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

    Albert Arthur:

     

    There was a vote. The AUMF in Iraq is valid. It matters not one bit that “It was passed 12 years ago, under a different president, different secretary of state and different Congress.” What makes you think that a law is invalidated when the Secretary of State changes? That is an odd criteria. Do all laws expire after 12 years, or only the ones you don’t like?

    Your argument is not serious.

     The Iraq AUMF was done to disarm Saddam Hussein.  You think that’s still applicable?  

    • #61
  2. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

    • #62
  3. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Albert Arthur:

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

     Well, since that had to do with Saddam Hussein’s government actively harboring terrorists, and since that government ceased to exist over a decade ago, no, not so much.

    • #63
  4. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Salvatore Padula: I think Fred has acknowledged that his argument is that Congress should vote a particular way on the AUMF. I don’t agree with him, but I don’t think his position is beyond the pale.

    Is this beyond the pale?

    http://www.catholic.org/news/international/middle_east/story.php?id=56481

    This is what Doug Watt linked to yesterday. Anyone who voted for Obama and or supported withdrawing from Iraq should be forced to look at those pictures.

    • #64
  5. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Fred Cole:

    Albert Arthur:

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

    Well, since that had to do with Saddam Hussein’s government actively harboring terrorists, and since that government ceased to exist over a decade ago, no, not so much.

     So you’re fine with Iraq being taken over by IS.

    • #65
  6. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Albert Arthur:

    Salvatore Padula: I think Fred has acknowledged that his argument is that Congress should vote a particular way on the AUMF. I don’t agree with him, but I don’t think his position is beyond the pale.

    Is this beyond the pale?

    http://www.catholic.org/news/international/middle_east/story.php?id=56481

    This is what Doug Watt linked to yesterday. Anyone who voted for Obama and or supported withdrawing from Iraq should be forced to look at those pictures.

     I saw that post and I agree that we should be combatting ISIS. I don’t think the view that we should not be fighting ISIS is beyond the pale and I think that implying opposition to US action against ISIS is somehow equivalent to supporting ISIS is sloppy logic.

    • #66
  7. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Albert Arthur:

    Fred Cole:

    Albert Arthur:

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

    Well, since that had to do with Saddam Hussein’s government actively harboring terrorists, and since that government ceased to exist over a decade ago, no, not so much.

    So you’re fine with Iraq being taken over by IS.

     Iraq is going to be taken over no matter what.  We will NEVER mount as serious a campaign as the one Obama threw away.  It took years to build stability there, and it has taken years to destroy it.  This exercise will not be repeated.  All the good news is long gone, and now all that is left is suffering and death.
    Everything spent — for nothing.

    • #67
  8. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Albert Arthur:

    Fred Cole:

    Albert Arthur:

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

    Well, since that had to do with Saddam Hussein’s government actively harboring terrorists, and since that government ceased to exist over a decade ago, no, not so much.

    So you’re fine with Iraq being taken over by IS.

     Yes.  Since I think we should repeal the Iraq AUMF and, if we’re going to have a third Iraq War, that we as a nation should actually discuss it and Congress should pass a new AUMF, obviously I’m perfectly okay with that. Obviously I want Iraq overrun.  Obviously I want a return of the worldwide caliphate.  Obviously I hate America, mom and apple pie.

    • #68
  9. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Ok, just so we’re clear.

    • #69
  10. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Ball Diamond Ball… How about picking us some targets today, LBJ?

     I’ve been guided by the radar’s hand, to drop bombs on a pile of sand … although, frequently, strategically important trees were on the target list.

    • #70
  11. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Iraq is going to be taken over no matter what. 

     Not for nothing, but this assertion needs to be challenged.  Suppose that the US does nothing, which is not the case, since we’re dropping bombs.  You don’t know that ISIS is going to take over Iraq.  With all due respect, you don’t have a crystal ball.  And its a fallacy to extrapolate in straight lines, which is what you’re doing.  Its far more a complex situation than you think it is.

    • #71
  12. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Iraq is going to be taken over no matter what.

    Not for nothing, but this assertion needs to be challenged. Suppose that the US does nothing, which is not the case, since we’re dropping bombs. You don’t know that ISIS is going to take over Iraq. With all due respect, you don’t have a crystal ball. And its a fallacy to extrapolate in straight lines, which is what you’re doing. Its far more a complex situation than you think it is.

     Not for nothing, but you know nothing.

    • #72
  13. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Albert Arthur:

    Not for nothing, but you know nothing.

    How does that help?  How does that advance the conversation?

    • #73
  14. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Fred Cole:

    Albert Arthur:

    Not for nothing, but you know nothing.

    How does that help? How does that advance the conversation?

     What is there to have a conversation about? You think the Muslim Brotherhood should be in control of Egypt. You didn’t want to do anything about Russia taking Crimea. You don’t think the United States should have borders. You refused to say if you think Israel has the right to defend its border. You don’t think we should stop ISIS.

