Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Situation in Libya Proves US Involvement in the UN Irrelevant!

The United States, Britain and France have taken action in performing a bombing spree on Libya in order to enforce a United Nations Security Council vote last week to implement a no-fly zone over Libya. The intent of the UN imposed no-fly zone was to protect Libyan rebels from air attacks by Dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.  Although the UN Security Council voted 10-0 in favor of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, 5 members of the council abstained from voting. Two of the nations that abstained from voting, China and Russia, have veto power in the Security Council, and could have prevented the UN from imposing the no-fly zone by casting a “Nay” vote. Considering 5 member nations, including the 2 with veto power, abstained from voting on this action, the United Nations has once again shown the world how irrelevant its role in global policy really is. 
The United Nations was created in 1945 for the purpose of assuring international law enforcement, providing international security, upholding human rights, and most importantly, preventing war. The organization is comprised of 5 different organs, and the Security Council is the only organ of the UN that has the power to make binding decisions that member nations agree to carry out (the other 4 organs that make up the UN only have the ability to make recommendations). The countries who voted in favor of the no-fly zone over Libya decided someone was obligated to use force against Gaddafi and his supporters due to the fact UNSC decisions must be carried out. Although 10 member nations of the UNSC voted in favor of the no-fly zone, only the US, France and Britain have taken action in enforcing the measure at the UN’s demand. It appears the other 7 member nations of the Security Council who voted in favor of the no-fly zone do not want to get their hands dirty in Libya or bear the financial costs associated with using force.
I am not sure about Britain or France, but according to the law of the United States, the US may only get involved militarily in a foreign nation after first passing through the Congress and then going to the President. The US executive branch and military do not have the authority to use force against another nation due to a resolution from any sort of governing body, such as the UN, other than the US Congress. If the federal government is going to act outside the confines of the Constitution by using force without passing a resolution through Congress and do so without the help of the majority of members of the UN, what is the purpose of the United State’s involvement in the UN at all? The United States is the top financial contributor to the UN, providing 22% of their overall funding ($598 million in 2009 alone), with all other member nations contributing significantly less. Considering the US is carrying out the situation in Libya at the UN’s request with help from only France and Britain, the United State’s involvement in the UN is worthless. As lawmakers begin to look for areas to cut wasteful spending in an attempt to fix the massive budgetary problems facing the US, federal funding to the UN would be a great place to start!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gas Out

All things considering, I thought that this would be a good topic for my first article since it exemplifies the need for an education reform (I'm making a bit of a joke here):

So apparently there is another petition making its way around to "boycott" selected oil companies.  The link is here:   http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=152319464828818&id=151363471591084&notif_t=feed_comment#!/event.php?eid=151363471591084

After reading the article in the link, I'm certain it wouldn't work...here's why:

"If they [Exxon, Mobil] reduce their prices, the other companies will follow suit."

My Rebuttal: hahaha yeah right! Do you even understand how global economics works? This will just turn the new companies into conglomerates.  The only way oil prices can be reduced is by controlling the price of CRUDE OIL...not boycotting two companies.

"If you don't understand how we can reach 300 Million people...well let's just face it, you just aren't mathematician."

My Rebuttal:  Actually, I am an Applied Mathematician.  There are a grand total of only 311,000,000 US citizens according to the 2010 census.  24.3% of the US population is made up of children.  YOU do the math. 

Moral of the story:  If you don't want to have to worry about gas prices, either purchase your own drilling company or buy an electric car.

-Steely Dan

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The US Should Leave Afghanistan Now, Not 2014!

How much longer should the United States stay in Afghanistan? That is a question many people have been asking both the Bush and Obama administrations for years. It seems like every year we hear the White House give a time frame of how much longer US troops will remain in Afghanistan, but the following year they retract their previous statement and come up with a new arbitrary time frame. It appears this year, the Obama administration is once again extending the time frame they foresee US involvement in Afghanistan, stating the military would remain there well past 2014. The executive branch’s annual time frame extension of our presence in Afghanistan is trending into a never ending cycle.

