War Powers Act

On October 2, 2002, the White House published the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Military Forces Against Iraq.  It was a dark day in American history and to this day, there remains plenty of blame to go around.  Read the resolution yourself and then try to answer these questions. 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html

1. Did the UN ask the US to enforce the applicable UN resolutions?

2. Did the UN ask the US to enter Iraq independently?

3. Did UN inspectors assure the US that WMD including chemical and nuclear ones would be found?

4. Was there any connection betweeon Sadaam Hussein or Iraq and the 9/11 attack or attackers?

5. Did the Neoconservative movement strongly support the resolution?

6. Did the PNAC recommend invading Iraq and bringing about regime change even before Cheney, Rumsfeld, Pearl, and Wolfowitz joined the Bush Administration?

7. Did AIPAC and Israel recommend and support the invasion of Iraq?

8. Did the Administration use all available political means to rush the US into invading Iraq and was this effort lead by the Vice President’s office and a Republican controlled Congress?

The answer to questions 1-4 are “no” and 5-8 are “yes”.  The type of action results from people who believe “ends justify means”.  It is compounded by people who seek gains for their supporters at the expense of the general population.  In the 2008 election, we need to clearly acknowledge and separate the questions of (1) why did the war take place and (2) given where we are now, what should we do next.    The Iraq War was illegal (international law), foolish in terms of costs and gains,  and unnecessary in the overall effort to combat terrorists.   Now we are faced with the conundrum of “what do we do responsibly now that we have broken Iraq”?

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Explore posts in the same categories: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Blogroll, Democratic Party, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Iraq War, Israel, John McCain, Middle East, Mike Huckabee, Neoconservatives, Paul Wolfowitz, Politics, Republican Party

2 Comments on “War Powers Act”

  1. will Says:

    I’ve never fully understood the reasoning behind attacking only the “9/11 attackers.” President Bush clearly stated that his intent was to bring about the end of global terrorism. While this is clearly an unreachable and untennable goal, we can all see the effect of terrorism upon our country. It doesn’t have to be Al Qaeda. In fact, Al Qaeda is one of many organizations that have attacked the US and US citizens. Additionally, while discredited by some and maitained by others, there appears to be proof that various terrorist organizations work together – gathering intelligence, sharing tactics and techniques, as well as financial fundraising efforts.

    As for the wars impact upon terrorism, AQ in Iraq or other organizations, the jury is still out. Certainly one can not trust the biased media (Fox or CNN or in some ways NPR). The reality exists somewhere in the middle. Very few veterans (certainly no where near a majority) return and openly deny the benefits or reasons of their service. There is most definitely a concern that the changes we’ve made would not have time to solidify if we pull out too quickly. A withdraw is required, if not imminent. However, the scale and speed are the issue. Both Democratic candidates have changed their stance on this issue. When put up against the realities of moving the incredible numbers of troops, the continued need for security operations and the possibility of an enormous power vacuum (especially in the southern portion of Iraq where Sunni/Shi’ite issues are thick), both have stated that the withdrawl would not be complete until the end of their “first” term.

    Our responsibility to Iraq is to allow them to continue self determination – an absolute tenant of liberal foreign policy (free trade, self determinism, etc.). A policy executed by Reagan, Bush Senior and Clinton. Generally, two elections in which the state accepts the vote without resorting to a revolution mark a state that is mature in its development and steady on its political course for the future. We aren’t there yet. Our post war efforts in Japan and Germany took much longer than five years. We must continue to support Iraq in the development of their government. At this point, the reasons leading to the war are immaterial. Developing discourse and lessons learned for future utilization of the War Powers Act, american foreign policy in general and refining our relevance to the globalized international political community/global market economy are separate issues deserving different debate. And most certainly what we’ve learned, both positive and negative, must be included in the most candid ways. However, they should not be the vehicle by which we make changes amidstream – enabling chaos in Iraq and the greater Middle East as a whole.

    Let’s step back a few decades to Lebanon. After the US Embassy and Marine Corps Barracks were bombed, we changed our foreign policy and removed our troops in a most expeditious manner. Essentially, by doing so, we have sent a clear signal to terrorists that their actions can affect US foreign policy. While 4K deaths are deeply disturbing and each devastating to their families and most probably our country in general, they are a small pittance compared to what our grandfathers experienced in WWII. We can not let numbers drive our commitment. The current fight on going in Iraq is one not completely dissimilar from the terrorist actions in Beirut – arguably it is a form of terrorist actions (Al Qaeda in Iraq has great influence over insurgents, their resources and possibly their motivations). Our commitment to withdrawl must be steadfast and founded upon the attainment of goals established jointly between the Iraqi people/government and the US.


  2. Will, thanks for the long and thoughtful comment… Let me add the following… Because Sadaam Hussein was such a “bad” person with an horendous past filled with atrosities, it is easy to rationalize that regime change was ok… But it was not ok when done the way Bush and Cheney did it…

    Under International Law, one country can not attack another without (1) being attacked first, (2) imminent threat, and (3) the sanction of the world body (in this case the UN). None of these existed so there is no legal basis for invading Iraq for any reason. It also turns out that each of the reasons given (nuclear weapons, WMD, and connection to 9/11) were also not true and there is plenty of evidence that the Bush crowd knew that… that adds up to lying to the American people


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