    • #74
  15. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    I think we ought to chase ISIS back under whatever rock they crawled out from under, then nuke the rock. “I went to the rock to hide my face, but the rock cried out, ‘No hiding place‘. There’s no hiding place, down here.”

    • #75
  16. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Iraq is going to be taken over no matter what.

    Not for nothing, but this assertion needs to be challenged. Suppose that the US does nothing, which is not the case, since we’re dropping bombs. You don’t know that ISIS is going to take over Iraq. With all due respect, you don’t have a crystal ball. And its a fallacy to extrapolate in straight lines, which is what you’re doing. Its far more a complex situation than you think it is.

     Thanks, I understand the situation.  I didn’t say ISIS was going to take over.  Other than that, your declaratives are short enough to be true.

    • #76
  17. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Carey J.:

    I think we ought to chase ISIS back under whatever rock they crawled out from under, then nuke the rock. “I went to the rock to hide my face, but the rock cried out, ‘No hiding place‘. There’s no hiding place, down here.”

    I’m with you on the nukes, but the Muslim fanatics think the rocks are on their side:

    “Hamas has been looking forward to implementing Allah’s promise, whatever time it might take. The prophet [Muhammad] said: ‘The time (of Resurrection) will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!'” Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985]

    • #77
  18. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Coolidge
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    No!  I completely disagree.  We should never have left.  Leaving was the problem.  We need to get back in there to create stability.  Leaving as you now see causes chaos.

    • #78
  19. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Coolidge
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Albert Arthur:

    Fred Cole:

    Albert Arthur:

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

    Well, since that had to do with Saddam Hussein’s government actively harboring terrorists, and since that government ceased to exist over a decade ago, no, not so much.

    So you’re fine with Iraq being taken over by IS.

    Iraq is going to be taken over no matter what. We will NEVER mount as serious a campaign as the one Obama threw away. It took years to build stability there, and it has taken years to destroy it. This exercise will not be repeated. All the good news is long gone, and now all that is left is suffering and death. Everything spent — for nothing.

     I agree with your assessment, but we have to resist pessimism and despondency and get back in there and fight these savages.  We cannot let genocide stand.

    • #79
  20. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Manny:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Iraq is going to be taken over no matter what. We will NEVER mount as serious a campaign as the one Obama threw away. It took years to build stability there, and it has taken years to destroy it. This exercise will not be repeated. All the good news is long gone, and now all that is left is suffering and death. Everything spent — for nothing.

    I agree with your assessment, but we have to resist pessimism and despondency and get back in there and fight these savages. We cannot let genocide stand.

     “We” who?  This administration throws away what we purchase with blood, and will not aid the Americans it places in harm’s way when “the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
    You want to go?  Be my guest.
    This administration has lost the moral standing to order Americans into battle.  The legal authority remains (in general, and apparently in particular), but that’s not what I’m talking about.
    You say that we cannot let genocide stand, but oh yes we can and we do.  We’re about to do it in Afghanistan as well.  We are literally training the Taliban.

    • #80
  21. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Do all of Fred’s pseudo-intellectual lightweight silly posts get promoted to the front page?

    • #81
  22. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Albert Arthur:

    Carey J.:

    I think we ought to chase ISIS back under whatever rock they crawled out from under, then nuke the rock. “I went to the rock to hide my face, but the rock cried out, ‘No hiding place‘. There’s no hiding place, down here.”

    I’m with you on the nukes, but the Muslim fanatics think the rocks are on their side:

    “Hamas has been looking forward to implementing Allah’s promise, whatever time it might take. The prophet [Muhammad] said: ‘The time (of Resurrection) will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!’” Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985]

     I think it’s time they learned they are wrong about whose side the rocks are on. They believe they can slaughter the innocent and Allah will protect them from the righteous wrath of the civilized world. I think it’s time they learned they are wrong about that, too. I think it’s time they learned their religion is based on the lies of a pedophile.

    • #82
  23. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Manny:

    No! I completely disagree. We should never have left. Leaving was the problem. We need to get back in there to create stability. Leaving as you now see causes chaos.

     You are correct that leaving was wrong. Which is why many of us said at the time that it would be a disaster if we left.  We left anyway, as the American people voted to do.  And it’s a disaster.
    In a fundamental way, America decided with a resounding What-Ev-Urr, that it did not care about Iraq, about what had been accomplished, or about what that had cost.  Well, there you go.
    Just do what the administration does.  Protest the horror, be outraged online, urge others to action, do what you must in order to smooth your image and pre-empt your critics, and just wait.  It will all be over soon.

    If America dropped Iraq because the cost was too high, then we should certainly not go back when the cost will be higher.  The marginal cost of achievements in Iraq soared when we closed down the factory.
    If the cost was not too high, then why did we leave? 

    • #83
  24. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Albert Arthur:

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

    That would depend on the text of the AUMF, wouldn’t it?  I confess I haven’t read the whole thing, but a cursory skim seems to back-up Fred’s contention that the authorization was premised on circumstances that no longer exist.  I’ve little doubt that legally it could be stretched to cover the current circumstances, but that seems both unnecessary and counter-productive.

