WASHINGTON D.C. March 29th, 2023. The most recent sessions of the House and Senate have seen several attempts at reining in war-making in foreign policy rebuked, as a large majority of the elected officials of the people of the United States stand united in their commitment to continue wars in Syria and Somalia, to start wars in Iran and elsewhere, and not to appoint oversight on the money going to Ukraine.
It began on March 8th, when a nearly three-fourths majority in the House voted against Representative Matt Gaetz’ (R – FL) resolution to remove US troops from Syrian oil fields, which they occupy in order to deny the area’s oil wealth from falling into the hands of the nation’s government.
Ostensibly the Americans are there to fight ISIS, but they rarely do.
The resolution failed in a vote of 103-321, with only 56 Democrats and 47 Republicans voting in favor of the bill.
“There is no role for the United States of America in Syria. We are not a Middle Eastern power. We have tried to build a democracy out of sand, blood, and Arab militias. Time and again, the work we do does not reduce chaos,” Gaetz said, adding such a strategy can be shown to have increased chaos.
“Both Assad and Turkey are in stronger positions today to put downward pressure on ISIS, and maybe if we weren’t giving weapons to people shooting at Assad, Assad would have every incentive to be able to engage ISIS in a way to ensure that it doesn’t come back,” he added.
The US Congress never declared war on Syria, nor did it pass an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) for the deployment of troops there. The troops are not present at the invitation of President al-Assad, and the UN Sec. Council didn’t pass a resolution permitting them there.
Two weeks later, a paltry number of Senators were outvoted on an amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF that was authorized by Congress to target those responsible for the September 11th Attacks “and those who harbor them”.
The “and those who harbor them” clause has been used by Bush Jr. and all the presidents since him as justification “to justify war in over 20 countries”.
Led by Senator Rand Paul (R – KY), the amendment failed in a vote of 9-86, with only four Republicans, four Democrats, and one Independent supporting the legislation. It was proposed as an attachment to another bill that would repeal the 2002 and 1991 AUMFs passed to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
“Repealing the Iraq war authorizations will end no wars and save no lives. The bill before us ignores the pervasive and seemingly limitless [2001 AUMF], and it seeks instead to repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations to make war on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a regime that no longer exists,” Sen. Paul argued.
“So we’re missing the point here, we’re going to repeal the one authorization they no longer use, and leave the one in place that authorizes war everywhere, all the time. The public is told to celebrate the boldness of the Senate that will today end a war that has been over for more than a decade”.