "a more perfect Union." Prior to that event, the Union, declared by the Articles of Confederation to be "perpetual," was the sole possessor of external sovereignty, and in the Union it remained without change save insofar as the Constitution, in express terms, qualified its exercise. Though the States were several, their people, in respect of foreign affairs, were one. P. 317.

(7) The investment of the Federal Government with the powers of external sovereignty did not depend upon the affirmative grants of the Constitution. P. 318.

(8) In the international field, the sovereignty of the United States is complete. Id.

(9) In international relations, the President is the sole organ of the Federal Government. P. 319.

(10) In view of the delicacy of foreign relations and of the power peculiar to the President in this regard, Congressional legislation which is to be made effective in the international field must [p306] often accord to him a degree of discretion and freedom which would not be admissible were domestic affairs alone involved. P. 319.

(11) The marked difference between foreign and domestic affairs in this respect is recognized in the dealings of the houses of Congress with executive departments. P. 321.

There is a direct line of consistency between the law of nations, the US Constitution and the Supreme Court ruling, and it does, indeed, let the President set the foreign policy of the United States. And do you see the part that individuals or even Congress has in this?


There is no 'Congressional role in diplomacy' and there is no 'people's diplomacy' or any other fantastical view of trying to make peace with foreign powers. That is done by the President and if the Senate likes any treaty then they may sign off on it. All of those may have 'opinions' but they may not be put into practice outside the purview of the Office of the President. It is not only illegal, as seen by the SCOTUS, and not only unconstitutional, but it is uncivilized under the law of nations for individuals to take the law into their own hands when addressing a foreign power.

Apparently no one bothers to teach what civilization is, these days, in schools.

The law is an outgrowth of the boundaries of responsibilities set at multiple levels in civilization, with the law of nations being the prime set of laws from which all Nations can utilize their sovereign power and be considered an equal, regardless of national size or might. Internally it is up to each Nation to decide how they will run themselves, but they must adhere to the law of nations to be considered a nation. The law of nations has the enforcement capability of all nations recognizing when the order of nations is threatened by a rogue actor amongst them, and putting a stop to that actor and getting in new government that recognizes its responsibility to be one of many.

Wars fought for this reason have been few, but they have had a large impact on western civilization by ridding it of power hungry dictators that would hold themselves accountable to no one. Nazi Germany found itself at war when become a predator once too often when they attacked Poland. France and Great Britain were not up to the task of immediately prosecuting a war, however, and so France would fall. Napoleon Bonaparte was likewise seen as a threat to the order of nations and other nations banded together to bring him down. The US Revolutionary war, while seen as an advantageous war for France, but also gained supporters from such places as Poland, that saw injustice being performed on the colonists and supported their fight.

Today's incapacity with the UN is a direct outgrowth of no longer trying to hold ANY Nation accountable for ANY action it takes. Instead of trying to rid Lebanon of this non-state actor called Hezbollah, the UN actually ends up SUPPORTING IT by its presence and PROTECTING IT. That has caused Hezbollah to expand and become a global operation, with parts now in: Chechnya, Algeria, Bosnia, Tri-Border Area of S. America, Argentina, and even support cells in such places as the US and Japan, not to speak of the UK, France, Germany... remember, this is what comes from the UN supporting terrorists and not doing a thing about them.

Not that the UN can actually do something about them as the activities they perform are even worse than having to depose a tyrant who will not be held to any agreement. NO, the final and worse form of warfare has been mentioned, but it is more fully illuminated in these paragraphs in Vattel's Book III:
§ 67. It is to be distinguished from informal and unlawful war.

Legitimate and formal warfare must be carefully distinguished from those illegitimate and informal wars, or rather predatory expeditions, undertaken either without lawful authority or without apparent cause, as likewise without the usual formalities, and solely with a view to plunder. Grotius relates several instances of the latter.5 Such were the enterprises of the grandes compagnies which had assembled in France during the wars with the English, — armies of banditti, who ranged about Europe, purely for spoil and plunder: such were the cruises of the buccaneers, without commission, and in time of peace; and such in general are the depredations of pirates. To the same class belong almost all the expeditions of the Barbary corsairs: though authorized by a sovereign, they are undertaken without any apparent cause, and from no other motive than the lust of plunder. These two species of war, I say, — the lawful and the illegitimate, — are to be carefully distinguished, as the effects and the rights arising from each are very different.

§ 68. Grounds of this distinction.

