Rep. Jones Takes Leadership
in Drive against World War
by Nancy Spannaus
March 12—On March 7, North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones took the courageous action of submitting to the U.S. Congress House Concurrent Resolution 107, which effectively puts President Barack Obama on notice that, if he (or any other President) commits the U.S. to war, without fulfilling the Constitutional requirement of getting explicit Congressional approval, he will be impeached. Coming in the immediate aftermath of the extraordinary Feb. 27 ad against war on Iran, signed by leading military and intelligence professionals, Jones' action raises the standard of the U.S. Constitution, as a crucial impediment to the escalating British-Obama drive for war.
The text (see box) is simple and direct
"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress's exclusive power to declare war under Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution."
"This bill could save the United States from destruction," commented Lyndon LaRouche, upon being briefed on the action. It must be passed immediately, in the House and in the Senate, he added.
Lyndon LaRouche PAC immediately launched an all-out mobilization to get co-sponsors, and mass popular support, behind this first Congressional action against Obama's war drive. Within days, the good news had been picked up on dozens of websites, including the official Russian outlet, Russia Today. Members of Congress, who are now spending a week in their districts, can be expected to meet with an outpouring of constituent support for this action.
Military Establishment in Motion
The context for the action by Jones, a 9th-term Congressman who represents a district in which three military bases are located, and who sits on the Armed Services Committee, is the increasingly aggressive action by the U.S. military and intelligence establishment against the danger of provocation of World War III.
Jones himself has had a principled position against aggressive war since at least 2005, when he broke with the George W. Bush Administration on the matter of the Iraq War, and began sponsoring legislation for U.S. withdrawal. Jones has co-sponsored legislation for the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan, and joined a bipartisan group of Congressmen, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), last August in a lawsuit charging that the Administration violated its Constitutional prerogatives in the war against Libya. That lawsuit was thrown out.
However, as leading layers of the U.S. military have increasingly realized, the British-U.S.-French aggression in Libya was intended as only the first step in a campaign against Syria and Iran, which would function as triggers for a potentially thermonuclear confrontation with Russia and China. Since the Obama Administration has shown its determination to act without or in opposition to the will of Congress, there was no guarantee that the President would not move ahead for war, with devastating consequences for all mankind.
Beginning no later than December 2011, leading military and intelligence figures, led by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, began to speak out publicly against the drumbeat for U.S. and NATO military intervention in Syria and Iran. The most dramatic example of that campaign came with the full-page Washington Post ad on March 5, headlined "Mr. President: Say No to a War of Choice with Iran," which featured warnings against war from leading current and former military officers, including Dempsey, and was signed by eight prominent members of the military-intelligence establishment.
Immediately after the ad's publication, a number of the signers gave interviews to the press, or wrote articles to further buttress their arguments against war.
No 'Existential Threat'
Former CIA Middle East chief Paul Pillar, a leading figure in the "Generals' ad," followed up with an article in the March/April issue of Washington Monthly:
"No one knows what the full ramifications of such a war with Iran would be, and that is the main problem with any proposal to use military force against the Iranian nuclear program. But the negative consequences for U.S. interests are likely to be severe."
Pillar's forceful argument throughout is that the government and political leadership of Iran are rational actors, meaning that they are not about commit national suicide by attacking Israel, for example. This is the same argument to which General Dempsey has hewed in his stubborn opposition to Obama on attacking Iran. Pillar wrote:
"The principles of deterrence are not invalid just because the party to be deterred wears a turban and a beard."
"The judgment of the U.S. intelligence community, as voiced publicly by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, is that Iran is retaining the option to build nuclear weapons but has not yet decided to do so. Much diplomatic ground has yet to be explored."
Pillar notes that the lack of an "existential threat" from Iran is recognized by most political and military leaders in Israel, while such an existential threat is hysterically claimed by neocons and Democrats, including President Obama, in the United States.
In a second article appearing March 6 in The National Interest, Pillar writes:
"The president's [Obama's] comments about how no Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran and reference to Israel's sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs, sound almost like an invitation to Netanyahu to launch a war.
"It is very clear that a military strike against Iran will be catastrophic in its consequences, not just on us but the world in general."
'I Cannot Find a Single Voice'
Also speaking out last week were ad signers Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell (2002-05), and Gen. James Hoar, who was chief of Central Command from 1991-95. Both retired officers have also given interviews to this magazine, to elaborate their views.
