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Commentary Last Updated: Jan 15th, 2010 - 13:23:07

Obama dictates ominous consolidation of war powers
By Bryce Shonka
Online Journal Guest Writer

Jan 15, 2010, 00:12

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During the Bush years, unprecedented numbers of Americans poured into the streets, oftentimes ignored by establishment media, to protest the Iraq War. Some of those were not so much antiwar, but rather pro-constitution people who recognized the fraudulent nature of Bush�s war and total lack of congressional oversight.

As more time passed and the Middle East body count moved into the millions, even more Americans joined the antiwar effort, motivated by revelations of no-bid/cost-plus federal contracts and carnage by taxpayer -unded mercenaries. 9/11 mania faded and ethical concerns about the nature of preemptive strikes replaced it.

When W gained a second term, the war resistance REALLY heated up, with large numbers of demonstrators continuing to gather until . . . POOF!

The election of Barack Obama

Barack Obama�s large following was due in part to the perception of him as an antiwar candidate, despite the fact that he repeatedly mentioned his support for military action in Afghanistan throughout his campaign. Regardless of the reality, antiwar activism all but dried up after November 5, 2009. The word on the streets? That �war is a Republican/Bush phenomenon� and will go away when Bush and Cheney do.

What a shock it must have been for those falsely reassured by Obama�s election when reports of unprecedented drone attacks, costing the lives of women and children, were credited not to Bush but rather a commander in chief named Obama. Disillusion must have grown stronger still when reports of atrocities committed by taxpayer funded Blackwater mercenaries continued, this time in Pakistan.

Similarities to Bush�s culture of death and destruction became even more clear as Obama announced the escalation of war. His decision to send thousands of additional American troops to Afghanistan flew in the face of analysts who had dubbed that effort futile and was likely the loudest wake-up call yet for the antiwar community, an alarm that left no doubt about the continued necessity for resistance to unconstitutional acts of military aggression. what?

Obviously, electing a Democratic president is not the answer for those who oppose war -- Obama even went so far as to keep Bush�s secretary of defense. Protests did little to prevent the Iraq war in the first place and are almost useless as long as the establishment media ignores them.

The answer to reigning in unconstitutional bloodshed may in fact lie in the powers reserved to the states as codified in law by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. One implication of the 10th Amendment is the power of each state to decide where and how their National Guard troops can be used, except in three specific instances spelled out in the Constitution, something that may be of particular interest to those in Louisiana for example. One effort to pursue exactly this tactic is being led by an organization whose motto is �Bring the Guard Home! It�s the Law� and already has momentum in several states. (You can find sample Bring the Guard Home legislation here.)

This key principle came under attack last week as President Obama issued an executive order that he says strengthens �further the partnership between the federal government and state governments to protect our Nation.� Partnership? Interesting choice of words considering that his order only further indicates federal disregard for the sovereignty of the states.

This latest decree by the president should cast aside any doubt that President Obama is not only as imperially minded as his predecessor, but now seeks to mangle the carefully designed balance of our republic in ways that surpass even George W. Bush. National Guard units are already deployed overseas in significant numbers instead of fulfilling their intended mission to protect their respective states, a status which will be perpetuated by this executive order unless there is some serious resistance by the states.

For Americans concerned with murderous federal imperialism that lies far outside of our Constitution, it is high time to wake up and realize that nothing has improved under a Democratic president. This move to bind our state governors is the latest indication that our American values are not valued by DC; that our republic is continuing a steady transition from freedom loving republic to military dictatorship and the only thing that can stop it is we the people.

Bryce Shonka is the state chapter coordinator for the California Tenth Amendment Center and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He welcomes your feedback at Follow him on Twitter at

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