Lawfully Speaking Vol. IV, Issue No. 3
A Periodic Internet Political Column
Written by William H. Huff
Perhaps the 'honor' should go to Condoleeza Rice for popularizing one of George W. Bush’s dyslexically coined words. At any rate, I recently read her words using this new term to describe the ‘new’ administration policy with regard to ‘terrorism’ and Saddam Hussein. The new policy has been dubbed by Dubya: “Preemption.”
Thankfully, Bill Gates has provided me with a marvelous Thesaurus that I often use to make cursory inquiry into the meaning of a word or to look for a more apt substitute. The Bush Thesaurus is obviously not similarly designed. It has apparent glitches or short circuits. Upon listening to the man speak, I find my brain being jarred from time to time as it searches its archives to determine -- “what in the world is this man talking about?”
A prime example, is the Dubya-coined hybrid “commiserate” which you probably think you recognize. Au contraire, Dubya has used it in the context where the appropriate word would be “commensurate” and mispronounced it in that context so that it almost sounded like the appropriate word. This is the stuff that causes cognitive dissonance in an otherwise attentive listener.
It would be delightful to know the foibles above were his only disabilities. However, his contempt for the Constitution and the Rule of Law, both internationally and domestically, may not be surpassed within what could turn out to be our brief lifetimes.
We read that troops are already being moved into position for a ‘war’ that the president is going to be sure to consult all concerned parties about - at some point in the very near future. According to the Constitution the Congress has the exclusive power of “Declaring War.” Therefore, we should blame our Representatives and our Senators if they are not moving for Impeachment whenever the faintest whimper about waging war comes out of anyone at the White House. In the meantime, we wait to see what sort of ‘Czar’ will be appointed for the next real or imagined domestic emergency as we see civil liberties fading in less time than it takes for Dubya to coin a new and confusing term for us to decrypt.
There can be no justification for ‘preemptive’ war.
A decision that preempts forever the proper considerations that should have preceded any action whatsoever can only set the most horrendous precedents for future international security. It’s a pretty safe bet that the United States is on the wrong course when the nation is being drawn into wars before the reasons are more than rhetoric by vested interests.
I can never repay Noah Webster for all of the most scholarly work of his 1828 ‘American Dictionary of the English Language.’ It happens, that in the case of ‘Preemption,’ which actually turns out to be a word, the President may have been speaking in code without knowing it. Or perhaps there is more to this non-self-effacing man than we have been led to believe. According to the great Webster, the word ‘Preemption’ means, 1) The act of purchasing before others. 2) The right of purchasing before others. Prior discovery of unoccupied land gives the discoverer the prior right of occupancy. Prior discovery of land inhabited by savages is held to give the discoverer the ‘pre-emption’ or right of purchase before others. 3) Formerly, in England, the privilege or prerogative enjoyed by the king, of buying provisions for his household in preference to others, abolished by statute 19. Charles II.
A cursory look at some modern definitions indicates most modern dictionaries agree with Webster but are not as informative. However, one modern dictionary resurrects the contemptible principle and fallaciously describes it as a right of government. It refers to ‘the judicial principle asserting the supremacy of federal over state legislation on the same subject’ - another fiction [State and Federal jurisdictions are two entirely different animals - jurisdictions are ‘separate and distinct’ - remember the separation of powers doctrine and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments].
Dubya’s propensity to ‘coin’ words combined with Webster’s definition may provide us with some powerful insights.
Could it be that the Bush family, along with many of the most powerful and corrupt corporate interests across the globe, have decided capriciously that the oil under the country of Iraq is a commodity to which they have an absolute right, because they have the absolute power to take it? Are we witnessing true concern for the safety of the American People in action, or are we witnessing one of the grandest thefts in history?
All that needs to be done to properly re-direct American Foreign Policy is to apply the Golden Rule, implemented as it was expounded in George Washington’s Farewell Address. The Golden Rule requires that we not subject anyone else to anything that would be hateful to us. If we would apply lawful rules of evidence to this situation, that is, require disinterested third party verification, it would still be true that the American and British governments are guilty of perpetrating many crimes against Iraq that they would find repugnant if they were the victims. It should be fully realized that the U.S. and Britain have been unlawfully invading Iraqi airspace for several years. And when the Iraqis try to expel the invaders the U.S. and Britain have the audacity to call Iraqi efforts to shoot them down 'provocations.' If the Iraqis were bombing New Jersey every day, would we call it aggression when New Jersey citizens tried to take down their aircraft?
