Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 27, 2013

Pact has new entitlement: Afghan-o-care?

Now that U.S. and Afghan negotiators have agreed on terms of a seemingly open-ended -- if reduced -- U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, Afghan president Hamid Karzai and the Obama administration alike breathlessly await the verdict of the world’s great-est delib-erative body.

No, not the U.S. Senate -- the “loya jirga.”

It is alarming to realize that this treaty renewing America’s military commitment to Afghanistan under wholly disastrous terms for the United States seems to hinge on the say-so of some 3,000 “village elders” now gathered in Kabul -- and not, apparently, that of our own elected representatives. News reports consistently underscore the official focus on the coming decision from the “loya jirga” (that world-renowned embodiment of sharia justice and tribal enlightenment) without mentioning deliberations to come in the U.S. Congress.

“We have agreed on the language that would be submitted to a loya jirga, but they have to pass it,” Secretary of State John Kerry said.

They have to pass it? The Associated Press puts it this way: “The U.S. declined to release specific details about the negotiations and stressed nothing was final until the gathering known as the loya jirga makes its decision.”

What does our Constitution say? Yes, the president “shall have Power ... to make Treaties,” but “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate ... provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.”

To date, however, just five senators -- Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Republicans Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky -- have heard this constitutional call of duty. They support an amendment to require the president to win approval from Congress on this new defense pact with Afghanistan.

This amendment should pass unanimously, unless, that is, the Senate wants to relinquish all powers to an increasingly dictatorial executive branch, and, more urgently, wants to see all powers of the U.S. military subordinated to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Close the tax loophole that sends US corporations overseas Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed word. At the same time, the system has become full of inef

    July 29, 2014

  • Israel and the U.S.: Whose survival instinct is stronger? There’s something darkly coincidental in the fact that the latest weapon to be deployed against the survival instinct of both Israel and the United States is an alleged “heartlessness” when it comes to children. The people of Israel are castigated in

    July 29, 2014

  • College cost isn't big problem for poor students To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting mo

    July 29, 2014

  • Ducks, geese a blessing I would like to respond to the “Geese and ducks causing problems in Veterans Park” article that was published in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on July 16, 2014. I must share that I do understand that at times there have been a great number of the Cana

    July 29, 2014

  • Money not always the answer I really have to stop and think sometimes. I challenge my thought processes when I write these columns. I am having a hard time with this one. It appears to me that every time a governmental agency or any of the entities that spend other people’s mon

    July 29, 2014

  • Teachers unions' destructive behavior You can always count on the national teachers unions to behave badly at their annual conventions, and they certainly didn’t let us down this month. In doing so, however, they let down many of their members, along with students who are working hard to

    July 26, 2014

  • Workers of the world, curb your ambitions A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: Not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, n

    July 26, 2014

  • State of the reunion ‘Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks