Dover Bitch

Friday, October 21, 2005

If at first you don't succeed, just say you did

Most Americans probably don't remember that the Bush administration actually sent two bills to Congress to get authorization to use force in Iraq. The second bill passed, but the first bill, sent to the Hill on Sept. 19, 2002, never even made it to the floor for a vote.

Why? Well, for starters, it had no mention of any cooperation with the United Nations and it was basically a permission slip to take Saddam Hussein out of power without concentrating first on proving he had any weapons.

As we all know, the president went to war despite the clear objection of the United Nations and all they proved was that Saddam didn't have any WMD.

But there was a third reason the bill failed to even merit a vote:

Even U.S. lawmakers who support authorization of use of force said they do not like the last line of the draft resolution, which says that "force" should be used against "the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region."

That line, say some members of Congress, is too vague and could allow the president to use force in other Mideast nations beyond Iraq.

"That is probably a bit ambitious," said Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana. "Would this authorize an invasion of Iran? Or how about Syria? They're in the region. I think we ought to stay focused here, and that is staying focused on Iraq."

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice basically told Congress that the president had the authority to attack other countries in the region.

In other words, the bill they wanted failed and they're just pretending that it passed. Does anybody in Congress have the stones to do anything?

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