Monday, 23 May 2011

What Is It Good For?

The War Powers Resolution, that is, since the sixtieth day in Libya has come and gone without any attempt to seek Congressional authorisation?

Or, for that matter, the Republican Party, which has made no effort to pursue this? Yet that party called for Europe to revert to pre-1914 borders and thus end the First World War, also the position of Pope Benedict XV. It resisted entry into the Second World War until America was actually attacked by either side.

Eisenhower ended the Korean War, was even-handed in his approach to Israel and the Palestinians, declined to intervene in Indo-China, and denounced the military-industrial complex. Nixon suspended the draft, pursued détente with China, and ended the Vietnam War along with Ford, an old stalwart of the America First Committee.

Reagan withdrew from Lebanon in 1983, and initiated nuclear arms reduction in Europe. James Baker issued a call to “lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel” and to “foreswear annexation, stop settlement activity”. Republicans opposed the global trigger-happiness of the Clinton Administration. And even Bush the Younger removed American troops from Saudi Arabia after 9/11, thus ensuring that there has been no further attack on American soil.

But where is that party now? At the very least, those who in any case know that the Tea Party is going to be coming after them might as well give it a proper excuse.

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