Letters to the Boston editor, May 27, 2011

The end is here
By  |  May 26, 2011

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When I first read your issue of May 20 with all the hue and cry about the Rapture due the next day, I thought it was a lot of nonsense. But when May 21 came, I realized that the deadline for Congress acting under the War Powers Act, an event that you noted in your editorial ("What's going on; what's at stake?" May 20) in this same issue, to validate President Obama's latest little undeclared war — the one in Libya, just in case you, like I, sometimes can't keep track of them — had come and gone. And, sure enough, the president has not pressed Congress, and Congress has not taken up the challenge on its own, and so we are now in a genuine presidential war. Indeed, while I personally do not see any evidence of the end of the world, I do glimpse the end of the republic. It's been a long time coming ("the end" has advanced under every president after Eisenhower, it would seem), but it's here in earnest. I suggest prayer, just in case voting turns out to be increasingly ineffective to reverse the process (as appears to be depressingly likely, if recent experience is a guide to the future). 

HARVEY SILVERGLATE
CAMBRIDGE

I believe that the president's so-called wartime powers need to be severely curtailed, but I also believe that President Obama is caught in a political conundrum where all of his predecessors have committed American military forces to war without a formal declaration of war by Congress.

However, to blame him for what his administration is doing with regard to Libya is disingenuous. The American military has taken a back-seat role, really, in this conflict, and has acted only in conjunction with its NATO allies. For instance, there are no American combat forces on the ground, and the Navy and Air Force have scaled back their bombing campaigns. This leads me to believe that the US military is acting more in accordance with at least the spirit of the UN declaration: by limiting its attacks to larger targets, which Qaddafi's forces might use to continue the prosecution of the war against the rebels. To place political blame upon the president in this case is to blame the tiger for merely hunting its prey.

JASON E. IAROSSI
METHUEN


CORRECTION

In anticipation of a Rapture promised by many for May 21, we said the May 20 Phoenix would be "Absolutely, positively the last issue ever!" Apparently, no one was raptured after all, so you're stuck with us.

  Topics: Letters , Libya, NATO, Obama,  More more >
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