Bush is set to reveal his latest plan for success in Iraq, and by all accounts it will involve a "surge" of troops (i.e. escalation) and more money, even after saying previously that it would "undermine our strategy." (We had a strategy? Who knew?)
Nancy Pelosi says that sending more troops must be "justified" and that Congress will take a hard look at any more funding. She says they would go along with providing funds for support of troops already there and expanding the military to protect our interests but would consider withholding funding for sending more troops in Iraq.
Republican and some Democrats including Joe Biden say Congress has no authority to do this. I'm curious about that. If Congress has to approve war powers, why can't Congress take them away?
The joint resolution authorizing Bush to invade Iraq says, among other things:
Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;
Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;
Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;
All of which was a pack of lies, of course. Regardless, that was the pretext we were sold. It would seem that we have neutralized all those threats, including Saddam and the WMDs. So why do we need to send more troops?
Sen. John McCain says Congress has a responsibility to finish what they started. More specifically, the resolution says Bush is authorized to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq."
It looks like "mission accomplished" to me. No Saddam. No WMD. The only terrorists are waging civil war against each other. The only Americans threatened by Iraq are the American soldiers Bush put in harms way by sending them to Iraq.
Anyway, the resolution also says:
The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 2 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998).
So where is Mr. Bush's homework? Where are the reports? What has he been telling Congress for four years? Specifically, what has Mr. Bush's reported regarding progress on enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, 677, 687, 949, which the resolution specifically authorized him to enforce?
This war and this President are so far outside the scope of the war powers resolution (which were based on a pack of lies in the first place) it is null and void at this point. What Congress giveth, Congress can taketh away. If that isn't in the law or the Constitution somewhere, it ought to be and we should amend the Constitution to protect us from real dangers such as George W. Bush instead of worrying about gays burning flags at their weddings. I think that's what the founders had in mind anyway.
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