Just Foreign Policy & CREDO Action / Working Assets & William Boardman / Reader Supported News – 2014-06-14 01:27:36
ACTION ALERT: No New US War in Iraq
Robert Naiman and Megan Iorio / Just Foreign Policy
WASHINGTON (June 13, 2014) — Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have called for direct US military action in Iraq following the failure of the Iraqi Army to defend Mosul against Sunni insurgents. These calls, amplified in the media, are putting pressure on the Obama Administration for direct US military intervention in Iraq, including airstrikes.
Act now! Sign our petition at MoveOn telling President Obama and Congress NO to a new US war in Iraq.
Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin has correctly called for caution. Levin said: “It’s unclear how air strikes on our part can succeed unless the Iraqi army is willing to fight, and that’s uncertain given the fact that several Iraqi army divisions have melted away.” As the New York Times has written, “The United States simply cannot be sucked into another round of war in Iraq.”
The US war in Iraq ended in 2011 with the withdrawal of our troops, and the last thing we need is a new US war in Iraq. President Obama has been right to say that the Iraqi government must be responsible for security in Iraq.
To avoid another rush to war, Members of Congress must insist that an explicit Congressional authorization of force precede any direct US military action in Iraq, including airstrikes. This is how we stopped the US bombing of Syria: by getting Members of Congress to insist that President Obama come to Congress for authorization before any US bombing.
Sign and share our petition now. When you sign our petition, it will be automatically delivered to President Obama and Congress.
Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have called for direct US military action in Iraq in the wake of the failure of the Iraqi Army to defend Mosul against Sunni insurgents.
But Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin has correctly called for caution. Levin said: “It’s unclear how air strikes on our part can succeed unless the Iraqi army is willing to fight, and that’s uncertain given the fact that several Iraqi army divisions have melted away.” As the New York Times has written, “The United States simply cannot be sucked into another round of war in Iraq.”
The US war in Iraq ended in 2011 with the withdrawal of our troops, and we don’t need a new US war in Iraq. President Obama is right that the Iraqi government must be responsible for security in Iraq.
To avoid another rush to war, Members of Congress must insist that an explicit Congressional authorization of force precede any direct US military action in Iraq, including airstrikes.
President Obama was right to say that the Iraqi government must be responsible for security in Iraq. President Obama should resist calls for direct US military action in Iraq, including airstrikes. Members of Congress must insist that before any direct US military action in Iraq, including airstrikes, there must be explicit Congressional authorization.
Thanks for all you do to help prevent more war.
ACTION: Don’t Bomb Iraq
Becky Bond, Political Director / CREDO Action from Working Assets
Insurgents in Iraq have taken Mosul, the country’s second largest city, and they are making their way to Baghdad. Events are unfolding so rapidly in Iraq that this email may be out of date before you read it.
One thing won’t change. It was George W. Bush who lost the war in Iraq. But President Obama could turn this needless and bloody catastrophe into his own legacy if he decides to bomb Iraq.
It was George W. Bush who lost the war in Iraq. But President Obama could turn this needless and bloody catastrophe into his own legacy if he decides to bomb Iraq. President Obama is now faced with a decision: Does he double down on Bush’s catastrophic decision 12 years ago to invade Iraq, one of the most foolish and costly decisions by a president in recent decades in terms of American blood and treasury? Or does he do what he promised as a candidate for president in 2008, and finally end the American occupation of Iraq? Please join me in telling President Obama that it’s time to end American intervention in Iraq.
President Obama is now faced with a decision: Does he double down on Bush’s catastrophic decision 12 years ago to invade Iraq, one of the most foolish and costly decisions by a president in recent decades in terms of American blood and treasure? Or does he do what he promised as a candidate for president in 2008, and finally end the American occupation of Iraq?
For the last 12 years, Iraq has been Bush and Cheney’s war. But if the president takes ownership of George W. Bush’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq by launching a new round of bombing strikes, Iraq will become Barack Obama’s war.
CREDO opposed the war before it began back in 2002. In advance of the invasion, our members raised over $150,000 to fight back against the Bush administration and war mongers in Congress. And today we’re still fighting to revoke the blank check for war — the Authorization for Use of Military Force — that gives the president the ability to effectively wage war in Iraq without Congressional approval.
It was as clear back in 2002 before the unilateral invasion of Iraq as it is now — that Americans can’t stop Iraq from sliding into civil war and religious sectarianism without occupying the country indefinitely. Americans elected Barack Obama in 2008 in no small part because of his principled opposition to the occupation of Iraq. Unless President Obama wants to go down in history as doubling down on George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion, he must oppose further US military intervention, including the bombing of Iraq.
With your help, we stopped the president from starting a war with Syria with our opposition to his plan unilaterally bomb the country. It was because of massive pushback from the grassroots — millions of petition signatures and tens of thousands of calls to Congress — that we were able to defeat the hawks in Congress and the White House and stop the rush to war.
