Categorized | National, Opinion, Politics

Congress: End Endless War

 

Stop Becoming the “Evil That We Deplore”

 

By Norman Solomon
Humboldt Sentinel Guest Post

 

Congress waited six years to repeal the Tonkin Gulf Resolution after it opened the bloody floodgates for the Vietnam War in August 1964.

If that seems slow, consider the continuing failure of Congress to repeal the “war on terror” resolution — the Authorization for Use of Military Force — that sailed through, with just one dissenting vote, three days after 9/11.

barbara leePrior to casting the only “no” vote, Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke on the House floor.  “As we act,” she said, “let us not become the evil that we deplore.”

We have.  That’s why, more than 11 years later, Lee’s prophetic one-minute speech is so painful to watch.  The “war on terror” has inflicted carnage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere as a matter of routine.  Targets change, but the assumed prerogative to kill with impunity remains.

Now, Rep. Lee has introduced H.R. 198, a measure to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force.  (This week, several thousand people have already used a RootsAction.org special webpage to email their Senators and House members about repealing that “authorization” for endless war.)

end war1Opposed to repeal, the Obama administration is pleased to keep claiming that the 137-month-old resolution justifies everything from on-the-ground troops in combat to drone strikes and kill lists to flagrant abrogation of civil liberties.

A steep uphill incline faces efforts to repeal the resolution that issued a blank political check for war in the early fall of 2001.  Struggling to revoke it is a valuable undertaking.  Yet even repeal would be unlikely to end the “war on terror.”

At the start of 1971, President Nixon felt compelled to sign a bill that included repeal of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.  By then, he had shifted his ostensible authority for continuing the war on Vietnam — asserting his prerogative as commander in chief.  Leaders of the warfare state never lack for rationales when they want to keep making war.

shootersIn retrospect, the U.S. “war on terror” has turned out to be even more tenacious than the U.S. war that took several million lives in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Some key similarities resonate with current circumstances.  Year after year, in Congress, support for the Vietnam War was bipartisan.  Presidents Johnson and Nixon preached against unauthorized violence in America’s cities while inflicting massive violence in Southeast Asia.  Both presidents were fond
of proclaiming fervent wishes for peace.

end warBut unlike the horrific war in Southeast Asia, the ongoing and open-ended “war on terror” is not confined by geography or, apparently, by calendar.  The search for enemies to smite (and create) is availing itself of a bottomless pit, while bottom-feeding military contractors keep making a killing.

Beyond the worthy goal of repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force is a need for Congress to cut off appropriations for the “war on terror.”  A prerequisite: repudiating the lethal mythology of righteous war unbounded by national borders or conceivable duration.

What may be even more difficult to rescind is the chronic
disconnect between lofty oratory and policies digging the
country deeper into endless war.

end war3“We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war,” President Obama said in his 2013 inaugural address, after four years of doing more than any other president in U.S. history to normalize perpetual war as a bipartisan enterprise.

Repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force will be very hard.  Revoking the power to combine lovely rhetoric with pernicious militarism will be even more difficult.

______________________________

end war cartoonNorman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.  His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”  He writes the Political Culture 2013 column.

This article originally appeared in Humboldt Organized for Peace and Environment (HOPE).

 

(Images by the Humboldt Sentinel.  Posted by Skippy Massey)

One Response to “Congress: End Endless War”

  1. Cynde Delaina says:

    If you could e mail me with a few tips on how you made your blog look this good, I would be grateful.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Establishment think tank blows its own cover
    Progressive Review - The Center for Strategic and International Studies responded to an Amnesty International Twitter with this comment, “Your work has saved far fewer lives than American intervention. So suck it.”This tweet, which CSIS later removed and apologized for, magnificently sums up the perverted nature of not only the organization but of the establ […]
  • Do it yourself contraception in England
    Huffington Post, UK - According to the survey of 1,500 British women aged 25-34 by Bayer Healthcare, some people are using cling film, sandwich bags and latex gloves as contraception instead of condoms or other methods. […]
  • The truth about trade agreements
    Pubic Citizen, December 2013 - On the eve of the North American Free Trade Agreement’s 20th anniversary, a new Public Citizen report shows that not only did promises made by proponents not materialize, but many results are exact ly the opposite. Such outcomes include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada, one mill […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    You don't need a conspiracy to lie, do something illegal or to be stupid. - Sam Smith […]
  • Word
    The whole purpose of government is to see that the little fellow who has no special interest gets a fair deal - Harry S Truman […]
  • More than a third of adults haven't started saving for retirement
    Christian Science Monitor -   More than a third of US adults haven't started saving for retirement, according to a recent survey from Bankrate. Retirement saving is a low priority for many Americans as the cost of living rises and more families live paycheck to paycheck. According to a national survey by Bankrate.com, 36 percent of US adults say they ha […]
  • 100,000 elephants killed in Africa
    Associated Press […]
  • July fourth hottest on record
    Last month, Earth’s ocean surfaces tied the previous record for the hottest July during the 130 years the U.S. government has been compiling data. […]
  • The rise of cargo bikes
    Parcel-delivery company UPS is testing its Cargo Cruiser e-bike in a few European cities. (UPS)BBC - In Portland, Oregon, entrepreneur Franklin Jones has embraced the future of urban transport. Never mind that the future closely resembles early 20th-Century Britain. Jones, the owner of B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, uses the same technology relied on by […]
  • Who's pro-choice?
    NARAL […]
  • Word: Dan Moldea on the JFK assasination
    From an interview with  Dan Moldea, author of Confessions of a Guerrilla Writer and a leading journalistic expert on organized crime. If you're looking for an alternative view of the JFK murder, this is probably the most logical oneAvery Kleinman, POGO:  You famously concluded that Jimmy Hoffa in a conspiracy with known mobsters was behind JFK's as […]
  • Ferguson and suburban degentrification
    Sam Smith - Sometimes, as a journalist, one gets so involved in a specific story that even you forget about some of very context for it that you have written about in the past. So it was only yesterday that I suddenly realized that the Ferguson story was actually a manifestation of something I had written about for at least 15 years. I didn’t have a name for […]
  • Global links
    NEWS Foreign affairs Stats Bilderberg Minutes of the Wannsee conference Olympics COUNTRIES Afghanistan Africa Australia Balkans Britain China Europe Haiti Ukraine Venezuela MID EAST Time to stop being afraid of Israel Hidden reason Israel wants Gaza under its control The case for the Iraq war told entirely in official lies Preserving a Jewish state or a Jewi […]
  • Infrequently asked questions
    If it was okay for Michael Brown to be killed by a police officer because he had marijuana in his system, doesn't that put George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at high risk? […]
  • Studies find corporate desertion of America doesn't work for stockholders
    Reuters - Establishing a tax domicile abroad to avoid U.S. taxes is a hot strategy in corporate America, but many companies that have done such "inversion" deals have failed to produce above-average returns for investors, a Reuters analysis has found.Looking back three decades at 52 completed transactions, the review showed 19 of the companies have […]