John McCain May Acquire More Neoconservative Allies in 2015

John McCain May Acquire More Neoconservative Allies in 2015
by JBS President John F. McManus

When the 114th Congress convenes in January, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) will become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Together with fellow neoconservative Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the two have always called for more uses of our nation’s military. They like the idea of a U.S. empire that, supposedly, would make the world a better place. But the rest of world doesn’t want the U.S. dictating its policies.

Neoconservatives have always liked war. They want U.S. forces to meddle militarily in a variety of spats between nations or among groups of nations. If some countries don’t like their plan, McCain and Graham try to figure out some way to insert America’s nose as well as bombs into the situation. Only a few years ago, McCain was actually heard singing “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!” in remarks he delivered at the Senate podium.

McCain and his neoconservative allies wanted U.S. forces in Libya in 2011. They didn’t prevail. They want deeper involvement in Syria and have only been partially successful. Lately, they want stepped-up U.S. meddling in Ukraine and against ISIS.

Washington watchers have suggested that the neocons are likely to increase their numbers as a result of newly elected Republican senators. Georgia’s Perdue, Alaska’s Sullivan, Iowa’s Ernst, Arkansas’s Cotton, North Carolina’s Tillis, and Louisiana’s Cassidy are potential allies of the McCain/Graham faction. We hope we’re wrong about some or all of these new senators. Other returning fence-sitters who might want to add more targets to battle America’s military arm may bow to McCain’s leadership when he takes over command of the Armed Services Committee.

Opponents of neoconservatism are regularly dubbed “isolationists” by the mainstream media. The use of that term is supposed to end the argument and force anyone who resists the urging for increased involvement to be considered an uncaring Neanderthal. Substitute “non-interventionist with sons, daughters and wallets” for the “isolationist” label and the intended stigma quickly evaporates.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson suggested avoiding international squabbles. John Quincy Adams said America “goes not abroad searching for monsters to destroy.” This is timeless advice that should never have been abandoned.

The U.S. has troops stationed in well over 100 separate nations. It’s time to bring them home. Instead, current leaders are sending more back into Iraq while refusing to honor the pledge to have all American military forces out of Afghanistan by January 1, 2015. John McCain and Lindsey Graham must be delighted. Let’s hope that their numbers do not increase in the new GOP-led Senate.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


The UN’s Afghanistan Debacle

The UN’s Afghanistan Debacle
by JBS President John F. McManus

On September 11, 2001 (widely known simply as 9/11), hijackers of four commercial airliners attacked the United States. Two of the planes crashed into New York City’s Twin Towers leveling both; one slammed into the Pentagon in Northern Virginia; and one crashed into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 Americans perished, including the hijackers, passengers, and crews on the ill-fated planes.

The New American was reporting on bin Laden long before 9/11. This cover is from its October 12, 1998 issue.

The New American was reporting on bin Laden long before 9/11. This cover is from its October 12, 1998 issue.

Three days later, on September 14, 2001, the U.S. Congress passed legislation carrying the name “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.” As have his predecessors for more than sixty years, President George W. Bush chose not to seek a declaration of war and, instead, speedily formed an international coalition of forces from several dozen nations. The targeted enemy was Afghanistan’s Taliban, the Islamist force believed to be harboring Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who was presumed to have masterminded the attack. President Bush demanded that Afghanistan deliver bin Laden for prosecution and also that the nation expel Al Qaeda even though no proof has ever been supplied that bin Laden and the Al Qaeda group he led were responsible for the attacks on 9/11.

On October 7, 2001, U.S. and British forces launched the invasion into Afghanistan known as Operation Enduring Freedom. As many as 40 other nations sent token forces (28 sent less than 100) while the U.S. total exceeded that of all of the others combined. On December 20, 2001, the United Nations Security Council created the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to serve as the overseer of all the action in Afghanistan. In 2003, the UN’s regional arrangement known as NATO (see Articles 51-54 of the UN Charter) took over leadership of ISAF. Which means that, except for a very few days after 9/11, the United Nations has been in charge of the multi-nation effort against the Taliban.

