Skip to comments.Attorney General Gonzales "There was not a war declaration"
Posted on 11/28/2007 1:18:09 PM PST by ksen
AG Gonzales "There was not a war declaration, either in connection with Al Qaida or in Iraq. It was an authorization to use military force.
I only want to clarify that, because there are implications. Obviously, when you talk about a war declaration, you're possibly talking about affecting treaties, diplomatic relations. And so there is a distinction in law and in practice. And we're not talking about a war declaration. This is an authorization only to use military force."
What's the problem? Why can't we get a real, legal declaration of war against our enemy?
Was the Attorney General mistaken?
What say you everyone that has said and argued that what the Congress did was a declaration of war? Does this change your mind?
Ping to continue from other thread if you wish.
I believe the problem is you have to have a country you are fighting in order to have a declaration of war.
True, but wasn't Iraq a country?
Several have argued that words mean nothing, that funding did the declaring.
True. However, to me this is all a matter of semantics.
I really don’t care.
Bush did the right thing, I just wish that 1. He had been more forceful (There should not have been 2 Fallujah battles, 1 would have sufficed) and 2. that different people were initially running the show in Iraq.
There are important legal reasons NOT to declare war.
My response from the same thread: What would those reasons be in this case?
Especially given all the talk that has said what congress did was to declare war?
Saddam Hussein was in violation of the 1991 Ceasefire. We had no need for a declaration of war. As for the rest, here are the reason we are in Iraq.
It is past time for the Dinocons, instead of arrogantly clinging to their Neo Isolationists dogmas, to finally admit to themselves they have been all wrong about Iraq from the start instead of insisting on refighting this argument they lost in 2002.
One of the really infuriating things in modern politics is the level of disinformation, misinformation, demagoguery and out right lying going on about the mission in Iraq. Democrats have spent the last 3+ years lying about Iraq out of a political calculation. The assumption is that the natural isolationist mindset of the average American voter, linked to the inherent Anti Americanism (what is misnamed the “Anti War movement”) of the more feverish Democrat activists (especially those running the US’s National “News” media) would restore them to national political dominance. The truth is the Democrat Party Leadership has simply lacked the courage to speak truth to whiners. The truth is that even if Al Gore won the 2000 election and 09-11 still happened we would be doing the EXACT same things in Iraq we are doing now.
Based on the political situation in the region left over from the 1991 Gulf War plus the domestic political consensus built up in BOTH parties since 1991 as well as fundamental military strategic laws, there was NO viable strategic choice for the US but to take out Iraq after finishing the initial operations in Afghanistan.
To start with Saddam’s Iraq was our most immediate threat. We could NOT commit significant military forces to another battle with Saddam hovering undefeated on our flank nor could we leave significant forces watching Saddam. The political containment of Iraq was breaking down. That what Oil for Food was all about. Oil for Food was an attempt by Iraq to break out of it’s diplomatic isolation and slip the shackles the UN Sanctions put on it’s military. There there was the US Strategic position to consider.
The War on Islamic Fascism is different sort of war. in facing this Asymmetrical threat, we have a hidden foe, spread out across a geographically diverse area, with covert sources of supply. Since we cannot go everywhere they hide out, in fact often cannot even locate them until the engage us, we need to draw them out of hiding into a kill zone.
Iraq is that kill zone. That is the true brilliance of the Iraq strategy. We draw the terrorists out of their world wide hiding places onto a battlefield they have to fight on for political reasons (The “Holy” soil of the Arabian peninsula) where they have to pit their weakest ability (Conventional Military combat power) against our greatest strength (ability to call down unbelievable amounts of firepower) where they will primarily have to fight other forces (the Iraqi Security forces) in a battlefield that is mostly neutral in terms of guerrilla warfare. (Iraqi-mostly open terrain as opposed to guerrilla friendly areas like the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of SE Asia).
Did any of the critics of liberating Iraq ever look at a map? Iraq, for which we had the political, legal and moral justifications to attack, is the strategic high ground of the Middle East. A Geographic barrier that severs ground communication between Iran and Syria apart as well as providing another front of attack in either state or into Saudi Arabia if needed.
