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PEACE: Foreign Policy & Terrorism | December 5, 1990



An Unpublished Letter to Los Angeles Times 

In his "Column Left" editorial, Richard N. Goodwin states that "in their zeal to divide power among branches of the federal government, the craftsmen of the Constitution neglected one possibility -- a Congress that would willingly, even gladly, abdicate its authority and responsibility...The issue of war and peace is clearly for Congress to debate and decide. The Constitution says so. But they simply don't want to do it. And so decision is left by default in the hands of George Bush."

However, such an eventuality must have been considered during the birth of this nation. The founders of the United States had been deeply influenced by that great 17th Century English philosopher John Locke, who (among many other things) wrote: "Whensoever...the legislative shall...by ambition, fear, folly, or corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people, by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands...and it devolves to the people...[to undertake] the establishment of a new legislative (such as they shall think fit) [to] provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in society."

It is "we the people" who bear the ultimate responsibility to exercise our rights, as to free speech, to oppose any unnecessary risks to our "lives, liberties, and estates" imposed by our elected representatives in the legislative and executive branches, such as the current headlong rush to war in the Middle East (As long as our naval blockade is in place, Iraq will never get one petrodollar's worth of oil out onto the world market -- like it or not, they will eventually have to behave in a civilized fashion, or end-up living like savages).

We must never forget that freedom really isn't free: We must use it, or lose it!

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