Will It Be Perpetual War?

IN the beginning war could only be declared by act of Congress and then along came the attacks of 9/11 and the Congress gave their powers up to the president to declare war whenever the mood struck him.

The Authorization for the Use Of Military Force (AUMF) gave the president unlimited power to decide what was a war and when to go fight…..the Congress took a backseat….

In 2018 a bi-partisan bill has taken a new step forward…..

In the near future, Congress will debate a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). I use the word “debate” lightly. So far, no hearings have been scheduled, and no testimony is likely to be heard unless something changes. That’s a shame, because this is a serious matter, and this is a deeply flawed AUMF.

For some time now, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to declare war. The status quo is that we are at war anywhere and anytime the president says so.

So Congress—in a very Congress way of doing things—has a “solution.” Instead of reclaiming its constitutional authority, it instead intends to codify the unacceptable, unconstitutional status quo.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/rand-paul-congress-moves-to-give-the-president-unlimited-war-powers/

Yes I wrote that this was a bi-partisan bill……so how do the Dems fit into this bill?

If there is any surprise that Senate Democrats, most of whom are virtually indistinguishable from pro-war Republicans, are about to coalesce in support of the newest version of the Authority for the Use of Military Force of 2018 (AUMF), then you have seriously not been paying attention.

The proposed AUMF of 2018 would replace AUMF 2001 and  repeal AUMF 2002 while it will codify an “uninterrupted authority to use all necessary and appropriate force in armed conflict” against  the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and as yet unidentified “designated associated forces” who might “pose a grave threat to the US” in whatever country they occupy.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/04/25/democratic-partys-war-history-and-aumf-2018

There is a provision in the new AUMF that has a disturbing consequence…..

……..a bipartisan group of six lawmakers, led by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., is proposing a new AUMF that would greatly expand who the president can place in indefinite military detention, allin the name of restricting presidential power. If the Corker-Kaine bill becomes law as currently written, any president, including Donald Trump, could plausibly claim extraordinarily broad power to order the military to imprison any U.S. citizen, captured in America or not, and hold them without charges essentially forever.

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/01/ndaa-2018-aumf-detention/

I smell a challenge to this new attempt…..does not seem to be in the spirit of the Constitution…..

But we will see……it looks like more of the same or in other words….perpetual war.

A War Blank Check

WE Americans have been constantly lied to so that this country can intervene around the world….accomplish regime change almost yearly……

Official Washington and those associated with it have misrepresented the facts numerous times in the service of military actions that might not otherwise have taken place. In the Middle East, these interventions have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab civilians, brought chaos to Iraq and Libya, and led to the expulsion of a million Christians from communities where they have lived since biblical times.

The most famous of these episodes, of course, was the U.S. government’s assurance to the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which formed the basis for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The government also insisted Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, bolstering the call to war. Of course neither was true.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-pretty-little-lies-behind-americas-interventions/

Lies that we citizens allow to go on so that we can keep some sort of mental defense our stupidity.

And now war will be easier….and our troops will die more easily thanx to a couple of cowards in the Congress.

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was originally to be used by the president in a limited way….that has long been overstepped……and now the Congress has a new form of the AUMF before it….and this new attempt will do nothing to help the separation of powers……

The potential for the United States to stumble into a new war—or wars—has rarely been greater. Since before he took office, Donald Trump has been rattling his saber, and he is now backed up by a national security advisor who is openly spoiling for a fight. Instability and violence around the world are presenting them with ample opportunities. Last week marked the second time President Trump ordered bombings of Syria without congressional authorization.

Congress is now poised to bring a lit match to this combustible mix. A bill introduced yesterday by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., would give the president a virtual blank check to expand the current war against various terrorist groups to new enemies and new locations of the president’s choosing.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/04/corker-kaine-bill-aumf-forever-war/147516/

This should unacceptable to the American people but as usual they have their heads in the asses and our troops will be thrown at every event that the president feels it necessary…..Congress is relinquishing their power to the president…..

Cowards everyone!

Where’s The Money?

The time draws closer for the Congress to take up the issue of military funding….that is cash that we will need to funding all the wars we are now fighting and the ones on the horizon awaiting approval to be fought.

It appears that there are a few in Congress that want the AUMF to be addressed before any funding is approved….

