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  •  Disagree strongly about responsibility (3+ / 0-)
    The politics of 2011/12 were such that few could politically vote against using military force.
    Well, tough beans for them. Perhaps they could have actually made the case in public. Rep. Barbara Lee even voted against the Afghanistan/War on Terra AUMF, and she's still in office.

    Congress is directly responsible. The Constitution says they have the power to declare war, period. What they did instead was hand that power to the President, unconstitutionally. That's what an "authorization" is: Here, Mr. President, we can't handle our own obligation and responsibility. You decide for us, o great and merciful king! Of course they wrote it that way on purpose. John Kerry, of all people, unlearned the lesson of the Vietnam War!

    What the American people haven't faced up to is the atrocity of war, the value of human life and its staggering loss, by our hand. To this day, even liberal press outlets talk about the cost in terms of American lives and not the lives of Iraqi, Afghani, and other nations' people.

    Also, it's important to note that the country has no commander in chief. Only the military does.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 01:14:08 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  the bravest vote in congress, that one lonely vote (3+ / 0-)
      Rep. Barbara Lee even voted against the Afghanistan/War on Terra AUMF, and she's still in office.
      Lee is right up there with Bernie Sanders in my book.
    •  The FACT is 60% Ds in House voted against the AUMF (0+ / 0-)

      as I noted (and 40% in the Senate).  If Ds had controlled the House, it would not have passed. Period.  This is FACTUAL evidence that Ds 'have learned the Vietnam lesson'.

      And this was despite a toxic political environment for anti-AUMFers.  Max Cleland - a genuine American war hero - got beat by a Thug TV ad morfing him into OBL for god's sake.  Yet, most Congressional Ds voted against the AUMF.

      So you high dungeon act misses the point.  You want to talk theory and semantics, fine.  You can do so as we march off to yet another senseless war.  Or you can recognize who the real culprits were in fact.  And maybe stop the Thug's next war - cause if those 'Christian Soliders' get that kind of power again its pretty much guaranteed.

      And btw, by abstracting responsibility for this war crime - a war of aggression, see, Nerumberg - you are only excusing the personal responsibility of Dumbya and Cheney.

      Lastly, on a theoretical note, you are wrong: the power to make war is not 'solely vested' in Congress.  Not even the power to 'declare' it has been for over 100 years both de fact and de jure.  It is, as so much is in our system, shared powers and responsibility.  And POTUS has just as much responsibility not to ask for unnecessary and overbroad authority as Congress has not to give it.  

      But, to repeat, in this concrete case, it is a demonstrable fact that a Thug Pres and VP got the Thug House to approve the AUMF.  The majority of Congressional Ds said no.

      And history should never forget or fail to remind the citizens of that.

      •  That 100-year record has been a disaster (0+ / 0-)

        of undeclared wars of aggression, atrocity, and subterfuge. I don't care if that's the official state of affairs today, I'm going to advocate for a the view of constitutional interpretation that I think is factually and logically correct.

        POTUS has just as much responsibility not to ask for unnecessary and overbroad authority
        That utterly flies in the face of the whole point of checks and balances. Too bad we've proved Nixon right.

        And about the responsibility, of course Bush and Cheney are war criminals. The complicity of some powerful Democrats—and the unwillingness of too many Americans to face the full magnitude of the moral depravity of this country's actions—has a lot to do with why the country has not brought Bush and Cheney to justice.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:24:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope, shared responsibility IS checks and balances (0+ / 0-)

          Difficult as it maybe for you to believe, POTUS has power - and some have even exercised it! - to limit US military involvements favored by Congress.  Eisenhower and the Sinai crisis of '53 is an example (that there was no specific legislative authorization there is of no moment, as it is clear it would have passed if he'd asked for it).

          Nixon was arguing POTUS had sole power to make war ('A President can bomb whoever he wants.') bc of his CinC authority in the Constitution.  Cheney made - and still makes - the same claim.  Both intentionally confuse the acknowledged power to use force without specific Congressional authorization in immediate defense of US forces, with the grayer notion of doing so in defense of US interests when there is no time for authorizations (e.g., in the midst of an invasion of an ally) and the institutionally willingness of Congress to abdicate its constitutional role to avoid having to defend politically difficult votes with their desired Monarchist interpretation of the war powers in the Constitution.

          To repeat more explicitly what I tried to say in prior comment about the remaining and much more expansive discussion you wish to engage in, while I find it interesting in an Ivory Tower sense, I also think it is essentially as irrelevant as arguing about possible policies of a Ron Paul presidency.

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