L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 216, March 24, 2003

Shucks and Aw!

Wartime Principles

by William Stone, III
wrs@0ap.org

Exclusive to TLE

On Thursday, the morning after President Bush abused his powers with an Unconstitutional use of military force, my home-town newspaper the Sioux City Journal wrote:

"The antiwar rhetoric should cease. It is the role of every American to throw our support behind the men and women who are fighting this war."

I assume that those who advocate "putting aside our differences" in order to "support the troops" are recalling the Viet Nam Non-War. In that extremely unpopular Unconstitutional abuse of Federal power, returning troops found themselves the butt of a great deal of anti-military hostility. Most individuals who fought in Viet Nam were conscripts (read: "slaves"), and didn't want to be there in the first place. Their government forced them into a life-or-death situation, and they did what any individual would. Sometimes this involved killing people to survive. There was also a sizable contingent that believed they were were defending their country in some fashion.

Many returning soldiers were derided, insulted, even spat upon. For those who remember such incidents, let me assure you that no libertarian in disagreement with the President Bush's actions wish ill will to United States servicemen and women. When these troops come home, they will have nothing but our gratitude.

Regardless, President Bush's actions remain immoral, Unconstitutional, and downright evil. Those who understand why this is so shouldn't be discouraged from speaking out.

The argument, repeated gibbered by screeching, talk radio whores of the Boot-On-Your-Neck Party (BOYN: collectively the Republicans and Democrats) goes like this: "Not supporting Our President during Time of War encourages The Enemy and only prolongs the battle—and in the process ensures more casualties." Dissenters, the BOYNs' whores opine, are causing people to die.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. The only individuals responsible for the deaths of American soldiers are those who order them into harm's way. I can disagree with the President until I'm blue in the face, but it won't alter the location of a single infantryman. Only the President has such power.

As a dissenter who argues this case from ethical grounds, let's remember the moral compass in use, the Zero Aggression Principle or ZAP:

"No human being has the right—under ANY circumstances—to initiate force against another human being, nor to threaten or delegate its initiation."

Organized government warfare violates the ZAP in two vital respects:

1. Organized government warfare initiates force against the governed. Government cannot so much as lay one brick atop another without stealing either the funds or the means to do so. Government produces nothing: it can only steal from those who do. Theft is the simplest, most clear-cut initiation of force possible.

2. Organized government warfare initiates force against innocent bystanders. Government operatives wish to dismiss such bystanders as irrelevant—the present term used is "collateral damage."

The Zero Aggression Principle doesn't distinguish between sides or factions in a conflict. It distinguishes ACTIONS.

If two individuals engage in a fight that harms a bystander, then force has been initiated against the bystander. The ZAP does not make special dispensations for warfare: ALL initiation of force is immoral under EVERY circumstance.

For those uncomfortable with the ethics of the Zero Aggression Principle, there is always the Constitutional argument to be made against the present military adventure: it's Unconstitutional. Not that this is surprising—the FedGov has not held a Constitutionally-declared war since 1941.

The BOYNs like to claim that Congress' authorization for the President to use military force is the same as a Declaration of War. It is not, and one need only glance at the wording of the Declaration of War on Japan to see that this is so.

The last Constitutional Declaration of War by Congress was only one paragraph long and was entitled: "JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same."

The "authorization for use of military force" the BOYNs' whores like to reference is pages long and at no time are the words "declaration of war" used in it. It simply isn't the same, and no amount of lying by the BOYNs and their whores in the media will change this.

The Constitution states that Congress has the power to "declare war." It does not have the power to "authorize the use of military force." It was never the intent of the founders of this country to entrust to its Federal Government the power to use military force on a whim. To do so would be foolish, and would lead to the kinds of military adventurism that were so prevalent in the 20th century.

The language of the Constitution is clear: military force is used after a Declaration of War by Congress and never before.

Imagine that Congress passed a law that said the sky was green. Would the sky instantly change color in order to comply, or would it remain blue?

The passage of a law by Congress that is in violation of the Constitution does not make that law valid. The Constitution doesn't change to accommodate laws in violation of it no more than the sky will change to green.

No wonder the BOYNs would like to equate the trivial effort necessary to "authorize military force" with the grave responsibility of "declaring war." If they don't, the individuals over whom they wield power might discern that they have been governed by a lying pack of traitors for more than fifty years.

Any Congressman who voted for such an authorization is a traitor, in violation of their Oath of Office—in which they swore a sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

Any President who makes use of the military in absence of a Declaration of War by Congress is similarly in violation of his Oath of Office and is a traitor.

The majority of Congress and the President of the United States should at this moment be on trial for their lives. They are in gross violation of their Oaths and are engaged in acts of high treason as a result. Their actions threaten the very existence of the Republic whose Constitution they have sworn to God to protect.

We are ruled by traitors interested in only one thing: the acquisition and maintenance of personal power. To this end, they place our sons, daughters, friends, and lovers in harm's way.

Reminding them that we know this is true will not endanger our loved ones. Rather, the sooner these lying, honorless traitors are removed from power, the sooner those dear to us will come home.

Never be silent—NEVER. Along with your gun, let them pry your principles from your cold, dead fingers.



William Stone, III is a computer nerd (RHCE, CCNP, CISSP) and philosopher of the Zero Aggression Principle from McCook Lake, South Dakota. He seeks the Libertarian Party's nomination for the 2004 Senate race in South Dakota.


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