Obama’s false choice of false choices

posted at 3:15 pm on May 22, 2009 by Karl

Pres. Obama is at it again, this time speaking to graduates at the Naval Academy:

“When America strays from our values, it not only undermines the rule of law, it alienates us from our allies, it energizes our adversaries and it endangers our national security and the lives of our troops,” Obama said. “So as Americans, we reject the false choice between our security and our ideals. We can and we must and we will protect both.”

The notion that our war policies have alienated the world is pathetic, given the track record of the rest of the world, especially our enemies. The notion that straying from Obama’s perception of American ideals energizes our enemies is belied by the history of increasingly brazen terror attacks during the Clinton administration and culminating in the 9/11 attack. Jihadis — and the Left — may use Guantanamo Bay and enhanced interrogation for propaganda purposes, but the jihadis will always have a grievance du jour — as evidenced by the fact that two of the 9/11 terrorists said on videotape that their actions were inspired by an urge to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya. Jihadis are energized when their attacks succeed, not when they are preempted. The Left is energized by photos of detainee abuse, but suppresses footage of jihadi beheadings or people plummeting from the World Trade Canter.

Those looking for false choices need look no further than Obama’s speech in defense of his national security policies:

We see that, above all, in the recent debate – how the recent debate has obscured the truth and sends people into opposite and absolutist ends. On the one side of the spectrum, there are those who make little allowance for the unique challenges posed by terrorism, and would almost never put national security over transparency. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: “Anything goes.” Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means, and that the president should have blanket authority to do whatever he wants – provided it is a president with whom they agree.

Obama cannot attach a name to any of “those” because he is flanking himself with straw men, as he did throughout the speech.

In reality, despite all of his rhetoric about “false choices” and “decisions based on fear rather than foresight,” Obama has largely embraced the Bush administration’s war policies (including the possible return of enhanced interrogation), with only minor tweaking. And Democrats are refusing to fund his decision to close Gitmo, because he has no plan for disposing of the detainees. His excuse is that the issue is “difficult and complex,” and that “no neat or easy answers here.”

Obama’s speech yesterday contained a passage suggesting that he is seriously considering going beyond the Bush administration to create a preventive detention regime, which he called “the toughest single issue that we will face.”

In short, on one hand, the president claims that the Bush administration and the post-9/11 Congress went “off course,” making hasty decisions motivated by fear. On the other hand, in dealing with the same issues himself years later, on the proverbial “sunny day in April,” Pres. Obama is making almost all of the same choices, correctly noting that they are difficult ones. Asking that we condemn the former while praising the latter is the real false choice Obama presents.

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Can we please fix this?

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lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Can we please fix this?

� � � � � �

lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Thank you.

bluelightbrigade on May 22, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Excellent write up, Karl. Few, if any, are advocating “anything goes” as the president claimed. We simply want to use what worked. We’re fortunate that the techniques that worked don’t even rise to the level of torture. If the choice is pulled finger nails or waterboarding, and the choice is really easy, perhaps they had little in common to begin with.

Obama’s attempt to politicize this issue, which results in the people of the United States being increasingly vulnerable, is shameful.

Stickeehands on May 22, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Will someone please inform BHO that the rest of the world doesn’t want to be involved anyway? They just want to monday-morning-quarterback our efforts [ultimately] on their behalf.

bluelightbrigade on May 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM

False choices , false hope , false prophet.

the_nile on May 22, 2009 at 3:21 PM

straying from Obama’s perception of American ideals energizes our enemies

Can his ego be any bigger?

Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means, and that the president should have blanket authority to do whatever he wants � provided it is a president with whom they agree.

Exactly what Obama has done. Given himself blanket authority, to bully investors into taking what he offers. Bullying people into accepting his idea of proper compensation, for a job. Bullying his way, using fear tactics, to pass scam legislation.

Obama, the hypocrite.

capejasmine on May 22, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Can we please fix this?

� � � � � �

lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM

It shall be replaced with…
☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭

along with other things.

WashJeff on May 22, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Twisted yet brilliant.
Kinda like the motto Axelrod gave his client ComEd:
http://comed.com/

rishika on May 22, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Can his ego be any bigger?

capejasmine on May 22, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Oh yes it can.

myrenovations on May 22, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Really..if he is so bothered by the ends not justifying the means why was he so quick to absolve William Ayers? What has this phony nincompoop ever done in his life that demonstrates his personal commitment to moral values?

