When, in 2002, the U.S. Senate voted to approve of the resolution providing authorization for the President of the United States to go to war against Iraq, it was a terrible mistake. There was no threat from Iraq, it turned out. There was no plan for victory, it turned out. The United States of America lost huge amounts of money in Iraq. It lost thousands of Americans there. It lost its international reputation there.
Finally, nine years after that resolution was approved by the Senate, the mistake could have been corrected. The American military is finally being withdrawn from Iraq. To seal this withdrawal, Senator Rand Paul offered an amendment to the 2012 Defense authorization bill. The Paul amendment would have revoked the authority to go to war in Iraq.
Without such a revocation, the President of the United States could repeat the blunder of George W. Bush, and invade Iraq once again. This mistake could be made not just by Barack Obama, but by any future President.
Rand Paul, explaining the need for his resolution, warned his colleagues, “We’ve been at war for nearly 10 years in Iraq. we’re coming home, and we should rejoice at the war’s end. But we need to reclaim that authority. If we leave an open-ended authority out there, that says to the President or any President – if not this particular President, it could be any President – if we leave that authority out there, we basically abdicate our duty. We abdicate the role of Congress.”
The war in Iraq should never have taken place, but yesterday, the Senate could not muster the courage to admit that was the case. The Paul amendment was defeated, by a vote of 30 in favor, 67 against, and 3 refusing to vote. The vote did not take place along party lines.
24 Senate Democrats refused to vote for an end to the power to go to war in Iraq. The names of these senators are: