USS George HW Bush

It’s Time To Repeal The Iraq AUMF

 

So we’re at war again in Iraq.  President Obama, the anti-war candidate, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, is dropping bombs on people again.  

If the United States is going to be involved in a war in Iraq yet again, than maybe we should talk about it first.  Maybe there should be a debate.  Maybe there should be a discussion about this.

We have entered a phase, new to American history, new to the American republic, where one man has the power to enter a war.  This new Iraq war hasn’t been the subject to any debate.  There hasn’t been a discussion.  One man decided on this.

If anyone bothers to ask, President Obama hid behind Public Law No: 107-243, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.  That was the Iraq War Resolution.  It’ still on the books, giving the president the power to wage war in Iraq.

It is time to repeal the Iraq AUMF.  It was passed 12 years ago.  The world and, especially, Iraq have changed in 12 years.  The situation is completely different now, and the law Congress passed to empower the president to remove Saddam Hussein — a man who was executed eight years ago — should no longer empower the president to make war.  If current, and allegedly limited, military action is absolutely necessary, then fine, let the Congress pass a new resolution empowering the president.

It’s not supposed to be like this, not in the American system.  Whatever the merits of the dropping bombs on ISIS people might be, we need to talk about it and put it to a vote.  We’re supposed to have checks and balances.  Have we really come this far, that one man has the power over war and peace?

Photo Credit: By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Hall [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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  1. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    The fallback, legally, if the Iraq AUMF were repealed, is the AUMF Against Terrorists.  That was passed 13 years ago, right after 9/11 and allows the president to kill anyone involved with 9/11 or anyone else.

    If that needs to remain in effect (a dubious proposition, but whatever), it should be reauthorized.

    Giving one man a blank check to use military for anywhere he sees fit is not right.  The very notion is an anathema to the idea of a republic.

    • #1
  2. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    So we’re at war again in Iraq.

    It never ended.

    if the United States is going to be involved in a war in Iraq yet again,

    It never ended.

    Just because One retreats does not make a war end.

    • #2
  3. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Obama broke it. Obama should fix it.

    • #3
  4. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Carey J.:

    Obama broke it. Obama should fix it.

     Okay but shouldn’t someboOh vote on it?

    • #4
  5. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Finally the “man in charge” is having to face up to the consequences of his actions.  He will never admit it but I am sure that in heart of hearts he knows he is responsible for all the atrocities committed by Isis.

    • #5
  6. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Fred Cole: A law passed 12 years ago, under completely different circumstances, should not be a blank check for the president to continue to wage war at his own personal discretion.  If whatever current and allegedly limited military action is absolutely necessary, then fine, let the Congress pass a new resolution empowering the president.

    Agreed. 

    Jimmy Carter: It never ended.

    Whether or not this current conflict is the best example, a Congressional authorization of war should have definite limits (though not a time frame). It should include goals. If the war fundamentally changes, so should the authorization. 

    However significant a threat ISIS has become to American interests in the region, it is a different threat than Saddam’s army was. And America did abandon the war, not just a battle.

    • #6
  7. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    1967mustangman: He will never admit it but I am sure that in heart of hearts he knows he is responsible for all the atrocities committed by Isis.

    In their heat of hearts, lefties are never wrong. It’s somebody else, some other circumstance. I don’t know how he will completely sidestep this, but I suspect he will find a very convincing way.

    O.T. – My lazy eye was glancing over the Member Feed front page and I saw “It’s Time To Repeal The AMU” and I thought “What’s Fred got against CJ and Nanda?” 

    • #7
  8. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Fred Cole:

    Carey J.:

    Obama broke it. Obama should fix it.

    Okay but shouldn’t someboOh vote on it?

     Obama doesn’t ask Congress for permission for any of the other (mostly bad) things he does. Why should this be different?