It is now 13 years later and, although bin Laden was killed in a raid at his hideout in Pakistan, the Taliban has gained control over large portions of Afghanistan. No opposing forces of any kind dare travel one hour away from the nation’s capital city, Kabul, for fear of attack by Taliban forces. The Afghan government’s army, trained by the NATO coalition, refuses to confront the Taliban. And some within this army turn their guns on their trainers. In other words, the Taliban are winning and the entire nation could soon be under their control. What does the Taliban seek? An Islamist caliphate similar to what ISIS seeks over much of Syria and northwestern Iraq.

American forces have lost 2,350 dead during these 13-plus years. The UK suffered 453 killed, and all of the other nations combined have lost a total of 677. The number wounded, many very seriously, amounts to at last five times the number who paid the ultimate price.

What has been gained? Sadly, the answer is nothing, or next to nothing. The Taliban rule large portions of the nation and are poised to establish complete domination when the remaining foreign troops depart. No one doubts that the plotters of the 9/11 tragedy should have been brought to justice. But only Osama bin Laden, whose responsibility for the attacks that cost the lives of 3,000 Americans and more thousands of military personnel is dubious, has been dealt with.

The Afghan operation and the ten-year campaign against Iraq that is now unraveling have one thing in common. It is that the United Nations has been in charge. The Iraq War was authorized by the UN from its inception. Keep in mind that whatever the world body authorizes, it oversees. And the War in Afghanistan has been controlled by the UN subsidiary NATO from its earliest days.

No American soldier, sailor, or marine should ever be sent into war without a declaration of war issued by the U.S. Congress. If Congress won’t issue such a declaration, then troops should not be sent into any battle. But if Congress had taken that step, as the U.S. Constitution grants it sole power to do so, then the outcome of each of these struggles would have been a clearly recognized victory. Until the 1950-1953 conflict in Korea (still not completely settled), the U.S. had never lost a war. Now, with UN oversight, wars aren’t won.

All of this is one more reason why the U.S. should withdraw from the UN. The sooner the better.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Obama: The Truth is Not in Him

Obama: The Truth is Not in Him
by JBS President John F. McManus

During a press conference while he was in Brisbane, Australia, President Obama was asked the following penetrating question by Fox News reporter Ed Henry, “At your Burma town hall a couple of days ago, you tried to inspire young leaders by saying, ‘governments need to be held accountable, need to be responsive to the people.’ I wonder how you square that with your former adviser, Jonathan Gruber, claiming you were not transparent about the health care law because in his words, the American people, the voters are stupid. Did you mislead Americans about the taxes, about keeping your plan in order to get the bill passed?”

Mr. Obama responded: “No, I did not. I just heard about this. I get well-briefed before I come out here. The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no reflection on the actual process that was run.”

But the truth, as radio personality Rush Limbaugh quickly pointed out, is that MIT Professor Gruber did, in fact, participate in meetings with Obama when the measure was being written. Gruber himself bragged about being there and was not just a distant consultant but a key member of the group that crafted the entire bill. As the President later pointed out, Gruber was in attendance at meetings and was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his work.

The President continued: “We had a year-long debate and I advise every press outlet here to go back and pull up every clip [about the Affordable Care Act] and there was not one provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated and fully transparent.”

But as Professor Gruber stated during those taped panel discussions, he wished that the language in the measure was “all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.” He claimed that the measure “was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes.” Because if it had known to be a tax measure, said Gruber, “the bill dies.” The bill, he claimed after it was passed, was written “to do that.” To do what? To deceive the public and the Congress from knowing what he and President Obama knew about the measure.

There are two major problems here. The first is that critically important facts about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) were kept from the American people and the Congress in order to get it enacted. That’s fraud pure and simple. And the second is that President Obama has confirmed that he is loose with the truth. Professor Gruber, a major player in creating this law, may be reprehensible for participating in the fraudulent selling of ObamaCare. But President Obama has removed all doubt that he is untruthful.

