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Hypocrites assert an Obama kill list

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 06-13-2012 | in Political, Government, Ethics, Democracy, Critical Thinking,

News commentary is abuzz about New York Times assertion that President Obama has a kill list of people targeted by U.S. Drones in the war on terrorism. Some commentators describe the list as a stunning, unprincipled, and unchecked use of presidential power. Just when I presume news reporting in the United States and American readers' gullibility reached the limits of absurdity, both prove me wrong.

The Constitution names the President Commander of all of America's armed forces and responsible for national defense. Americans are contradictory that hold Obama responsible for duties not assigned by the Constitution like unemployment rates, stock market prices, and public school quality, but criticize his use of constitutional and Congress granted powers to wage war against America's enemies.

On September 14, 2001, the U.S. Congress issued a "Joint Resolution: To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States."

"IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized 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 September 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."

Clearly, this resolution authorizes the President as Commander of the U.S. Armed Forces to make a list of terrorist enemies and to use U.S. armed forces to kill them. Some people might contend the resolution authorized the President only to stop future attacks and not necessarily kill people. They argue he could arrest America's enemies and bring them to trial. This may be possible sometime. Nevertheless, the U.S. Armed Forces are a war making force organized to destroy and to kill when normal policing and judicial processes in defense of security fail. Congress signaled its conclusion that war was the best defense strategy against terrorism by approving uses of the military force against it. Whether correct or mistaken, this was the mandate of Congress for presidential action that it has not revoked. Therefore, some Americans characterizing Obama a president with a personal kill list outside the demands of war is wrong and bordering on subversion.

I suggested when Congress passed the September 14, 2001 Resolution that it was unnecessarily irresponsible by its broadness. It was different from past declarations of war against identified nations. Instead, it extended authority to President George W. Bush to identify terrorist enemies and to use military force against them anywhere in the world no matter their involvement. Bush announced Operation Enduring Freedom as war on global terrorism that would not distinguish between terrorist organizations and nations or governments that harbored them.

People are hypocritical that believe the waves of B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers; F-14 and F/A fighters and Tomahawk cruise missiles Bush ordered against Afghanistan October 7, 2001 were moral killing and the drone strikes approved by Obama are personal and immoral. They forget orders by previous Presidents for military uses of bombs, napalm, and Agent Orange herbicide on enemy and noncombatants during the Vietnam War. They forget Presidents' WWII decisions that targeted German and Japanese cities for regular, incendiary and atomic bomb attacks. The difference is that during October 2001, the shock from destructive attacks on the American homeland still dulled most Americans' concerns for the plight of noncombatants in those attacks.

No matter the 9/11 attacks, most Americans still do not recognize the full horrors of war as an ongoing experience. Except occasionally, few of them consider the death and injury our armed forces members face daily. They ignore that President Obama faces the terrible burden of war decisions daily that may or may not be correct, but will result in death or injury for terrorists, noncombatants, or American military members. There are no safe, easy moral decisions for a president at war.

I understand some Americans disagree with some war strategy or with continuing the war. I do too. They have the right as free citizens to discuss their concerns on that basis and to petition Congress to end the war. However, many of them lack the moral courage to state forthrightly the U.S. Armed Forces achieved its mission and it is time to end the killing. They fear a new terrorist attack the next day may prove them wrong and subject them to condemnation. Instead, they construct safe attacks against the integrity of the President who does not have the option of ambivalence. People are contemptible that cowardly construct their criticism of the war as an attack on the integrity of Obama as if he were a mob boss executing a vicious personal hit list.

Romney’s remarks about jobs shows him deceptive or confused about the economy.

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 06-04-2012 | in Political, Government, Ethics, Critical Thinking, Economics,

Mitt Romney traveled to the Solyndra Solar Power Panel plant in Fremont California to highlight its closure as a failure of President Obama's leadership. He said, "The president is always quick to find someone to blame. First, it was George Bush, then Congress, ATM machine, then Europe. The truth is, the job of the president is to get America back to work. Crony capitalism like this did not help."

The assertion of the president with the duty and ability to get America back to work is irrational and unconstitutional. Article I of the Constitution grants Congress power to regulate commerce and to coin and regulate the value of money. This power comes close to imposing a duty on Congress to create jobs. However, it does not do so, because no person or group can create commerce or jobs with laws. The Constitution only grants the president the duty to recommend considerations to Congress about the state and as head of the executive branch to carry out approved law.

Romney has a credibility problem. He asserts responsibility to President Obama for job gains and losses in the nation. Hence, he advances the idea presidents control job creation in the nation. However, he credits job gained in Massachusetts from 2003-07 to him as Governor and not to President George W. Bush. Hence, he promotes the idea that governors control job creation in States. He also takes credit for creating jobs as a business owner. Hence, he promotes the idea that business owners are responsible for creating jobs. However, he assures voters that if they elect him, that as president he will create jobs and get America back to work. Again, he advances the idea that the president creates jobs. Obviously, he believes all job growth begins with him no matter his position. A truthful leader would explain to voters the complex factors that influence the economy to create and to destroy jobs. However, Romney promotes a reality most likely to win voter support for his weak or absent leadership ability.

Romney says that Obama uses former President Bush as an excuse for the high unemployment rate in the United States. This charge against Obama suggests the state of the economy results purely from Obama policies. I do not recall hearing President Obama blaming Bush directly for current defense or economic conditions. Nevertheless, voters exist in fantasyland if they believe that each president begins his or her administration with a balanced budget, no national debt, and ideal employment levels and without negative influences from past policies.

Voters need to know the true state of the economy over the past two decades to evaluate President Obama's accomplishments based on the challenges he faced and to evaluate the qualifications of his opponent. The reality is the United States experienced net job losses for twenty years. This condition shows serious continuing problems in our economy that will continue unless addressed. Romney does voters a disservice by convincing them that high unemployment and problems job losses in the United States stems result only from economic policies of Obama.

Romney shows that he is a presidential candidate in over his head, when he accused President Obama of using Europe as an excuse for the slow job-growth rate. His absurd remark suggested the complications of the European Union banking crisis do not affect the U.S. economy. He appears unaware of the global system of money and banking inflicted on Americans by politicians, major corporations, and big banks. They use this international money system to promote goals of world trade that cancel national tariff protection for businesses and workers.

Europe is the world's largest single market and a major consumer of American exports. The European monetary crisis affected buyers and investors' confidence and their willingness to purchase products, to invest in new businesses and to buy stock and bonds. Romney of all people should understand how monetary crisis affect investors willingness to start new businesses that create jobs. Perhaps he does not understand this economic reality if he believes the president directly creates jobs.

Many voters, especially Republicans, will dismiss Romney's irrational remarks as unimportant because they are part of a strategy attacking Obama. However, they overlook that remarks by candidates serve two purposes. First, they educate voters about the social and economic factors the elected position addresses to promote the general welfare of society. Second, they try to convince voters of the candidate's qualifications for the position.

Candidates' claims touting their leadership ability and opponent's inability often extend out of the realm of factualness without doing too much harm. However, candidates that assert or suggest false social and economic factors affecting our nation create confusion among voters and harm to the nation.

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