It was a catastrophic mistake and tremendous moral failure to invade Iraq in the first place. If there is one thing we’ve proved in our disastrous 12 years of invasion and occupation it is that US military intervention cannot create the space for the political solution that is necessary for a safe and secure future for Iraq.
While what is happening in Iraq is tragic, there is no plausible scenario in which further US military intervention magically creates a stable democracy in with protections for human rights, religious freedom, self-governance and equal rights for women and girls.
Another War in Iraq! Just What the US Needs!
William Boardman / Reader Supported News
(June 13, 2014) — By the time you read this, America’s next undeclared war in Iraq may already be under way.
Imperial militarists started floating trial balloons for the next American aggression as of June 11 in the Wall Street Journal, quoting “a senior US official who added that no decisions have been made.”
Those seemingly reassuring words from one or another anonymous official may have meant only that the decision had not yet been made whether to use drones, planes, or missiles to start bombing Iraq again.
Militarily, any such bombing is likely to be pointless. Psychologically, it will allow the White House to claim that blowing things up proves that the president is “strong,” while senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain lead the chorus of “Masters of War” while calling for more. But expending lots of ordnance will at least have the usual economic benefit of allowing the Pentagon to order more WMDs to expend on more international debacles. We’ve seen this movie before.
Given the American popular response to last year’s plans to bomb Syria, there’s a pretty good chance that the militaristic trial balloons over Iraq will fall flat.
The Iraqi army has already fallen flat. Why should the United States get re-involved in the disaster that Bush administration lies set in motion in 2002?
The American-trained Iraqi army and police had some 65,000 soldiers and police on the ground in Mosul. Rebels attacked on June 10 with a force of maybe 3,000. The Iraqi army, police, and perhaps 500,000 civilians all fled without serious resistance.
Can Mindless Bombing Hold Off
Mindless Blame for “Losing Iraq?”
Thanks to a supine and indolent Congress, and a long quiescent public, President Obama already has all the authority he may think he needs to take the United States into war in Iraq for the third time in three decades.
Remember the AUMF? That’s the Authorization to Use Military Force, passed by Congress in an abdication of its constitutional responsibility on September 14, 2001, giving away its authority to declare war. That self-neutering act was opposed by exactly one member of either house of Congress, California congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat. The primary section of the AUMF bill provides:
That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
Almost 13 years later, Representative Lee remains the only member of Congress on record in opposition to giving the president a blank check to use violence against pretty much whomever he chooses, for whatever reason he chooses. The recent resumption of drone attacks on civilian areas of Pakistan is one more effect of this law, even though people in the tribal areas of Pakistan have little if any connection to the attacks of 9/11.
The United States remains in a continuous state of war that Congress authorized in panic in 2001. Even though that panic has given way to chronic fear and political timidity, Rep. Lee’s perennial efforts to rescind the AUMF have had little support.
Is ISIS a Direct Organizational Descendant of al Qaeda?
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has, for the moment, established de facto control over a country-sized swath of Iraq and Syria, a goal it’s worked on for years, with some tacit support from the bordering Syrian and Turkish governments.
The ISIS-controlled area stretches some 400 miles, between Aleppo in western Syria and Kirkuk in northeast Iraq. The area runs about 200 miles north to south, from the Turkish border to Falluja and towns south of Baghdad. The area contains the central portions of the river valleys of both the Tigris and Euphrates.
ISIS has advanced toward Baghdad, with unstated intent. It’s not yet clear whether it has the forces — or the desire — to attack Baghdad. But ISIS has more flexibility now that its attack on Mosul reportedly netted it some $425 million from local banks.
Kurdish forces have taken control of Kirkuk, in the wake of other fleeing Iraqis. Both ISIS and the Kurds have an apparent interest in establishing a modus vivendi that would allow both sides to focus on establishing their own stable states.
ISIS apparently intends to create a Sunni-dominated Islamic state in the region it now holds. ISIS seems have a pedigree that includes al Qaeda, at least tangentially, but enough to put it in American cross hairs under the AUMF with far more legitimacy than some of the other people we’ve been killing.
Media war drums are banging away at the Washington Post (ISIS is “world’s richest terrorist group”) and CNN: “We should be worried. This, after all, is a group that was rejected by al Qaeda because of its ferocity. Its mysterious leaders are far beyond the extremist pale, and that they seem to be consolidating a territorial base must be put at the forefront of international counter-terrorism policy.”
Intervention-by-bombing in this situation won’t help as long as opposing forces keep running away. To make any difference with this land-locked semi-state, someone will have to provide hundreds of thousands of troops, surely more than the United States used to achieve failure the first time around.
But if ISIS is as Sunni-terrible as its harshest critics assert, there might be other, Shia-dominated states who should deal with the threat next door. Who? Well, probably whatever’s left of Iraq. And then? Iran? Saudi Arabia? [Oh, wait, Saudis bankrolled ISIS. So did Kuwait.] Egypt? Any thoughts?
Surely there’s someone besides the United States to let loose the dogs of kinetic support.
William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.
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