Can Congress End the War in Iraq?

"What Should Dems Do About Iraq?" is a question that the Media LOVES to ask. I like Charlie Rangel's retort:

“I never understand that question,” answered Charlie Rangel, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “You have a President that’s in deep shit. He got us into the war, and all the reasons he gave have been proven invalid, and the whole electorate was so pissed off that they got rid of anyone they could have, and then they ask, ‘What is the Democrats’ solution?’”

but what about the question? And more importantly, what CAN a Democratic Congress do? Marty Lederman says:

How about Congress "getting him the message," Senator Reid, by actually requiring him to act? I fully realize that deciding which course of action we should take in Iraq, and when, are extremely difficult questions. It may be that coming to a consensus on particular statutory langauge would be very difficult under the circumstances. And there may not be a consensus, even among congressional Democrats, about many particulars of the ISG Report. But to the extent the Democrats can agree amongst themselves on at least some of the ISG recommendations, and/or on other proposals, they ought to put those directives in a bill, and have both Houses of Congress pass it.

But would that, assuming it could become law over a Presidential veto, be a de facto UNdeclaration of war? Could Congress tell the President that he must withdraw from Iraq? What this leads to is really the most basic argument - the power of the purse, argued here by Dennis Kucinich:

There is only one way in which the United States will withdraw from Iraq, prior to the end of President Bush's term: Congress must vote to cut off funds.

Kucinich argues:

History and the law give a clear guide on how to end the war in Iraq.

In Campbell v. Clinton, a case in US District Court in 1999, twenty six members of Congress, including myself, sued President Clinton for continuing to prosecute the war against Serbia without a declaration of war. The Court ruled in favor of the Administration because it could find no constitutional impasse existed between the Legislative and the Executive branch requiring judicial intervention. Congress had appropriated funds for the war and therefore chose not to remove US forces.

Congress can debate and pass legislation for redeployment, phased redeployment, or an over the horizon presence. Congress can vote for a resolution to end the war and a resolution to bring the troops home. However, none of this will have any legal effect. Each appropriations approval was a vote to continue the Iraq war. . .

No funding of the DOD is the Kucinich proposal apparently. Let's fantasize for a moment and assumed that coukd possibly happen. Would that legally end the war? I don't see how. The President still commands the troops and he can not be told to bring them home can he? The Constitution, Article 1 Section 8, provides, in part:

The Congress shall have Power To . . . provide for the common Defence

. . .

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

. . .

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress . .

I dunno. I don't see it. While the idea of President as King during wartime is ludicrous, President as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces during wartime is what the Constitution says.

So what can a Democratic Congress do to end the Iraq War?

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    Palindromes... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 09:37:17 AM EST
    What's your plan? I would like to see it along with projected short, mid and long term results, along with costs, revenues and profits.

    Produce yours. Or Bush's if you can find his, if he ever had one. Maybe you can take a shot a defining "winning" one more time, while you're at it, since you'll find yourself with so much spare time trying to find Bush's plan. You do want to "win" don't you? Exactly what is it you that want to "win"?

    Produce your plan, since you brought up the subject.

    Failure to provide same tells me that you are not a serious person and really have little to add to the firm.

    Except transparent and lame attempts to avoid responsibility and shift blame.

    Nothing new here.


    At some point the American people will not countenance, and Congress will not support, a war that cannot be won. Just how many lives will be wasted in what we all know is a wasted effort is about the only question still left on the table.
    Maybes are not sufficient reason for Americans to continue to die.


    Why do you want Americans, and Iraqis, to continue to die, Jim?

    I believe the world's longest palindrome... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:48:20 PM EST
    ...is still:

    A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

    A palindrome being a word or sentence that reads the same backwards and forward, like "noon" or the famous

    "Madam, I'm Adam."

    Applicability here?


    Yep... it applies alright ;-) (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:55:15 PM EST
    Longer (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:59:20 PM EST
    A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again (or a camel), a crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal--Panama!

    No plan (3.00 / 2) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 08:16:43 AM EST
    Congress effectively ended our particaption in the Vietnam war, and millions died in the resulting blood bath.

