Friday, September 06, 2013

On Language and Twitter and Peace and War.

I have aesthetic preferences when it comes to Twitter. I like a tweet that uses complete sentences, no abbreviations, proper punctuation, and exactly 140 characters. When the first draft of one of my tweets meets all these criteria, I feel as if it has automatically assumed a level of truthiness, as if the muses had written it, not me. Well, here's the tweet I woke up with this morning. It meets all my aesthetic criteria. The last period of my first draft was character number 140.
I'm going to try to leave this as my only tweet of the day for as long as I can because I don't want to bury this thought under an avalanche of retweets and snarky comments about the Donalds Rumsfeld and Trump. I really believe strongly that "We're living one of the most important moments in the long debate over how democracies should wage war. The 'No' of the people needs to win." If wide majorities of the American public and their Representatives on both sides of aisle believe that we shouldn't be bombing Syria, then the President needs to stand by that judgment just as David Cameron is standing by his rebuke from the British Parliament. And these judgments of the people about the necessity and utility of adding more weapons and violence to the Middle East will not only be seen as historic, but they could be one of President Barack Obama's greatest legacies.  Here's another tweet of mine from yesterday morning that expresses my suspicions about the President's possible motives for going to Congress. The truthiness of this tweet is a little more suspect because I needed to abbreviate "Pres" and leave the initial "It" off the second sentence in order to fit it into exactly 140 characters, but I still stand by it:
I believe that the candidate and constitutional law professor from Illinois believed (and believes) what he said on December 20, 2007: "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Going to Congress before attacking Syria and having Congress assert its war powers by voting no is that candidate living up to his word, and his Congressional "loss" could be his ultimate objective. The Senator and candidate Obama did not want any President to have the war powers he (and his successors) currently hold.  Handing some of that power back to the people and their representatives could turn out to be one of his most important achievements. 

No comments: