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On your Viewpoints page of Dec. 13, an article stated the U.S. Congress has no power to declare war in cases where the U.N. Security Council has authorized a police action as it has in the case of Iraq.

I cannot believe that Thomas Franck, who teaches law at New York University, is so abysmally ignorant of legal principles, and of how our democratic government operates, that he can espouse such a position.

He argues that by joining the U.N. the U.S. gave up its sovereignty to the world body.

He seems to be attempting to give further rationale to the view that presidential power to declare war is absolute.

It is clear to anyone familiar with how our institutions were established by the U.S. Constitution that Congress shares with the president the power to declare war.

Its purpose was to restrain the actions of leaders like Bush who arbitrarily, and without full consultation with our representatives in Congress, or other members of the U.N., send 200,000 more troops in a "police action."

Call it by any name, but when hundreds of thousands of armed men are involved, it is war.

It seems incredible to me that a single man who is elected president can bind the whole nation into actions where casualties will occur. That is certainly the result if Mr. Franck's arguments are accepted.


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