“The operation of measures thus unconstitutional and illegal ought to be prevented by a resort to other measures which are both constitutional and legal. It will be the solemn duty of the State governments to protect their own authority over their own militia, and to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power. These are among the objects for which the State governments exist.” – Daniel Webster, 1814 speech to Congress

Over 450 troops from the New Jersey National Guard will deploy to Qatar, according to a report from NJ.com and the Associated Press earlier this week, a move that nearly three fourths of participants in an NJ101.5 poll oppose.  General opinion points to the Qatar deployment as a move toward eventual deployment to Iraq.  Apparently the “Peace President,” Barack Obama, was against the war in Iraq before he was for it.

In addition to National Guard units being deployed in neighboring countries, the Obama administration also has plans to send 275 troops for “non-combat” action to Baghdad to help secure the US embassy and train Iraqi security against the insurgency.  Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed the possibility of using manned and unmanned drones to support the Iraqi government, and in addition to the USS George W. Bush (because it’s his fault), the USS Costa Verde has entered the Gulf carrying 550 Marines.  The president has insisted the US government will not be sending ground troops into combat, but the absence of ground troops in combat has not led to an end of the interventionism that has defined US foreign policy for nearly three quarters of a century.

Meanwhile, our legislature and governor in Trenton have stood by and done nothing to prevent this.  While much of the nullification movement’s attention in the past few years has focused on nullifying ObamaCare,cannabis, the NSA and gun laws, just because George W. Bush has not occupied the White House for over five years does not mean our troops are not still being subject to unconstitutional deployments worldwide.

During the Bush years, the Tenth Amendment Center introduced Defend the Guard model legislation.  The act would require the governor of the state to withhold or withdraw approval of the state’s National Guard to federal control “in the absence of an explicit  authorization adopted by the Federal Government in pursuance of the powers delegated to the Federal Government in Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the U.S. Constitution.”  Recent events have shown New Jersey certainly has a vested interest in passing this legislation.

To the people who participated in the NJ101.5 poll, to people who have read about these pending deployments and oppose it, to the people forward thinking enough to think several presidents and congresses in advance and wanting to limit their powers ahead of time, now would be a good time to contact your state legislators.

Tell your officials in the Assembly and Senate to introduce Defend the Guard legislation.  If, by the time you do, another legislator has beaten them to it, tell yours to sign on as a cosponsor.  There is a lot of talk about supporting the troops.  If you truly do so, then support legislation that will support their oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.

Benjamin W. Mankowski, Sr.