AmericanUnderground on May 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM

I am so tired of his use of the “false choice” nonsense.

Half of his speeches are:
Step 1: Setup strawman (aka Bush or Cheney, take your pick)
Step 2: Create nonexisting “false choice” that supposed strawman made
Step 3: Use his amazing intellect to overcome the “false choice”

strictnein on May 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Obama is the climax of liberal self hate.

He looks for any false and created moral equivalence between terrorists and USA, that’s why he runs around with apologies for WW2.

the_nile on May 22, 2009 at 3:28 PM

I love how in the headline image for this article the guy behind Obama is trying to find some angle to dodge Obama’s ear to get his face in the picture.

Doesn’t Obama hate these ear jokes?

WashJeff on May 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM

I knew a man, Objangles, and he danced for me
In worn out new deal shoes.
With short hair, a flashy shirt and fancy pants,
The old new deal soft shoe.
He tap danced so high, tap danced so high, then he lightly touched down.
I met him in a ward in Chicago, I was
So down and out.
He looked to be the Messiah of the age,
As he spoke right out.
He talked of hope, he talked of change.
But then he laughed and just clicked heels instead
.
Mister Objangles
Mister Objangles
Mister Objangles

Dance!

MB4 on May 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM

TOOL

SDarchitect on May 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Obama is the climax of liberal self hate.

We’re being bukakke’d?

(Look, if you know what it means, it ain’t my fault! If you just found out. Yes, I’ll accept blame)

lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Just need one little question answered, if you don’t mind: Why is it all right to shoot down three teen-age boys (dressed, albeit, as pirates) – shoot them permanently dead – to save one man in a dinghy, but it will imperil our society to waterboard (i.e., momentarily discomfit) one grizzled terrorist to save hundreds – or more?

OK; thanks, now I’ll go away.

ManUFan on May 22, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Barry O – Arugula eating surrender monkey (and when I say “monkey”, I mean an albino, non-racially charged, surrender monkey).

Wyznowski on May 22, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Just need one little question answered, if you don’t mind: Why is it all right to shoot down three teen-age boys (dressed, albeit, as pirates) – shoot them permanently dead – to save one man in a dinghy, but it will imperil our society to waterboard (i.e., momentarily discomfit) one grizzled terrorist to save hundreds – or more?

OK; thanks, now I’ll go away.

ManUFan on May 22, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Exactly , how did we know they would harm him.
And now they hate us…

the_nile on May 22, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Can we please fix this?

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lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM

I cannot fix that, which seems to be a flaw in the widget that “promotes” Greenroom posts to the front page. I will contact those who may be able to get it fixed, but I would not expect much over a holiday weekend.

As I have noted before, if it is really intolerable for the reader, there is a link at the very end of a promoted post that takes you to the original version, which does not have the formatting problem.

Karl on May 22, 2009 at 3:34 PM

The Talking Chimp would merely be an insufferable bore if he were still in the Senate. His rhetorical positions are juvenile. His legal reasoning is designed to impress Marin County morons. I’m hoping he adopts Waxman’s gambit and chooses a speed reader to utter his stupid speeches.

By the way, is there any way to get a hold of this idiot’s LSAT score?

mr1216 on May 22, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Karl on May 22, 2009 at 3:34 PM

I know you can’t, but it seems like its something easy enough to resolve on the software side.

lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:35 PM

ManUFan on May 22, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Our friends on the Left never cared when well over 4,000 US military people died in non-combat when Bill Clinton was pResident.

They also never cared when Saddam Hussein tortured his own civilian population. In fact, their mouthpiece CNN gave him a pass for a decade.

Del Dolemonte on May 22, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Today people seem to finally be noticing–or at least talking about–Obama’s habit of attacking strawmen. Let’s hope it continues.

DaveS on May 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM

I question that Obama even knows what American values are. When was the last time he spoke the word freedom?

tarpon on May 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM

I know you can’t, but it seems like its something easy enough to resolve on the software side.

lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Yeah, but in this case it was just the hyphens, and I think most of the problem in the past has been quote marks and apostrophes. It’s a matter of tracking it all down.

Karl on May 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Obama = a-hole. jerk. fool.

