Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Search For the Elusive (Mythical) War Power

Since everyone is talking about war--the war on terror, the war on Iraq, the war on poverty, the war on illiteracy, the war on AIDS, the war on drugs, the war on marriage, etc.--isn't it necessary to understand where the power to wage war comes from?

Joseph Stromberg's wonderful "The Search for the Elusive War Power" is worth highlighting:

"To anticipate a bit, the war powers seem a near-complete inversion of the program of American liberal republicanism. If so, use of them, and even belief in them, would be odd ways to bring about those ends; for why should powers invoked, the better to fight an external enemy, give to our rulers powers over us – powers which the external enemy cannot wield -- and may not wish to wield -- that is, powers over the citizens allegedly being defended? Who, indeed, is at war with whom?"

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