    The world was different then, so little attention was paid. That has changed now and the Demos remain under the microscope of the Internet and a 24/7 media.

    So they will do nothing. Rangel knows that, just as he knows that since the Demos are demanding change it is up to them to spell out the change. That the media doesn't stick that question to him reflects their cooperation with the Demos as cheerleaders and water carriers.

    The truth is that all of the hue and cry by the Demos and probably 95% of the Left, was about nothing more than politics. A ruse to fool the voters into thinking that we have a choice about fighting this global war and that the Demos had a magic solution they would use if they were just elected.

    Now they have won the Congress and they are exposed as having nothing. They thought to hang their hats on the ISG, a surrender docuement by old unelected men and women who are evidently senile. I say senile because only senile people with their experience could think that the cold war strategies can work with an enemy that doesn't worry about millions of their people dying and so doesn't worry about MAD and who therefore will not negoitate in any way except to buy time when they need it. "Good faith" means nothing to people who deny the Holocaust happened and regularly call for killing millions of Jews by destroying Israel.

    Fortunately it appears that Bush has regained his sanity and the ISG report is apparently DOA.

    In the meantime, the MSM is having hissy fits and the Demos are being exposed for what they have done.

    That their actions have undoubtedly prolonged the war and are part of the problem will slowly and surely dawn on the American voter, just as it did in 1980.

    In the meantime I ask the attendees on this blog the same question I used to ask the chronic complainers who reported to me before I became a ROF.

    What's your plan? I would like to see it along with projected short, mid and long term results, along with costs, revenues and profits. Failure to provide same tells me that you are not a serious person and really have little to add to the firm.

    You inanity is growing (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 11:44:00 AM EST
    The WEST, specifically the French, whom we fully supported, initiated a genocidal starvation against the Vietnamese people.  Only the most intellectually vacant or dishonest or incompetent would have expected our Vietnam war to produce anything but disgrace and defeat.

    At what point, Jim, do you engage in ANY honest self-criticism?

    When do you ever point the finger at yourself, take a look in the mirror, pull the log out of your own eye.  I swear, man, your sh*t must smell like roses.

    Your dishonest and vindictive labeling of people now is no different than the abuse and garbage aimed at those of us who pegged this as a disaster before we went in.  Those of us how got out and marched, protested, actually engaged in freedom, while your ilk were marching in lockstep with an idiocy so obvious it STILL boggles the mind.  Your childish dismissal of those same people, who have been proven correct, is astonishing in its raw stupidity.

    As in Vietnam, we have irreparably f*cked up the situation.  And when you do that, you get NO measure of satisfaction in any kind of pleasant ending.  You get no resolution.  You get only the awful results of your willful f*ckup.  We have consigned the region to chaos and death.  Hanging around becuase we sociopathically believe we can make it better, when all we do is make if worse every day, well, I can't even address such empty-headeness.  

    If you care so much about innocent people dying, you never should've started a war so wrong and misguided and botched and uneccessary that it appears the product of profound mental retardation.

    You are like a person shooting himself in the foot over and over, who thinks that a few more shots will return to him the ability to walk.

    It's never coming back.  That's what happens when you make unfathomably ill-adivsed and unbearably dumb mistakes that result in death and destruction you can't even imagine.

    Wake up, it's time.  All those people you claim to care about don't want an ounce of you "help".
    Or do you simply ignore and consider not worth your attention the opinion of the vast, vast, vast majority of Iraqis who want us out.

    You care about pride.  That's all we're in this for at this point.  Stupid, blind, arrogant pride.

    Accept that life is really hard, Jim, and that some things (like willful murder) cannot be undone or made better by the murderer trying harder.



    Dadler - You (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:22:25 PM EST
    have no idea as to what "those people" want, so quit claiming they do.

    But if I give you that some Iraqis want us out, so what? The issue is the global war with the radicals.

    And quit excusing the fact that our withdrawal cost millions of lives after North Vietnam took over. That is a historical fact.

    I guess you also don't believe in the Holocaust..

    You and David Duke. What strange bedfellows the Left now find themselves laying with.

    BTW - Saying we shouldn't have done something is not a plan.


