The Current Situation
On Friday 3 January, our very model of a modern stable genius ordered the assassination of the second most powerful person in Iran, General Qassem Suleimani. While Suleimani is little more than a jack-booted murderous thug traveling the Middle East inflicting pain on friends and allies of the US, it counts as an assassination and, therefore, a war crime, but more importantly, it is a needless escalation in the conflict with Iran and could lead to everything from an increase in terrorist attacks to a burgeoning proxy war with Iran to open war with Iran. In spite of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s bravado, it will be ugly, costly, and pointless. Just ask Iraq about their experience with war with Iran in the 1980’s. God was that an ugly mother.
Keeping true to form, the administration is now scrambling to create an excuse and justification for taking such a drastic step. There is none, except for distracting from impeachment and the recently release damning email evidence against him, of course. Who in their right mind would impeach a president when the nation is at war? One that realizes the utter futility of keeping a corrupt ass in office who started a pointless war just to distract from his impeachment. It’s called cutting your losses. Once again, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is proving that if you give him enough rope, he’ll shoot everyone in the dick and blame the Democrats.
To help in this crisis, you should call your MoC — both senators and representative — and tell them that it is time to invoke the War Powers Resolution.
The War Powers Resolution
The Constitution divides war making powers between the Executive and Legislative branches of our government, you know, so some idiot of a president facing a difficult impeachment proceeding couldn’t go off and start a war to distract from he trial and make his re-election more likely. That’s called a balance of powers. It’s what makes our government work and makes it inherently centerist — get over it purests; that’s how it is intended to work. You don’t like it, get more like minded people elected to office.
The executive, otherwise known as the president, is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He can order them about as he will. The military is constrained by law to only follow lawful orders. They can refuse unlawful ones. However, Congress is given the ability to declare war. Back in the old days of the Founding Fathers no one could conceive of fighting a war without having first declared one because we didn’t have a standing army that a president could just order into action!
Now that we have a standing army, way back in 1973, Congress decided to clarify procedures in which a president could order the US military into hostile situation abroad. This was a direct result of the slow escalation in Viet Nam and the lie that brought us the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and allowed el BJ to go all in on Viet Nam. Congress decided that they didn’t want that to happen no more, so the writ up this law and passed it over Nixon’s veto.
The law is set up in several parts:
Part one establishes the reasons for having the law in the first place: making war is serious business and the collective wisdom of Congress and the Executive is needed, so the President can only play Commander-in-Chief once a declaration of war has been passed by Congress or the US has been attacked. Of course, in the current situation, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber will claim that the assault on the US embassy in Baghdad is an attack on the US since embassies are considered the territory of the country they represent. But, by Friday, that situation had been resolved and stabilized, so why escalate it? Oh, yeah, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber needs a favor, though.
Part two requires a President to consult Congress before deploying the armed forces to places where hostilities are occurring or are imminent. That seems reasonable. You know like consulting with Congress before assassinating a major figure in a country that we’re having a major conflict with in a region that is fraught with tensions and has at least two shooting wars going on, but, of course, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber didn’t consult with Congress — at least not the Dem leaders of Congress, maybe, the Repubes, but they ain’t saying — but he did consult with his son Liddle’ Ewik who promptly tweeted about it, we’re presuming, was chastised for it, and deleted the tweet. Luckily, the interwebs are forever.
Part three outlines the requirements a President must meet when reporting to Congress and can require a 60 day time limit on the use of US forces.
Part four stipulates that armed forces be withdrawn from hostilities 60 days after a President reports or is required to report on their deployment to Congress unless Congress explicitly extends their deployment like in the way the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq 2002 has been used ever since to justify deployments of military forces ranging from Afghanistan to Somalia and probably will be invoked here since the ballless wonder that is our Congress won’t revoke it or demand a new one — that’s where you come in, see below.
Part four also requires a President to withdraw military force at any time Congress directs it. Again, this is where you come in.
Call Your Members of Congress
Call your senators and representative and tell them that they must do these things:
- Tell them to support these bills:
- HR 2456, To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002: It is sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Ca, 13) and has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
- S.J.Res.13, A joint resolution to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq, and for other purposes: It is sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va) and has been read twice. Currently, it is bottled up in the Committee on Foreign Relations.
- Require the Ol’ Pussy Grabber to withdraw the 82nd airborne division, which is being deployed to Iraq, in 60 days — that beginning of March.
- Keep the Ol’ Pussy Grabber on a short leash with military deployments. He has proven himself to be lawless and reckless.
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [NAME OF AREA].
I’m calling to express my support for [House: HR 2456 / Senate: SJ Res 13] to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. It is time to end this overly broad and outdated authorization and reintroduce appropriate congressional oversight to fight terrorism and wage war, especially with the recent events in Iraq with regard to Iran.
In addition, Congress must require that the President submit a report on the reasons for deployment of all troops to Iraq or other areas at this time and request their withdrawal after 60 days of the time the report should have been submitted.
Thank you for all your hard work answering the phones.
IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: Please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.
Tips for Calling
When you call your representative’s office, please remember the following:
- Ask for the aide working on the policy-related issues.
- Be polite! No matter whose office you’re calling. No matter what their positions are. No matter how inflamed you are about the issue — and you should be very passionate — be polite.
- Remember that the people you are talking to are people! So, be nice.
- Call during business hours of the area code their office is in. Typically, that is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Have a script or notes to follow so you don’t forget anything.
- Maybe call with friends. You know like a party.
Contacting Your MoC
Find out how to contact your MoC using these links!