Senate officials are hoping to get to a final vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a military spending bill in excess of $700 billion. Getting to that vote, however, means dealing with all the military and war-related amendments in the bill.

Senate leaders appear to have decided that the easiest way to get around this is to severely curtail debate on certain particularly controversial issues, with an 89-3 vote today agreeing to limit procedural debates on the matter.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is trying to manage the debate, which is to say, dramatically curtail the debate. There are still major issues to be settled, however, with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) both pushing major debates, on war authorization and transgender soldiers, respectively.

Sen. Paul intends to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The amendment is seen as politically awkward for some hawks, who argue that they want to create a new AUMF that explicitly covers current wars, but who are reluctant to see any limitations placed on the way America’s wars are waged.

(antiwar.com)

That’s the 2001 AUMF problem all over. Though on paper it was intended to only cover 9/11 and the Afghan War, the authorization has been used by all presidents since as carte blanche to wage any war, anywhere on earth, in which the term terrorism can remotely be applied.

There is no secret if you are a regular here on IST that I am a definite antiwar person…..while I do not agree with muich the Sen. Paul offers up as policy I do appreciate his stand in the AUMF……

As Congress takes up the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will insist it vote on my amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.

Why?

Because these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions.

Our military trains our soldiers to be focused and disciplined, yet the politicians who send them to fight have for years ignored those traits when developing our foreign policy.

Source: Rand Paul: Why we must repeal the 16-year-old Authorization for the Use of Military Force | Rare

Personally, I think any new conflict we must fight must be authorized by Congress….there should be NO blanket authorization.

Update:  After writing this draft news came down about the defeat of this proposal….

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had to push heavily and very publicly against the Senate leadership to get even the limited debate that ultimately occurred on his amendment, aiming to revoke the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The vote did not occur. In the middle of the debate Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) moved to table (kill) the amendment, forcing an immediate vote. The Senate then voted to kill Paul’s amendment, by a vote of 61-36.

The post-9/11 AUMF has been interpreted broadly by US presidents as allowing unlimited war-making powers against anything even loosely described as “terror.” Sen. Paul argued that the AUMF was wrongly been used to authorize seven distinct wars, and that repealing it would force Congress to debate specific authorizations for specific wars as an alternative.

While he’d hoped this would bring in support not only from opponents of the war, but from hawks eager to get their votes on the record to authorize these many, effectively unauthorized wars, little support ultimately materialized. In addition to Sen. Paul, speaking in favor during the debate were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Dick Durban (D-IL).

While the failure of the amendment doesn’t preclude future efforts at passing new AUMFs to cover America’s many wars, it makes such debate a less pressing matter. Talk of an AUMF for the ISIS wars, put off since the 2014 mid-term elections on various reasons, can be expected to remain just talk, and no real advance on the effort is likely.

(antiwar.com)

This seems to get a little more popular every time they try to bring it up for a vote……hopefully the Congress will come to its senses eventually.

The Vote That Had No Chance

For months I have writing that the Congress needs to get off their butts and do something about the AUMF….that we have enough wars already and need to start voting on the use of military force.

Congresspeople like Gabbard and Sanders and few others have tried in the past but have come up short….then this session Rep. Lee offered up the proposal yet again……and it has a chance…..don’t that beat all?

No one was more surprised than Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday when her language revoking the administration’s war authority was unexpectedly backed by Republicans and added to a must-pass defense spending bill.

Lee for years has attempted to shutter the law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but this week’s backing reflects shifting politics and unusual bipartisan support.

Source: Surprise war vote points to shift in GOP | TheHill

In the past it has been few Dems that offered up the bill…..but this time even the GOP got in on the deal…..

If successful then Congress will take back its power……..

The war in Afghanistan — the longest sustained military conflict in American history — could soon come to an end. So could any number of “humanitarian interventions,” “kinetic military actions,” “surgical strikes,” or any other euphemisms for war that the U.S. has relied upon for the past 16 years. And it could happen because one congresswoman who saw through the fog of fear and rage in the days after the 9/11 attacks — and presciently warned of the dangers of handing a blank check to the executive branch to wage war against an amorphous stateless enemy — was able to convince her colleagues that it was well past time for Congress to do its job with regard to sending our service men and women into battle.

Source: Is Congress finally going to take back its power to declare war?

I may have found a new respect for Congress and restored my faith in the Repubs.

It is about time for Congress has relinquished its duties for far too long…..now get to work.

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF

Holy Crap!

I never thought that I would live to see the day when a GOP led House Committee voted to repeal AUMF……

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’| Republican leaders argue vote cripples terror war, shouldn’t count.

In a stunning move, the House Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment to the massive military spending bill offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D – CA). The amendment, passed in a voice vote, and would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Source: House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’ – News From Antiwar.com

It is still NOT a done deal….but one helluva step forward.

Walking Our Way To More War

I have been bitching for years about the fact that the US uses military force without proper authorization…..and recently a few brave reps in Congress have offered up their bills to change the way we use military force….these events I have written about recently……

Source: Some Real “Men” In Congress After All – In Saner Thought

I wrote my post when I heard the news of these attempts….but I had not read any of the proposed bills…..like the most recent one, the Flake-Kaine Authorization Bill….

Source: Flake-Kaine AUMF | United States House Of Representatives | United States Senate

After reading the above bull I found myself concerned about the wording.  While I applaud the reps for their effort I am not too sure that anything would change if it is ever signed by this president.  In other words ir sounds like a sugar coated business as usual…..

I decided to do a little research to see if there were any others with similar concerns…..there were……

The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force has been used to justify military strikes around the world – dubiously, in the opinion of many legal scholars.

In their place, the new legislation would allow military action against the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, commonly known as ISIS, along with “associated groups,” specifically including Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front), the so-called Khorasan Group, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Shabab.

Military action would be allowed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

If the president wanted to take military action against additional associated groups or inside countries not specifically named, he would have to notify Congress, which would then have the option of passing a motion of disapproval.

Source: Bipartisan War Authorization Bill Would Make Trump ’21st Century Version of King George III’ | US News

This is an open-ended authorization to attack anyone by simply stating that they are “associated” with AQ or ISIS…..

Again I just do not see this as anything different than what is being done today……the only good thing is there is an expiration date on the AUMF….5 years.

Some Real “Men” In Congress After All

I have accused most of the people serving in the Congress as cowards…and I still believe that most have no nuts for the job.

But there are a few that show the cajones to take on the president and the M-IC…..I have written about others that are showing some gumption…..

Source: Tulsi Gabbard Finds An Ally – In Saner Thought

Source: Did Congress Grow A Set? – In Saner Thought

Recently our president made a trip to Saudi Arabia and promised them about $110 billion in weapons…..and that will be challenged by a couple of brave Senators….

US senators introduced legislation on Thursday to stop at least a portion of President Donald Trump’s $110bn sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Republican Rand Paul and Democrats Chris Murphy and Al Franken introduced a resolution of disapproval in the Senate to force a vote on whether to block part of the sale.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee received formal notice of the pending sale on 19 May.

The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 allows a senator to force a vote on an arms sale, once Congress is formally notified of plans to go ahead.

The same three senators introduced a similar resolution last year seeking to block the sale of $1.15bn of tanks and other equipment to Saudi Arabia. That measure was defeated overwhelmingly.

(middleeasteye.net)

They will probably not be successful for the Saudis have many Senators in their back pockets….but at least these people are forcing the Congress to take a long look at the wasteful crap of this president.

On another front some of these people are pushing for the action on the Authorization for Use of Military Force(AUMF)….this is an attempt to try and force the Congress to do their duty and vote on any war-like action.

Since the US started attacking ISIS years ago, the legal basis for the war has been pretty much non-existent, with officials sometimes claiming the 9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from 2001 covers ISIS too, even though ISIS didn’t even exist when it was passed.

Congress has long spurned the idea of voting on the ISIS war, however, delaying it early in the war because it was too close to an election, and mostly forgetting about it after that. Sens. Jeff Flake (R – AZ) and Tim Kaine (D – VA) are reviving the push for a AUMF vote.

Flake issued a statement saying it was “past time for Congress to voice its support for the war against ISIS.” Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker (R – TN) says last year was “not the right time,” but that he thinks conditions might be right now for the vote.

(antiwar.com)

I may not agree with these people politically but I am on their side with this attempt to protect our troops and the curb the waste of money in war.

We are always hearing some moron going on about a balanced budget…..you want that then stop spending all the cash on war…pretty goddamn simple!

My hat is off to these brave souls as they will be chastised and will probably lose this battle but at least it will put both actions on the record and bring a little more light to them.