Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Fifth Anniversary of the Iraq War Resolution: Why We Can’t Forgive or Forget, October 10, 2007

by Stephen Zunes

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Congressional vote granting President George W. Bush unprecedented war-making authority to invade Iraq at the time and circumstances of his own choosing. Had a majority of either the Republican-controlled House or the Democratic-controlled Senate voted against the resolution or had they passed an alternative resolution conditioning such authority on an authorization from the United Nations Security Council, all the tragic events that have unfolded as a consequence of the March 2003 invasion would have never occurred. As a result, the responsibility for the deaths of nearly 4000 American soldiers, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, the waste of over a half trillion dollars of our national treasury, and the rise of terrorism and Islamist extremism that has come as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq rests as much in the hands of the members in Congress who authorized the invasion as it does with the administration that requested it.

Those who express surprise at the refusal of today’s Democratic majority in Congress to stop funding the war should remember this: the October 2002 resolution authorizing the invasion had the support of the majority of Democratic senators as well as the support of the Democratic Party leadership in both the House and the Senate.

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