The Voyage of Captain Obvious

Grading is satanic

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A proposal.

I know that this is DOA from the start, but why not have a constitutional amendment to require a declaration of war to be recommended by the president, and approved by a national referendum? Give the president X number of days to deploy forces without this approval, and beyond that, pass a referendum, or bring the damn troops home. Require this to be re-approved every two years or something, to prevent long, drawn-out, unpopular wars from continuing. Let's take the damn oversight away from our incopetent Senate and give it back to the damn people.

Probably won't even begin to pass while iraq is still going on, but it's something to think about, I think... and of course, there is the problem of press manipulation, but you know the saying of Abraham Lincoln...


  • At 28 February, 2006 11:38, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why not? Simply said, because Americans at large cannot possibly have the information to make informed decisions about wars after they're started. I realize Iraq is unpopular. Giving the American populous - or at least the small percentage who shows up to vote - the ability to determine when a war end begs the question of how will they know? What they see on the national news? What they read on DrudgeReport/CNN/FoxNews?

    I agree that you've gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. But this gambler would rather not put that responsibility into the hands of Average Joe Americans who, frankly, are uneducated about the ways of the warfighter and should not be able to directly determine foreign policy.

    By logical extension of the proposed amendment, perhaps we should also have a popular vote every few years to figure out when - and how - to change interest rates. Surely the rates would all go down and we'd all be able to get loan money cheaper, get lower credit card interest rates, and buy more stuff. Great idea on the surface, no?

    I think we're very fortunate that we have very well-educated people in charge of our military and our nation's finance. Despite our national debt I think one would be hard-pressed to find a stronger society in terms of economic and militaristic strength.

  • At 28 February, 2006 14:53, Blogger Valatan said…

    But we don't have intelligent, well educated people making the high level military decisions logically. That's the point. What we do have, on the largest military scale (the only thing covered here), is elected politicians and their civilian appointees making those decisions. They inevitably make them in a way that makes them "look tough."

    This isn't about taking the authority to decide which targets to attack out of the hands of the generals, it's about restriciting the authority of the politicians who command these generals to have authority to do things that are clearly contrary to the public's will.

    I doubt what I outlined here is actually implementable, but I like the general idea.


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