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.