Yesterday, ExpatGirl initiated a discussion (http://www.dailykos.com/...) about whether economic sabotage was Osama Bin Laden's underlying goal back in 2001. Participation has been vigorous--especially considering how rapidly the "recent diaries" list has scrolled by over the past week--with many agreeing that economic sabotage was likely a big part of Bin Laden's overarching purpose leading up to that September.
Other questions have arisen in that discussion. Specifically, does economic sabotage constitute terrorism and/or a declaration of war? If so, what does this mean as far as Republican refusal to raise the debt limit as required by current outlays and obligations?
My own feeling is that economic warfare is as "war-like" as any other sort--the "cold war" was an economic war of defense spending between the USA and the USSR. One could argue that Osama Bin Laden waged a similar economic war by drawing the USA into a battle within Afghanistan, the so-called "graveyard of empires". The USSR made a similar choice in the 1980's, trying to subjugate Afghanistan. It's now common knowledge that the USA supplied Bin Laden and the Afghan resistance with both funds and weaponry.
It seems inconsistent to me that our nation would use economic warfare against other countries to great success, but not acknowledge economic warfare when used against our nation by citizens. If a foreigner like Bin Laden uses an economic attack, he's clearly a terrorist. At the same time, if our own politicians attempt to undermine the economic viability of the nation in general--and of the government in particular--we somehow dismiss it as "politics" or "differences of opinion".
The 14th amendment states that, "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." All Representatives and Senators have taken an oath of office that they will "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that [they] will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that [they] take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that [they] will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which [they are] about to enter: So help [them] God."
Short version? Increasing the debt limit is Constitutionally required to ensure the "validity of the public debt of the United States", and every person in the House and Senate has sworn to uphold the Constitution. QED, failure to uphold the Constitution in this case--by refusing to increase the debt limit as required by prior spending obligations--violates both those individuals' oath of office and qualifies as waging "economic warfare" against the government and people of the United States.
All that said, do I imagine in my wildest dreams that the host of Republicans in the House and Senate who have tried to undermine the Constitution will be called upon to explain their explicitly treasonous votes over the past 4, 8 or 12 years? Not f'in likely....
I mean, really.... Given how the banks, the banksters, the lawyers, and the politicians have walked away from any sort of responsibility over the past 4 - 8 years, I'd be an idiot to think anyone would ever be brought to justice, unless they're poor and not-quite-white.
Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 2:24 PM PT: Quick update: Thanks for the recs and tips--so sayeth yet another first-timer on the rec list and the Community Spotlight!