Griz on May 22, 2009 at 3:44 PM

If you just found out. Yes, I’ll accept blame)

lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Wow, the internet is an educational place.

myrenovations on May 22, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Why is it all right to shoot down three teen-age boys (dressed, albeit, as pirates) – shoot them permanently dead – to save one man in a dinghy, but it will imperil our society to waterboard (i.e., momentarily discomfit) one grizzled terrorist to save hundreds – or more?

ManUFan on May 22, 2009 at 3:31 PM

There’s a difference between your scenarios.

A policeman is a hero if he shoots a suspect who is holding hostages at gun point.
A policeman is a criminal were he to shoot that same suspect an hour later after the suspect has been arrested and is in handcuffs.

In order for the imminent danger exception to kick in you need to have some pretty solid evidence that something bad is about to happen.
It’s going to happen soon.
There is no other way to get the evidence needed to stop it.

MarkTheGreat on May 22, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Thare are seven (7) photographs of this er…, President on the current page. Could we possibly have less, you know AP, EM, less is more. Could we, e.g., have an empty frame, or better yet: frames?

Thank you.

albertpale on May 22, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Obama ( or at least his teleprompter) is very skilled at using words that mean something to you and at the same time often mean the exact opposite to someone else. Obama can use those words to mean anything he wants, past, present, or future.

‘failed policies of the past’

Skandia Recluse on May 22, 2009 at 4:04 PM

This just re-enforces my belief that Obama has reached a tipping point. He has exposed himself as an empty suit, and believe it or not, I expect the media will finally start calling him to task.

His pompasity and self richousness was over the top this week. I’m sure his committment to the high road would crumble if it were his kids in jeopardy and a captive had the info to save his daughters.

If I can see through his pompous BS
, I have no doubt others can too.

saiga on May 22, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Sometimes if you say it enough it becomes the truth. Sometimes it just becomes tiresome. I think this is getting tiresome.

petunia on May 22, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Sometimes if you say it enough it becomes the truth. Sometimes it just becomes tiresome. I think this is getting tiresome.

petunia on May 22, 2009 at 4:06 PM

He can’t handle the truth.

saiga on May 22, 2009 at 4:09 PM

I so hate him.

ctmom on May 22, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Seriously, how long can Pres. Obama’s silver tongue and ad hominem attacks on the Bush years have an impact?

budorob on May 22, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Isn’t it interesting how Obama emphasizes the importance of the “rule of law” when he’s talking about the Bush Administration’s treatment of prisoners at Gitmo or the use of torture. It’s so very important that we not undermine the rule of law. The rule of law is what makes our society special. The rule of law is one of our core values. Everyone in this nation, no matter their station, is subject to the rule of law.

Well, not quite everyone, right Bambi? Tens of millions of illegal aliens feel free to ignore our immigration laws, our document fraud laws, and basically any other law that stands between them and their desire to live in the U.S. When we’re talking about illegal aliens, suddenly that core value “the rule of law” doesn’t matter so much anymore, does it Bambi? We simply cannot allow the rule of law to be undermined — unless it’s being undermined by one of Bambi’s favored special interest groups like illegal aliens, and then it’s okay.

What a hypocrite he is.

AZCoyote on May 22, 2009 at 4:11 PM

He can’t handle the truth.

saiga on May 22, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Funny on multiple levels.

petunia on May 22, 2009 at 4:12 PM

MarkTheGreat on May 22, 2009 at 3:59 PM

I don’t really get what your point is. Can you run it past me again?

Itchee Dryback on May 22, 2009 at 4:14 PM

What is truly apparent to me is that Bamby knows NOTHING of American history.

He is creating this unreal version of a pristine America… and using it to inhibit our ability to defend ourselves…

America is far from perfect… we have done evil in the past, and will do evil again… but we always TRY to do good… to have hope.

It’s like Bambi’s idea of getting rud of Nukes… great in an ideal world, IMPOSSIBLE in the REAL world.

Sometimes, we have to do bad things in order to defend ourselves… sometimes we make mistakes… sometimes its the only way to win…

But to try to create an INNOCENT America vice a Righteous America (knows evil but chooses to do good) is a mistake of the first magnitude… and shows he is not liveing in the same world as the rest of us.

Romeo13 on May 22, 2009 at 4:15 PM

I question that Obama even knows what American values are. When was the last time he spoke the word freedom?

tarpon on May 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM

For Democrats words like “union” “quotas” “redistribution” “control” “hate-speech”have superseded any need for the word “freedom” in American vocabulary.

petunia on May 22, 2009 at 4:16 PM

“When America strays from our values…”

When we stray? Obama is DRAGGING us away from our values. Regardless of the number of deluded people who voted for him, most Americans do not value government ownership of public enterprise, an ever-expanding welfare state, nationalized health care, higher taxes, skyrocketing deficits, rising fuel costs, and a$$ kissing our enemies.

