In an action would be asinine and irresponsible at the very least and what I can only describe governmental malpractice at the very worst, the Democrats want to take back the 2002 war authorization that gave President Bush the authority to go to war against Saddam Hussein and his Baathists in Iraq:
Senate Democratic leaders intend to unveil a plan next week to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing the war in Iraq in favor of narrower authority that restricts the military’s role and begins withdrawals of combat troops.
Last week, the House approved a nonbinding resolution that criticized Bush’s decision to deploy an additional 21,500 troops, but the measure was blocked in the Senate by Republicans during a rare Saturday session. It is probable that Senate Democrats will encounter the same procedural roadblock in attempting to push through another resolution, in particular one with real teeth.
“I’ve had enough of ‘nonbinding,’ ” said Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who is helping to draft the new Democratic proposal. The 2002 war resolution, he said, is an obvious target.
“The authorization that we gave the president back in 2002 is completely, completely outdated, inappropriate to what we’re engaged in today,” he said.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) began calling for a reauthorization of the war early last month and raised it again last week, during a gathering in the office of Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). Participants included Kerry, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (Mich.), Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), Jack Reed (R.I.) and Russell Feingold (Wis.). Those Democratic senators have emerged as an unofficial war council representing the caucus’s wide range of views.
“We gave the president that power to destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and, if necessary, to depose Saddam Hussein,” Biden said of the 2002 resolution in a speech last week before the Brookings Institution. “The WMD was not there. Saddam Hussein is no longer there. The 2002 authorization is no longer relevant to the situation in Iraq.”
Biden and Levin are drafting language to present to their colleagues when the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday, following a week-long recess.
The new framework would set a goal for withdrawing combat brigades by March 31, 2008, the same timetable established by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. Once the combat phase ends, troops would be restricted to assisting Iraqis with training, border security and counterterrorism.
Neither the House nor the Senate has any business micromanaging this war. By picking a random date out of the air and then declaring that on that date all combat missions will over without any regard for the conditions on the ground is the height of governmental malpractice. They would be unconstitutionally usurping the president’s role as Commander in Chief by giving orders to the military themselves.
Additionally, it would send a devastating message to our allies. America would be seen as merely a fair weather friend. Here in the states we know that this action is being taken only by the politically motivated Democrats hoping to cash in and stoke the fires of fear in the American people, and a few, if any, renegade and irresponsible Republicans; however, the rest of the world won’t distinguish between political parties. Instead, they will see this action as being taken by America as a whole. They will get the message that we may claim to have their backs, but when push comes to shove and a conflict becomes too scary, or too dirty, or requires too much commitment, we as America, not the anti-war Democrats, will turn tail and run as quickly as possible in the other direction and find cover back home.
It’s disgraceful and dangerous what these Democrats want to do, and they must be stopped.