    • #8
  9. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    ISIS is decapitating children, raping little girls, and exterminating thousands of Iraqis, Kurds, Yazidis and Christians. If unstopped they will completely destabilize the region. Okay, end of discussion. Bomb the hell out of them. Bomb them and build more bombs and fighter jets to bomb them more. How many fighters and bombs can we make if close down the National Endowment of the Arts? The Department of Education? The EPA? I think it’s time to think creatively.

    • #9
  10. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    We invaded Iraq, wrecked the existing internal arrangement, then left the country to ISIS.

    It seems to me we bear some responsibility for these killings, and we should help stop them.

    • #10
  11. user_656019 Coolidge
    user_656019
    @RayKujawa

    You don’t really seem to be interested in talking about the circumstances, you seem to be more interested in engaging in absolutes and the legalisms of Congressional authorizations. Because you’re against any kind of foreign military intervention. That’s pretty much the Libertarian position.

    First of all, it should be plenty clear that in this circumstance, we are not fighting against Iraq; instead, we are fighting on Iraq’s side, to give their citizens in the North some chance of avoiding genocide. If we are moderating at all on this, it is only because we and Obama hesitate to give al-Maliki a blank check. Maliki has got to go, everyone, even his former supporters, agree. He cannot be trusted not to wield the ax on his own people. But those people in Northern Iraq can’t wait. They would otherwise be looking at extermination.

    Religious they might claim to be, but even our president can see which side is evil in this case.

    I find the coolness with which you can avoid discussing the circumstances in this issue makes me very cool to the Libertarian position. I find it a bit self-absorbed.

    • #11
  12. user_656019 Coolidge
    user_656019
    @RayKujawa

    Oh, and by the way, ISIS have control of two dams and have used them to flood people out of their homes. They really are destabilizing the region.

    I also heard today on talk radio that there are only a total of five thousand guy that are causing all this mayhem. Is that right? But they are using against the Iraqis some of the weapons that we previously gave to the Iraqi army, but were abandoned when they “retreated.” (Since when does a retreating army not take their toys home with them?)

    Difficult in retrospect to justify replenishing the army, when we don’t know how they’ll manage them. ‘A piece of military equipment does not fire itself. It needs someone to pull the trigger.’ They sound like they would rather have their own army of drones. Sorry, those toys are for grownups.

    • #12
  13. user_656019 Coolidge
    user_656019
    @RayKujawa

    Xennady:

    We invaded Iraq, wrecked the existing internal arrangement, then left the country to ISIS.

    It seems to me we bear some responsibility for these killings, and we should help stop them.

     We need a president (or maybe an ex-Hollywood actor) who is willing to say to al-Maliki: ‘We put you into power and we will remove you from power if necessary. AND we will have you put on trial for your crimes against the Iraqi people.’

    It’s true, we passed over a better qualified Iraqi ex-patriot who was ready to assume control of the country in favor of Maliki. But then I believe he was elected lawfully. So it’s really up to the Iraqi’s to remove him. Better lawfully than with violence. Only in Maliki’s case, he’s done crimes so bad that he is convinced he will be assassinated as soon as he leaves power. For him, staying in office at this point is the only thing that’s keeping him alive.

    • #13
  14. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Ray Kujawa:

    You don’t really seem to be interested in talking about the circumstances, you seem to be more interested in engaging in absolutes and the legalisms of Congressional authorizations. 

    You call it “legalisms,” I call it the law.  We’re a nation of law, not of men.  One man shouldn’t have all this power.  That’s the point of the Constiution.

    If we have to have a government,
    And we have to ceded to that government the monopoly on the legitimate use of force,
    And we arm that government with machine guns and tanks and nuclear bombs and stealth bombers,
    And that government has the power to take my money by force to pay for all those things,

    Then you’re damn right I care about the “legalisms”!

    We cede to the government the monopoly on the legitimate use of force.  In return, they have to use that force only under certain conditions and rules.  Those rules are the law.
    When we’re talking about a government making war, using force to kill people, literally the most powerful and dangerous thing is does, you’re damn right I care about “legalisms”!