Dee2008 on May 22, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Asking that we condemn the former while praising the latter is the real false choice Obama presents.

Obama -
Orders killing of Somali “teenagers”
Starts preventive detention program
Keeps detainees indefinitely
Keeps Patriot Act preventive measures
Orders strikes in Pockeestahn
Jails himself. (Or maybe he should — if it’s good enough for the Bush administration….)

Christian Conservative on May 22, 2009 at 4:35 PM

“the president claims that the Bush administration and the post-9/11 Congress went “off course,” making hasty decisions motivated by fear.”
Kinda like passing the stimulus, TARP, auto bailouts, etc.

KS Rex on May 22, 2009 at 4:36 PM

And on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: “Anything goes.”

Really? When we tell the terrorist that the caterpillar in his box doesn’t really bite, that’s “Anything goes”?

But Ewwwwww, it’s icky, it’s torture!

Steve Z on May 22, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Obama cannot attach a name to any of “those” because he is flanking himself with straw men, as he did throughout the speech.

And I think that’s what I like least about him. Let’s have a vigorous debate about what our public policies should be – I’m all for it. But not only does he not give conservatives a seat at the table, he goes further and makes up beliefs for them that he can easily attack. And I know he’s smart enough to see that what he is doing is wrong – but it works, so he keeps doing it.

kc8ukw on May 22, 2009 at 4:39 PM

lorien1973 on May 22, 2009 at 3:31 PM

0bama’s a-lucky for your love.

Sekhmet on May 22, 2009 at 4:39 PM

The sad part is he blithered this blather to the Naval Academy grads! He is incapable of being apolitical in *any* circumstance – it’s all a continual reelection campaign to Big Guy.

KS Rex on May 22, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Barry O – Arugula eating surrender monkey (and when I say “monkey”, I mean an albino, non-racially charged, surrender monkey).

Wyznowski on May 22, 2009 at 3:32 PM

No need to explain Wyznowski. That term was coined by the British press. And we all know that Brits aren’t racists, because they aren’t American conservatives.

Dee2008 on May 22, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Isn’t it interesting how Obama emphasizes the importance of the “rule of law” when he’s talking about the Bush Administration’s treatment of prisoners at Gitmo or the use of torture. It’s so very important that we not undermine the rule of law.

Like we not give State money to Rip-Off Rezko.

Like we not cheat Chrysler creditors out of THEIR money.

Like we observe campaign finance laws, and ensure that all donors are American citizens, and not Donald Duck from Lower Slobbovia.

Like we not hire tax cheats to tax other people.

What about THAT rule of law, Barry?

Barry: I won.

Steve Z on May 22, 2009 at 4:44 PM

If I can see through his pompous BS
, I have no doubt others can too.

saiga on May 22, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Nearly 60 million voters saw through his pompous BS prior to November, and voted for McCain.

Trouble is, 68 million voters had tingles up their legs. How many of them, like Icarus, have had their wings melt and fallen back to earth?

You can’t fool all the people all the time. But if you can fool more than half the people all the time, you do what you want.

Steve Z on May 22, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Obama cannot attach a name to any of “those” because he is flanking himself with straw men, as he did throughout the speech.

A strawman who flanks himself with strawmen = community organizer = Obama.

petefrt on May 22, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Obama thinks we “stray from our values” when we stray from collectivism. He doesn’t have a fricking clue what our “values” actually are. He is a brainwashed narcissist and if you don’t agree with him (and thus his “values”) you are immoral in his contemptible mind.

Things his Daddy taught him:

“Rather than vilify the rich,” [Barry] laments, “we hold them up as role models, and our mythology is steeped in stories of men on the make.”

This is no small point. The man who wants to be the nation’s CEO actually believes we’re living in a feudal society where the rich plunder the poor. And he thinks they should not only be vilified but punished.

“The problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed are rooted in the desire among those at the top of the social ladder to maintain their wealth and status whatever the cost,” he wrote. “Solving these problems will require changes in government policy.”

Buy Danish on May 22, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Those who know not history – are doomed to repeat it.

