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The reason why we will never leave Iraq and why Bush is so arrogant about it is because of the willingness of our elected Representatives in Congess to not address the real problem. Or more plainly, it is a lack of willingess to reclaim it's inherent constitutional powers. There is still too much concern about electoral fears and PR damage done held by too many in Congress to be "willing" to reclaim Congressional War powers, which were ceded actually in 2001 with the AUMF authorizing what was first exploited by Bush to invade Afghanistan which it only did because it had to POLITICALLY.

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The AUMF in Oct 2002 (more commonly known as the Iraq War Vote) was entirely a political side-show and basically meaningless. Congress already gave the farm away in 2001 when it voted, in its entirety save one single lone vote, to hand the war powers in totality to Bush in 2001. Just seven days after 9/11 with the Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces in 2001.

In all actuality, Bush had (and still does have) the legal authorization to attack anyplace, anywhere in the world, anytime he wanted with the 2001 AUMF. Why do you think he has been so arrogant ever since?

If Bush wanted to, he could have bombed Paris France, or even Paris Texas, on his say-so alone if he decides, in his own determination, they had something to do with 9/11. Read the actual language of the 2001 AUMF. Congress has permanently (until it votes to take it back) ceded it's war powers to the Presidency with the 2001 AUMF.

Until enough people in Congress have the spine to rescind that, and reclaim its war powers, the rest is just political masturbation. The simple ugly truth is, we have enough Bush/GOP supporters and chicken-shit Dems in Congress to not  do what needs to be done at this time. The 2001 AUMF is the new paradigm of a political third-rail because of the sacred cow and perceived political suicide 9/11 and the resulting 2001 AUMF is viewed as by almost everyone in public life (be it office or in the media).

Until enough members of Congress are willing to rescind the 2001 AUMF and reclaim its war powers, nothing will occur to legally get us out of this mess in which every member of Congress (save Barbara Lee), and that includes every anti-war favorite from Dennis Kuccinich to Russ Feingold, made in 2001. Not 2002 and the Iraq War vote.

Note A comment I made in another thread has prompted me to make that comment into this Diary entry.

Originally posted to Lestatdelc on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 09:45 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree... (5+ / 0-)

    that Congress must reclaim its war powers. However, I don't believe W. is stubbornly staying in Iraq just to save face or just because 'he can'.  He knows if we withdraw, we've lost any chance of securing Iraq's oil reserves for US oil companies (notice I did not say US citizens).  It's always been about the oil, and always will be with him.

    "If we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom" Samuel Adams

    by cRedd on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 10:02:08 AM PDT

    •  Don't disagree about (7+ / 0-)

      WHY Bush wants to stay in Iraq (oil, regional hegemony, etc.)... I was speaking more about the kabuki theater of the 2002 Iraq War Vote, which was basically meaningless and just domestic political cover for what Bush could do legally without ever going before Congress.

      He could, even today, simply blow up anything, anywhere, anytime, be it raining bombs on 10 Downing Street, or even in downtown San Francisco, if he wants to and not even have to ask Congress for permission. Because he can decide for himself that London, pr Beacon Hill had something to do with 9/11. Facts, evidence, legitimacy of such a claim be damned.

      Bush has legal unlimited military power at this moment to destroy anything in the world... legally and not have to get shit from Congress to do it, because of the unprecedented powers given away on September 18, 2001 by Congress.

      All Bush has to say, and doesn't even have to say it by going back to Congress, all Bush has to do is decide that it has something to do with 9/11. No evidence, no nothing. Congress have given Bush absolute military power to do ANYTHING with our military, until it rescinds the 2001 AUMF.

  •  Bush is so arrogant about Iraq (4+ / 0-)

    because he is an arrogant spoiled brat SOB. He's adamant about Iraq for oil and a corporate Utopia and because he's a bully.

  •  We are at war so Bush may have war powers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    toddpw

    Being Commander-in-Chief is no fun in peacetime.  It's harder to brand those who disagree with you traitors unless people are getting killed.

    Everything Bush does must be examined to see how it helps getting to a "permanent Republican Majority". It's all political, all the time.

  •  Yeah -- and prez cand's must swear off the power (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lestatdelc, toddpw

    You’ve opened a very important topic. Complementing your thoughts, my main comment now (may diary this subject myself later) is that the 2001 AUMF is indeed a dangerous thing for a number of reasons, not least of which is its sinister use by Bush-Cheney-Addington et al to claim false "uber authority" in the presidency to "fight terrorism" in an unhindered (unaccountable) streamlined power machine -- well, the image comes to mind of an aircraft carrier like the USS Lincoln -- in their notion of a unitary (set apart, uncooperative) executive tyranny under inflated guise of "Commander-in-Chief," a title which applies only over the armed forces and not domestically over non-military civilians (unless under martial law which legally we’re not -- but Bush acts like we are -- See "State of Exception" by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, 2005, paperback). The 2001 AUMF is a trigger cocked by an endless state of emergency since 9-11, launching the projectile of a ready-made king-style power authority, laid by Congress and Cheney et al into the hands of a petulant, adolescent enfant terrible.

    The 2001 AUMF was initially designed  to be applied abroad for use of military force against terrorists principally in Afghanistan, but in fact its authority is applicable everywhere, endlessly and to anyone Bush "determines" to be a terrorist (with no due process or habeas corpus in many cases). Now turn around and look inward domestically and we see the 2001 AUMF is the central core engine of false (and largely unquestioned in the post-9-11 "state of exception") grounds for a monumental domestic power-grab giving rise to a situation not so unlike a dictator over a police state (no, I'm not a extremist radical and use that language very carefully).

    I’ve been working the grassroots level to try to make impeachment a popular pressure on Congress, believing Congress won't move on impeachment (at least not Republicans in the Senate and even some Dems) without a popular tsunami literally coming down the halls at them. But average people are kind of snoozing in the face of the danger. They don't see it. So, here's an idea: the House could impeach Bush and Cheney with a simple majority vote and use those well-crafted, fully evidenced impeachment Articles as an ALARM to get the attention of the people to put pressure on the Senate to try, convict and remove them both from office. This is literally the only power we have to counter the power that core Bushites usurped partly via the AUMFs. We can't simple wait till they're gone because they've established illegal patterns that have to be brought to justice lest they be repeated by future presidents. This brings us to my last thought (for now):

    We have to get crackin’ to get all the presidential candidates (especially including Dems like Hillary) to pledge to rescind/rewrite the 2001 AUMF (and the outdated 2002 Iraq AUMF as well) and swear off the power usurped by the Bush regime, lead the legislative effort to restore our freedoms in the Constitution, and return the executive branch to its rightful (ho-hum boring but democratic) balance with the other branches.

    Sorry to write long (I always do, long and late),  so much more to say -- like how to give up power and not look wimpy, etc.
    _______________________________________________________
    "Everybody knows the captain lied." – Leonard Cohen (2-min video)

    •  Your well written comment here (0+ / 0-)

      Is very well stated and is precisely the larger schema undergirding the rational for what I posted. Not too sound to self-congratulatory there, but you are hitting the nail on the head with what I was talking about, and flesh out the larger context both politically, and from an ethical  theoretical standpoint of the real and very serious dangerous we face.

      Like it or not, the 2001 AUMF is a lynch=pin to horrific potential abuse, the disaster that is Iraq being but a weak precursor of what can happen.

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