Liz Cheney on War & Peace
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is "ending" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan--as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America's enemies are not "decimated." They are emboldened and on the march.
CHENEY: The president's foreign policy is a disaster. [One pundit] wrote, "At what point can we legitimately ask why President Obama is protecting and facilitating the Iran nuclear program?" It is clear that the Israelis feel we pulled the rug out from under them, as we have. The president's actions are taking us closer to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. These countries don't trust us, nor do they believe they will be protected under our nuclear umbrella. We need people in Congress that will not just speak out, but take actions to block this president's bad policies. We should have learned from the times in the Bush administration when some wanted to negotiate with Iran and North Korea. These rogue regimes will try to play us every chance they can get. The only thing they understand is power and strength.
A: I think there are some instances where U.S. security is threatened by rogue regimes, by foreign dictators, and there are some instances where liberating nations helps to restore our security. Afghanistan, I would say Iraq--places that had been havens for terror. The problem in Syria is that if the President had acted two years ago, it would be different. What was on the table wasn't, "Should we liberate the Syrian people from Bashar Assad?" What was on the table was conducting limited strikes. Basically the President was saying we should do this to send a message. And I'm never going to be for the use of military force to send a message.
He should have supported Syrian rebel forces two years ago, Cheney said, before Islamist radicals became part of that opposition.
The Government of Syria has isolated itself from the international community not just because of its treatment of its own people, but also because it continues to support Palestinian rejectionist groups, it continues to oppress the people of Lebanon and it continues to funnel insurgents and to support the funneling of insurgents into Iraq. This isn't just an issue of the US supporting democracy in Syria, but the Syrian Government itself needs to recognize that its behaviors are destabilizing the region and that there's been a broad international call for it to stop those behaviors.
President Bush has said that the US will support reformers in the Middle East, but many Arab activists and intellectuals say that US involvement hurts rather than helps. How can the US support reformers who reject its assistance? We are guided in all of what we do by individual people in countries who are working for freedom. We provide support to people who want the support.
Axios.com summary: The House passed a symbolic war powers resolution directing President Trump to halt the use of military force against Iran unless he obtains approval from Congress.
The big picture: A classified briefing on the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani [by the US military] left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence that there was an "imminent" threat from Iran. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) said they will vote in favor of a similar resolution in the Senate [S J Res 68].
What opponents are saying: Former national security adviser and notorious Iran hawk John Bolton tweeted: "The 1973 War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution allocated foreign affairs authority between the President and Congress. The Resolution should be repealed." Pres. Trump quote tweeted Bolton and added: "Smart analysis, I fully agree!"
What supporters are saying: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was one of the few Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution, stating on the House floor: "Killing Soleimani was the right decision, but engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation that would block funding for offensive military force against Iran without congressional authorization. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) is also seeking to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used repeatedly to justify war in the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF in 2001, criticizing it as a "blank check."
Legislative outcome: H Con Res 83 Passed House 224-194-13 on 1/9/20; S J Res 68 passed Senate 55-45-0 on 2/13/20. Vetoed 5/6; Senate veto override failed 5/7/20.
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* Special election, so sworn in other than Jan. 2019
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Freshman class of January 2019 (Republicans):
FL-6:Waltz ; FL-15:Spano ; FL-17:Steube
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PA-9:Meuser ; PA-11**:Smucker ; PA-12*:Keller ; PA-13:Joyce ; PA-14:Reschenthaler
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VA-5:Riggleman ; VA-6:Cline
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AZ-2**:Kirkpatrick ; AZ-9:Stanton
CA-49:Levin ; CA-10:Harder ; CA-21:Cox ; CA-25:Hill ; CA-39:Cisneros ; CA-45:Porter ; CA-48:Rouda
CO-2:Neguse ; CO-6:Crow
FL-26:Mucarsel-Powell ; FL-27:Shalala
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IL-4:Garcia ; IL-6:Casten ; IL-14:Underwood
MA-3:Trahan ; MA-7:Pressley
MI-8:Slotkin ; MI-9:Levin ; MI-13:Tlaib ; MI-13*:Jones ; MI-11:Stevens
MN-2:Craig ; MN-3:Phillips ; MN-5:Omar
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NM-1:Haaland ; NM-2:Torres Small
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PA-4:Dean ; PA-5:Scanlon ; PA-6:Houlahan ; PA-7:Wild ; PA-17*:Lamb
TX-7:Fletcher ; TX-16:Escobar ; TX-29:Garcia ; TX-32:Allred
VA-2:Luria ; VA-7:Spanberger ; VA-10:Wexton