    • #14
  15. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    1967mustangman:

    Finally the “man in charge” is having to face up to the consequences of his actions. He will never admit it but I am sure that in heart of hearts he knows he is responsible for all the atrocities committed by Isis.

    Okay.  That may be the case.  So if our nation is going to go to war, shouldn’t we have a vote on it?

    • #15
  16. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Jimmy Carter:

    So we’re at war again in Iraq.

    It never ended.

    if the United States is going to be involved in a war in Iraq yet again,

    It never ended.

    Just because One retreats does not make a war end.

     Okay. That may be the case.  If so, shouldn’t the Congress vote to reauthorize the use of force?  

    • #16
  17. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Carey J.:

    Fred Cole:

    Carey J.:

    Obama broke it. Obama should fix it.

    Okay but shouldn’t somebody vote on it?

    Obama doesn’t ask Congress for permission for any of the other (mostly bad) things he does. Why should this be different?

     Well, it doesn’t make it right all the other times he does it either.  At least he has some kind of legal cover now.

    • #17
  18. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Carey J.:

    Obama broke it. Obama should fix it.

     Well, if the “it” is Iraq, America broke it.  And while I appreciate the you-broke-it-you-bought-it mentality, since the legal authorization was passed 12 years ago under completely different circumstances, shouldn’t we reauthorize it?

    • #18
  19. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Xennady:

    We invaded Iraq, wrecked the existing internal arrangement, then left the country to ISIS.

    It seems to me we bear some responsibility for these killings, and we should help stop them.

     Okay. That may be the case. So if our nation is going to go to war, shouldn’t we have a vote on it?

    • #19
  20. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Brian Watt:

    ISIS is decapitating children, raping little girls, and exterminating thousands of Iraqis, Kurds, Yazidis and Christians. If unstopped they will completely destabilize the region. Okay, end of discussion. Bomb the hell out of them. 

    Excuse me, but no, not “end of discussion.”

    Look, ISIS is [expletive] horrible.  You’ll not hear me disagree.  But “they’re horrible, let’s drop bombs on them” is not a policy.

    If our nation is going to go to war, shouldn’t we have a vote on it?  If ISIS is as horrible as you say it is, and the cause is righteous, then a new AUMF, one actually based on current circumstances, not those from 12 years ago, should easily pass, shouldn’t it?

    • #20
  21. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    Fred Cole:

    Brian Watt:

    ISIS is decapitating children, raping little girls, and exterminating thousands of Iraqis, Kurds, Yazidis and Christians. If unstopped they will completely destabilize the region. Okay, end of discussion. Bomb the hell out of them.

    Excuse me, but no, not “end of discussion.”

    Look, ISIS is [expletive] horrible. You’ll not hear me disagree. But “they’re horrible, let’s drop bombs on them” is not a policy.

    If our nation is going to go to war, shouldn’t we have a vote on it? If ISIS is as horrible as you say it is, and the cause is righteous, then a new AUMF, one actually based on current circumstances, not those from 12 years ago, should easily pass, shouldn’t it?

     Have no problem with the vote provided it’s scheduled for late January of next year.

    • #21
  22. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Fred Cole:

    Jimmy Carter:

    So we’re at war again in Iraq.

    It never ended.

    if the United States is going to be involved in a war in Iraq yet again,

    It never ended.

    Just because One retreats does not make a war end.

    Okay. That may be the case. If so, shouldn’t the Congress vote to reauthorize the use of force?

     Since we’re talking about law and/or legalism I think it’s worth noting that the AUMF doesn’t have a sunset provision, so you can’t really make much of a legal argument that a vote to reauthorize force is necessary.

    • #22
  23. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Salvatore Padula:

    Fred Cole:

    Jimmy Carter:

    So we’re at war again in Iraq.

    It never ended.

    if the United States is going to be involved in a war in Iraq yet again,

    It never ended.

