Warplanes from the same USS Abraham Lincoln, deployed to the Middle East in May 2019, dropped bombs on Iraq in 2003. They say history repeats itself, but I didn’t realize it repeated itself this precisely. I hope it doesn't happen again in Iraq and/or Iran.
The invasion of Iraq was our country's first war almost immediately after Congress passed the Authorization Use of Military Force (AUMF) in 2001, emboldening U.S. presidents with unchecked, unilateral power to more nimbly fight terrorism. The results are dire: 18 years, 41 operations in 19 countries, $5.9 trillion in costs, and 500,000 people dead, including 15,000 American men and women in uniform.
No dialogue, no vote, no checks and balances. Our elected representatives did not debate if the gains from war outweigh its costs. Our soldiers deserve more; we deserve more. Let the representatives we elected to represent us, represent us. The question is not whether the United States should go to war, but whether our elected representatives should, at the very least, have a say in the matter. Our U.S. Constitution says they do. AUMF has been used to justify a broad and open-ended authorization for the use of military force that’s inconsistent with the constitutional authority of Congress to declare war. Congress gave away its constitutional power and obligation, and now we ask that they take it back.
I am pleased to be represented by Rep. Peter DeFazio, who has cosponsored legislation to repeal 2001 AUMF.
Join us in imploring Reps. Kurt Schrader and Defazio to go the next step by releasing public statements and providing leadership in the U.S. House to support HR 2968, the House appropriations bill that should come to the House floor in mid-June to repeal AUMF.
Corvallis (May 29)
The author writes on behalf of the Corvallis Action Team, Friends Committee on National Legislation. The group is a Quaker lobby in the public interest.