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In all our talk over the past four-and-a-half years about who surrendered to the Bush Administration's rancid warmongering by voting for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, we typically forget those who voted against it.

It would be an understatement to say that the tempo of that discussion has picked up in the past few days because of proposals to "deauthorize" the AUMF.

Diarists and commenters here and across wwwLand have reminded anyone who had forgotten how the people who now seek to sit in the big chair of the Oval Office voted on the AUMF and its amendments. Or how they would have voted on the resolution had they been in the Senate or House in October 2002.

It was, as we know too well, that resolution which opened the way for George W. Bush and his mentors and minions to visit disaster on the Iraqi people, diplomacy, the U.S. Treasury and every small town and big city that has buried a man or woman in uniform over the past 50 months. Not that this should have been the resolution's result, given that its conditions - most especially the one requiring support from the United Nations - were never fulfilled.

The AUMF discussion matters, and matters deeply, just as it matters deeply to have a comprehensive discussion of post-Cold War, post-9/11 American foreign policy (and which presidential candidate can best be trusted to get us started in the right direction on building such a policy, which must be far, far more than a mere rejection of the policy put forth by the Project for a New American Century).

But I'm not going to get into that right now. For one thing, the first order of business would require a discussion of the AUMF of 2001 and whether it should be repealed.

Instead, I'd like to give a nod of appreciation to those 156 Congresspeople and Senators who voted against the AUMF of 2002. This isn't meant to be praise for everything they've ever done, before or since, merely acknowledgment that, on this, they were right when so many were wrong.

In the Senate:

Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Robert Byrd (D-WV),  Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Kent Conrad D-ND), Mark Dayton (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Bob Graham (D-FL), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Paul Wellstone (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Jim Jeffords (I-VT).

In the House:

Neil Abercrombie (D-HI 1st), Tom Allen (D-ME 11st), Joe Baca (D-CA 42nd), Brian Baird (D-WA 3th), John Baldacci (D-ME 2nd), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI 2nd), Xavier Becerra (D-CA 30th),  Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3rd),  David Bonoir (D-MI 10th),  Robert Brady (D-PA 1st),  Corrine Brown (D-FL 3rd),  Sherrod Brown (D-OH 13th),  Lois Capps (D-CA 22nd),  Michael E. Capuano (D-MA 8th),  Ben Cardin (D-MD 3rd), Julia Carson (D-IN 10th),  William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-MO 1st),  Eva Clayton (D-NC 1st),  James Clyburn (D-SC 6st),  Gary Condit (D-CA 18th),  John Conyers (D-MI 14st),  Jerry Costello (D-IL 12th),  William Coyne (D-PA 14th),  Elijah Cummings (D-MD 7st).

Susan Davis (D-CA 49th),  Danny K. Davis (D-IL 7th),  Peter DeFazio (D-OR 4th),  Diana DeGette (D-CO 1st),  William Delahunt (D-MA 10th),  Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd),  John Dingell (D-MI) 15th,  Lloyd Doggett (D-TX 25th),  Mike Doyle (D-PA 18th),    Anna Eshoo (D-CA 14th),  Lane Evans (D-IL 17th),  Sam Farr (D-CA 17th),  Chaka Fattah (D-PA 2nd),  Bob Filner (D-CA 50th),  Barney Frank (D-MA 4th),  Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX 20th),  Luis Gutierrez (D-IL 4th),  Alcee Hastings (D-FL 23rd),  Earl F. Hilliard (D-AL 7th), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY 22nd),  Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX 15th),  Rush Holt (D-NJ 12th),  Mike Honda (D-CA 15th),  Darlene Hooley (D-OR 5th)

Jay Inslee (D-WA 1st),  Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL 2nd),  Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX 18th),  Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX 30th),  Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH 11th),  Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9th),  Dale E. Kildee (D-MI 5th),  Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI 13th),  Jerry Kleczka (D-WI 4th),  Dennis Kucinich (D-OH 10th),  John LaFalce (D-NY 29th),  James R. Langevin (D-RI 2nd),  Rick Larsen (D - WA 2nd),  John Larson (D-CT 1st),  Barbara Lee (D-CA 9th),  Sander Levin (D - MI 12th),  John Lewis (D-GA 5th),  William Lipinski (D-IL 3rd),  Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 16th)