    Which is why I’m a bit mystified by the opposition to seeking Congressional approval before intervening (which was Fred’s main point).  As proxies of the people, Congress’s approval should be sought before we engage; this could be done quickly and without compromising our tactical efforts much more than the president deciding on his own and then announcing it.

    • #84
  25. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Since Obama “Ended the War”, shouldn’t the AUMF be obsolete?

    Okay, so just so everybody is clear, it was President Bush who signed the withdrawal agreement. He did it on his last trip to Iraq in December of 2008.

     If we withdrew our forces and “ended the War” then this new bombing would not be a continuation of the old “war”. We are now bombing a new group that did not really exist when we ended the War.  The War Powers Act gives the President the ability to use military force for something like 60 days with out Congressional Approval.

    I understand the concern with an open ended AUMF but the removal of this AUMF would not change the President’s  ability to drop bombs on people with out congressional approval. 

    • #85
  26. Mario the Gator Inactive
    Mario the Gator
    @Pelayo

    I confess to not reading every single post on this thread, so maybe some of my questions have been asked and answered, but I will ask any way.
    1. Why did Obama wait until the Yazidi were in dire straits before postponing his latest tee time and authorizing bombings?  Christians in Iraq and Syria have been slaughtered by ISIS for a long time and their cries fell on deaf ears at the White House.
    2. Why does the U.S. still insist on maintaining a single government in Iraq?  It seems obvious to me that the Kurds in northern Iraq are the most rationale and civilized group in Iraq.  We should support an independent Kurdish nation and provide them with military weapons so they can defend themselves.
    3. Obama does whatever he wants whenever he wants. Fred’s contention about needing a new AUMF is legally valid but that has never stopped Obama or Eric Holder.  Rather than focusing on that, let’s focus on what our involvement should be in the region and doing the right thing. We can dot the i’s and cross the t’s later.

    • #86
  27. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    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.

     It’s as much of a policy as anything Obummer has put forth to date. And it has the virtue of killing enemies of ours, particularly when the enmity of the enemies in question is so fundamental that no lasting peace with them is possible. 

    When you are faced with an enemy that cannot be anything but an enemy, and you have the means to kill him, you ought to do so.

    If you want to pray for your enemies to stop being vicious animals that need to be put down, go for it. Knock yourself out. But until God changes his heart, the only thing mortal men can do with this sort of thug is kill him. 

    • #87
  28. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    Albert Arthur:

    Removing Saddam was one goal. Another was to prevent Iraq from being a safe-haven for terrorists. Do you think that’s still applicable?

    That would depend on the text of the AUMF, wouldn’t it? I confess I haven’t read the whole thing, but a cursory skim seems to back-up Fred’s contention that the authorization was premised on circumstances that no longer exist. I’ve little doubt that legally it could be stretched to cover the current circumstances, but that seems both unnecessary and counter-productive.

    Which is why I’m a bit mystified by the opposition to seeking Congressional approval before intervening (which was Fred’s main point). As proxies of the people, Congress’s approval should be sought before we engage; this could be done quickly and without compromising our tactical efforts much more than the president deciding on his own and then announcing it.

     The Senate is run by Democrats who dislike the existence of the American military. They don’t want to approve a mission that would make our troops look heroic. House Republicans don’t want to give Obama anything resembling a political victory. 

    • #88
  29. Dudley Inactive
    Dudley
    @Dudley

    Fred Cole:

    Other than being an old law that’s still on the books, in what way is it valid? 

    Can a woman be a little bit pregnant? There are no degrees of validity. A law is either valid or not. The Iraq War Resolution (AUMF) was enacted in compliance with the law and has never been repealed hence it is valid.

    Having said that ISIS is a non-state actor which begs the question: can a state of war exist between a state and non-state actor (NSA)? If no, which is my position, then against an NSA the President is free to take whatever path he deems in the national interest. Neither a declaration of war nor an AUMF are required. 

    To your broader point, the use of military force requires express prior approval of Congress, I disagree. While it may take an act of Congress to declare war it does not follow that use of military force requires a Congressional declaration of war.

    • #89
  30. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Coolidge
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    ”We” who? This administration throws away what we purchase with blood, and will not aid the Americans it places in harm’s way when “the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” You want to go? Be my guest. This administration has lost the moral standing to order Americans into battle. The legal authority remains (in general, and apparently in particular), but that’s not what I’m talking about. You say that we cannot let genocide stand, but oh yes we can and we do. We’re about to do it in Afghanistan as well. We are literally training the Taliban.

     I agree on this administration.  But the events are before us, and I’m hoping even this nincomcoop can gather our American pride and stop this.  If the president was committed he can get Americans behind him on this.  He needs a change of course and mindset.  He’s staring at being the worst president in American history right now and this can pull him out of it.  However, I’m not holding my breath.  But getting back into Iraq is what needs to be done.

    • #90
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