CNN's Jeremy Herb reports:
The House is voting this week on a bill to repeal the 2002 US war authorization in Iraq, with Democrats hopeful that the White House's backing will give them newfound momentum to finally revoke the nearly 20-year-old authorization.
The White House's Office of Management and Budget on Monday issued a statement supporting the House's legislation, a move that's likely to boost the prospects that the Senate will also take action to repeal the authorization for use of military force, which was passed in the months before the George W. Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003. The House will vote on the rule for the legislation Monday evening ahead of the final vote, which is expected to occur on Thursday. The Biden administration said in a statement of administration policy Monday that it supports the House's legislation because "the United States has no ongoing military activities that rely solely on the 2002 AUMF as a domestic legal basis, and repeal of the 2002 AUMF would likely have minimal impact on current military operations."
Ted Kopan (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) words it this way:
President Biden on Monday formally endorsed a bill from Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee to repeal the bill that authorized the U.S. invasion of Iraq, marking a sea change in politics on the issue of military engagement. The East Bay Democrat’s bill to terminate the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force is set for a vote in the House later this week.
In a statement of administration policy, the vehicle through which presidents telegraph their position on legislation under consideration in Congress, the White House supported the bill’s passage in the House, saying it would not
jeopardize any current military operations because none is solely based on that authorization. “Repeal of the 2002 AUMF would likely have minimal impact on current military operations,” the statement said. “Furthermore, the President is committed to working with the Congress to ensure that outdated authorizations for the use of military force are replaced with a narrow and specific framework appropriate to ensure that we can continue to protect Americans from terrorist threats.”
Lee has been at the vanguard of the movement to end what are referred to in politics as “endless wars” — military engagements by the U.S. abroad that have no clear endpoint. She was the only member of Congress to vote in 2001 against green-lighting the U.S. war on terror just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, a stand that earned her death threats at the time and respect from her colleagues in hindsight.
At the vanguard? Maybe of fake assery. She swore this, she swore that. She's a worthless fake ass. "Next year, if we're not out of Afghanistan . . ." she'd promise each year of Barack Obama's eight year presidency, she'd do something. She never did anything but flap her gums.
Bernie Sanders revealed himself to be a sheep dog to steer voters into the Democratic Party and that's bad but Barbara Less's worse. She lulls people into believing that there's real opposition to war in the party and there's none. That's why we still have US troops in Iraq and in Afghanistan. That's why the repeal is only possible at this moment because a sitting president has pronounced it unnecessary.
It might get repealed. I don't know that it will but I don't know that that's the most pressing issue this week -- or even the most pressing issue regarding the AUMF. I'd love to see all the Democrats who claimed they were tricked or that they didn't vote for war to have a microphone shoved in their face and asked on live TV, "If you weren't voting for war, why does the AMUF need to be repealed?"
They were voting for war. And they did so knowingly and willingly. And they did so because that's what they believed in. Senator Bob Grahm urged others in Congress -- including Hillary Clinton -- to go and look at what was being offered as evidence. They were 'too busy' to look or think, but they had plenty of time to vote to start a war that has killed over a million people -- Iraqis, US troops and support personnel, people from the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
And they've skirted responsibility and presented themselves as the victim. It's the Joe Biden playbook, after all. Insist that the mean old Bully Boy Bush tricked you. Admit that you're such a moron that the global village idiot could trick you.
ALJAZEERA quotes US House Rep Jim McGovern:
“The idea that they have not been repealed or ended just doesn’t make any sense,” said Representative Jim McGovern, a leading Democrat.
“It’s either that we just haven’t done our due diligence, or we are not keeping a close watch on these things,” McGovern said on Monday.
You think? And it's not either/or, it's both. Congress did not do due diligence and they are not keeping a close watch on these things. They have no idea what's going on in Iraq. They don't even pretend to be interested in, for example, corruption in Iraq anymore -- this despite the fact that millions of US tax dollars continue to be handed over to the government of Iraq. There is no oversight.
The office of the Special Investigator over reconstruction in Iraq was forced on Bully Boy Bush. Who shut it down? Donald Trump? No, Barack Obama. And he shut it down over loud objections. Maybe it was just a little too effective in highlighting waste or, maybe as two senators told me, the office embarrassed Barack by revealing that the police academy Americans spent a ton of money building was not wanted by the government of Iraq and they did not plan to use it. That went into not just a report but to testimony before the House and Senate. Barack's reaction was to shut down the office and the press reaction was to look the other way and pretend like he was about openness and transparency.
Who's pretending these days?
Maybe the US Congress and the US media who refuse to own the amount of money wasted on an illegal war. The amount of money still being wasted.
You won't hear Babsy Lee talk about that. Just like you won't hear her defend Palestinians. The reality of Barbara Lee is far less inspiring that the media image that was long ago created.
On the issue of Iraq, Amnesty International issued the following:
Arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearance of dozens in the past year
Crackdown intensified after protests against corruption and poor public services
‘Many of those detained were tried on fabricated charges’ - Lynn Maalouf
The authorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have launched a chilling crackdown on journalists and activists in the past year amid a “growing atmosphere of fear” in the region, said Amnesty International today.
The crackdown began in March 2020, intensifying after widespread protests in August demanding an end to corruption and better public services.
In the governorate of Duhok alone, Kurdish security forces arrested more than 100 people between March 2020 and April 2021. Most were later released but at least 30 remain in detention.
Amnesty investigated in detail the cases of 14 people from Badinan, in Duhok governorate, who were arbitrarily arrested between March and October 2020 by Asayish (Kurdistan Regional Government security and intelligence) and Parastin forces (Kurdistan Democratic Party intelligence) in connection with their participation in protests, criticism of the local authorities or for their journalistic work.
All of the 14 were held incommunicado for up to five months and at least six were forcibly disappeared for periods of up to three months. Eight of the detainees said they had been tortured or otherwise ill-treated during their detention. On 16 February, five were sentenced to six years in prison based on “confessions” extracted under duress.
The Kurdistan authorities have used three specific laws to arrest and prosecute the activists - Law no.21 on matters of national security, a defamation law and a law on the misuse of electronics, all of which contain vague and overly-broad definitions of crimes not recognised under international law.
Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Deputy Director, said:
“The authorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have launched a chilling crackdown in their efforts to silence critics over the past year.
“They have rounded up activists and journalists, prosecuting them on trumped-up charges in unfair trials and harassing or intimidating family members who were kept in the dark about the status of their loved ones.
“Many of those detained were tried on fabricated charges and some of those who have been released have fled the region, amidst a growing atmosphere of fear that has even seen family members of activists, journalists and protesters threatened and harassed.
"The Kurdistan Region of Iraq authorities must end the crackdown and immediately release all of those who have been arbitrarily detained.”
On the topic of Kurdistan, MENA's Maria Fantappie weighs in with a Twitter feed:
We'll wind down with this from MS. MAGAZINE:
Dear Common Ills,
As the country begins to reopen and summertime travel for reunions and gatherings gets underway – we hope you’ll join Ms. and bring us along with you. In our jam-packed Summer issue, we give you plenty to talk about and think about … and to enjoy!
|Inside The Summer Issue|
Here's a glimpse at what you'll find inside the upcoming Summer issue:
When you become a member of Ms., you get the magazine in print or on our app, or both—and you’re the first to get information alerts and event invitations from our team. When you become a member, you're supporting independent, feminist media—and becoming part of a global community of feminists who care about the issues that matter to you.
Join today to get our newest issue delivered straight to your mailbox—and fuel another year of our reporting, rebelling and truth-telling.
The following sites updated: