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http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Mar/03172003/commenta/38933.asp Another View: Invading Iraq Is Unconstitutional BY ED FIRMAGE President George Bush is leading this country into a war that is at once unconstitutional, a gross violation of international law, aggresses our own civil liberties and threatens our national security by violating norms of common sense, including the Powell Doctrine stemming from the lessons learned from the first Gulf War. First, this war violates the U.S. Constitution. The non-delegation doctrine of American constitutional law forbids Congress delegating to another branch of government its own unique core responsibilities. The resolution rammed through the Congress by this administration in the emotional spasm following 9-11 was exactly that: a delegation to the president of the war-deciding power exclusively given to Congress by the Constitution. That exclusivity of the power to decide for peace or war was what motivated Thomas Jefferson to write the constitutional framers from Paris, where he was American ambassador to our oldest ally, France, and congratulate them for "chaining the dog of war." The Congress, under unrelenting pressure from President Bush, simply abdicated its constitutional power by delegating the decision for peace or war to this man hell-bent for war at any cost. The Congress declared its own bankruptcy as the president demonstrated his own lack of the qualities of leadership to accomplish by negotiation and diplomacy the preservation of the peace by peaceful means. Second, international law, including scores of treaties to which we are party, made part of our domestic law by the supremacy clause of the Constitution, forbids our waging aggressive war. We have not been attacked by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. He is all the bad things Mr. Bush claims. But any connection to Osama bin Ladin, who has attacked the United States, is simply nonexistent. The only connection between the two is President Bush, who is pushing together two men who loathe each other. The late Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the American prosecutor of the war criminals at the Nuremburg trials following World War II, stated the American definition of international law, later made the universal law of the entire world by unanimous acceptance by the United Nations: "Our position is that whatever grievances a nation may have, however objectionable it finds the status quo, aggressive warfare in an illegal means for settling grievances or for altering those conditions." Mr. Bush's war violates international law and constitutes a war crime. Third, Mr. Bush's war violates the Powell Doctrine, formulated by his own secretary of state when Colin Powell served admirably as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the first President Bush in the Gulf War of 1990-91. Wars, if we were to take part, were to have a clearly identifiable and achievable goal. Sufficient force must be assembled and used with restraint. And third, there must be a sensible and swift exit strategy. Only the second is now done: God knows we have assembled the power to wage war and topple Saddam. But we do not do this to establish democracy by launching 3,000 precision-guided missiles at Iraq. Where has democracy been established by destroying a country? Democracy is a special flower that must be grown within a people's heart and soul over decades and centuries. Our help can be vital. But it must be done by our own example in a world at peace, not by military occupation under a new colonial, imperial, military government enforced by brute power. Nor will we rid the world of its dictators or their weapons of mass destruction by launching our own weapons of mass destruction. Our means and our ends must be congruent. Our own brutal aggression will not accomplish anything but increasing the misery of the Iraqi people and at horrible cost to us as well. We do not wage aggressive war without debasing our own morality and eviscerating our own civil liberties. We degrade our own democracy as we attempt to export this flower which must be home-grown. And no exit strategy exists. We will be there for decades as the new colonial imperialists. Beware the karma that will surely follow. _______ Ed Firmage is professor of law, and Samuel D. Turman Professor of Law, Emeritus, at the University of Utah College of Law. He is the author, with Francis Wormuth, of To Chain the Dog of War: the War Power of Congress in History and Law. __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Web Hosting - establish your business online http://webhosting.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk