“Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!”
“To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;”
Article I, Section 8, “War Powers Clause” United States Constitution
“These are the times that try men’s souls,” are the opening words of The Crisis by Thomas Paine, the Founding Father. Newt Gingrich wrote a novel, in the spirit of those words, about Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware River with his army wearing rag tags for shoes in the snow to confront the mighty British (Gingrich, the Republican presidential candidate, a friend of mine, had signed his book for me with William R. Fortschen, a history professor and reenactment buff, at a gathering organized by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association at Mount Vernon).
At a time devoid of common sense when today’s Washington is the Britain of 1776, “We the People” can declare war (through their representatives at the moment). They can ask the president of the United States to lead its armed forces in conflict. They had done so in 1775 in a righteous war that created the modern republic, the war of independence being the confrontation in the cul de sac of diplomacy between two European powers: Great Britain of King George III and France of Louis XVI, two just as competent monarchs vying for colonial power, Britain’s American colonies in the New World, led by Benjamin Franklin, being the wedge.
Facts become myths and history the lore of legend as nations age. Reenactment of founding civilizational myths is, therefore, not uncommon. America wants to go to war with Iran in a crisis that makes a bush seem a bear, the fate of Jerusalem reappearing as the wedge in the perpetual ballad of the west and the east.
Having gone to war against an impenetrable empire and won in what appeared in their times as an act of sheer insanity to bring the promise of the European enlightenment to bear an ocean and 13 English colonies away, the currents of the times were crafted carefully by the American founders in the Constitution of the new republic by 1787, 4 years after the Treaty of Paris in 1783, to avoid unwise insurrections at home and seditions elsewhere.
The tumult of the revolution which had lasted 2 decades, from 1763 to 1783, protesting taxation without representation to feed the ambition of an expanding British Empire since the 17th century, was cropped to 2 years to “suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” United States of America was not to attack unless attacked, in proper measure and due diligence, and its people were not to rise up in arms against its government in insurrection except through the exercise of their rights of natural liberty granted by the people to themselves in 1791 and in judicial due process.
Preparation, however, requires that the people’s representatives always provide for no more than 2 years of conflict at a time (the term in office of every member of the United States House of Representatives) should the need arise (including commitment of US forces to United Nations Peace Keeping operations such as could be needed in Syria), the case for armed intervention required to be made by the president, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the US armed forces, to the Congress and directly to the American people.
United States has not been attacked by Iran or any other country on its shores or off but a Continuing Resolution Of War (CROW) will help dampen the political dissonance surrounding war, its best case always being proportionate retaliation in self-defense and to prevent future attacks against the United States for the crow to metamorphose into a skylark.
The politics of Iran is rapprochement, the economics is oil and the outcome is Global Zero.