I received this email from Representative Dennis Kucinich (D – Ohio). The contents of Kucinich’s message (below) spell out clearly why a rush to judgment – when it comes to whether or not we go to war, or stay in one – can have dire consequences. The Bush Administration used whatever tactics were necessary to rush this country into war on two fronts. They had no plan, no strategy, and, in the case of Afghanistan, did not finish the job there before getting us involved with Iraq. Now, nearly a decade later, we are still trying to resolve the mess created by those reckless decisions of the previous Administration.
Rather than repeating the same mistakes, Obama is taking time to make an informed decision regarding Afghanistan by discussing possible solutions with everyone involved including the commanders in the field. He will, after hearing from all sides, make a decision, and probably a tough one; this is the President’s job – to make the hard choices.
Obama’s approach is more intelligent than Bush’s hectic utilization of troops and treasure. But those with vested interests in continuing this war, at the expense of the lives of American soldiers and of our economy, want to steer public opinion away from a President who thinks things through.
Let’s give President Obama a chance to get this country out of this mess. For the sake of our soldiers, and all future soldiers, let’s all practice some patience and give Obama this time to make, God willing, the right choices.
OCTOBER 2002 – IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION REVISITED
"The Condition of
Download, print and circulate the petition among friends and neighbors.
Seven years ago this week the House of Representatives debated the Iraq War Resolution which was presented by President Bush. I made the case for NOT going to war. I analyzed the Bush war resolution, paragraph by paragraph, and pointed out "Key Issues" which argued against Congress voting to go to war. I distributed the attached analysis, personally, to over 200 members of Congress from October 2, 2002 until October 10, 2002 when the vote occurred.
When you hear people say: "If only we had known then what we know now," remember, some did know of the false case for war against Iraq. And since so many know now that we should not have gone to war against Iraq, then why are we still there?
Please read this analysis and let me know what you think.
P.S. – The "Whereas" clauses were verbatim from the 2003 Bush Iraq War Resolution. The "Key Issue" represented my commentary.
Analysis of Joint Resolution on Iraq
by Dennis J. Kucinich
October 2, 2002
Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq’s war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;
KEY ISSUE: In the Persian Gulf War there was an international coalition. World support was for protecting Kuwait. There is no world support for invading Iraq.
Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;
Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;
KEY ISSUE: UN inspection teams identified and destroyed nearly all such weapons. A lead inspector, Scott Ritter, said that he believes that nearly all other weapons not found were destroyed in the Gulf War. Furthermore, according to a published report in the Washington Post, the Central Intelligence Agency has no up to date accurate report on Iraq’s WMD capabilities.
Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;
KEY ISSUE: Iraqi deceptions always failed. The inspectors always figured out what Iraq was doing. It was the United States that withdrew from the inspections in 1998. And the United States then launched a cruise missile attack against Iraq 48 hours after the inspectors left. In advance of a military strike, the US continues to thwart (the Administration’s word) weapons inspections.
Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in "material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235);
Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;
KEY ISSUE: There is no proof that Iraq represents an imminent or immediate threat to the United States. A "continuing" threat does not constitute a sufficient cause for war. The Administration has refused to provide the Congress with credible intelligence that proves that Iraq is a serious threat to the United States and is continuing to possess and develop chemical and biological and nuclear weapons. Furthermore there is no credible intelligence connecting Iraq to Al Qaida and 9/11.
Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;
KEY ISSUE: This language is so broad that it would allow the President to order an attack against Iraq even when there is no material threat to the United States. Since this resolution authorizes the use of force for all Iraq related violations of the UN Security Council directives, and since the resolution cites Iraq’s imprisonment of non-Iraqi prisoners, this resolution would authorize the President to attack Iraq in order to liberate Kuwaiti citizens who may or may not be in Iraqi prisons, even if Iraq met compliance with all requests to destroy any weapons of mass destruction. Though in 2002 at the Arab Summit, Iraq and Kuwait agreed to bilateral negotiations to work out all claims relating to stolen property and prisoners of war. This use-of-force resolution enables the President to commit US troops to recover Kuwaiti property.
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;
KEY ISSUE: The Iraqi regime has never attacked nor does it have the capability to attack the United States. The "no fly" zone was not the result of a UN Security Council directive. It was illegally imposed by the United States, Great Britain and France and is not specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
KEY ISSUE: There is no credible intelligence that connects Iraq to the events of 9/11 or to participation in those events by assisting Al Qaida.
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;
KEY ISSUE: Any connection between Iraq support of terrorist groups in the Middle East, is an argument for focusing great resources on resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not sufficient reason for the US to launch a unilateral preemptive strike against Iraq.
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;
KEY ISSUE: There is no connection between Iraq and the events of 9/11.
Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;
KEY ISSUE: There is no credible evidence that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. If Iraq has successfully concealed the production of such weapons since 1998, there is no credible evidence that Iraq has the capability to reach the United States with such weapons. In the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq had a demonstrated capability of biological and chemical weapons, but did not have the willingness to use them against the United States Armed Forces. Congress has not been provided with any credible information, which proves that Iraq has provided international terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;
KEY ISSUE: The UN Charter forbids all member nations, including the United States, from unilaterally enforcing UN resolutions.
Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677";
KEY ISSUE: The UN Charter forbids all member nations, including the United States, from unilaterally enforcing UN resolutions with military force.
Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1)," that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and "constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region," and that Congress, "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688";
KEY ISSUE: This clause demonstrates the proper chronology of the international process, and contrasts the current march to war. In 1991, the UN Security Council passed a resolution asking for enforcement of its resolution. Member countries authorized their troops to participate in a UN-led coalition to enforce the UN resolutions. Now the President is asking Congress to authorize a unilateral first strike before the UN Security Council has asked its member states to enforce UN resolutions.
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
KEY ISSUE: This "Sense of Congress" resolution was not binding. Furthermore, while Congress supported democratic means of removing Saddam Hussein it clearly did not endorse the use of force contemplated in this resolution, nor did it endorse assassination as a policy.