Yes, the Troops Going to Syria Will Be Wearing Boots

Yes, the Troops Going to Syria Will Be Wearing Boots
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

For many years, prominent leaders in the U.S. government have worked to get our country into wars. They seem to know that war always means more government, and they likely also realize that war speeds moral decline which paves the way for assumption of even more power.

The USS Carl Vinson and support ships deployed for combat operations in Syria and Iraq in 2014 (image from Wikipedia).

Early in his presidency, Barack Obama promised to end America’s involvement in Middle Eastern wars, even to reduce America’s military presence in the region. Those promises didn’t last long.

The U.S. Constitution is very clear about the need for a congressional declaration of war to send U.S. forces into any conflict. That requirement has been in the dustbin of history ever since it was last employed in 1941 immediately after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Significantly, the struggle known as World War II is the last conflict America won.

Congressional inability or unwillingness to demand adherence to the Constitution war-making clause led to congressional passage of the War Powers Act in 1973. It said that a president must ask Congress to approve his use of our nation’s forces when he wants to or when he already has sent them into any conflict. It was a weak attempt to address government’s misuse of military might, and it clearly amounts to congressional willingness to ignore what the Constitution states. But even it has been ignored as recent presidents have obtained authorization for war from the United Nations.

Over the past five years, Mr. Obama has sent military trainers to aid rebel forces in Syria and he has approved air strikes against ISIS and its control of a portion of that embattled nation. But he has repeatedly stated that he would not put “American boots on the ground in Syria.”

In September 2014, Obama said he would continue the airstrikes and expand the battle against ISIS. Air strikes are clearly a tactic of war. But he firmly maintained, “We will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.” After the terrorist attacks in Europe and America, he announced sending an additional 250 U.S. troops to Syria. “They’re not going to be leading the fight on the ground,” he insisted. “But they will be essential in providing training and assisting local forces.”

Somehow, those 250 additional members of the U.S. military are not to be considered combatants participating in a war zone. What should they do if the forces of ISIS attack them? Or if one of the rebel groups seeking to overthrow Syria’s government attacks them? Can they fight back? Shouldn’t they expect to be targeted? What will be America’s response be if some are killed or wounded? Might the presence of U.S. military forces in this area encourage more terrorist attacks against our nation and others?

“No boots on the ground in Syria,” said Mr. Obama numerous times. Yet, the 250 who are joining other “trainers” in Syria will surely be wearing boots. And the potential for more Americans to be sent into this region grows almost daily. This piecemeal approach is how the Vietnam War started and grew so greatly before being lost.

Our nation seems to be heading into another conflict with no constitutional declaration of war. If combatting the military forces of ISIS with U.S. troops is deemed necessary, the only way to proceed is to declare war and then win it. Don’t seek authorization from the UN. Don’t play semantic games with the lives of those who serve in our nation’s military.

Wars should be won, not dragged out with half-measures, political jargon, and a clear unwillingness to rely on the U.S. Constitution. If military action is called for, only a clear intention to declare war with an intention to win is acceptable. The only other course would be to cease having the U.S. be the policeman of the world, bring the troops home from the more than 100 nations where they currently are, start minding only America’s business, and Get US OUT! of the United Nations.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


London Mayor Chides Obama

London Mayor Chides Obama
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Left-to-right: Lord Coe, Boris Johnson, David Cameron – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (image from Wikimedia).

Boris Johnson is London’s mayor. He also holds membership in Britain’s Conservative political party, just like Prime Minister David Cameron who is his friend. But the two couldn’t be farther apart about the upcoming June 23rd national referendum. Will the people side with their Prime Minster and stay in the 28-nation European Union? Or will they vote to quit the EU as Johnson urges?

During Barack Obama’s recent visit to England, he managed to anger many Britons by siding with the Cameron position. Because he is an outsider, many think he should have minded his own business. Mayor Johnson quickly responded to the Obama meddling, saying that testimonials on the matter from “American presidents” are unwelcome. Obama’s statement included the following assertion: “If one of our best friends is in an organization that enhances their influence, and enhances their power, and enhances their economy, then I want them to stay in it.” Many doubt that assessment of England’s EU membership. He even suggested that a “No” vote on the referendum by British voters would place them “in the back of the queue” regarding trade deals between Britain and the United States. That got some Brits downright angry.

Johnson took the opportunity presented him by the U.S. president’s comments to list some of the reasons why British voters should want out of the EU. He pointed out that “the Euro [financial] crisis is far from over and the EU remains a gigantic engine of job destruction.” He reminded his countrymen about the promise that England “wouldn’t have to pay for the Greek bailouts” but when the need for such a financial rescue arose, “we did [pay for them].” He scorched the EU Commission’s plan to insert “a new European approach to company law, to property rights, to every aspect of employment law.” He even noted, “the EU has removed a democratically elected government – in both Italy and Greece – and installed Brussels-approved technocrats.” And he feared that such action by the EU “technocrats” would be repeated in England.

