The Libyan Adventure and 2016

It seems as if 2016 will feature former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a prominent role. The debate over her tenure in that job is turning more and more toward the Libyan adventure, as it appears to have been her special project, and it appears to line up neatly several arguments about her corruption and incompetence. The most important aspect of the Libyan adventure, though, was that it was conducted as an exercise of pure executive power without any permission from Congress.

Clinton may have been the primary proponent in the administration of overthrowing a foreign government without consulting with the People's representatives. That she did so at the behest of a corrupt adviser who personally profited from it is bad; that the planning and execution of the adventure led to a failed state now functioning as a colony of the Daesh Caliphate is worse. The key thing, though, is the degree to which she proved to have contempt for the division of powers, or the seeking of permission from the People before taking us to war.

Had she sought a debate, I would probably have been on her side. This post is cryptic only if you do not know me: it cites Gadaffi's use of rape rooms as a tool of state policy without commentary from me. Yet the use of rape rooms as state policy was my reason for supporting the Iraq war, a fully sufficient justification for overthrowing Saddam in my opinion without regard to any questions about WMD. I wrote something very similar about Iran's use of rape in state policy. There are just reasons not to go to war in such cases, as for example if you believe you cannot win the war (for then you would be bringing about the harms of war without the hope of victory). However, if you think you can win such a war, it is always morally just to wage war against a state that uses rape as a tool of its policy. That is too deep a violation of human nature to be compatible with just government. Such governments are wicked and ought not to survive.

It ought to be most important in our consideration of her qualifications that she did not care for the limits of the law or the Constitution on such a mighty question.
We live in an hour in which we are told that democracy is the answer to political problems; and therefore, we should be interested in the great questions of the day. Yet the systems are such that, short of breaking the systems, we can have no hope of affecting the questions at issue. The law means nothing -- as we have seen in the case of the war in Libya, where the War Powers Act has proven toothless. I am in favor of that war, and indeed of a more emphatic approach to it, but the law is broken here. The administration shows no deference to the law.... It isn't right to say that we can do nothing; but I wonder if we can do anything meaningful that is also lawful. If democracy is the answer, the Stoic philosophy is of less use; we are bound to be involved, and engaged. Should we say that these matters are nothing to us? The laws are carefully crafted to keep our efforts from having an effect; and where they are not, they are ignored outright.
Democracy can ill afford another such administration. Is there no candidate for office who believes in obeying the limits of the Constitution? Are there no candidates who will feel bound by the laws they swear to enforce?

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