The mandate to end war in Ukraine is written clearly and decisively in our founding document, the Constitution of the United States. Article IV, Section 4 requires that “The United States…shall protect each of them [the states and the people] against invasion.”
Fomenting war in Ukraine runs counter to that mandated obligation. In fact, fomenting war in Ukraine can bring about destruction in the United States from large numbers of nuclear missile strikes emanating from Russia.
Russia has huge stocks of nuclear weapons and long range missiles. In addition, Russians believe that the United States and the West pose an existential threat to their existence.
They vividly remember that World Wars I and II resulted in massive attacks on their territory by the western nations. Indeed, a dozen countries, led by the United States after World War I, fought on the Tsarist side in a bloody five-year civil war.
Later, the Unites States cruelly lured the Soviets into a lengthy war in Afghanistan. And after the Soviet Union disbanded itself in 1991, the United States, contrary to promises made, ringed Russia with nations that were given membership in a collective security alliance known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, (NATO). Several members of NATO have nuclear weapons themselves, and membership requires all members to defend any member who is attacked.
At present, the United States is encouraging and funding Ukraine in its war with Russia. A key demand being made by Ukraine is membership in NATO. Russia has clearly stated that giving Ukraine NATO membership will be a threat to its existence. Doing so, says the Russian leadership, will be the final step in the complete surrounding of its nation by a military alliance with obligations to protect fellow members using nuclear weapons should they choose.
In fact, before the Ukraine War, Russia posed no threat whatsoever to the United States. None. Only now, with that nation feeling pressed and pressured and understanding the West’s long proclivity for attacking it, has Russia become a threat. That threat exists only as a result of and in reaction to the steps now being taken on behalf of Ukraine in Ukraine’s war with Russia.
For that reason, the steps that American leaders have taken and are now taking in Ukraine are contrary to their mandatory Constitutional obligation, as set forth in Article IV, Section 4 to protect us from a potential invasion.
Under these circumstances, what would a Russian invasion of the United States look like? With history as a guide, we must assume that they have hundreds of nuclear bombs on hundreds of long range ballistic missiles that are already aimed at the large American centers of population, from New York City to Los Angeles and from Seattle to Houston. Those missiles would likely be launched en masse immediately after the very first strike against any Russian territory from any NATO country.
The resulting devastation within the United States can only be glimpsed by picturing the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But that destruction would be intensified many times over because the weapons used against us by Russia will be hydrogen bombs, not just those first nuclear bombs used against the two Japanese cities at the end of World War II in August of 1945.
With that potential destruction clearly in mind, what steps need to be taken to make sure that our leaders stop their efforts at fomenting war in Ukraine? First, there needs to be an educational effort to teach citizens and students at all levels about the primary duty of our leaders to protect us against invasions. That Constitutional mandate is clearly stated and easily understood.
Next, political parties must be judged on whether they embrace or do not embrace the fact that the first obligation of elected leaders is to protect us from military invasions, not simply to use military conflicts in efforts to bring about regime changes.
At the same time, I would urge an immediate civil action against leaders of the executive and congressional branches of government in the federal district court for the District of Colombia. The basis of that suit would be to compel members of those branches to abide by their mandatory obligation to protect the people under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States.
The federal courts are an equal branch of our government being part of the “United States,” the entity obligated to protect us from foreign invasions. Yes, in the past the courts might have been reluctant to get involved with political questions and matters involving foreign policy. However, we are now clearly on a destructive path, confronting a nuclear-capable adversary that’s being pushed to actions which can envelop us all too quickly. Our quiet judicial past must not be used to inform the courts concerning its current obligation. In addition, a nuclear attack that hits our major cities would, in fact, destroy the majority of federal court buildings, along with a good many of the judges, their support personnel, court clerks, and security teams.
And there is precedent for such an action to be taken by the courts. The case of Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), stands for the proposition that the federal courts can and should require obedience by the other branches of government concerning clear mandates in the law. An order to show cause would be appropriate. It would ask those in the leadership of the executive and congressional branches how they justify putting the American states and populations at risk of nuclear attacks by Russia.
In view of the clear obligation of the United States to protect the people from invasion, as set forth in Article IV, Section 4 of our Constitution, I can think of no justification whatsoever for the manner in which we supported and continue to support war in Ukraine against Russia.
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About the Author
Michael Diamond was the Chief Enforcement Officer for water pollution laws in the state of New Jersey and the Regulatory Officer in charge of legal affairs at the Division of Water Resources.
His law practice included representing people affected by environmental harms. He has written and lectured widely on the topic.
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