As for possible intimidation by Mr. Obama and Britain’s “business leaders, fat cats of every description,” Johnson said that it wouldn’t work because the British people were not about ”to file meekly to the polls and consent to stay in the EU that was costing them the tidy sum of “350 pounds a week.” (The British have never discarded their British pound for the Euro and still rely of the pound.) And he urged his countrymen to realize that the EU court has been “adjudicating on UK criminal law,” that “immigrants should have a job offer before entering the UK,” and that “social and employment legislation should be left to national control.”

Boris Johnson and David Cameron have maintained friendly relations for many years. But Johnson is widely suspected of angling for the post now held by his friend. Should the British people vote to leave the EU, Johnson’s stature would rise and possibly take him all the way to #10 Downing Street. Because many British voters, like voters in any country, don’t like outsiders meddling in their nation’s affairs, the comments issued by Barack Obama may have created an easier path for Johnson to become Prime Minster than existed previously. The choice Britons will make on June 23rd has even more riding on it than staying in or exiting the EU.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Socialist-in-Chief: A History of the UN Secretaries General

Socialist-in-Chief: A History of the UN Secretaries General
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meets with U.S. actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who gave a climate change speech to the General Assembly (photo from the UN).

The United Nations will choose a new Secretary General before the end of 2016. The process for selecting someone for this post begins with a recommendation arising from the Security Council. Its choice has to win approval of the five veto-possessing members of the Security Council (Russia, China, U.S., France, and Great Britain). Communist China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia will have their say and that means no one who advocates liberty need apply. Once the Security Council makes its choice, majority approval by the General Assembly (now numbering 193 nations) is needed for a new Secretary General to be named.

America’s Alger Hiss served as the Acting Secretary General of the UN’s founding conference in the spring of 1945. As the co-author of the UN Charter (with Soviet communist Andrei Vyshinsky), Hiss possessed great power. He was later shown to be a secret communist and went to prison for lying about his communist connections. As America’s chief contributor to the UN’s creation, he appointed scores of like-minded communist sympathizers and world government advocates to UN posts.

After the UN held its inaugural meeting in October 1945, the post of Secretary General became more of a ceremonial or public relations perch. The Security Council has always been where the UN’s real power resides. But knowing who has been Secretary General, and some background and attitudes of such individuals, tells much about the UN itself.

Norwegian Trygve Lie served in the post from 1946 to 1952. He held a high position in Norway’s Social Democratic Labor Party, an undisguised offshoot of the Communist International. He owed his appointment to strong backing by the Soviet Union.

From 1953 to 1961, Sweden’s Dag Hammarsklold served as Secretary General. He actually claimed that his political hero was Communist China’s mass murderer Chou En-lai. Hammarskjold led the UN when the world government’s forces attacked Katanga, the freedom-seeking province of the former Belgian Congo.

Burma’s U Thant followed from 1961 to 1971. Openly advocating world government, Thant praised the murderous Soviet tyrant Vladimir Lenin, even approving Lenin’s goals because, he revealingly stated, they were “in line with the aims of the UN Charter.”

From 1972 until 1981, Austria’s Kurt Waldheim held the post. A favorite of the USSR, his past service as an officer in the Nazi army during World War II was conveniently overlooked. Another admirer of Chou En-lai, Waldheim cheered the successful campaign to oust Nationalist China from the UN in favor of the Communist Chinese regime.

Next came Peru’s Javier Perez de Cuellar (1982-1991). A Marxist, he championed distribution of the world’s wealth.

From 1992-1996, Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali held the post for only one five-year term and was refused reappointment. While in office, he bluntly called for an end to “absolute and exclusive sovereignty.”

The next Secretary General was Kofi Annan of Ghana who held the post from 1997 to 2006. Known for his consistent attacks on the very concept of national sovereignty, he was accused of complicity in the massacres occurring in Europe’s Bosnia and Africa’s Rwanda.

South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon succeeded Annan and must step aside before December 31, 2016. A believer of the claims of climate change enthusiasts, Ban has also pushed for the goals of Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030.

Visit our action page to learn how you can help!

No one is certain who will be the next Secretary General. Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has been busily campaigning to become the first female in the post. She has served at the UN since 2009 as the leader of its Development Program, the third-highest position at the UN. But because it seems to be Eastern Europe’s turn to send someone to be the next Secretary General, Ms. Clark may have to wait. She also may be too pro-Western for some of UN’s heavyweights. Any convinced socialist or outright communist would fit more comfortably in the post.