On June 7th, 2010, the War in Afghanistan had become the longest war in US history, reaching 104 months in length at that point in time.  This 104 month period exceeded the time frame of the Vietnam War which lasted 103 months in total, and until that point was the longest war in US history. 9 months have passed since June, and the war has reached almost 9 ½ years in length. Considering our involvement in Afghanistan has reached such a lengthy period of time, the Obama administration should be working as hard as they can to assure the US withdraw forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible, and not prolong the war’s end past 2014 as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently stated the US will do.

The reason the United States decided to attack Afghanistan in 2001 was to remove the Taliban from power after the September 11th attacks since the Taliban was a known supporter of Al Qaeda. This objective was completed very quickly, with every major Taliban controlled city falling after a few months of US occupation. Although the main objective of the war had been successful for the US by early 2002, the Bush administration insisted we remain in Afghanistan to assure the Taliban would not come back to power and that the region would become stable. 9 years later, US and NATO forces remain in Afghanistan for those exact same reasons.

In the almost 9 ½  year period the United States has been involved in Afghanistan, 1,495 US troops have been killed and over a trillion dollars has been spent. The stability of the region has not been getting progressively better as the White House and Pentagon have anticipated, and the Afghan people are getting sick and tired of the United States’ presence. The Afghan people and government are especially angry at the US right now for a NATO bombing last week that killed 9 young boys who were out collecting firewood, mistaking them as insurgents. The US, NATO and people of Afghanistan can no longer afford to keep this occupation going. This war cannot keep going until after 2014, nor should it ever have lasted as long as it has. The only sensible thing the US can do at this point in time is end the war in Afghanistan now, or this trend will continue for many administrations to come.

- Liberty_Mike

Thursday, March 3, 2011

US Involvement in Libya Will Offer Same Results as Iraq

As civil unrest unfolds in Northern Africa, the United States doesn’t have to think twice about whether or not it should get involved. Right now, the people of Libya are in the act of carrying out a full blown revolution in an attempt to overthrow their dictatorial government.  In the process of these events, the government of Libya is failing to step down, and has shown its willingness to fight back. Considering some form of fighting is going to occur in Libya until its people and government settle their differences, the United States government has felt the need to once again act as the policemen of the world and intervene.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced it had begun to move warships and carriers closer to Libya in the Mediterranean Sea. Pentagon officials reported that this move was made in order to have closer access to Libya in case the US decides to pursue military action to help aid the revolution. The excuse the US is using for potential military involvement is that they want to liberate the people of Libya from their oppressive dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, who is responsible for turning the Libyan military on its citizens. Does this situation sound familiar?
When the Bush administration officially decided to intervene militarily in Iraq in 2003, they publicly stated many different excuses for attacking the nation, including the fear of weapons of mass destruction and a harboring ground for Al Qaeda. However, one of most commonly used excuses by the Bush administration for illegally attacking Iraq was to free its people from Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, calling the war “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. Although the US military removed Saddam’s regime from power after only a couple weeks of military action, we continue to have troops in Iraq 8 years later with a few trillion dollars wasted, 4,400 US troops killed, and no true end in sight.
Putting recent historical facts into consideration, the US should not get involved in aiding Libya’s revolution. It is more than understandable that people all around the world should be outraged with Gaddafi’s actions in attacking his own citizens who are in opposition to his rule, but the reality of the situation is that outside involvement will only make problems worse than they already are. Not only will US military involvement make problems worse for both Libya and America in the long run, it will be illegal for the US government to take any military action unless it is officially voted on and declared a war by the US Congress. Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution states that Congress must be the first to take any sort of action in declaring war and using military action. Nowhere in the Constitution does it give the executive branch or Pentagon the authority to send troops into a foreign nation (the way the Bush administration did with Iraq) as the Obama administration appears to be considering. The more the US intervenes militarily in other nations such as Libya, the more it will cost the American taxpayer, lives of innocent civilians, and our respect around the world.
 - Liberty_Mike