James H. Maloney (D-CT 5th),  Robert Matsui (D-CA 5th),  Karen McCarthy (D-MO 3rd),  Betty McCollum (D-MN 4th),  Jim McDermott (D-WA 7th),  James McGovern (D-MA 3rd),  Cynthia McKinney (D-GA 4th),  Carrie P. Meek (D-FL 17th),  Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY 6th),  Bob Menendez (D-NJ 6th),  Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA 37th),  George Miller (D-CA 7th),  Alan Mollohan (D - WV 1st),  Jim Moran (D-VA 8th),  Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 8th),  Grace Napolitano (D-CA 34th),  Richard E. Neal (D-MA 2nd),  James Oberstar (D-MN 8th),  David Obey (D-WI7th),  John Olver (D-MA 1st),  Major Owens (D-NY 11th),  Frank Pallone (D-NJ 6th),  Ed Pastor (D-AZ 2nd)

Donald Payne (D-NJ 10th),  Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 8th),  David Price (D-NC 4th),  Nick Rahall (D-WV 3rd),  Charles Rangel (D-NY 15th),  Silvestre Reyes (D-TX 16th),  Lynn Nancy Rivers (D-MI 13th),  Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX 23rd),  Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA 33rd),  Bobby Rush (D-IL 1st),  Martin Olav Sabo (D-MN 5th),  Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46th),  ,  Thomas C. Sawyer (D-OH 13th),  Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL 9th) ,  Robert C. Scott (D-VA 3rd),  José E. Serrano (D-NY 16th ,  Louise Slaughter (D-NY 28th),  Vic Snyder (D-AR 2nd) ,  Hilda Solis (D-CA 31st)

Pete Stark (D-CA 13th),  Ted Strickland (D-OH 6th),  Bart Stupak (D-MI 1st),  Mike Thompson (D-CA 1st),  Bennie Thompson (D-MS 2nd),  John Tierney (D-MA 6th),  Edolphus Towns (D-NY 10th),  Mark Udall (D-CO 2nd),  Tom Udall (D-NM 3rd),  Nydia Velazquez (D-NY 12th),  Peter Visclosky (D-IN 1st),  Maxine Waters (D-CA 35th),  Diane Watson (D-CA 32nd),  Mel Watt (D-NC 12th),  Lynn Woolsey (D-CA 6th),  David Wu (D-OR 1st), Bernie Sanders (I-VT At Large), John James Duncan, Jr. (R-TN 2nd). John Hostettler (R-IN 8th), Amo Houghton (R-NY 29th), Jim Leach (R-IA 1st) , Connie Morella (R-MD 8th), Ron Paul (R-TX 14th)

Many good speeches were given in opposition to the resolution. On the day of the Senate vote, October 11, the single post on Daily Kos was given over to the entire speech of Congressman Pete Stark. An excerpt:

It sets a precedent for our nation - or any nation - to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to international law or international consensus.

Congress must not walk in lockstep behind a President who has been so callous to proceed without reservation, as if war was of no real consequence.

You know, three years ago in December, Molly Ivins, an observer of Texas politics, wrote: "For an upper-class white boy, Bush comes on way too hard. At a guess, to make up for being an upper-class white boy."

"Somebody," she said, "should be worrying about how all this could affect his handling of future encounters with some Saddam Hussein." How prophetic, Ms. Ivins.

Let us not forget that our President -- our Commander in Chief – has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. In fact, he admits that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height of that conflict in 1968 he didn’t notice "any heavy stuff going on."

So we have a President who thinks foreign territory is the opponent’s dugout and Kashmir is a sweater.

What is most unconscionable is that there is not a shred of evidence to justify the certain loss of life. Do the generalized threats and half-truths of this Administration give any one of us in Congress the confidence to tell a mother or father or family that the loss of their child or loved one was in the name of a just cause?

Is the President’s need for revenge for the threat once posed to his father enough to justify the death of any American?

I submit the answer to these questions is no.

Aside from the wisdom of going to war as Bush wants, I am troubled by who pays for his capricious adventure into world domination. ...

The questions before the Members of this House and to all Americans are immense, but there are clear answers. America is not currently confronted by a genuine, proven, imminent threat from Iraq. The call for war is wrong.

And what greatly saddens me at this point in our history is my fear that this entire spectacle has not been planned for the well being of the world, but for the short-term political interest of our President.

Now, I am also greatly disturbed that many Democratic leaders have also put political calculation ahead of the President’s accountability to truth and reason by supporting this resolution.

But, I conclude that the only answer is to vote no on the resolution before us."

To Congressman Stark, and the other 155, thank you.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat May 05, 2007 at 05:44 PM PDT.


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