War “Time-Limited, Scope-Limited Military Action” Is Hell

Many citizens are breathing a sense of relief today. When we saw the Obama Administration bomb the capital of a sovereign nation and openly support rebel forces in the field, many jumped to conclusions and asked how Obama could start a war without congressional approval under Article I. White House Spokesman Jay Carney has finally set the record straight. This may look like war but it is really “a time-limited, scope-limited military action.”

What idiots the Framers were not to see the difference. They drafted Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 without expressly distinguishing time-limited, scope-limited military actions in bombing other nations. Instead, when Pierce Butler of South Carolina argued that the president could commit the United States to war, people like Elbridge Gerry responded that he “never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the Executive alone to declare war.” Others like George Mason also expressed total opposition to such a notion. It turns out that a president only has to call a war “a time-limited, scope-limited military action” and can bomb capitals and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to support one side in a civil war.

This could have not just constitutional but artistic implications. Consider the lyrics to the The Temptations song, War: “War“a time-limited, scope-limited military action” , what is it good for?”

Of course, someone may want to inform those people being bombed that this should not be taken as an act of war . . . more like a violent gesture of peace.

Jonathan Turley

25 thoughts on “<del datetime="2011-03-24T19:14:06+00:00">War</del> “Time-Limited, Scope-Limited Military Action” Is Hell”

  1. I Am the Very Model of a Democratic President

    With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan, authors of I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General

    I am the very model of a Democratic president,
    Who stumbled into office on a wave of massive discontent.
    I’ve organized communities and burdened our state governments,
    With help from union activists and other roguish elements.
    I’ve found a way to give you unemployment at plus ten percent,
    And rammed through legislation that the population does resent,
    With stimulus and bailouts that our politicians should prevent,
    Increasing sovereign debt to cover all the cash that I have spent.

    I’ve made my mark with policies where spending transcends revenue,
    And finding businesses that government can stick its mitts into.
    In matters that ensure the currency is on a fast descent,
    I am the very model of a Democratic president.

    I’m very good at hiding in the White House from the fawning press,
    Who might ask questions relative to budget or the HHS;
    And lacking teleprompter it is darned hard for me to express,
    Coherent ways to show our actions have resulted in success.
    The Democratic Congress voters all came out to dispossess,
    And left me with a GOP Tea Party out in battle dress.
    Which puts me in an awkward situation that I must redress,
    By threatening to shutter government to rescue PBS.

    I’m at my best when making sure that Congress stifles all debate,
    And passes measures in the night that guarantee a small growth rate.
    In matters that ensure the very height of social discontent,
    I am the very model of a Democratic president.

    I’m having major problems working out my foreign policy:
    My allies are unable to respect my clever repartee;
    My country seems upset I bow to every potentate I see;
    My enemies seem not content with my constant apology.
    I dither and I hesitate for everything’s a quandary,
    Until I get pushed in a corner by my dear friend Hillary,
    Who teamed up with a rabid Bonaparte with surname Sarkozy,
    And forced me to engage in war with Muammar al-Gaddafi.

    By knowing absolutely nothing in relation to defense,
    I gather coalitions of unwilling states when wars commence;
    In matters that determine where our military men are sent,
    I am the very model of a Democratic president.


  2. “He is demonic and depraved. Only an imbecile or evil doer would vote for him again. He wants America destroyed. He hates her.”

    Very profound, Taliban Tootie. Very profound.

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