Arriving at the conclusion that the President of our nation can’t be trusted is sad indeed. All Americans should be made aware of this. And Congress should repeal the ObamaCare law in its entirety.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Gruber: The Lies That Led to ObamaCare

Gruber: The Lies That Led to ObamaCare
by JBS President John F. McManus

If a conservative, or even a mere Republican, had made the statements Professor Jonathan Gruber freely delivered at a policy forum a year ago, he or she would have been repudiated by the mass media, shunned by colleagues, and sent out to some pasture. Instead, liberal mouthpieces have excused or ignored what he said as they went about pouring his remarks into their favorite memory hole.

Gruber is a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he had a played a key role in crafting the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare. A year ago, well after ObamaCare had been approved by Congress and given a pass by the Supreme Court, he participated in a panel at Stonehill College, a small Catholic institution located about 30 miles south of Boston. His pronouncements were videotaped and have just now appeared on the Internet. I’m sure he and the Obama team wish either that he’d never said what he uttered or that the videotape would never have surfaced.

He first of all admitted to a lack of full disclosure when the law was being considered. “I wish we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.” Obviously, not all aspects of the law were truthfully presented, and lying is now termed a lack of transparency. Gruber added that had it been stated that “healthy people are going to pay in, it would not have passed.” Then, he said, “… this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes.” If the CBO realized that it was a tax measure, which is what the Supreme Court eventually said it was, “the bill dies.” And he went further, stating that the bill was “written to do that.” To do what? “To keep the fact that it is a tax from being known.” So much for complete disclosure!

The deceitful professor went on to admit further deceitfulness and even to insult the American people. He stated: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get for the thing to pass.” Maybe some people are stupid (the ones who don’t vote?), but where were the supposedly tough members of the mass media when ObamaCare had yet to become law?

ObamaCare should be known as government’s takeover of one-seventh of the nation’s economy. The finest health-care system anywhere on earth is in the process of being destroyed by government. Is it constitutional? Only if one can find the words “medical,” “medical care,” or “medicine” in the Constitution. But none of these words are there.

ObamaCare ought to be cancelled. Republican majorities in both houses of Congress must realize that a prime reason why they scored so well in the 2014 elections happens to be non-stupid voter dislike (should we say “abhorrence”) of the government’s move into this critically important arena. Contact House Speaker John Boehner and incoming Senate Majority Leader McConnell and let them know they were lied to by promoters of ObamaCare, and add that you resent one of its architects calling you and other American voters stupid.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Stop Legalizing Same Sex Marriage!

Stop Legalizing Same Sex Marriage!
by JBS President John F. McManus

There are, of course, many who insist that conferring legitimacy on same-sex marriage is perfectly proper, even overdue. Permit this writer to label the idea absurd, even an attack on civilization itself.

If marriage between two men or two women is legal, even fostered by some in government, then the question ought to arise about how such a departure from previous norms became accepted. The answer is that there has been a turning away from traditional moors by the people, and the emergence of activist judges, even within the highest court in the land, who claim power to set their own rules for the conduct of fellow Americans, or who wink at the discarding of previous norms by their judicial partners.

One can only wonder what will be next. Will polygamy and polyandry be accepted? Will children be targeted? Will any sanctions against what has always been considered aberrant behavior be cast aside?

In just a few years, the nation has gone from a strict view of traditional marriage to open season on its actual meaning. With a large margin, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but the Supreme Court voided it. State after state has bowed to pressure from the homosexual lobby and given a green light to what had previously been termed abominable. Then, in October 2014, the Supreme Court turned its back on marriage by refusing to stop lower court federal judges from canceling existing state laws against the procedure.

Which brings us to the question: Is there any recourse for those who value the traditional moors that have always characterized this nation and Western civilization itself? And the answer is that there are some steps that can be taken – but only if there are enough concerned Americans who demand that leaders take them.

