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

  • Word
    GOD'S PHOTOS […]
  • What war with Iran might cost
    Juan Cole -  Sen. John McCain and others on the American right are in favor of dropping those pesky negotiations with Iran and just bombing their nuclear enrichment sites. Doing so, however, would only set them back a year or so, and would certainly put Iran on a war footing with the USA. Those who think such bombing runs would be the end of the story, howev […]
  • Indiana shut down its Rural Planned Parenthood clinics and got an HIV outbreak
    Huffington Post - Scott County, Indiana, the center of an exploding HIV outbreak, has been without an HIV testing center since early 2013, when the sole provider -- a Planned Parenthood clinic -- was forced to close its doors. The clinic did not offer abortion services.The Scott County clinic and four other Planned Parenthood facilities in the state, all of […]
  • Furthermore
    "Blackwater: Still the Top Pentagon Contractor for Afghanistan TrainingBattle against corporate control of public education grows Obama supports reduction in military retirement pay  […]
  • Things you can't do in Indiana even if you're not gay
    Have you ever had contact with a woman during her period of menstrual uncleanliness,? It is outlawed by the Bible? […]
  • Jazz break
     Ben Webster plays "Perdido"  […]
  • Word
    POLITICIANS' SYLLOGISM Step One: We must do something Step Two: This is something Step Three: Therefore we must do it -- Jonathan Lynn & Antony Jay in "Yes, Minister" […]
  • US troops to train neo-Nazis in Ukraine
    Firedog Lake - Though sending US troops into Ukraine was already controversial, a report by the Associated Press shows a bad situation is getting worse. According to the AP the US forces being sent into Ukraine will be training Neo-Nazi militants who have already been accused of war crimes.Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has publicly stated that amo […]
  • Supreme Court: GPS tracker is government search covered by 4tgh Amendment
    Atlantic - If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment.The Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that law on Monday, when it ruled on Torrey Dale Grady v. North Carolina, before sending the case back to that state’s high court. The Court’s shor […]
  • MSNBC takes another hit
    Variety - Fox News remained the dominant news network, especially in primetime, while CNN solidified its standing as the No. 2 newsie and closed the demo gap some with FNC on a total-day basis. According to Nielsen “most current” estimates for the Dec. 29, 2014-March 29, 2015 quarter, Fox News cruised to a primetime victory in the key news demo of adults 25- […]
  • Things you can appaently still do in Indiana
    Exodus tells us to kill those who work on Sunday. […]
  • IRS not answering 60% of taxpayers' calls
    Washington Times - IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said  that service at his agency has gotten so bad that they are ignoring more than 60 percent of taxpayers’ phone calls during this tax season.Speaking at the National Press Club, Mr. Koskinen pleaded with more money, saying a budget boost would help them staff their overwhelmed customer service lines. He al […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    Harpers  Percentage of Americans who believe that vaccines are safe and effective: 53... Who believe that houses can be haunted by ghosts: 54Where GOP candidates stand on Indiana Four journalists arrested during last summer’s protests over the Ferguson shooting death of Michael Brown are suing St Louis County’s police department for civil rights violations a […]
  • Department of oops
    Reuters - U.S. cable T.V. operator Cablevision Systems Corp  is planning to make an offer for the New York Daily News as early as this week, valuing the troubled tabloid at just $1, according to a person familiar with the matter.The offer would come one month after New York media and real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman said he was considering selling the […]
  • The People's Party on Iran
    Washington Post - Overall, [our] poll finds 59 percent support an agreement in which the United States and its negotiating partners lift major economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. Thirty-one percent oppose a deal. […]