    Just because One retreats does not make a war end.

    Okay. That may be the case. If so, shouldn’t the Congress vote to reauthorize the use of force?

    Since we’re talking about law and/or legalism I think it’s worth noting that the AUMF doesn’t have a sunset provision, so you can’t really make much of a legal argument that a vote to reauthorize force is necessary.

     You’re right.  Its not legally necessary.  That’s why we should repeal the current AUMF and vote on it again.  AUMFs without sunset provisions are very dangerous.

    • #23
  24. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    What we oughtta do is stand around wringing our hands for a while.  If we wring our hands long enough, all of the people ISIS wants to kill will be dead, and then we won’t have to worry about it any longer.

    • #24
  25. user_1008957 Inactive
    user_1008957
    @TheIsolatedReader

    Obama only goes to Congress when he needs to stall for time. Otherwise, he does whatever he wants whether he has the constitutional power to or not.
    But I don’t see how it is not essentially the same war (though we are just much further down the line now, and no longer with the victory that we had achieved prior to Obama’s election).
    He did not secure any arrangement that allowed the US to withdraw from Iraq in a stable fashion and it simply did not matter to him. Either he did not understand that the resulting power struggles would endanger US interests and US allies, or he believed that the US deserved punishment for its foreign folly.
    Internationally, Obama is a poor strategist and a coward. Depending on the particular issue – 
    1. his sympathies are generally with those who oppose the US or
    2. he is indifferent to the long-term security of the US.

    • #25
  26. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It never ended.

    Just because One retreats does not make a war end.

    Okay. That may be the case. If so, shouldn’t the Congress vote to reauthorize the use of force?

    Since we’re talking about law and/or legalism I think it’s worth noting that the AUMF doesn’t have a sunset provision, so you can’t really make much of a legal argument that a vote to reauthorize force is necessary.

     Are you sure there is no sunset provision?  I don’t know where to find it.  The Cornell website perhaps?  

    • #26
  27. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    What I do know is that the AUMF was passed very quickly.  The September 11, 2001, attacks were followed by the AUMF on September 14 and signed by President Bush on September 18.  

    I can’t imagine the present president or Congress doing anything fast these days.  They think they are royalty on a long vacation.

    • #27
  28. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    MarciN:

    What I do know is that the AUMF was passed very quickly. The September 11, 2001, attacks were followed by the AUMF on September 14 and signed by President Bush on September 18.

    I can’t imagine the present president or Congress doing anything fast these days. They think they are royalty on a long vacation.

     In May the House rejected an amendment by Adam Schiff to sunset the AUMF. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/05/22/Congress-rejects-AUMF-sunset-amendment-war-on-terror-to-continue-Guantanamo-still-open/3121400794485/

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Thank you.  So it did originally have a sunset provision:

    An amendment to the just-passed $600 billion defense bill that would have seen the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force—the 14-year-old law legalizing the United State’s war on terror—expire in a year was just rejected by the Republican-controlled house.

    Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/05/22/Congress-rejects-AUMF-sunset-amendment-war-on-terror-to-continue-Guantanamo-still-open/3121400794485/#ixzz39uTaEREg.

    That’s funny.  I wasn’t familiar with the bill, but President Bush was fanatical about sunset provisions.  I’m sure that came out of his business life and his work with good lawyers.  A contract without a sunset provision is worthless and dangerous.  I noticed he worried about this a lot while he was in office.  Ha.  Too funny.

    • #29
  30. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    As if laws on the books still had anything to do with presidential power…especially war powers. In the best of times this may have been (and often was) debatable. Since Libya, not so much. Although, I agree repeal would be good housekeeping for a respectable congress protective of its own powers. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in anymore.

    I would also welcome the discussion around repeal. Let us all review all of those thoroughly reviewed and definitive “whereas” clauses that so many Legislative branch posers (and future Executive branch clowns) voted for and then stood so firmly behind for the next six years. (Ha.)

    • #30
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