Nov 9 2010

41. CONSERVATIVE CONGRESSIONAL AGENDA AND THE CONSTITUTION #4

Harrison Schmitt

Former Senator Schmitt Urges Conservative Pressure on Obama: Phase IV ─ Defense and Foreign Policy

(Also see Release Nos. 38, 39, 40 of November 3, 4 and 5, 2010)

Pressure to move forward toward continued American greatness clearly must include repair and rejuvenation of the economy with a multi-faceted approach to the many challenges outlined in Phases I-III of this post-2010 Election series of suggestions for Conservatives in the 112th Congress. External threats to American liberty, however, require congressional leadership related to national security and foreign policy although these are traditional areas left to Executive Branch constitutional initiative.

NATIONAL SECURITY [5, 23]: The Nation’s economic house clearly must be put in order as rapidly as possible. The Constitution, however, charges the President and Congress, to “provide for the common Defence” as their first listed mandate with the “general Welfare” as second. The two requirements are not unrelated. In spite of the electorate’s November 2nd concentration on the economy, healthcare, and general over-reach by the President and the Liberal Leadership of Congress, the New Conservative Congress must address national security as a major priority.

Declaration of War: Current and future threats to liberty and the American people have not diminished since the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, President Obama acts as if he were more at war with the America of the past that its enemies of the present.

The Congress, therefore, should focus its attention, and that of the public, on our conflict with radical Islam by taking the President at his word, when, on January 7, 2010, he said, “We are at war with al Qaeda.” The proliferation of attacks on the United States homeland over the past 12 months only has intensified this war in which al Qaeda forms just one of many groups of adversaries. Under its Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, power, Congress therefore should formally declare war on elements of radical Islam that increasingly attempt to kill American citizens and those of our allies, too often successfully.

A Declaration of War would force the Nation to establish priorities between the “common Defence” and the acceleration of unconstitutional domestic funding for Obamacare, Stimulus, TARP, regulatory over-reach, and many other activities best left to the market place and individual responsibility. Such a Declaration also would bring attention to the need to stimulate growth and vigor in the American economy through reduced tax rates, logical and constitutional regulation, investment-based retirement and health security, and a strong dollar.

Impeachment: If the President refuses to exercise his constitutional mandates as Commander-in-Chief, then members or the House Leadership should begin impeachment proceedings against him. The Articles of Impeachment include, (1) Attorney General’s prosecution of American warriors acting under orders from the former Commander-in-Chief; (2) treatment of radical Islamic terrorism events as “criminal” acts by non-citizens to whom should be given constitutional protections; (3) reduction and possible elimination of defenses against terrorist missile attack; (4) neglect of our nuclear deterrence of attacks or intimidation by other nuclear powers; (5) general reduction in the country’s defensive capabilities and industrial base relative to current and potential threats; (6) lack of sufficient action against the possibility of clandestine importation of weapons of mass destruction; (7) limitation of border efforts to intercept terrorists and illegal aliens entering the country and unconstitutional lawsuits against a State attempting to protect its citizens; (8) lack of a sustained campaign against terrorist cells across the world as well as in the U.S.; (9) imposition of dangerously restrictive “rules of engagement” during battlefield actions against terrorist groups; and (10) intentional weakening of the country’s economy and industrial base needed to support “the common Defence” resulting in increased financial dependence on China, a supporter of radical Islam and potential future adversary.

Defense Appropriations: The House should send the Senate and the President FY2011 and FY2012 Budget and Appropriations Bills that reach balance between expenditures and revenues without changes in existing tax rates. On the other hand, in recognition of the existing threat of radical Islam and the growing threat of a modernized Chinese military, the FY2012 and subsequent Budgets should follow the frank recommendations of the Armed Services for what is necessary to successfully counter and deter such threats. These recommendations of the Armed Services should be made and vetted in a secure setting as part of a debate between the Secretary of Defense and independent, knowledgeable experts.

FOREIGN POLICY [22, 27, 28]: The President has the constitutional responsibility to set and carry out foreign policy, balanced by the power of Congress in providing funds necessary for implementation. The primary roles of the new Congress in foreign policy none-the-less are significant through its Article I, Section 8 powers to control authorizations and appropriations related to the State and Defense Departments and the Intelligence Agencies. Also, Article II, Section II, Clause 2, requires that the Senate ratify by a two-thirds majority any Treaties signed by the President. In some cases, the House must participate in authorizations and appropriations necessary to implement a given treaty. Thus, the Conservative Leadership’s power in Congress is considerable.

Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty: The Senate should not be allowed to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) signed with Russia in April 2010 and approved by the Democratic Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September. This treaty would clearly increase our global vulnerabilities in the nuclear weapons arena. In the absence of China, India, Pakistan, France, the United Kingdom, and Israel (as well as nuclear aspirants Iran, Syria, and others) this treaty makes no sense even if we could expect all countries to comply with negotiated agreements of this type. To make matters worse, the continued moratorium on nuclear weapons testing by the United States seriously undermines the deterrent value of our weapons stockpile. Pollyanna efforts by President Obama to put the nuclear genie back in its bottle fly in the face of the horrible record of compliance by our adversaries with past arms reduction.

