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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | September 05, 2002

A war resolution all of Congress can support

The administration briefed some members of Congresss on the Iraqi situation, but apparantly offered no new information. Many are speculating the administration is cornering Democrats into a tight space -- forcing them to take a stand on Gulf War II on the eve of the November elections.

But that makes several assumptions:

  1. The public wants war. As we have seen, support for war has been soft among the public, and has experienced a steady decline as opposing arguments get aired in the press (down 13 percent in the last two weeks alone). The numbers are particularly bad when considering unilateral invasion of Iraq without allied support. (Here's an old post on the subject.) There is no guarantee that voting against war would be a political liability.

  2. Republicans will back Bush. Republicans have led the charge against Bush's war plans, including Hagel, Lugar, and the biggest shocker of them all, Armey. Perhaps Rove could line up all the ducks and present a unified front, but that seems doubtful at this time. That is, unless Bush can manufacture evidence that Al Queda is somehow linked to Hussein.

  3. A split vote on the resolution supports Bush's war plans. If there's one lesson the nation has learned the past few decades, it's to avoid war without the full support of the nation. If Bush can only muster 55-65 votes in the Senate, it will reflect poorly on his war efforts. The US public and Congress have shown a willingness to strongly support a just war (like Afghanistan), thus lack of complete support for an Iraq invasion would be a blow to Bush's efforts.
In any case, here's a resolution that everyone can support, and will ensure we don't go to war:
We, the Congress of the United States, authorize force to effect 'Regime Change' in Iraq, provided the following conditions are met:
  1. The Administration certifies that Iraq is manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, and provides evidence of such;

  2. The Administration, working alongside the U.N. Security Council, makes a bona fide and concerted effort to reintroduce UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq, in accordance to previous Security Council resolutions; and

  3. The Administration secures new authorization to effect 'regime change' from the U.N. Security Council.
You know they'll never be able to get Security Council authorization. Oh, we can have lots of fun with this resolution -- we can add requirements that the US have binding commitments from other nations for Iraq's rebuilding, or requirements that the US enter battle alongside a broad international coalition of more than just UK.

Such a resolution would give the administration power to attack Iraq, provided they follow some legitimate, common sense steps. It would ensure that the US plays nice with the world community, and within bounds of international law. And would check the US from becoming the belligerant, arrogant, obnoxious bully into which Bush has turned us.

Posted September 05, 2002 08:33 AM | Comments (1)


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