REPEAL THE 2002 "USE OF FORCE" RESOLUTION
You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read the "AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002,” (read it here) the sorry excuse for a war declaration that was passed by Congress in October of 2002. This unconstitutional resolution essentially took the power to declare war - a power that Congress alone possesses - and turned that power over to the President. And we wonder why the occupation of Iraq has turned into such a bloody mess.
The 2002 "use of force" resolution was an historic abdication of power by our Congress. Rather than making a constitutional justification for invading a sovereign nation, the resolution contains some 25 references to the United Nations. Missing from this authorization is any reference to the authority by which the U.S. military has been assigned the role of: WMD hunters on behalf of the U.N., overthrowing evil dictators, or spreading "freedom and democracy" throughout the Middle East.
The most effective way to bring an end to the havoc we have rained down on the Iraqi people is to repeal the illegal usurpation of power that started it all. There is a bill introduced in Congress, H.R. 413, which would do exactly that. With unusual clarity and simplicity H.R. 413 dismantles the Bush usurpation of 2002. We should put enormous pressure on Congress and demand they support this bill.
The other way to end the Iraqi occupation is to simply enforce the terms of the original 2002 "authorization." As you read (and weep) through the resolution, ignore all the "whereas" mumbo jumbo - those are the random, toothless musings of men who are looking for an excuse to break the law.
The entirety of this congressional abdication of power is detailed in Section 3, and lists only two conditions under which the President was "authorized" to use military force against Iraq:
Even though this was a poorly contrived - and completely illegal - resolution, it was not a willy-nilly justification that allowed George Bush to invade Iraq simply because the little voices in his head told him to. To the contrary, it was quite restrictive, authorizing the use of force ONLY under those two conditions.
Were either of those two conditions met? Absolutely not!
Was there ever a "continuing threat" posed by Iraq? Not even close! We now know that Iraq was never a threat to our country. Quite the opposite was true. Iraq had: no WMD, (other than the ones we gave them) no army, no connection to 9/11, and no means to attack us even if they wanted to. Iraq was not a terrorist haven and they were in essential compliance with all relevant Security Council resolutions.
Which means, even though the resolution was unconstitutional, NEITHER OF THE TWO CONDITIONS FOR THE USE OF FORCE WERE MET - which makes the initial invasion and subsequent occupation COMPLETELY ILLEGAL!
Congress should never give a President, even a competent one, the unilateral authority to make war. That is the exclusive responsibility of the Congress, and is probably the most solemn duty they could ever perform during their service. Yet, the congressional cowards who served us in October of 2002 could not make a decision regarding a war with Iraq, so they tossed that power over the wall.
Every one of those who dragged America into the Iraqi quagmire needs to be held accountable - and that includes almost the entire lot of them from both "sides" - Clinton, Biden, Feinstein, Kerry, Leibermann, Schumer, Frist, McCain, McConell, Lott, Snowe, Smith (OR), Specter, to name just a few. We will likely pay for their dereliction of duty for decades to come, but for now...
We need to demand that they take their power back! And H.R. 413 could be an effective tool in dismantling the power President Bush usurped in 2002, and has attempted to expand in 2007!
What a mess. Anyway, thank you for spending a few minutes looking into this rather huge issue.
(Text of the Resolution that started it all)
© 2007 David Brownlow - All Rights Reserved
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Dave Brownlow, a regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, is Vice Chairman of the Constitution Party of Oregon, and a veteran of three congressional campaigns. He is an engineer, entrepreneur, and 25 year political and pro-life activist. He resides in Damascus, Oregon with Suzanne, his wife of 25 years, and their four children. Their son Jared is currently deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Army.
The 2002 "use of force" resolution was an historic abdication of power by our Congress. Rather than making a constitutional justification for invading a sovereign nation, the resolution contains some 25 references to the United Nations.