Liz Cheney on War & Peace
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is "ending" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan--as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America's enemies are not "decimated." They are emboldened and on the march.
CHENEY: The president's foreign policy is a disaster. [One pundit] wrote, "At what point can we legitimately ask why President Obama is protecting and facilitating the Iran nuclear program?" It is clear that the Israelis feel we pulled the rug out from under them, as we have. The president's actions are taking us closer to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. These countries don't trust us, nor do they believe they will be protected under our nuclear umbrella. We need people in Congress that will not just speak out, but take actions to block this president's bad policies. We should have learned from the times in the Bush administration when some wanted to negotiate with Iran and North Korea. These rogue regimes will try to play us every chance they can get. The only thing they understand is power and strength.
A: I think there are some instances where U.S. security is threatened by rogue regimes, by foreign dictators, and there are some instances where liberating nations helps to restore our security. Afghanistan, I would say Iraq--places that had been havens for terror. The problem in Syria is that if the President had acted two years ago, it would be different. What was on the table wasn't, "Should we liberate the Syrian people from Bashar Assad?" What was on the table was conducting limited strikes. Basically the President was saying we should do this to send a message. And I'm never going to be for the use of military force to send a message.
He should have supported Syrian rebel forces two years ago, Cheney said, before Islamist radicals became part of that opposition.
The Government of Syria has isolated itself from the international community not just because of its treatment of its own people, but also because it continues to support Palestinian rejectionist groups, it continues to oppress the people of Lebanon and it continues to funnel insurgents and to support the funneling of insurgents into Iraq. This isn't just an issue of the US supporting democracy in Syria, but the Syrian Government itself needs to recognize that its behaviors are destabilizing the region and that there's been a broad international call for it to stop those behaviors.
President Bush has said that the US will support reformers in the Middle East, but many Arab activists and intellectuals say that US involvement hurts rather than helps. How can the US support reformers who reject its assistance? We are guided in all of what we do by individual people in countries who are working for freedom. We provide support to people who want the support.
Congressional Summary: H.J.Res.37 directs the President to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen within 30 days unless Congress authorizes a later withdrawal date, issues a declaration of war, or specifically authorizes the use of the Armed Forces. Prohibited activities include providing in-flight fueling for non-U.S. aircraft conducting missions as part of the conflict in Yemen.
Statement in opposition by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN-1): This legislation would hamper the ability of our military commanders to limit terrorist activity in Yemen, and would create a vacuum for Iran to fill. I believe that the withdrawal of our forces from the region should be done in a way that ensures long term security and stability
Statement in support by Rep. Adam David Smith (D-WA-9): The civil war in Yemen has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis with over half of the population facing severe food insecurity and 24 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance. Passage of this resolution in the House sends a clear message to this Administration that Congress does not support de facto support for the Saudi-led coalition in this conflict. The US should be focused on working towards a peaceful resolution to this conflict and taking measures to alleviate the devastating humanitarian situation."
Statement in opposition by Rep. George Holding (R-NC-02): As part of their expansive campaign to destabilize the region, Iran is providing extensive support and aid to the Houthi rebel forces responsible for precipitating this conflict in the first place. Thankfully, Saudi Arabia has stepped up and taken a key leadership role in combating the Iranian-backed rebels. We should be supporting their efforts.
Legislative outcome: House Bill Passed 248-177-6 on rollcall #577. No action in Senate [died in Committee].
Axios.com summary: The House passed a symbolic war powers resolution directing President Trump to halt the use of military force against Iran unless he obtains approval from Congress.
The big picture: A classified briefing on the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani [by the US military] left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence that there was an "imminent" threat from Iran. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) said they will vote in favor of a similar resolution in the Senate [S J Res 68].
What opponents are saying: Former national security adviser and notorious Iran hawk John Bolton tweeted: "The 1973 War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution allocated foreign affairs authority between the President and Congress. The Resolution should be repealed." Pres. Trump quote tweeted Bolton and added: "Smart analysis, I fully agree!"
What supporters are saying: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was one of the few Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution, stating on the House floor: "Killing Soleimani was the right decision, but engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation that would block funding for offensive military force against Iran without congressional authorization. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) is also seeking to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used repeatedly to justify war in the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF in 2001, criticizing it as a "blank check."
Legislative outcome: H Con Res 83 Passed House 224-194-13 on 1/9/20; S J Res 68 passed Senate 55-45-0 on 2/13/20. Vetoed 5/6; Senate veto override failed 5/7/20.
Politico.com in OPPOSITION, 3/25/21: Republicans who opposed repealing the 2002 authorization said that it should be replaced because Iraq is still home to terror groups that threaten the United States. Rep. Michael McCaul called for consultations with first in order to craft a replacement. "Real AUMF reform requires Congress and the administration working together on actual text to replace the aging 2001 and 2002 AUMFs to provide authorities needed to keep the American people, and, most importantly, our deployed troops, safe from terrorists," McCaul said.
Heritage Foundation in SUPPORT (1/6/20): There has been an open and vibrant debate about whether the 2001 AUMF covers ISIS, a terrorist organization that did not even exist when the 2001 statute was passed and has disavowed and formally broken away from al-Qaeda, the group that is covered by the 2001 AUMF. Yet both the Obama and Trump Administrations claim that the 2001 AUMF covers ISIS and associated forces. Congress has shied away from the much-needed debate about whether the 2002 Iraq AUMF is no longer necessary.
Legislative Outcome: Passed House 268-161-2 on H.R.256 on 6/17/2021 (rollcall 172; no vote on S.J.R.10 nor H.R.3261 in 2021)
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