While the public’s attention has been focused on the Senate’s capitulation to Bill Clinton, another surrender has been taking place in the House, where some members are whining and complaining about a proposed U.S. military deployment to Kosovo, but are doing virtually nothing about it. Just over four years ago the Republicans took control of the House by promising to implement a Contract with America that included a prohibition on foreign command of U.S. troops. Today, U.S. troops are going under foreign command in Kosovo.
Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-AL, is pushing a letter to Clinton, signed by a couple dozen House members protesting foreign command. Rep. Tillie Fowler, R-FL, is promoting a bill protesting the deployment itself, but most House members don’t want to appear to be against “peace.” They don’t want to appear to be undermining our troops in the field, who are already under NATO command in Bosnia and under foreign U.N. command in Macedonia.
The Pentagon is also rolling over. At a press briefing, Navy Captain Michael Doubleday was asked the point blank question: “Would it be acceptable to the United States for American forces to serve under a foreign ground commander in Kosovo?” Taking the White House line, he responded, ” I would only point out that the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe is an American. The chain of command in Europe in the Southern Region runs through another American four-star officer, Admiral John Ellis. There are many examples of U.S. forces operating with allies in a variety of circumstances where a U.S. commander is not in operational control.”
These “circumstances” require serious scrutiny. We need a list of those areas in which foreign commanders have taken charge of American soldiers. The only other case that is apparent is Macedonia, where Captain Doubleday noted that “the United States has been providing a unit [and] we have always been under the operational control of the U.N. commander there, who is normally from one of the Scandinavian countries.”
In Kosovo, the operation will be run through NATO, whose Secretary-General, Javier Solana, is a Spanish socialist. All NATO military commanders, including Americans, serve under him. So, despite Captain Doubleday’s
doubletalk about American admirals and commanders, NATO is, in fact, a
foreign-run and foreign-dominated organization.
The case of U.S. Army Specialist Michael New, who was court-martialed for refusing to wear a U.N. uniform and serve that foreign commander in Macedonia, is still alive in the courts. The White House and the Pentagon know this. They also know that some in Congress raised hell about what happened to Michael New, but failed to stop the practice of prosecuting patriots like him. This sent a message through the ranks.
Congress should be reminded that, under the Constitution, it has
the power to make the rules and regulations for the armed forces, that Clinton becomes Commander-in-Chief “when called into the actual service
of the United States” (that is, when Congress declares war), and that
the Senate has the power to approve top military commanders. The U.N. commander in Macedonia was not approved by the Senate, and the proposed
British commanding general in Kosovo will not be coming before the
Senate for approval, either. So the whole process now under way in Washington is blatantly unconstitutional.
It’s bad enough that Congress has given up its power to declare war. It
has also lost its war-making authority. In 1973, it passed the War Powers Resolution that explicitly gave the president the right to deploy our troops at will, anywhere, and for any reason. Clinton has proven himself adept at using them to wage military actions to cover his backside, such as in the bombing of the aspirin factory in Sudan, when he gave testimony in the Lewinsky scandal.
Clinton is also adept at using our troops for endless and suicidal “peacekeeping” operations. Somalia, Macedonia, Bosnia, and now Kosovo.
This reflects his plan to establish an international army that will eventually
come under the direct control and authority of the U.N.. For the time
being, NATO will be in charge, enforcing U.N. resolutions around the world. It is likely that such a force will be deployed to the Middle East as well, to bring
“peace” to that region.
The sticking point right now is foreign command, a concept that Congress is wary of, and rightly so. This is an opportunity for Congress to reassert its constitutional authority. What’s next? U.S. troops under the “operational control” of Chinese generals? After all, Clinton regards the Chinese as our allies, and U.S. and Peoples Liberation Army troops have already participated in military exercises together. If we are to believe the White House, Clinton has the power to order our troops to report to Chinese military officers and and there’s nothing to stop him. This is false. The Constitution can stop him — if Congress enforces it.
Would someone please call House Speaker Dennis Hastert and ask him whatever became of the Contract with America?
Also, ask him if he supports Chinese command of U.S. troops. If not, ask him how Congress would or could stop it.
His number is 202-225-0600.