First, there has to be a realization that members of the judicial branch have no authorization to make law. Those who do so should be labeled “judicial activists” and barred from meddling where they have no authorization.

Second, the Constitution’s Article III, Section 1 grants Congress power to abolish federal district courts (called “inferior Courts”) and to remove from office any judges who do not adhere to “good behavior.” Judicial activism is a prime example of bad behavior.

Third, The Constitution’s Article III, Section 2 grants Congress power to limit the court’s jurisdiction over whatever topics it chooses. Congress could have forbidden the federal courts from having anything to say about abortion. In like manner, Congress has the power to tell the Supreme Court and all federal courts that they have no say in marriage.

Will Congress use its constitutional powers to reverse the advances that threaten to overturn the moral base of the great experiment known as America? It’s up to U.S. citizens to push hard for members of the House and Senate to do exactly that.

In 1821, more than a decade after he had left office as President, Thomas Jefferson spoke out about usurpation of authority by the courts. He stated:

It has long, however, been my opinion … that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary …working like gravity by day and by night, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all shall be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed; because when all government shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided … and will become as venal and oppressive as the government [of King George] from which we separated.

The Jeffersonian warning surely applies today.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Does Obama Skirt the Constitution? Ask This Yale Professor

Does Obama Skirt the Constitution? Ask This Yale Professor
by JBS President John F. McManus

Americans across the country are finally awakening to the fact that the federal government does indeed operate outside of its limitations. A case in point is Bruce Ackerman, professor of law and political science at Yale University. Because of President Obama starting a war with ISIS, he finally understands that the President has violated the U.S. Constitution.

The Yale professor rightly complains that the President’s decision to make war against ISIS amounts to a unilateral assumption of power. OK, but the professor then says that the President’s unilateral action “marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition,” adding that “nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.” Does this mean that Ackerman would go along with Mr. Obama’s decision if he had consulted with and received approval – not a declaration of war – from Congress for military action against the Islamist militants?

Curiously, the Obama team claimed that decision to go to war against ISIS was acceptable because Congress had authorized the use of military force against Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attack, and new approval for such action wasn’t needed. In other words, a past congressional stamp of approval for war that was not a formal declaration of war as required by the Constitution can serve as a legitimate go-ahead for whatever action is desired even a decade later.  And the new target of the military doesn’t even have to be the one named in the previous congressional authorization. If that’s the case, then any real or supposed enemy can be targeted by simply citing this past congressional action.

Let us point out to the professor that the Constitution states in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 that Congress has the power to “declare war.” Nowhere else in the document is such authority granted to any other portion of the government. Partisans who want the President to have such power point to the Constitution’s naming the occupier of the White House as “commander in chief of the Army and Navy.” This designation should never be considered the equal of the explicit grant of power solely to Congress to declare war. In other words, the nation’s military arm is not the President’s possession to use as he desires. The sole grant of war-making power to Congress completely outweighs the mere designation of who shall be the commander of forces once a war starts. One would think that a law professor would know this.

The last congressional use of its constitutional authority to declare war occurred immediately after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Formal declarations of war were approved by Congress against Japan, Germany, and Italy. And the U.S. won against each of those struggles. No declarations of war were approved regarding subsequent wars in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more. Can the U.S. claim victory in those contests, especially if we are still undergoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Numerous Presidents have sent small military detachments to rescue Americans in danger, reply swiftly to some outrage perpetrated against our nation, etc.  And few, if any, disapproved of these moves and insisted that formal congressional declarations were needed. But war is something else and, according to the Constitution, if there is to be one, it must be formally declared.

If prominently placed professors of law and political science, who should already understand the Constitution but don’t, are waking up, then we should use this as an opportunity to further engage them and others on obeying the Constitution, returning the federal government to its constitutional limitations, and stop policing the world with authorization supplied by the United Nations or its NATO subsidiary. A return to the Constitution’s easily understood passages regarding war is long overdue.