There is no chance whatsoever that the next UN Secretary General will do anything to slow the steady growth of power possessed by the world body. Nations wishing to be independent, certainly including the United States, should have nothing to do with the UN.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Obama Versus Obama on the Use of Executive Orders

Obama Versus Obama on the Use of Executive Orders
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The fate of approximately five million illegal immigrants rides on a matter now in the hands of the Supreme Court. On April 18, the court entertained hearings on whether these immigrants will be deported or allowed to remain in the United States. A decision is expected in a few months.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration, at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco, Calif., Nov. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

More than a year ago, President Obama sought to use an executive order to cancel congressional action calling for deportation of these illegal entrants. In effect, he wanted to grant them amnesty. Federal Judge Andrew Hanen blocked implementation of the Obama order and a federal district court later upheld his ruling. The Obama administration appealed that court’s ruling all the way to the Supreme Court.

Led by Texas, a total of 26 state governments have sought relief from the costs incurred by the flood of immigrants, including the five million in question. Their issue dwells on expenses incurred by the immigrants such as the issuance of drivers licenses. But the greater issue here is the use of executive orders by a president in order to circumvent existing law, or even to establish law without it having first been created by Congress.

Interestingly, President Obama has provided totally conflicting views on the topic of executive orders. In January 2014, he threatened to make law via his executive order by declaring:

We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward….

As recounted by David Remnick in New Yorker magazine, Mr. Obama had earlier provided a completely opposite view during a fund-raising appearance at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in California. Urged by some in his audience to rely on the executive order route, the president objected and stated:

If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so, but we’re also a nation of laws. I’m actually going to pause on this issue, because a lot of people have been saying this lately on every problem, which is just, “Sign an executive order and we can pretty much do anything and basically nullify Congress.” [But] that’s not how it works. We’ve got this Constitution; we’ve got this whole thing about separation of powers. So there is no shortcut to politics, and there’s no shortcut to democracy.

Not the first president who has employed executive orders to circumvent the sole power of Congress to make law, Obama might be the first to explain very clearly how wrong such a practice truly is. This nation does indeed have a Constitution that should be obeyed.

Currently, because of the death of Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court has only eight justices. Should there be a 4 to 4 split, the district court’s previous ruling against the president’s use of an executive order will stand. President Obama’s action would, in effect, be deemed an illegal act and deportation action could proceed.

Which Obama position regarding executive orders will prevail? The odds seem to favor rejection of their use. For a change, the president’s grasp for power may be thwarted. Now, do your part and tell Congress to oppose all Executive and Congressional amnesties.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Industries Still Heading for Mexico

Industries Still Heading for Mexico
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed into law by President Bill Clinton 21 years ago, has certainly spurred many manufacturers to close plants in the U.S and build new ones in Mexico. This is precisely what opponents of NAFTA, including The John Birch Society, expected and predicted.

Image from Ford Media.

In April 2016, the list of closed, or soon to be closed, factories in the U.S. grew larger when the Ford Motor Company announced its plan to build a new assembly plant in Mexico to produce its Focus compact vehicle and its C-Max hybrid. Company officials said Ford would possibly begin production of its trucks and sport utility vehicles at the Wayne, Michigan plant which will soon be vacant. Workers are holding their breaths hoping that Ford actually does what is merely a possibility at this point.

Ford admitted that it will pay Mexican workers less than half the $29 per hour workers in Michigan have been earning. Ford’s Chief Executive Mark Fields stated, “At the end of the day, we are a multinational company, and we will do what’s best for business.” Claiming that his company had added 25,000 jobs during the past eight years, he nevertheless announced that Ford intends to move more manufacturing to China and elsewhere. United Automobile Workers union leader, Dennis Williams condemned the Ford decision while blaming it on NAFTA.

The move by Ford parallels similar planned moves to Mexico by Toyota, Kia, and Audi. General Motors has already built a huge plant in Mexico to produce its automobiles. Eighty percent of the vehicles produced in Mexico are exported from Mexico, most of them into the United States.

While campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama targeted NAFTA saying, “One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA.” He also lambasted Hillary Clinton for her claim that “NAFTA has been good for New York” during her campaign for a Senate seat. In 2016, GOP candidate Donald Trump has made NAFTA one of his targets, even promising to have the pact repealed. And President Obama, no longer a foe of NAFTA, is anxiously working to have Congress approve the NAFTA-like Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TPP will accomplish for 12 Pacific nations what NAFTA has done for Mexico. The TTIP would effectively have the United States join the sovereignty-compromising European Union.

The 20-year-old NAFTA pact filled 2,000 pages and covered far more matters than just trade, even establishing a tribunal whose decisions on trade matters have unfavorably impacted American companies. The pact additionally sets environmental standards for the three nations. It amounts to an economic and political revolution.