The alleged connection between previous UN resolutions and the so-called ‘enforcement’ of the ‘no-fly zones’ is loose to non-existent. The UN is being made as impotent as the average American citizen on this one. Although this provides insight into the real purposes and limitations of the UN that may be useful to exploit, it does nothing to force the U.S. and Britain to cease from making war without lawful cause.
If you ‘preempt’ something how can you ever be sure it would have happened in the first place? But you say, ‘we can’t take the chance with Saddam.’ What makes Saddam so unique? Can we ‘take the chance’ with the successor of Jiang Zemin? Can we ‘take the chance’ with Vladimir Putin? What about Nelson Mandella? What about Willie Nelson? The list is as endless as the potential for endless war that this policy portends.
If you ‘preempt’ something how can you ever know you had a righteous cause? How can you know you got the right guy? How do you know he will not be succeeded by someone far worse? How many countries are you prepared to occupy perpetually?
If we are to believe Scott Ritter, who was on the UNSCOM inspection team, Iraq has been all but completely disarmed; the U.S. was deliberately using the inspectors for espionage purposes; the Iraqis were not interfering with the inspections in any deleterious way, and the suffering of the common people in Iraq has far outweighed any need for international ‘justice’ or ‘satisfaction.’
Perhaps one of the most amazing revelations of the near future will turn out to be that the Iraqi people do not hate or fear Saddam as much as they adore him.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing we ever do as a country will turn out to be trusting George W. Bush to usurp the Constitution, act as an absolute Despot, and make war upon whom he pleases, whenever and wherever he pleases.
There seems to be a sickness in our national mind that says “we are hurting from 9-11 and therefore others must hurt to a greater degree” - others who may or may not be culpable. I remember hearing a cliche from Viet Nam. Perhaps it was old by then. They used to say, “Kill ‘em all - let God sort ‘em out.”
I would suggest that we should pray for God to sort Us out, before we go about ‘preempting’ that which may never have occurred. The total Iraqi death toll is already in excess of one million. Most of them were defenseless children. The Gulf War Veterans have not faired much better. A few hundred thousand have been suffering under disabilities that have not been adequately addressed by our Warmongers in Washington. In fact, the mess that was Viet Nam has carved such deep scars on the American family that it will take generations to heal. We now know the truth about many who were deliberately left behind in our many wars of the Twentieth and most bloody century in history. Yet we now hear saber rattling in the news every day of the week.
Might does not make right!
A Washington Times columnist has recently asserted that ‘America has earned the right to impose her will.’ Please read that again and consider the weight of it. I was so outraged by such a statement that I e-mailed him to ask if he really believed it. Well, guess what! He was not inclined to change his statement or modify it in any way. He was speaking in the context of accelerating war plans to attack Iraq. For him the attack could not come too soon.
If you are a regular visitor to LEXREX.com you know we advocate the Rule of Law, Equality before the Law, and strict enforcement of the Constitution by our Public Servants. We are also inclined to promote the same rights and protections for all citizens and all nations of the world - including our real or perceived enemies. We are committed - through peaceful means - to an American ‘Regime Change’ that adheres to a strict enforcement of the Constitution and the Rule of Law at home as well as abroad.
The only One who can righteously act in a Preemptive fashion would be God Himself. Even Lincoln, with all of his contempt for the Constitution, was said to have corrected someone who asked him if God was on our side, informing them that we should be more concerned that we are on God’s side. To act Preemptively in attacking Iraq at this time is presumptuous beyond words. It assumes omniscience - an attribute only of God.
It could be that God will ‘Preempt’ George W. Bush in his efforts to set aside our Constitutional safeguards that the Founders and Framers so wisely set in place in order to avoid national embarrassment and possible national demise. If America cannot afford to be patient enough to apply the wisdom of the Founders, she is undoubtedly in a process that will lead to her destruction from within or without.
As you pray for the families who suffered from the disaster of 9-11, remember to pray for the American People - all those citizen statesmen - who have long forgotten that the government is their servant - not their master. They have longed to have a king instead of a humble servant like Washington - and they have been given a miserable excuse for a king in George W. Bush - a man who could never have been President except that he inherited it from his corrupt father.
Thomas Paine was not keen on hereditary monarchies. In ‘Common Sense’ he shared the following poignant words that seem to apply to our unlikely President: “One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.”
History will prove whether George W. Bush is an ass or a lion. I have my suspicions.