"Inside the Pentagon, civilian and military, I cannot find a single voice in favor of striking Iran," stated Wilkerson in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine dated March 2. He continued:
"What I understand from talking with the intel community and with people in the White House is that our position, and I agree with this position, is that Iran has not made a decision to weaponize. Iran may be looking for a Japanese-type, latent capability. The inclination, I think, of the current government is not to make that decision. What I'm very concerned about is that our diplomacy, such as it is—mostly sanctions—is forcing them into a decision that we don't want them to make, which is to weaponize."
On March 7, General Hoar gave an interview to KPBS radio news (San Diego), where he said that anyone who thinks of going to war with Iran simply doesn't understand the nature of that part of the world. He cited the economic costs from the rise in the price of oil that had to be expected, and the massive death toll, which would dwarf that of the 2003 Iraq War. Now is the time for a "national discussion," Hoar emphasized.
The Syrian Trigger
It's not just Iran that could be the trigger for the confrontation the British and Obama are seeking with Russia and China. There's also Syria.
President Obama has ordered the Defense Department, by way of the National Security Council, to take the first steps towards planning military operations against Syria. Hearings held March 6 and 7 before the Senate Armed Services Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee provided few details, but saw numerous Senators chomping at the bit for such a confrontation.
But on March 12, leaks from "high Pentagon officials," published in the New York Times, spelled out the views of top military figures about the dangers and difficulties of taking any military action against Syria, even creating safe havens. More importantly, "senior Pentagon officials" told Times Pentagon correspondent Elizabeth Bumiller that military intervention would not be a local matter, but would lead to a confrontation with Russia—i.e., the danger of a global war.
Bumiller writes in her article, datelined March 11, that "senior Pentagon officials" told her that any U.S. intervention in Syria, has "the potential for starting a proxy war with Iran or Russia, two crucial allies of Syria." Even more ominously, Michele Flournoy, a former top Pentagon official, said in Washington last week, that
"If we jump in with purely military instruments as the U.S., absent a broader strategy, we could very quickly hasten reactions from others, namely Russia and Iran, to bolster the regime and start the U.S. down a road towards greater confrontation" (emphasis added).
Referring to the military operations in Libya that led to the assassination of President Muammar Qaddafi, and a total breakdown of law and order, and the governing mechanism, one senior military official told Bumiller:
"We've been sucked into this open-ended arrangement before, and we're not going there again."
The official pointed out the hundreds of cruise missiles fired from U.S. ships and submarines—to take out Libya's air defenses so that European warplanes could operate freely above. Even then, the United States continued to supply ammunition and refueling planes and to fly combat missions.
The reference above to "the assassination of Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi," further shows that the Joint Chiefs had absorbed LaRouche's forecast, which featured that event as the key turning-point towards nuclear war.
Will Congress Act?
As of now, there are no reports that any other members of Congress, Republican or Democrat, are prepared to sign on to Jones' bill, nor has a Senator yet stepped forward to introduce a similar resolution in the Senate. The uttering of the word "impeachment," and the assertion of a simple Constitutional principle on the power to declare war, is apparently too scary for the cowardly Congress.
On March 8, Jones, along with Reps. Lee, Conyers, Woolsey, Kucinich, Waters, Stark, Ellison, Filner, and Jackson Lee, all Democrats and members of the Progressive and/or Black Caucuses, did file H.R. 4173, the "Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act," which implicitly criticizes Obama for breaking off negotiations with Iran after only four meetings, as Trita Parsi described in his recent book, A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran, and makes detailed prescriptions for Iran negotiations rather than a drive towards war. The bill also restates the Constitutional requirement that only Congress can authorize war, except for response to an actual or imminent attack against us or against a treaty ally.
But nothing is going to work to "convince" Obama not to follow the directions of his British puppet-masters, other than decisive action to remove him from power—preferably by Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, or by threat of impeachment. Numerous Congressmen, from Kucinich to Rep. Ron Paul, have publicly stated that the President's actions make him "impeachable" on numerous fronts. A draft bill of impeachment, devoted specifically to President Obama's violation of Article I, Section VIII, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution (the specification of Congress's power to declare war), was published on April 8, 2011 by constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein. It has yet to be taken up by those who have given impassioned speeches on the subject.
Herein lies the crucial role of Lyndon LaRouche and his political movement, which have uniquely grasped the cause of the war drive (the bankruptcy of the British financial empire and its determination to maintain global control), and the threat of extinction which it would represent for the human race. The LaRouche movement has determined to build the support necessary for backing up Jones and the Joint Chiefs, as the crucial first step toward freeing the world from the grip of that murderous financial empire. That means getting rid of Obama immediately—an action the drive behind Jones' courageous resolution will facilitate.