I’ll put this as briefly as possible …

WWI: Europe on Fire – allies against the wall – US gets involved to save the Entente. US sustains over 200,000 casualties. Total Casualties for Entente and Central Powers – 21 MILLION … including 16M military and civilian deaths.

WWII: Europe on Fire – allies against the wall – US gets dragged in through attack a Pearl Harbor – US donns Superman cape – away we go into Europe and the Pacific. Total US deaths – 420,000. Total to for the war (Allies and Axis) = no one agrees – but estimates are between 50 and 80 MILLION (DEATHS ALONE)

We lost 33 THOUSAND GOOD MEN in Korea.

We lost 58 THOUSAND GOOD MEN in Vietnam.

WE BUTTED OUR NOSES INTO GRENADA – Lost 19 men.

WE BUTTED OUR NOSES INTO PANAMA – Lost 24 men.

WE BUTTED OUR NOSES INTO GULF WAR I – Lost around 500 men

We got attacked by AQ and lost over 3000 civilians.

And we butted our noses into Iraq and lost over 3000 good men.

If you will notice – you’ll see that whenever we do “preemptive” stuff – we lose fewer people. We lost tremendous numbers of people in WWI and WWII because we came in after the balloon went up.

It’s not “IF” America will get involved – it’s “WHEN”. The later we get involved – the more people we lose. But when we nose in early – we certainly piss our allies off but we end up taking fewer casualties (and by an order of magnitude).

So Obama can be the peaceful President – but we are not a peaceful planet. WWIII is on the way – unless we had someone in the White House with the guts to manage the world situation to prevent it – but we don’t.

HondaV65 on May 22, 2009 at 6:29 PM

If al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the rest of the Looney Tunes brigade want to kick America to death, they had better move in quickly and grab a piece of the action before Barack Obama finishes the job himself. Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people – not even Jimmy Carter.

Obama’s problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran: instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution. Obama is not at war with terrorists, but with his Republican fellow citizens. He has never abandoned the campaign trail.

That is why he opened Pandora’s Box by publishing the Justice Department’s legal opinions on waterboarding and other hardline interrogation techniques. He cynically subordinated the national interest to his partisan desire to embarrass the Republicans. Then he had to rush to Langley, Virginia to try to reassure a demoralised CIA that had just discovered the President of the United States was an even more formidable foe than al-Qaeda.

“Don’t be discouraged by what’s happened the last few weeks,” he told intelligence officers. Is he kidding? Thanks to him, al-Qaeda knows the private interrogation techniques available to the US intelligence agencies and can train its operatives to withstand them – or would do so, if they had not already been outlawed.

So, next time a senior al-Qaeda hood is captured, all the CIA can do is ask him nicely if he would care to reveal when a major population centre is due to be hit by a terror spectacular, or which American city is about to be irradiated by a dirty bomb. Your view of this situation will be dictated by one simple criterion: whether or not you watched the people jumping from the twin towers…

President Pantywaist’s recent world tour, cosying up to all the bad guys, excited the ambitions of America’s enemies. Here, they realised, is a sucker they can really take to the cleaners. His only enemies are fellow Americans. Which prompts the question: why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?

reshas1 on May 22, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Indeed, the legal challenges that have sparked so much debate in recent weeks here in Washington would be taking place whether or not I decided to close Guantanamo. For example, the court order to release 17 Uighurs — 17 Uighur detainees took place last fall, when George Bush was president. The Supreme Court that invalidated the system of prosecution at Guantanamo in 2006 was overwhelmingly appointed by Republican presidents — not wild-eyed liberals. In other words, the problem of what to do with Guantanamo detainees was not caused by my decision to close the facility; the problem exists because of the decision to open Guantanamo in the first place.

Obama blames Bush again. As is oft-times said, The Buck Stops In Texas.

The court that invalidated the system of prosecution didn’t carefully read the Geneva Convention. The Convention says that soldiers captured on the field of battle must be tried for any crimes via the same justice system used for our own soldiers.

At the present time, that indicates either a court-martial or military tribunal.

Now that Obama has chosen to move those enemy soldiers into our civil justice system, our own soldiers are, under that same Convention, entitled to the identical treatment.

