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Nation Topics - US Wars and Military Action

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"There are people in this city that believe that the military campaign
against Iraq will not be difficult, especially because of the enormous
advances in technology and the willingness of some

The war with Iraq is part of a larger plan for global military
dominance.

A few months ago, novelist Alan Furst, in one of those New York
Times
"Writers on Writing" pieces, told how, on a magazine
assignment to the Soviet Union back in 1983, he suddenly discov

President Bush's recently announced strategic global doctrine, which for the first time justifies a preemptive US strike against any regime thought to possess weapons of mass destruction, makes a

On the eve of the October 2002 vote to authorize the overthrow the government of Iraq by military force, a plea to members of Congress to reject Bush's pre-emptive war went unheeded.

One year later, September 11 has certainly lived up to the early claim
of being a transformative moment, at least for Americans.

We're trying to survey all the many good ideas being tried outside the range of the Beltway pundits. So tell us about any local, state or municipal initiative in your area that you're excited about and think is worth emulating nationally.

 

A rebuttal to eight arguments put forward by proponents of an invasion of Iraq.

Why now? Why, one year after September 11, is the Bush Administration
attempting to overthrow decades of precedents and precepts of
international law, along with the best traditions of US foreign policy,
in a relentless push to war? As high-level officials try to sell the
Administration's case to the American people and the President prepares
for an appearance before the UN General Assembly, the White House
continues its attempt to restrict the debate on Iraq to details of
timing and tactics while ignoring the basic question of whether an
invasion of Iraq should be considered at all.

Elsewhere in this issue Stephen Zunes provides a detailed refutation of
the points the Administration has used to argue for war. The arguments
are debatable at best, spurious at worst--like the innuendo that Iraq is
linked to Al Qaeda (in fact, Osama bin Laden regards Saddam Hussein as
an apostate); that "containment has failed" (since the Gulf War, Iraq's
military capabilities have weakened significantly and the regime poses
little or no threat to its neighbors, who oppose invasion); or that
inspection cannot adequately determine whether Iraq is developing
weapons of mass destruction (from 1991 to 1998, inspectors destroyed
much of Iraq's stockpile of chemical and bioweapons). One could go on,
but the point is that all along, this Administration has followed the
Alice in Wonderland logic of the Queen: sentence first, verdict
later.

The White House has sought to justify the right to mount an attack by
the new Bush doctrine of pre-emption--or anticipatory self-defense. But
this country is a member of the United Nations, which was founded to
prevent wars of aggression. And under that body's charter, the United
States can use force only in response to an attack on itself, or if
approved by the Security Council. Otherwise, the Administration has no
right to take this country into war--or even to threaten the use of
force.

The Administration has found this doctrinal deviation a difficult sell
even among its closest allies and thus has begun to search for new ways
to bestow some international legitimacy on its actions. Hence the talks
with Prime Minister Tony Blair, out of which has come a plan for a
Security Council ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to meet British-American
terms unconditionally or face "severe consequences." In short, the
Administration, with British support, may have devised the perfect
pretext for war: a UN demand for the reintroduction of inspectors into
Iraq that Saddam will likely not accept. The Administration is hoping
its plan will provide enough of a UN cover to gain French, Russian and
Chinese support, or at least acquiescence.

Those who question the need or legitimacy of a war against Iraq should
not be fooled. What incentive does the Administration's commitment to
"regime change" give Iraq to readmit inspectors, especially when the
inspectors could, like the last group, use the inspections for US
espionage purposes? Washington should instead announce its support for
inspections insulated from improper influence and pledge to abide by the
UN's findings.

With the executive branch committed to war, those who morally oppose an
invasion of Iraq--because of the suffering it would inflict on US
soldiers and Iraqi civilians, because of its potential to destabilize
the region, because it would distract this country from the brokering of
an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, because a war in Iraq would
detract from the campaign against Al Qaeda and from pressing domestic
needs--have only Congress to turn to. That prospect doesn't offer much
comfort, since the Democratic leadership in the Senate appears ready to
write the Administration a resolution authorizing military action,
albeit with some conditions.

If Congress abdicates its role, it will harm not only the country but
itself. Bush's claim of the right to make pre-emptive war would give him
and future Presidents the authority to determine when a threat exists
and to take action on that threat without subjecting it to debate or to
verification by other branches of government. The principle of
Congressional oversight of the most fundamental decision government can
make--whether to send its sons and daughters into danger--will have been
entirely abandoned. And because Congress is the only arena where the
people's concerns can be aired, the structure of democracy itself will
suffer a grievous blow. Even if UN inspections find that Iraq is trying
to develop an advanced bomb program, there are ways of responding short
of war. A Congressional vote for pre-emptive assault would create a
damaging precedent, abrogate the UN charter, imperil the Constitution
and transform the President into an imperial overlord.

Write, call, act now (see the box on page 5). Americans who oppose the
war and this unconstitutional expansion of power must make their voices
heard.

Blogs

Don’t overlook the fact that Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai have challenged economic and political elites, including multinational corporations and President Obama.

October 10, 2014

Remember, hashtags are weapons of war.

October 6, 2014

The Obama administration’s war plans in Iraq and Syria are illegal, ill-conceived and destined to fail. Here’s what the US—and you—can do instead.

October 2, 2014

Eric on this week's concerts and Reed on the two-party debate that has only one, pro-war side.

September 30, 2014

The founders would not have been shocked at the executive seeking to claim the war power, but they would be astounded at Congress voluntarily giving it up.

September 30, 2014

Tuesday the Congresswoman called for “a full congressional debate and vote on any military action, as required by the Constitution.”

September 24, 2014

More than two-dozen groups are calling on lawmakers to address serious gaps and inconsistencies in the president’s strategy.

September 16, 2014

US military officials outlined several scenarios ground troops could end up fighting in Iraq and said Obama hasn’t closed the door.

September 16, 2014

Appearing on Democracy Now! Monday morning, Lee Fang discussed "Who's Paying the Pro-War Pundits?"—his latest for The Nation.

September 15, 2014

The Obama administration’s legal justification for expanding military action in Iraq and Syria is hypocritical and based on tenuous logic.

September 11, 2014