    Don't Worry Jim (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:59:38 PM EST
    As I have pointed out time and again, you will see no difference now than you did before. The American People realized Iraq was a scam and want our troops home. But there are more powerful interests being represented in D.C., and your glorious, pointless bloodbath will continue unabated for several more years. Enjoy.

    The Republican Party must be shrinking by the day (none / 0) (#12)
    by aw on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:00:14 PM EST
    the Demos are demanding change

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Less than one in four Americans approves of President George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq war, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday that mirrored other recent surveys.

    The poll found only 23 percent backed Bush's Iraq strategy, an 11-point drop since the previous NBC/Journal poll in late October and Bush's lowest mark on the question in this survey, NBC reported.


    So what? (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:24:30 PM EST
    We do not have a parliment, and the government doesn't change with a vote of no confidence.

    There are flights to England everyday...

    BTW - Besides complaining, what is your plan????
    None? OK. I understand.


    The Plan (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:13:38 PM EST
    "I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these [Third World] nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own.... And if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the "haves" refuse to share with the "have-nots" by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don't want and above all don't want crammed down their throats by Americans."

    General David Shoup, former US Marine Commandant,1966

    BTW Jim, there are flights to Bagdhad ever day, too.


    Central America is not the Middle East (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 08:04:51 AM EST

    Unlike you I'm happy here. And I understand that we have a constitutional republic, not a parlimentary government, so I understand that polls mean absolutely nothing. So I don't get my jockeys in a wad when no one in charge pays a lot of attention to them

    I have no idea if this Leftie who became a general, or this general who became a general is alive today.
    But 1966 was 40 years ago. I wonder if he would recognize that things have changed in 40 years?

    Or would he, like the Left is now doing, decide that the problem is the Jews, Israel and the US.


    My plan (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by aw on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 02:00:40 PM EST
    is leave now.

    And by the way (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by aw on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 02:02:51 PM EST
    how do you explain how it isn't just the "demos" who want out?  

    You are in the minority. You.  Not us.


    Stand and Deliver! (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 08:13:21 AM EST
    aw - In case you missed my educational notes to Ernesto, we don't have a parliment...

    We have regularly scheduled elections...

    The Demos just a majority in Congress.

    As leaders and chief complainers they need to come up with a plan besides cut and run.

    Now, faced with the truth of the situation, they run and hide.

    "Stand and deliver!" I say.


    the incredibly shrinking minority ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Sailor on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 05:28:44 PM EST
    ... are well represented by the shrillness of ppj shouting over and over 'but ve must take over za vorld!'

    vietnam was started on a lie (ppj just loves dominoes ... and torture), iraq was started on a lie (tell us exactly where them WMDs were!?), and yet these shrill lovers of blood will constantly call for a 'stay and kill more sons and daughters of America' rather than admit they lied.


    sailor - define torture (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 08:22:25 AM EST
    Oh, I know. It is capturing terrorist and putting them in prison!!!!!!!! The nerve of us.

    Now, shall we argue about why a war was started 50 plus years ago, or why a Demo President expanded our particaption in it 44 years ago?? And why another Demo jumped in with both feet??

    That doesn't matter. What does matter is that after we cut and run millions died in Vietnam and SE Asia.

    Simple question. Are you proud of the fact that our running killed so many?

    Now let's look at the war on terror, and the current major battle, Iraq.

    Do you have a plan besides cut and run. And if that is your plan, will you accept responsibility for the millions who will die in the ME, and the deaths to follow in the rest of the world??


    edger wants to cut and run. (1.00 / 2) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 10:27:31 AM EST
    Surrender. Cut and run and leave the country in a horrible mess and tell the radical Moslems all over the world that we will not fight and they can do whatever they want.

    Didn't you work for Chamberlain?? Peace in our time and all that??

    So let's see. With your plan you have low up front costs (military dollar expenditures), mid term costs increasing at a rapid pace and long term costs out of sight with no end in sight.

    Revenues (national safety) are flat up front and falling with no end in site for the long term.

    Number of military deaths are low up front but for the mid and long term they soar, along with US civilian deaths.

    Thanks for the presentation, edger. Call HR for your exit interview.