There were other reasons to do Iraq but here is the strategic military reason we are in Iraq. We have taken, an maintain the initiative from the Terrorists. They are playing OUR game on ground of OUR choosing.
Problem is Counter Insurgency is SLOW and painful. Often a case of 3 steps forward, two steps back. One has to wonder if the American people have either the emotional maturity, nor the intellect” to understand. It’s so much easier to spew made for TV slogans like “No Blood for Oil” or “We support the Troops, bring them home” or dumbest of all “We are creating terrorists” then to actually THINK.
Westerners in general, and the US citizens in particular seem to have trouble grasping the fundamental fact of this foe. These Islamic Fascists have NO desire to co-exist with them. The extremists see all this PC posturing by the Hysteric Left as a sign that we are weak. Since they want us dead, weakness encourages them. There is simply no way to coexist with people who completely believe their “god” will reward them for killing us.
So we can covert to Islam, die or kill them. Iraq is about killing enough of them to make the rest of the Jihadists realize we are serious. They same way killing enough Germans, Italians and Japanese eliminated the ideologies of Nazism, Fascism and Bushido.
Americans need to understand how Bin Laden and his ilk view us. In the Arab world the USA is considered a big wimp. We have run away so many times. Lebanon, the Kurds, the Iraqis in 1991, the Iranians, Somalia, Clinton all thru the 1990s etc etc etc. The Jihadists think we will run again. In fact they are counting on it. That way they can run around screaming “We beat the American just like the Russians, come join us in Jihad” and recruit the next round of “holy warriors”. Iraq is also a show place where we show the Muslim world that there are a lines they cannot cross. On 9-11-01 they crossed that line and we can, and will, destroy them for it -
If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Did not need to declare war on Saddam. He was in violation of the 1991 Ceasefire. That is all the legal justification we needed.
The question is: why?
We have lost God knows how many men and women in combat since the end of World War II. Yet we have not been at war since 2 September 1945. We haven’t declared war on anyone since 8 December 1941.
I believe it has been a very long time since America had a formal declaration of war.
Truman referred to the Korean War as a “police action,” and he invoked UN authority when the Soviets walked out and the Security Council passed a resolution.
Congress sometimes gave approval of one sort or another, and sometimes not.
Perhaps someone can correct me, but although we have been in numerous armed engagements all over the world, large and small, from the Bay of Pigs to the Berlin Airlift to Grenada to Panama to Vietnam to Afghanistan to Nicaragua to the Horn of Africa to you name it, none involved formal declarations, and many only received congressional approval after the fact, if at all.
I don’t think it’s clear from the Constitution whether there must be a formal declaration, and the president has certain emergency powers that do not require immediate congressional approval, although congress does have the clear right to withhold funds.
Even there, Reagan managed to continue supporting the Contras after congress pulled the funding plug by means of Iran Contra and Mena, both more than a little shady but I think justified in the circumstances.
IIRC, we weren’t at war with Iraq/Saddam the first time ‘round either.
Didn’t Jefferson declare war on the Barbary pirates? Going from memory here...
It was not legally required, but it would have stopped most of the crap at home.
Sure, I understand that argument and have used it on another board when arguing with some libs. However the AG is on record saying that what the congress did in a legal sense was not a declaration of war.
If that's the case and if we are under as dire a threat as people are saying then why hasn't war been declared in a legal as well as a real sense?
Declarations of War end with a Peace Treaty.
In Iraq, we ended a Cease Fire, and used UN Resolution violations.
These days we dont make declarations of war because we want everything to be a "unified effort" among several countries, and "unilateral" strikes are considered as bad thing these days.
Don’t know, my knowledge of that part of our history is fuzzy, however, it really interests me and I intend to rectify that deficiency!
Absolutely not MN, if the Congress can ignore the Constitution on things such as declaring war, why would they feel bound to anything the Constitution limits the Govt from doing?
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