Yes, NAFTA is a job destroyer for Americans. But it also waters down U.S. sovereignty, something quietly desired by many of its creators and partisans. NAFTA should be repealed. And Congress should reject immersion into the TPP and TTIP.

If America continues down the road already shown by NAFTA and favored by President Obama, third-world status will soon be America’s fate. Contact Congress today to tell them to vote no on the TPP and TTIP.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Refugee Flood and UNHCR

The Refugee Flood and UNHCR
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Completely unknown to most Americans, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is playing a dramatically important role in dealing with the refugee crisis. This UN agency has been placing individuals it designates as refugees in numerous parts of the globe. Using its power, UNHCR personnel decide who is a refugee and, additionally, where those it so designates will be placed.

Europe is currently suffering greatly from the UNHCR’s decisions, with the greatest flood of refugees impacting Germany. But Sweden with a much smaller native population has also found itself swamped. Immigrant arrivals in Greece and in neighboring countries have overwhelmed the area’s authorities. With immigration a continuing concern in France, England, Belgium, and elsewhere in Western Europe, and a future that is expected to be marked by more, worries about the problem have risen sharply in nation after nation. Everywhere, it seems, the refugee crisis figures to impact national culture, even have countries undergo a makeover that will make of them something far different than what they have been in past centuries.

In actual practice, a person seeking refugee status places himself/herself before a UNHCR official who decides whether or not to award such a designation and which country should accept the individual. Many thousands have already been placed in the U.S. via this process and little (most likely nothing) has been done to assure that there are no terrorists among them. Refugees sent to the United States then receive an array of generous benefits at taxpayer expense.

Heretofore, entrants coming to the U.S. through Mexico have been a continuing problem. While those crossing the border into our nation’s southwest have done so without UNHCR’s direction, those currently arriving (with more expected in the very near future) carry the UNHCR’s stamp of approval and do not need to enter through Mexico. So the still leaky Mexican border is not the only concern. In 2016, President Obama intends to welcome 85,000, not from Mexico but from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. That number is scheduled to increase to at least 100,000 in 2017.

It is certainly true that America has always been a nation of immigrants. In the past, whoever came here wanted to learn the English language, become familiar with the American governmental system, and assimilate into the culture with those goals in mind. Not so with many arriving in recent years. Change is coming unless our leaders get a handle on the situation.

Continue to take in immigrants, of course. But strictly maintain the decision about who comes here and how many. Establishing the United States of America and making into the great country it became should not become a candidate for change. All of this adds up to another reason why our country should withdraw from the United Nations and cease subjecting the USA to its continuing grasp for power through such agencies as the UNHCR.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Don’t “Interpret” the Constitution; Obey It

Don’t “Interpret” the Constitution; Obey It
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Hardly anyone knows the true assignment given the Supreme Court by the Constitution. Accordingly, it comes as little surprise to find many Americans claiming that job of the justices is to “interpret the Constitution.” But when a committed conservative makes the same claim, one realizes how thoroughly a distorted view of the American system of government has been spread.

Simply stated, the job of the Supreme Court is not to interpret the Constitution, or interpret any law properly enacted. It is to see to it that the Constitution is obeyed and that all laws passed by the federal government can honestly trace their legitimacy to what appears in the its text. There has to be a positive grant of power in the document for any federal law to claim legitimacy. No law can be properly enacted under the spurious claim that it’s not prohibited and, therefore, it’s legitimate to enact it. Interpreting the Constitution or any law to have it say beyond what its text contains is completely wrong.

How did the dangerous notion of “interpreting” get started? It began soon after our nation started. It is the legacy of highly revered Chief Justice John Marshall. Appointed by President John Adams during our second President’s last day in office, Marshall served on the high court from 1801 until death claimed him in 1835. In his 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision, he declared, “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is….” In other words, we at the Supreme Court will decide what a law says; we shall not rely on its text. We shall “interpret” both the Constitution and any law that comes before us.

Obviously sensing where Marshall would take the nation, President Thomas Jefferson stated early in his term of office (1801-1809): “On every question of construction, [let us] carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

Jefferson repeated his stand when he stated, “The Constitution on which our Union rests shall be administered by me according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States at the time of its adoption.” His is the correct attitude.

Simply stated, it was never the intent of the Founders of this nation to have the Supreme Court “interpret” the Constitution. If such a power is allowed, there is really no need to have a Constitution. Reliance on the purported wisdom of nine judges is all that would be needed.

Any thinking American should never accept the dangerous notion that the Supreme Court has been awarded power to “interpret” either the Constitution or any properly enacted law.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.