L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 144, October 22, 2001
I Hear America Dying
Luftwaffe to the Rescue
by Jeff Elkins
Special to TLE
As of Friday, October 12th, the German Luftwaffe will be patrolling the skies of the United States. AWACS planes have been deployed from a NATO Luftwaffe base to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. President Bush announced the action Wednesday, October 10th during an appearance with NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson.
"In an unprecedented display of friendship, NATO air surveillance aircraft are on their way to the United States to help keep our country safe. This has never happened before, that NATO has come to help defend our country. But it happened in this time of need. And for that, we're grateful," Bush said.
I'm not grateful. I'm shocked and dismayed.
Oddly enough, in these strange times this "unprecedented display of friendship" has caused almost no comment. Except of course from Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Congressman Paul is concerned about this grave loss of American sovereignty, and with good reason, too.
"National security is the most basic sovereign duty of the federal government in our constitutional republic. Neither Congress nor the president can cede that duty to a foreign nation or body. We cannot allow the security of our own borders to become the responsibility of any coalition or international organization, whether it's NATO or the United Nations," said Paul.
Paul blames an interventionist foreign policy which has resulted in an overburdened American military.
"As a result, we find ourselves unable to deal with the legitimate military crisis posed by the September 11th attacks. How much longer can we continue to defend so many other nations, but not our own? The national security of the U.S. is the province of the American people and the American people only.
The stunning delegation of our national air defense to foreign forces marks a sad day for America. The war on terrorism provides us with an opportunity to strengthen national unity, but we must begin by reaffirming American sovereignty and defending our own borders."
As usual, Dr. Paul has placed his arrows right in the center of the target. This action of Bush's is one of the most outrageous presidential maneuvers in the history of our country.
Can you imagine what public reaction would have been if JFK had done something so unprecedented and unconstitutional during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Before you could have said "Ich bin ein Berliner," the country would been in an uproar and Kennedy would have been facing an outraged Congress.
Or for that matter, what would the reaction of a Republican Congress been to such an action by William Jefferson Clinton?
From Article 2, Section 2 of the US Constitution:
Strangely enough, I don't see one word about importing Hessians to provide for the common defense of the United States. The implications of foreign troops being assigned to what could be considered as combat duty on US soil are truly astounding.
Imagine this story on the front page of the Washington Post:
I'm sure that the thought of foreign ground combat troops serving on US soil seems like pure hyperbole. I'm just as sure that the thought of German military aircraft patrolling our skies would have been just as outlandish one month ago.
A few AWACS aircraft are in and of themselves of no particular importance, but the precedent being set here is terrible. In addition to civilian oversight, one of the more basic things that protect us from military rule is psychological in nature. American troops swear an oath to defend and preserve the Constitution of the United States and that oath is taken seriously by serving officers and enlisted personnel. Obviously, foreign troops have no allegiance to our constitutional traditions and by allowing them to perform combat duties on our soil, we're taking a step down a very slippery slope.
It's become commonplace to joke about the "UN helicopter and tinfoil hat" crowd when referring to Americans concerned about the ever increasing globalism and interventionism of our foreign policy.
Somehow, it's not so funny anymore.