The Growing Stench: Surging through to 2008

The neo-Bushit continues.

As Recruiting Number Dwindle, Podhoretz Bangs His Drum

And even the Pentagon has been saying that the Surge failed, and the relative “quiet” right now had nothing to do with it:

From the Pentagon: The Surge didn’t work.

That’s one reason you keep hearing them talk about their legacy, while others try desperately to spin it — they are attempting to pre-fabricate a success out of the worst Presidency in history, and to ideally obscure the complicit role played by the Congressional Republicans and their associated pundits.

The Democrats aren’t playing smart, either, and by pushing their luck that the public will hate the Republicans more as election time approaches, they endanger themselves and the nation further by failing to act ~now~, before the summer campaign season and before BushCo can initiate (directly or indirectly) a nuclear conflict in Iran.

And things need not be this way.

If the analysis I came across in the DelphiForum Here is the News (hat-tip to Old Hickory’s Weblog on AOL, too), Congress may be able to bring the troops home tomorrow without any further ado:

Bush’s authority to go to war

In almost any debate with a NeoCon or Bush supporter about the Iraq war, the Bush supporter will gleefully point out the fact that the Democrats voted to give Bush authorization to invade Iraq and thus we should just “shut the fuck up” because the Democrats are now just as guilty for any war crimes committed in Iraq as Bush.

Left out of almost any “debate” on Iraq is any examination of what the Congressional authorization actually said or what conditions Congress attached to their authorization.

The war resolution (Public Law 107-243, 10/16/02, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002) included some specific conditions.  It didn’t just give Bush an open-ended choice to go to war at his own discretion.  As John Dean (Former Counsel to President Richard Nixon)summarizes it:

To avoid having to return to Congress for more debate on Iraq, Bush had pushed for and received authority to launch a war without further advance notice to Congress.  Never before had Congress so trusted a president with this authority.  But in granting this unprecedented authorization, Congress insisted that certain conditions be established as existing and that the president submit a formal determination, assuring the Congress that, in fact, these conditions were present.  Specifically (and here I am summarizing technical wording; the actual language [is in section 3(b) (1) and (2) of PL 107-243]), Congress wanted a formal determination submitted to it either before using force or within forty-eight hours of having done so, stating that the president had found that (1) further diplomatic means alone would not resolve the “continuing threat” (meaning Saddam’s WMD) and (2) the military action was part of the overall response to terrorism, including dealing with those involved in “the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”  In short, Congress insisted that there be evidence of two points that were the centerpiece of Bush’s argument for the war.

http://tinyurl.com/39lh2p

Bush never provided Congress with this evidence.  Not within forty-eight hours of using military force.  Not within forty-eight days of using military force.  Not within forty-eight weeks of using military force.  Not ever!

Legally Congress could pull the plug on Bush’s military adventure by pointing out the fact that he’s in violation of an all-important legal requirement of the war resolution and that because of his violation, the war resolution is invalid.

Furthermore the fact that Bush sent troops into Iraq without any sort of valid authorization from Congress is just ONE MORE justification for impeaching Bush.

The Bush supporters who “debate” people on these forums and the American mainstream media never bother to point out the fact that the war authorization is worthless, but in fact it is worthless.

Congress’s war authorization was conditional.

Bush never even attempted to live up to the conditions.

Congress could (legally) bring the troops home today.

Today.

That has a nice ring to it.

Now, as we sweep into the ongoing candidate wars while approaching “Super Tuesday” and — further down the line — the 2008 November elections, do we have any real leaders in Congress or on the campaign trail who are ready, willing and able to actually lead and initiate a responsible set of actions to curtail this mis-Administration, remove them from power and begin to clean up the toxic waste that has been polluting our nation’s soul, or are they all content to continue forcing us all to swim in the swill until November,  and on through January of 2009?

If they are so inclined, what’s our incentive for believing in any actual ~change~ occuring once a new Administration takes office?

What kind of assurance will anyone provide The People that those who have repeated lied, cheated, stolen and endangered our democracy will be held accountable?

…anyone?

…Bueller…Bueller…?

8 comments

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  1. If it’s out there GreyHawk, it’s well hidden. A few new faces but basically the same ole games. The momentum is too strong.

    It will take a major event to bring on any real change and then we must be very watchful of what direction such change might lead.

    Chalmers Johnson said it well when he wrote that our huge military empire could well carry forward for many years but that:

    We are on the cusp of losing our republic.

    • Edger on January 24, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Congress has the authority to require the top military commanders in Iraq to produce a plan for safely withdrawing our troops from the country. It can also require these commanders to give their best estimate of the cost of this plan. It can then appropriate this money, specifying that the funds be used for the withdrawal plan designed by the military.”

    Institute for Public Accuracy

    Senator Russ Feingold, Fact Sheet

    On numerous occasions, Congress has exercised its constitutional authority to limit the President’s ability to escalate existing military engagements.  Here are just a few examples:

    • Cambodia – In late December 1970, Congress passes the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Appropriations Act prohibiting the use of funds to finance the introduction of United States ground combat troops into Cambodia or to provide U.S. advisors to or for Cambodian military forces in Cambodia.
    • Vietnam – In late June 1973, Congress passes the second Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY1973. This legislation contains language cutting off funds for combat activities in Vietnam after August 15, 1973.
    • Somalia – In November 1993, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act includes a provision that prohibits funding after March 31, 1994 for military operations in Somalia, except for a limited number of military personnel to protect American diplomatic personnel and American citizens, unless further authorized by Congress.
    • Bosnia – In 1998, Congress passes the Defense Authorization Bill, with a provision that prohibits funding for Bosnia after June 30, 1998, unless the President makes certain assurances.

    — Defunding Iraq: Misperceptions, Disinformation And Lies

    • MO Blue on January 24, 2008 at 7:58 am

    campaign trail IMO. Those in the House or Senate who attempt to lead on important issues are cut off at the knees by Dem leadership and their own Democratic colleagues.

    True leadership is replaced by words of leadership. Pretty speeches replace action. Corporate contributions replace the will of the people. Being elected to office has replaced abiding by the oaths of those offices.

    The American people continue to buy into this by supporting politicians of both parties based on promises that are not backed by past or current actions. We have become a faith based society in more ways than one.

    • OPOL on January 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    before we get it?

    We have no real leaders left.  The system has abandoned us.  How many more decades will it take for that to sink in?

    • ANKOSS on January 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    We are all going to suffer from the slow, inexorable pain of refusing to atone for the criminal attempt to plunder Iraq. Without atonement, there will be no peace of mind.

    It is convenient to load all the blame on our government, but ordinary Americans cheered for this war. The arena is quiet now, and the bloodthirsty spectators are trying to slip away and make excuses for their earlier enthusiasm, but the horrors cannot be erased. Iraq cannot be un-invaded.

    Since most Americans have yet to repudiate the crimes of Vietnam and the dirty Central American wars, I doubt that they will atone for Iraq any time soon. But until there is atonement, there will be no peace of mind, and the miasma of guilt and shame will spread.

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