China: Congress must recognize that Cold War II began with the fall of the Soviet Union. China, unlike the then Soviet Union, constitutes both a military and an economic threat to our freedom and the freedom of all democracies. Congress must begin to fight Cold War II even if several Administrations, including the current one, have refused to recognize that it exists. The following legislative steps must be taken: (1) adopt pro-economic growth tax, entitlement, and regulatory reduction initiatives so the required defense expenditures can be made; (2) authorize and appropriate future defense budgets that provide counter expansions to China’s conventional, nuclear, and asymmetric warfare capabilities; (3) immediately authorize and appropriate the resources for the Intelligence Agencies necessary to define all direct and indirect threats from China; (4) take steps to counter China’s current near monopoly on many strategic materials; and (5) hold public hearings that force the Administration to face the reality of Cold War II.

Iran: Iran’s aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons and missiles to carry them threatens not only the existence of Israel, but also all of the major population centers of the world. President Obama has made it clear, however, that he is not worried about the long-term consequences of the war being waged against America and civilization by radical Islam. We must hope that Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East, and Iranian incompetence will prevent Iran’s development of operational nuclear weapons before a new President takes office in 2013. As the world appears to work hand in glove with radical Islam to destroy the Israeli state and the Israeli people, the Obama Administration gives appearances of desiring the same end. Not only is this stance morally repugnant, it is contrary to the President’s constitutional responsibility to provide for the “common Defence” of the United States. Providing for our “common Defence” requires that we encourage democracy and its underlying freedoms in an otherwise hostile world and protect those freedoms wherever they have taken root. Our Republic could not be sustained if isolated in a totalitarian world. This has been the foundation of American foreign policy since President James Monroe’s Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, penned the Monroe Doctrine, telling Europe to keep its political hands off the Western Hemisphere. Congressional hearings on the Administration’s view of the foundations of American foreign policy should be held in conjunction with a full review of the budget and activities of the State Department.

In the meantime, Congress can and should require the Department of Defense to place far greater emphasis on multifaceted missile defenses, including defenses against the full spectrum of non-ballistic delivery methods. These systems should be capable of defending the American Homeland and our allies from missiles launched from or by Iran, North Korea, and China. In addition, Congress should augment budgets of the Intelligence Agencies so that all possible information is available to our military services relative to the Iranian nuclear and missile efforts and the disposition and capabilities of its military and homeland defense forces.

Russia: Russia remains a significant threat to the free world because of its slide back into totalitarianism, its slowly modernizing military and nuclear forces, and its willingness to cooperate with other totalitarian states. Our looming dependency on Russia for access to space by American astronauts should be as worrisome as it is humiliating. Congress should hold public hearings that make Russia’s continuing threat clear to the American people as well as to force the Administration and other nations to show more immediate and long-term concern about this worsening situation.

Retaliation: The House and, if possible, the Senate should pass Resolutions stating unequivocally that the Congress will declare War on any nation, entity, or movement that bears responsibility or complicity in a nuclear or non-nuclear mass destruction attack on the United States, or a massively crippling cyber-attack, or a mass conventional attack beyond our ability to counter. This action would help negate the President’s ill-conceived and illogical announcement that nuclear retaliation by the United States has been taken off the table for attacks using non-nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

Latin America: The Senate Conservative Leadership must move rapidly to force ratification of trade agreements with friendly nations in Latin America and to provide clear messages to unfriendly nations, like Venezuela, that we will take concrete efforts to bring such nations back into the democratic fold. Congress should declare a Congressional “Monroe Doctrine” by Resolutions in both the Senate and the House that the Congress will not tolerate any political or military interference in the Western Hemisphere by Iran, China, or any other nation. Iran’s assistance to the Chavez dictatorship in Venezuela and China’s economic intrusions into Panama and the oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico represent a significant erosion of the national security position of the United States and the democratic nations of Latin America.

Climate Change Treaty [10, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37]: The Congress should continue to prevent the ratification of any treaty that obligates the United States to any reduction in its use of fossil fuels. The Congress also should make it clear to the rest of the world that it will not tolerate the de facto implementation of a Climate Change Treaty by unlawful regulation or Executive Order. All such attempts should be defunded through the Appropriations process and then vetoed once a One House Legislative Veto has been put in place.

These suggestions to the new Conservative Leadership in Washington represent the most immediately pressing actions awaiting the 112th Congress. Many other important but less timely issues also must be addressed, but we must keep our eyes on the ball and the 2013 election when the Revolution can continue. A large majority of Americans stand behind the results of the 2010 Midterm Elections. We cannot let them down.

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