Kucinich on 20 years of war

War changes people. After the Mexican War, contention between the urban, industrializing Northeast and the rustics of the heartland was no longer metaphysical. It began to take form as physical contention. After the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, war that had been brewing — in Churchill’s estimation — since the Boer wars began to bring blood to the streets, and it wouldn’t stop flowing until Yalta. It began in 1914, but America wasn’t fully ready to fight until Pearl Harbor, 1941. And as Ulysses S. Grant said about earlier conflict: If you didn’t serve you would be left out. We have been at war for 10 years now and those pundits, politicians and salon diplomats most reluctant to go at first lead the way here at the end against Gadhafi. Last to serve, they end up at the front of the parade when the war is over. 'Twas ever thus in war. My uncles and cousins and grand-uncles and great-grand-uncles, participants in peace and war from Cemetery Ridge to Khe Sahn, had a name for them: “flag wavers.”

This war will change us as well. In my opinion it will psychologically empower the heartland as the Mexican War did, because that is where most of the soldiers and veterans live. It already has.

Some of different opinion and culture have been honorable throughout: Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (D), Gen. Wesley Clark, Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold, the late Robert C. Byrd, senator from West Virginia, and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson come first to mind. But the unique, creative and possibly most singular and different individual in a compliant and appeasing Congress, Dennis Kucinich, Democratic representative from Ohio, belongs to the “honorable throughout” group as well, and it is worth listening to what he has to say about “Permanent War and the National Security State.”

Because it is more than 10 years. It started more than 20 years ago, when then-President George H.W. Bush climbed the mountain then turned around, going after Saddam Hussein in 1990, then leaving him standing, like the noble duke of York, who was neither up nor down.

From Rep. Kucinich’s press release:

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a leading advocate for peace, today offered a broad critique of the National Defense Authorization Act which continues disastrous policies in Libya, and allows for permanent, global war and reauthorizes harmful provisions of the Patriot Act.

“I am offering an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill which would defund the war in Libya.

“The war is unconstitutional. The President did not come to this Congress, he went to the U.N. Security Council, he went to a number of international bodies, but he didn't come to the United States Congress. Last week, the President did not observe the tolling of the War Powers Act, so he's in violation of the statute.

“The action over in Libya has already exceeded the U.N. mandate; it's in violation of the U.N. mandate and there have been violations of international law.

“What are we doing there? Why does anyone think we can afford it? Why aren't we trying to find a path to peace so we aren’t called upon to spend more money there? These are questions we have to be asking; that's why Congress needs to say we're not going to spend more money there.”