I look forward to seeing the fallout from this ill-thought act, which Bush had the foresight to avoid. This is the beginning of the end for the UCMJ.

unclesmrgol on May 22, 2009 at 8:20 PM

Well the ‘boys’ in the dingy are doing the exact, same thing that the al Qaeda terrorists are doing. If we care to remember the Law of Nations by de Vattel, most highly talked about by the Founders and those during the Constitutional ratification period by both Federalists and Anti-Federalists, we find in Book III which is examining types of warfare and why war between sovereign States is to have a distinction from other types of conflicts:

§ 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.

That was written post-Westphalia and before the Founding of the United States and de Vattel was helped by Blackstone who would go on to write his Commentaries on the English Common Law which was a major work used by Presidents of the US in the late 18th and early 19th century. So The understanding of the Law of Nations and how each Nation fit in the framework of Nation States was well known.

Those in the dingy who wield weapons under no sovereign power are exactly the same as all ‘terrorists’. Do note that those waging Private War are seen as the same on land or at sea, there is no distinction based on floating on the water or not, save for name designation. Also note that the Laws of War and the Laws of Peace have no room for these individuals, as they have decided to work outside of Earthly law. Really, Blackstone when looking at Piracy has a wonderful quote on that:

LASTLY, the crime of piracy, or robbery and depredation upon the high seas, is an offense against the universal law of society; a pirate being, according to Sir Edward Coke,10 hostis humani generis [enemy to mankind]. 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 has a right, by the rule of self-defense, to inflict that punishment upon him, which every individual would in a state of nature have been otherwise entitled to do, any invasion of his person or personal property.

By reverting to the Law of Nature and Nature’s God, those that take up warfare without a sovereign Nation to back them are reclaiming all their liberties and rights and reverting to being savage man. Age really has no part to play in this as it is the activity that is an abomination to those of us who have society in which we vest our negative liberty of warfare to protect us from those wishing to wage war upon us. Doesn’t matter if it is in a dingy with AK-47s or in a 727 with hundreds held hostage… those that are part of that are all savages. That should be abundantly clear as reclaiming one’s right to wage war for oneself without sovereing backing is horrific: you are giving up the benefit of civilization to wage war on all mankind. You declare yourself by your action which falls outside the realm of civil law as, by waging such war, you renounce all claim to civil law. We blame no one who kills such savages, as the Law of Nature has its own rules to live and die by… preferable that those waging such war be killed than to leave such dangerous savagery and threat to civil society at large to threaten us.

Thus there is continuity between those on ships waging war called Piracy and those on land waging war we call ‘terrorism’ (which is but a tactic as so many on the Left point out, but never ask a tactic in which type of warfare?). I would prefer that those doing such actions submit to civil law for judgment, but they do not. They are then due the recompense of the Law of Nature and it is savage law. That is not a good thing to inflict! I wish those doing so would stop it. They do not having full chance to act civilized and submit to civil procedures. That is their choice, not mine. And in the war of the type they want they are outside the protection all law: outlaw. I did not do that to them, they did it to themselves.

That is what one can find from reading the founding principles that our forefathers used to make the Constitution and then NAME the Law of Nations within it: an actual naming of a body of legal work that they were voluntarily submitting the new Nation to as it is a reasonable and rational framework for having a civilized Nation. How strange that so many miss that body of work in reading the Constitution when claiming to uphold it.

ajacksonian on May 22, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Obama = a-hole. jerk. fool.

Griz on May 22, 2009

+ moron, putz, self-absorbed idiotic uber-egotistical megalomaniacal machiavellian misanthropic myopic melon-head…for starters.

SKYFOX on May 23, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Personally, I find Obama’s focus on how we slipped morally completely offensive. I think a lot of regular people will agree with me on this. We knew what was going on. We understood the problem. We were glad that someone was doing something, even if it might not have been the absolute perfect action.

He’s not on the same page, in my opinion, as regular middle Americans.

AnninCA on May 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM

All his speeches include the following, “some folks say”, “there are people who say”, “I know you hear folks say”, “when people say”. So many straw men, so little time. When the hell is this campaigning going to end? As for morality of the American public, he doesn’t speak for me. POTUS is less morally cognizant then the average American.

elclynn on May 23, 2009 at 2:28 PM

What choice would Nobama have made in 1804 when confronted by continued aggression by Jihadists? Would he have sent the Marines to clean up the mess in Tripoli? Nah, he would have sent some nice gifts to make them like us, had the officers bow down to the emirs, and then would have told the media everything is fine now, I have spoken.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on May 24, 2009 at 12:22 AM