In order fully to conceive the grounds of this distinction, it is necessary to recollect the nature and object of lawful war. It is only as the last remedy against obstinate injustice that the law of nature allows of war. Hence arise the rights which it gives, as we shall explain in the sequel: hence, likewise, the rules to be observed in it. Since it is equally possible that either of the parties may have right on his side, — and since, in consequence of the independence of nations, that point is not to be decided by others (§ 40), — the condition of the two enemies is the same, while the war lasts. Thus, when a nation, or a sovereign, has declared war against another sovereign on account of a difference arisen between them, their war is what among nations is called a lawful and formal war; and its effects are, by the voluntary law of nations, the same on both sides, independently of the justice of the cause, as we shall more fully show in the sequel.6 Nothing of this kind is the case in an informal and illegitimate war, which is more properly called depredation. Undertaken without any right, without even an apparent cause, it can be productive of no lawful effect, nor give any right to the author of it. A nation attacked by such sort of enemies is not under any obligation to observe towards them the rules prescribed in formal warfare. She may treat them as robbers,(146a) The inhabitants of Geneva, after defeating the famous attempt to take their city by escalade,7 caused all the prisoners whom they took from the Savoyards on that occasion to be hanged up as robbers, who had come to attack them without cause and without a declaration of war. Nor were the Genevese censured for this proceeding, which would have been detested in a formal war.
This last form is done by groups that are not Nations and, therefore, are collections of individuals setting about to wage war on their own. Terrorists wage illegitimate, predatory war for one thing: power. That is their gain and spoils of war, as they do not seek earthly riches but earthly gain known as domination over their fellow man. Money is not the only riches that drive mankind, and those seeking to wage illegitimate and predatory warfare to rule by sword are seeking riches even beyond that of gems, jewels, coin or cash. They seek the right to dominate over the SOURCE of those things, so as to benefit by them and have no law over them in their domination.

Bringing the tyrant of Iraq down was 'just' as has been seen by the law of nations since it was first formulated. The US is in a war in which those who are resorting to predation, who refuse to be held accountable and who see themselves as outside and above all man made laws, seek to bring the US down and enslave or subjugate its people. This is not a war that the US should fight alone, as these are a threat to all of mankind. William Blackstone wrote in his Commentaries on the Law of England before the American Revolution, in Book 4, Chapter 5 Of Offences Against the law of nations, and would see these individuals thusly:
As therefore he has renounced all the benefits of society and government, and has reduced himself afresh to the savage state of nature, by declaring war against all mankind, all mankind must declare war against him: so that every community hath a right, by the rule of self-defence, to inflict that punishment upon him, which every individual would in a state of nature have been otherwife entitled to do, any invasion of his person or personal property.
They are named, just before that, as hostis humani generis - enemy of mankind. Terrorism is but a tactic used by those waging a savage, predatory war so as to rule over mankind by might and accountable to no law.

To those wishing Geneva Convention rights: you demean the concept of civilized action, accountability and having law to uphold civilization by giving these who seek to bring it down any measure at all. When captured on the battlefield they are given summary justice. Finding individuals to be illegal enemy combatants, given no warrant by any Nation to fight us, wearing no uniform, and being under no sovereign state is enough for such summary justice to be done. In the heat of battle, they are not treated as worthy adversaries, but savages fighting for might and domination only. That is the law of nations, and the Executive, being Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armies and Navies of the Union can order that justice to be done on his own: Congress may not intervene as this is a matter of National survival against those attempting to bring all Nations under their domain.

We know this to be the case as one previous President has ordered such for the US Army in the Field Manual - 100:
Art. 82.

Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers - such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.
Why this must be some barbaric President, if you listen to the Leftists and Transnationalists of our modern era! Yes, beyond the pale of all civilization, truly an outcast! Nixon, right? No. Hoover? No. Theodore Roosevelt? No.

It comes from this source:

Prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Orders No. 100 by President Lincoln, 24 April 1863.
Yes, Abraham Lincoln. The FM-100 he signed off on was last reprinted in 1898, just to give you an idea of its longevity.

The indoctrination to FORGET what it means to have a Nation state has taken deep root in America. And we have forgotten what it means to have a Nation amongst Nations and for citizens to actually realize they are restricted by the nation state system in their actions. Yet, when individuals act as their own sovereign outside of the nation state system, they have "reduced himself afresh to the savage state of nature". One can have society and nations or not.

Apparently we are deciding on 'not', and seeking the savage state of nature of all against all forevermore, and rule by the sword until Empire is made so that all are beholden to those very few who rule.

'No blood for oil!' is all very well and good to say inside our Nation as an internal discussion with your fellow citizens. Once you promulgate it OUTSIDE our Nation, you are taking the law into your own hands. That is reverting to savagery and seeking to impose your opinion upon others without accountability for your actions to society. That is placing oneself outside the law.

