Last night, in a rare address to the U.S. Congress, President Obama paid generous lip-service to the ceremonial democratic process, as he requested Congress hold meaningless debates and eventually have a non-binding vote on his pre-determined attack on Syria.
"As Americans," the President said to gathered members of both the Impeachment and Craven parties, "We understand that in our democracy the illusion that no single man, woman, or corporation decides when we go to war is essential. The fallacy that so important a decision is in some way connected to a Constitutional process is what has kept this mighty nation at peace through the last fifty years of ceaseless, unremitting conflict."
"Our Constitution clearly states that the power to declare war rests solely with the Congress. The Founders understood that how a nation acts on the world stage in large part determines its destiny. Those wise men understood that to leave the declaring of war in the hands of a head of state could lead to capricious, vengeful, propaganda-driven conflicts that would serve only as distractions from the real problems of the nation. And this thoughtful, prudent, and terribly inconvenient break on presidential power eventually led - by the Grace of God and the slick duplicity of countless presidents and Congresses - to the past half century when we have been - officially - at peace. Not one of the tens of thousands of brave American soldiers who've died in jungles and deserts around the world died fighting in a declared war; No, they were all fortunate enough to have fought and died during a time of peace."
"And it is to continue this hypocrisy that I turn to Congress. I turn to you not because it is the right thing to do, or the Constitutional thing to do, or something I particularly want to do; I turn to you because your essentially inconsequential procedural yada-yada is exactly the sort of hollow gesture that keeps the fragile myth of our Republic together. Unless the people see the empty grandstanding of your debate, and your inevitable rubber-stamping of my pre-determined attack, how can they, the people, comfortably succumb to the relentless war propaganda our media is subjecting them to? It is imperative to our farcical political system that you, Congress, give a credible appearance of fulfilling your obligation of authorizing hostilities toward yet another nation that has failed to attack America, and that you do this in full knowledge that whichever way your irrelevant vote goes I plan on ordering airstrikes anyway."
"Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, this is not about vengeance. This is not about being anti-Moslem. And it certainly isn't about the men, women, and children who died in a chemical attack! I mean if that really bothered us we would never have dropped all that White Phosphorus on Fallujah, melting who knows how many men, women, and children into puddles of goo. No, this is about guaranteeing the American People a constant supply of fear, and the hysterical war frenzy that has made this the greatest nation on Earth. Because if we fail... if we fail to provide them with an eminently beatable enemy every 18 months or so the bottomless anger of an unemployed, dispossessed, in debt, spied-upon, miserable American populace might come to rest on those in this country who have actually caused that misery. It is our solemn responsibility, as their governmental representatives, to distract them from the idea of having a government that actually represents them; A government that in any way holds the needs of honest, hard-working, law-abiding citizens equal to the for-profit whims of our criminal masters on Wall Street, a government that takes law, or ethics, or the Will of the People as seriously as we take our need to have well-paying corporate gigs when we have finished padding our resumes and feeding at the public trough. Times are difficult, Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress. And it is time, once again, for us to stand up for America - and use some foreigners to distract Americans from their problems. And we must do it quickly, before they blame those problems on us."
"I urge you to look at the evidence - what there is of it, anyway. Debate - loudly and on television - and then vote your conscience. Not that it will make any difference, but please make a good show of it. Thank you."