Obama at West Point
by Stephen Lendman
On May 28, Obama addressed West Point graduates. Why anyone showed up, they’ll have to explain. Commissioning ceremony is traditional.
It requires new “US Army officers to solemnly swear (to) support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that (they) bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that (they) take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that (they) will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which (they are) about to enter so help (them) God.”
They’re supposed to support, respect, and abide by constitutional principles. They include all US ratified treaties and conventions.
They’re automatically US law under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2).
Supporting a war criminal president constitutes a flagrant violation. Perhaps West Point curricula omit instruction on fundamental rule of law principles.
Perhaps nothing on constitutional law. Or US statutes relating to war. Or appropriate international laws.
Obeying them is fundamental. Failure to know them is no excuse.
Presidents take an oath of office. It’s hard imagining it given how they govern.
Obama is a former constitutional law professor. He knows the law. He taught it. He spurns it. He does so knowingly, willfully and ruthlessly.
Under the Constitution’s Article II, Section one, Clause 8:
“Before (presidents) enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
It means abiding by all its provisions. Without exception. At all times. No president ever did.
Some governed better than others. Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors. He’s guilty of high crimes too grave to ignore.
Impeaching him is a national imperative. So is prosecuting him for crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.
No one is exempt. Not presidents or anyone. He belongs in prison, not high office. Accountability is long overdue.
He delivered his usual demagogic mumbo jumbo. He justified the unjustifiable. He defended the indefensible.
“…I congratulate you on taking your place on the Long Gray Line,” he said.
“You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.”
If not there, somewhere else. America has been at war throughout its history. Every year. Every day. Without exception.
From before July 4, 1776 through today. Don’t expect longstanding tradition to change. Not now. Not anytime soon.
Not likely ahead. Not while 2014 class members remain in service. Perhaps not after they retire. America is addicted to war.
Its culture reflects violence. So does its history. It’s blood-drenched.
It glorifies war. In the name of peace. It’s self-destructive. Today’s super-weapons make the unthinkable possible.
Hyman Rickover knew. Decades ago. He founded America’s nuclear navy. In 1982, he told Congress:
“I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.” Then you might ask me why do I have nuclear powered ships?”
“That is a necessary evil. I would sink them all. I am not proud of the part I played in it. I did it because it was necessary for the safety of this country.”
“That’s why I am such a great exponent of stopping this whole nonsense of war. Unfortunately limits – attempts to limit war have always failed.”
“The lesson of history is when a war starts every nation will ultimately use whatever weapon it has available.”
“Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years.”
“I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”
It’s the only way to live in peace. The alternative is annihilation. The choice is clear.
The wrong one assures disaster. America is heading humanity toward it. A slow-motion train wreck looms.
A big one. With no second chance. No coming back. Either we end wars or they’ll end us.
Today’s weapons make earlier ones look like toys. It bears repeating. They make the unthinkable possible.
Governments operate in a realm of their own. So do presidents. Without checks and balances.
Unresponsive to popular interests. Or general welfare. Government of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly is fantasy.
Presidents are limited only by the boundaries of what’s possible. Obama and likeminded extremists take full advantage.
“America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world,” said Obama.
“Those who argue otherwise – who suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away – are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.”
“Think about it. Our military has no peer. The odds of a direct threat against us by any nation are low, and do not come close to the dangers we faced during the Cold War.”
“(O)ur economy remains the most dynamic on Earth; our businesses the most innovative.”
“Each year, we grow more energy independent. From Europe to Asia, we are the hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations.”
“So the United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.”
“Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors.”
“It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.”
“The question we face, the question each of you will face, is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead – not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe.”
“…America’s willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate safeguard against chaos, and America’s failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations not only violates our conscience, but invites escalating aggression in the future.”
“Here’s my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage.”
“If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone of that leadership.”
“For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.”
“We have been through a long season of war…You will represent a nation with history and hope on our side.
Your charge…is not only to protect our country, but to do what is right and just.”
Fact: Nation strength depends on how it’s used.
Fact: For good or evil.
Fact: America is lawless.
Fact: Its human rights record is deplorable.
Fact: The world’s worst.
Fact: No other nation approaches its unprincipled history.
Fact: Earlier high crimes were largely internal and/or regional.
Fact: Twentieth century ones went global.
Fact: New millennium ones elevated atrocities and other human rights abuses to an unprecedented level.
Fact: America is guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some.
Fact: It’s in longterm decline.
Fact: It’s a pariah state.
Fact: It makes more enemies than friends.
Fact: Russia challenges America’s military might.
Fact: Its nuclear strength and delivery systems are formidable.
Fact: China is heading toward becoming the world’s leading economy.
Fact: Sino/Russian unity matches America’s political, economic and military strength.
Fact: They’re heading toward besting them.
Fact: In all respects, America becomes less of a “hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations.”
Fact: Calling it an “indispensable nation” insults all other sovereign states.
Fact: So-called “Russian aggression” doesn’t exist.
Fact: China’s growth worries America alone, not other nations.
Fact: Washington is unnerved about becoming Number Two.
Fact: It’s inevitable.
Fact: China is rising.
Fact: America is declining.
Fact: Nothing foreseeable will change things.
Fact: “The question” isn’t “whether America will lead.” It’s how it’ll adjust down a slippery slope toward ordinary status and eventual ruin.
Fact: “America’s willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate” assurance of chaos.
Fact: Perhaps eventual self-destruction.
Fact: The notion that “America must always lead on the world stage (because) no one else will” insults all other sovereign states.
Fact: “The military (West Point grads) joined is the scourge of peace, stability and survival.
Fact: “The most direct threat to America at home and abroad remain(s)” its hubris, imperial arrogance and war on humanity policy.
Fact: “Your charge” is to shift from warriors to peacemakers.
National survival depends on it. So does humanity’s.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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