AMERICANS ARE PLAYING A DANGEROUS GAME
By Chuck Baldwin
Posted: February 19, 2003 - 1:45 pm PST
One of the indictments against this generation of Americans is that it is woefully lacking in serious and deliberative thinking. This is true for conservatives as well as for liberals. The only thing that seems to matter to either group is winning elections. Actual policies count for little. However, when the policies of our elected leaders concern war and national security, they become deadly serious.
Unfortunately, whether someone supports or opposes policy decisions seems to depend more on who is making the decision than on what decision is being made. This kind of shallow reasoning poses more of a threat to our national survival than any foreign adversary. It blinds us to truth and justice and makes us slaves to the whims of political parties.
For example, the people supporting an impending war with Iraq are mostly the same people who voted for Bush. People opposed to the war are mostly people who didn't vote for Bush. Therefore, support for the war is mostly a referendum on Bush. This is a dangerous mindset, to say the least.
America was founded on certain bedrock principles. Politicians and political parties come and go; fundamental principles remain the same, or at least should. How is it then that we allow ourselves to forget or to forfeit those principles simply by virtue of the fact that a politician has an "R" or "D" after his name?
Furthermore, the reasons we do what we do are as important as what we do. It is never right to do wrong in order to do right. There is a right way to do everything. To be willing to allow our country's leaders to do wrong in the name of right is wrong. We teach our children this, do we not? Why then do we not practice what we preach?
The U.S. Constitution requires our nation to obtain a Declaration of War from Congress before we attack any country! Why is that so difficult for people to understand? The Constitution is the supreme law of our land. Our elected leaders take an oath to obey the Constitution, not party bosses. How can we treat that oath and that supreme law so flippantly and still call ourselves patriotic Americans?
Patriotism is more than waving a flag and beating war drums. Patriotism involves reverence and submission to the laws and principles contained in our Constitution and in our heritage. It does not mean blindly following a politician-any politician! Patriotism also demands that the American people hold their elected leaders accountable to the Constitution.
Therefore, if we are going to go to war with Iraq, we must do so for the right reasons and in the right manner. In a previous column, I asked the question, "Has Iraq attacked us or taken peace from our land?" The answer might be yes.
There seems to be credible evidence that Saddam Hussein was at least partially responsible for the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. However, not once has President Bush or any member of his government even broached that possibility. As far as a majority of Americans are concerned, there is no connection between Iraq and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Furthermore, Iraq's connection to al Qaida is no stronger than that of Saudi Arabia's. If Iraq is in any way responsible for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia is many times more so. Yet, Bush is not preparing a preemptive strike against the Saudi kingdom.
Again, if brutality against innocent people warrants a preemptive strike from the United States, there is no more deserving target than that of The Sudan. That ghastly government has murdered millions, not thousands, of innocent people, most of them Christians. There are no plans to attack The Sudan, however.
Yet, if Iraq did conspire to blow up the Murrah federal building, it was an act of aggression against our country, and a Declaration of War against it is warranted. If such evidence exists, why doesn't the Bush administration do the honorable thing and provide the American people with a just cause and a lawful expenditure of war with Iraq?
Instead, Bush's whole vindication for war is that Iraq possesses terrible weapons. Good grief! If we attacked every nation that has terrible weapons, we would be at war with most of the world! That Iraq has terrible weapons is not, by itself, justification for war.
If one wants to worry about the potential of chemical and biological weapons being used against the United States, look no further than ninety miles off the tip of Florida to the island nation of Cuba. Reports say that Castro has all kinds of biological and chemical weapons, and unlike Iraq, he is close enough to use them against the United States. If the possession of terrible weapons justifies a preemptive attack, start with Cuba! I say again, why we do what we do, and doing the right thing in the right way are immensely important!
Recklessness with the Constitution will cost us dearly. Since Bush and Congress are unwilling to declare war, the policy of open borders will continue. Bush may yet provide amnesty to millions of illegal Mexicans. Teeming thousands of illegal aliens will continue to pour across our borders with virtual impunity making us ever vulnerable to future terrorist attacks. This is madness, but this is what happens when people allow their leaders to play foot loose and fancy free with the Constitution.
Beyond that, an undeclared war is an everlasting war; it never ends. It has no clear objectives, no exit strategy. It provides politicians from both parties an opportunity to forever increase federal spending. When Republicans are in charge, deficits increase. When Democrats are in charge, taxes increase. Either way, the result is the same: the size and scope of the federal government continue to expand. That means more federal meddling, more federal snooping, more federal tracking, more federal regulations, more federal eavesdropping, more federal agents, and more federal crimes. It never stops.
Our nation's founders insisted that Congress be required to declare war for good reason. They knew the propensity of rulers to seek power and to trample liberties. Therefore, they designed a system of government whereby the causes and justification for war, as well as the limits and boundaries of war, could be properly and lawfully observed.
However, the American people seem determined to blindly put their confidence in politicians and political parties rather than to thoughtfully follow established principles. As a result, they are playing a very foolish and dangerous game.
© 2003 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved
Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.
Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet http://www.ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.