James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Getting Out of Iraq

From DownsizeDC.org:

President Bush has had four years to bring peace to Iraq. Every experiment he has tried to achieve that goal has failed. Now he wants to expend more American lives and money on yet another experiment.

The Democrats, by contrast, seem to have adopted a "stay the course" strategy. They oppose the President's new experiment, but seem in no hurry to leave the laboratory.

U.S. policy is adrift, at the cost of innocent American lives and hundreds of billions of your tax money. It is time to stop the experiments.

We think the verdict from the laboratory is already clear. Too many Iraqi's prefer war to peace. This is their decision, and their responsibility.

If the Iraqi factions want peace, they can negotiate a settlement. American diplomats may have a role to play in this, if the factions desire it, but our troops are not needed for this purpose. Their presence in Iraq merely clouds the issue.

Are we supposed to choose sides? Which side are we supposed to favor, the Sunni or the Shia? The Sunni are the minority, but the Shia are tied to Iran. Do we really have a horse in that race? Are we supposed to attack both at once, and assume that this will lead to a peace settlement?

There are no American answers to these questions. There is no place for U.S. soldiers in this equation. It is an Iraqi question, that only the Iraqi's can answer.

That is, after all, what self-determination is all about.

It is time to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. We believe HR 413 provides the correct means to achieve that goal. HR 413 would de-authorize the occupation.

We got into this mess because Congress authorized it. We must get out of it by having Congress de-authorize it.

De-authorizing is a superior first step to de-funding. If Congress starts by de-funding the occupation the President will claim that Congress is really de-funding the troops. Congress can sidestep this rhetorical game-playing by first removing the President's authority to continue the occupation.

Once that is done, if the President tries to continue the occupation on his own, Congress can begin the de-funding process from a position of moral and legal strength.

Congress must reassert its Constitutional control over the war-making power. The President has no Constitutional authority to make war or occupy foreign countries on his own. Only Congress has the Constitutional power to authorize war, and what Congress has authorized, it can de-authorize.

HR 413 is simple and direct. It reads as follows . . .

SECTION 1. REPEAL OF PUBLIC LAW 107-243.

The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) is hereby repealed.

SEC. 2. WITHDRAWAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM IRAQ.

The President of the United States shall provide for the withdrawal of units and members of the United States Armed Forces deployed in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in a safe and orderly manner.

Tell your Representative and Senators to co-sponsor and pass H.R. 413 by clicking here.

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