Use today (Constitution Day) as a good excuse to learn more about the American system of government in Overview of America.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Senator Coburn’s Call for a Constitutional Convention Invites Dangerous Consequences

Senator Coburn’s Call for a Constitutional Convention Invites Dangerous Consequences
by JBS President John F. McManus

Medical doctor Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has always crusaded against federal spending and the inevitable deficits that follow. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, he kept his pledge to serve no more than three terms and went back to doctoring in 2001. But in 2004, he won a Senate seat and pledged to serve no more than two six-year terms. Reelected in 2010, he recently decided he’d had enough and announced his resignation effective at the end of 2014, two years before his second Senate term would have ended.

Still crusading about Washington’s big spending and deficit building, Coburn has now announced that he wants the states to hold a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He would also like to have the Con-Con add an amendment mandating term limits for members of Congress.

Scott Bradley, PhD, Founder and Chairman of The Constitution Commemoration Foundation, Inc., speaks at The John Birch Society Council Dinner, May 4, 2013 in Ohio., regarding opposing a BBA Con-Con.

As much as Dr. Coburn’s numerous efforts to cut spending and deal with the national debt deserve accolades, he seems to have not considered that his new proposals are fraught with dangers. He should consider that term limits for the office of President have been in place since 1951. As a result Bill Clinton served only eight years. He was followed by George W. Bush whose eight years were followed by Barack Obama. There are some Americans who applaud the Clinton to Bush to Obama parade because it brought change. But it surely didn’t lead to less spending and an end to deficits.

The main change when term limits force one President to exit and a new one to enter is the name of the occupant of the White House. Real change would occur if the voting public were better informed and not captive of the phony claim that top Democrats are different from top Republicans. If real change is sought, there’s no alternative to an informed electorate.

Dr. Coburn doesn’t seem to realize that a Con-Con could cancel the entire Constitution, as happened in 1787 when the only Con-Con in our nation’s history exceeded its mandate to revise the Articles of Confederation, scrapped them, and produced the U.S. Constitution. A Con-Con can’t be limited. It could abolish the Bill of Rights, cancel term limits on the presidential office, destroy numerous limitations of federal power, etc.

But the other Coburn proposal for a balanced budget amendment (BBA) invites the question: Why should anyone expect current leaders to obey an amendment when they already cavalierly disobey or ignore many of the provisions already present in the existing Constitution? Even beyond that never-answered question, there are several proposed BBAs that are full of loopholes.

Some BBA proposals would allow a 60 percent vote in Congress to override budget restrictions. Other partisans for a BBA say that the way to balance the budget is to increase taxes. There are some who claim that the budget need not be balanced if there’s a war or a national security threat proclaimed by the President. More state that balancing the budget would not have to be accomplished for five years, meaning more deficits. And the most slippery of all these proposals is the one that would allow some federal expenditures to be declared “off budget.”

Beyond the loopholes in a BBA, creating a Con-Con for any reason should be blocked. One year after he participated in the Con-Con that abolished the Articles of Confederation, James Madison stated his opinion in 1788 that consideration of another would cause him to “tremble.” Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger pointed to the unlimited power of a Con-Con and advised against one. The late Justice Robert Bork insisted that “a federal constitutional convention could not be limited to a single issue.” These voices from the past and the present warn against convening a Con-Con.

So while we applaud Dr. Coburn for his praiseworthy years of service in Congress, we have to disagree with his call for a Con-Con. Term limits don’t bring about real change. A balanced budget amendment would be so full of loopholes that it would be worthless. And a Con-Con would be enormously dangerous.

The path for real change wanted by many Americans begins with an educated electorate. There is no other way. And the only organization doing this since 1958 is The John Birch Society. Join today!

Learn more about a Con-Con at our “Choose Freedom — Stop a Constitutional Convention” action page.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.