    WHY? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 10:29:57 AM EST
    Why do you want Americans, and Iraqis, to continue to die, Jim?

    I would fall off my exercise ball (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by aw on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 11:21:16 AM EST
    if he ever answered that, Edger.

    I think (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 11:24:41 AM EST
    He just doesn't know why.

    He just does.


    edger - Grow up (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:27:49 PM EST
    and try to debate rather than ask trolling questions.

    ditto aw

    Can either of you articulate a plan?

    No? Too busy hating Bush to accomplish anything, eh??


    What's YOUR plan Jim? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    I, and others, want withdrawal from Iraq. Yesterday, if not sooner.

    What's YOUR plan Jim?

    Why do you want Americans, and Iraqis, to continue to die, Jim?


    Why???? (1.00 / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 04:21:45 PM EST
    edger and aw - Why do you pretend to be concerned about American citizens "rights" yet unconcerned about Ameican citizens losing their jobs, and all that follows with that?

    Could it be that you don't really care about neither, that's just the latest position of the Left??

    What will you do when Stalin cuts a deal with Hitler?

    Oh darn it. There I go citing history again.


    Unconcerned? Is that it? Or just like it? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 04:38:09 PM EST
    speaking of trolling (none / 0) (#36)
    by Sailor on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 05:38:19 PM EST
    and try to debate rather than ask trolling questions.
    Has anyone seen this shrill one actually debate and not just erect strawmen and make personal attacks?

    Sheesh, give it up! ppj isn't here to debate, he's here to obfuscate.


    Demos - No solution. (1.00 / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 10:05:51 AM EST
    Here to debate?

    Well I try. But all I see is complaints about things with no solutions offerred.

    Remember, as we can now see plainly, electing Demos is not a solution.


    Responsibility. (1.00 / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 10:03:53 AM EST
    edger - I understand you want to cut and run.

    You just wrote that.

    Now, are you also willing to accept responsibility for your plan's results??

    Now, my plan??? I'm not the one complaining.


    Options (none / 0) (#1)
    by joejoejoe on Wed Dec 13, 2006 at 11:03:54 PM EST
    I think Congress could find that Iraq is in a civil war and revisit the AUMF and Iraq War resolution to restrict the President's authority with a new resolution.

    As for funding I think some of these questions about Congress and the Executive and foreign policy funding were examined during Iran-Contra with regards to the Boland Amendment stopping US funding of military action in Nicaragua. Maybe the current Congress could add an amendment to funding that prevented US troops from engaging in policing and security operations in Iraq's civil war and specify the terms of funding - counterterrorism ops against foreign fighters and border and infrastructure securty at the request of the Iraqi government.

    I don't think the Republicans will stick by the President if Cheney's 'pick sides in a civil war' is the real way forward. We're 5 years past 9/11 and the President is pushing an alliance with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq to fight Islamofascism. It's madness. I say attach a narrowing amendment like the Boland amendment to modest but sufficient funding for another few months operation in Iraq - then impeach the SOB when he violates the terms of the new law. You need 2/3 of Congress to pass an amendment like this. At the rate Bush is going you could have 2/3 of Congress in favor of a limiting amendment in 3 months.

    Yes, but.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 13, 2006 at 11:34:05 PM EST
    I am sure that they have learned their mistakes they made in Iran-Contra and are now flush with untraceabe slush fund from corporate kick-backs to   money spent on trading in contraband.

    Longtime? (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:29:39 PM EST
    JoeJoe - The conflict between the west and the "isms" lasted for approximately 60 years.

    And you think 5 years is a long time.


    Demoratic Party supports the war (none / 0) (#3)
    by Andreas on Wed Dec 13, 2006 at 11:59:13 PM EST
    The Democratic Party has no intention to end the war.

    The unanimous vote by the US Senate on Friday [at the end of September 2006] to approve the Bush administration's request for an additional $70 billion to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrates a basic truth of American politics: the Democratic Party, no less than the Republicans, is a party of imperialist militarism and war.