- Common Cause will give you the names, party affiliation, direct phone number, website link, and social media platforms of all of your federal, state, and local elected officials.
- Call My Congress: Uses your zip code to locate your Congressional Representative and your Senators. And, it returns phone numbers, tweeter handle, party affiliation, voting record, and link to C-Span appearances!
- 5 Calls: Sign-up for 5 Calls because they help you contact your member of Congress and keep you abreast of on going issues that are important to you! Now, that is a good deal.
- The Capital Hill Switch Board: (202) 224-3121.
- MassacreMitch and #MoscowMitch: (202) 224-2541. Call him throughout the recess!
- Nancy Pelosi: Her DC office, (202) 225-4965; her California office, (415) 556-4862
Follow the link to Indivisible to find a group near you, their campaigns, events in your neighborhood, and download their handy-dandy booklet!
The Iranians need Trump gone and the US back in the nuclear deal with sanctions lifted. So far, they have been willing to play for time and pin their hopes on the election (and, no doubt, efforts in social media and such to influence the outcome as demonstrated by the Russians, but anti- instead of pro-Trump). This assassination may move them to seek ways to retaliate that will significantly damage him and influence the outcome of the impeachment process. Driving the US out of Iraq and Syria might do that, but he has long said he doesn’t want to be there. A more direct and focused way to attack him would be to obtain or create documents (financial?) and/or other material (from his unsecured cell phone?) to dump onto the internet. They have demonstrated skills in hacking and cyberwarfare. So, also have the North Koreans. They, like the Iranians, need a different negotiating counter party. Trump had made it clear to both that he has no interest in any win-win deal and cannot be trusted to keep any deal he makes. Others are also probably weary of dealing with Trump and even fearful of his Bull-In-The-Chinashop impulses and poor judgement.
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I think one of the questions we have to try hard to answer after the Trump years is how much influence did Putin have over him. Glen Kirshner (sp?) an ex-federal district attorney who appears on MSNBC a fair amount suggests a Trump Crime Commission be appointed to sort through all of the crimes that his administration committed. I agree. But, there needs to be a specific investigation into the influence that Putin had. All of this instability plays into Putin’s hands. As Pelosi says, all roads lead to Putin, no reason for this one not to either. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the Sunday call that they shared included the “tip” that led to the assassination.
The caveat here is that just because it benefits Putin doesn’t mean that part of Trump’s (and maybe Putin’s suggestion, too) is that a war distracts from his impeachment trial and would make people less likely to want him removed from office. I’m sure Republican internal polls show the same shift that other polls are picking up on: anti-impeachment-removal folks are moving to undecideds; undecideds are moving to pro-impeachment-removal; and pro-impeachment-removal folks are solidifying their opinions. The release of the damning emails just was the straw that broke this dromedary’s back.
We would do well to remember Trump’s modus operandi: all decisions benefit him personally. This one is no exception.
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Putin’s influence on Trump comes largely in Trump’s taking what he perceives to be Putin’s absolute and unrestrained power as the definition of what it means to be The Boss. One of the things he does not understand about all the autocrats he admires is that they do have constituencies and constraints. The result is that he will accept and act on any suggestion Putin makes and Putin’s version of reality. Putin, I am sure, knows that Trump is not controllable, but is very manipulable. So do a lot of other people with their own agendas.
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Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
Calico Jack – War Powers
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I will estimate at least a 50% probability that US military and covert forces will be demanded to entirely leave Iraq within the next two weeks. For some mysterious reason the Iraqis think we are acting like an occupying colonial power disrespectful of their sovereignty and impulsively without any coherent strategy. They don’t seem to want us having a full scale war with Iran on their territory (Silly of them, but there it is.)
The time to return to the Constitutional standard of Congressional Declaration Of War, rather than attempting to restrain presidents after the fact is long overdue.
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Since 2002 when Congress passed the AUMF Iraq, Congress has not had the wherewithal to demand that presidents seek a new one with every military action and escalation in the Middle East. There has been some talk of it by isolated politicians, but Congress as a whole has not required it as is there purview under the War Powers Resolution.
Since Russia, China, and Iran are holding war games in the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean, if we survive this, maybe Congress will reconsider.
Good point about Iraq, though. They were upset with our airstrikes that brought the Iranian militias protesting, and Trump didn’t seem to care. I don’t know how much Trump will care if they don’t want us there when he needs a war to stave off the impeachment trial and distract from all of the damning evidence that is coming out against him.
If they had killed anyone else, Iran might could’ve ignored it and let the US political system take care of Trump for them, but Soleimani is a hero there. They cannot ignore it. Trump is too stupid to have figured that out on his own. So, there are more war criminals in this administration than just Trump. How many administrations have harbored war criminals now?
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The Iranians need Trump gone and the US back in the nuclear deal and sanctions off. They know (as do the North Koreans) that he has no interest in any win-win deal and cannot be trusted to keep any deal he does make. If they are no longer willing to pin their hopes on the election and play for time, they will be looking for a way to retaliate that does significantly damage him. What that might be is a very tricky question for them. Driving the US out of Iraq and Syria might work, except that he has long said he doesn’t want to be there. They do have some very good hackers and cyberwarriors. If they consider what the Russians accomplished with the DNC and Hillary emails (How could they miss that?), and could grab some especially damning documents (financial?) or communications (Trump’s unsecured cell phone?) and do a dump on the internet (with or without taking credit) they would be attacking him directly. Of course, even disinformation works too. [Sun Tzu – All warfare is based on deception.]