Above the law.

And becoming: hostis humani generis.

Enemy of mankind.

You self-select to be a savage when you do these activities. Be warned that the ancient right of self-defense is still available to protect society from you when you violate our compact to have a nation... and our civilized structure to have nations accountable to each other. By seeking boundless liberty for yourself and the rightness of your opinion above all others, you have declared your freedom from civilization. That step already sets oneself outside the society and all societies. From there it is usually one small step to enforcing that by arms upon your fellow man, so that there is no choice for them... unless they resist you in self-defense.

The terrorists have brought back the age of illegitimate warfare, savage warfare, predatory warfare, to mankind by our kindness to them. Join their ranks and do not be surprised if civilization takes up arms to resist and give the ancient rules throat once more. For that is the right of those who are civilized: to band together to have society, to have nation and to work with other nations to end savagery.

The choice to be civilized is in the hands of each individual.

Only you can make yourself civilized.


JD said...

A Jack,

Every time I visit your web site I seem to have my eyes opened a little more. How is it that your seemingly logical take on things is not followed by at least some of our elected leaders?

A Jacksonian said...

JD - My thanks!

I am trying to state clearly what I have always 'known' and followed as my course. No one taught me the law of nations, no one taught me how to examine such activities as we see today and no on taught me how to look at what makes this Nation so special. Our founders knew it and that kept on being moved forward to our modern times. But between then and now, we have stopped teaching what it means to have a Nation... not just the US but *any* Nation.

I am quite afraid that our ancestors would label our current outlooks on the world to be: degenerate and debased. When a person cannot even trace out what makes civilized action civilized, and what it upholds for civilization, then you are on the brink of savagery and barbarism.

Tracing back to the sources of our strong culture, even in its current state, goes in many ways... not just to Rome and Athens, but to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Constantinople, Alexandria, Baghdad, Bombay, Nanking and places unnamed in the western hemisphere amongst the Iriquois, Cheyenne, and tribes too numerous to mention. The interactions have not always been good, or healthy, but they do forge together and let us understand the defects and rectify them as best we can. When you start to only see defects and try to deepen them, that is destroying civilization. Over-compensate in views and you step from driving out problems to forcing them to become larger and more endemic over time.

I push my ideas out to no political 'side' as neither 'side' can represent these things. By becoming didactic, polarized and treading the same ideological battles over and over, these 'sides' have degenerated into destruction of our culture and nation. What I put forth cuts across 'sides' and does not gain easy label. Is it 'liberal' to say that trade and economic activity must be held to the needs of the nation so as to support it *first*? Is it 'liberal' to want those companies that break our laws with respect to foreigners to be closed and shuttered for breaking with our constitution and society? Is it 'conservative' to put forth that the Westphalian State is the greatest boon to mankind in giving each individual the right to have religious freedom, and that we must abide by that, also? Is it 'conservative' to say that our Friends and Allies must be held and supported more dearly than outreach to any enemy, as it is our Friends and Allies that enrich and support us and we are damned if we do not show our gratitude for that?

Where do these fall in America?

The Left can't espouse these things because they do put forth Transnationalism that is killing us and that our values as a Nation do not need to be paramount in our dealings with the world.

The Right can't pick these up as it puts actual restriction on industry and channels it for the good of the Nation to support its friends and allies *first* and above all else, so that we may be better protected.

There is no easy saying for these things... it cannot be boiled down to soundbites. Yet there are Americans that understand this instinctively by growing up in America and seeing her history and loving its basic ideals.

America has had too much of Red and Blue and anonymous Purple for its politics. Where is the third color of the flag? The beautiful Stars of the Union? Where is the white that is not race, but the guideposts of the stars by which we make our course in the world? That course can veer left and right and backwards, but it strives ever forward not to a side, but to that shining middle course of human liberty and freedom.

Where is that part of America that holds the truths to be self-evident and for that we have a Nation separate from others? Our defining is not in how we should be like others, but showing others that we can be ourselves and achieve great things worth doing by being free. I don't hear that from the political parties, from candidates... so I must say it on my own as a free American.

And I offer what I say free for all to use, without reservation.

I cannot and do not want to lead... but I do show the path I follow and how to see those following that path. I follow that set of stars that speak of liberty and freedom for this Nation and to be a the constellation that shows how others may also guide to freedom. I seek to give that back to my Nation.

The Stars of the Union in the clear, crisp beauty of that third color of White. The ever fixed stars of our flag and our hearts in Union as a Nation. I see many say words on liberty and freedom, but they point left or right... yet my path is straight and fixed on the stars. I march that way... and ask others if lifting your heads up to see the stars is so very difficult?