    Not a single senator of either party missed the opportunity to demonstrate his or her support for the bloody interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia. This vote rips asunder the miserable attempts of a section of the Democratic Party to posture as "critics" of the Iraq war. It demonstrates that behind the quibbling over tactics and complaints about the incompetence of the Bush administration's conduct of the war, the Democrats remain committed to violently suppressing the resistance of the Iraqi people to the US occupation and Washington's drive to seize the country's oil resources.

    The vote shows that a Democratic victory in the November mid-term elections will in no way alter the basic course of US foreign policy--whether in Iraq or Afghanistan, or other countries targeted for future aggression such as Iran and Syria.

    US Senate votes 100-0 for $70 billion more in war spending
    By the Editorial Board of the WSWS, 30 September 2006

    TRUE (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:53:11 AM EST
    The could stop funding this fiasco anytime...but they won't because AIPAC et al won't let them. This war has been brough to us by the two politcal parties being two sides of the same coin.

    Onward Christian soldiers, watch them die and watch the treasury go dry.


    HAHA (none / 0) (#18)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 12:57:57 PM EST
    It's the Joooooos!

    Ernesto, sometimes I forget that there are people like you out there. Thank you for reminding me.

    With regard to stoping the war, Congress can do it anytime it pleases simply be refusing to pay for it. Of course, then it would be excoriated by the media, the public, and the Bush Administration for leaving our troops hanging out to dry (or die as the case may be).


    Don't worry Gabe (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:03:31 PM EST
    There may be a lot of people like me, but they don't have a chance of stopping this disaster. You will see the U.S. government continue to bow down, roll over and send its lower class Christian kids to die for the Apartheid State of Israel for many more years. Enjoy.

    Ernesto (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 04:15:10 PM EST
    - Let me second Gabe's comments. Thanks for being you and not hiding it.

    And please... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:07:11 PM EST
    Tell us again how Israel's interests and lobbying had nothing whatsoever to do with us invading Iraq or threatening Syria and Iran. We're listening...

    And wait I forgot... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 01:21:06 PM EST
    I'm a neo-Nazi for pointing out the elephant in the room. Woops. My bad.

    The Jews??? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 04:46:26 PM EST

    AIPAC hardly represents "the joooos" interests. Just like al-qaida does not represent the moslem interest.

    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt hit the nail on the head when they pointed out that anytime anyone criticizes AIPAC, reactionaries try to shut down the discussion claiming anti-semitism as your comment duly proves.


    Has anyone else noticed ... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Sailor on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 05:51:49 PM EST
    ... that the religious makeup of Americans is 1% Jews and 1% Muslims?

    985?? (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 09:56:07 AM EST
    Actually I haven't..

    And what happened to the other 98%?


    Apparently NO ONE has a plan... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 02:02:23 PM EST
    ...not even bush, who SHOULD have had this all planned out before starting a war we cannot win.

    bush is traipsing around seeking everyone's "suggestions" that will be promptly put aside, but that will allow him to say, "I listened to all those people and they got it wrong."

    The sheer arrogance of bush, and his disrespect for the rule of law and our constitution simply defies credulity or description.

    Get ready for another 3,000-4,000 dead soldiers, 20-30 thousand more wounded, hundreds of thousands of more Iraqi casualties, and THEN the inevitable withdrawal in ignominious defeat.

    bush is the most destructive and brutal world leader there is right now and for the foreseeable future.

    And China will STILL end up buying all the world's available oil while America goes the way of the old Soviet Union.

    What is your plan (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 09:46:56 AM EST
    Okay, let's not argue about whether or not Bush had a plan. If he did, we are where we are at. If he did not, we are where we are at.

    Let's just look at the Demos and the Left complaints and note that the only plan they have stated is to cut and run.


    Is "cut and run" your plan?

    If it is, are you willing to accpt responsibiliy for all the deaths that will occur after we leave?

    If it is not, what is your plan?

    Remember. Complaining about what someone else has done is not a plan to correct the problem.


    Congress and Iraq (none / 0) (#30)
    by diogenes on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 02:47:10 PM EST
    Aren't US troops still in Bosnia preventing a civil war?  There's no rush to pull them out.

    If the Democrats unilaterally pull out of Iraq, then they'll get all the blame for the resulting mess.  Go for it!