Friday, June 18, 2021

Unloading Chekov's Gun


The U.S. Congress has, in the usual scatterbrained and dysfunctional way that body seems to work, taken up the issue of repealing the 2002 "Authorization to Use Military Force" that was the legal cover for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the mess-o-potamia that followed.

I trust that no one who regularly visits this place has forgotten the appalling clusterfuck that resulted from that cynical bit of Great Power stupidity, so it's obvious on its face that it is time and past time to flush the boneheaded and dangerous thing, full of more lies than nuts in a fruitcake, and I wish they'd 86 the 2001. 9/11, version while they're at it.

The notion of having a political rule just lying around that provides any U.S. government who wishes the "legal" authority to start throwing projectiles around the globe seems dangerously stupid. It's not like illegality will stop a cabal that wishes to do that, but to give them a sort of real-life "C'est par mon ordre et pour le bien de l'Etat que le porteur du present a fait ce qu'il a fait."?

That 's a Bad Idea.

Both of the 2000's AUMFs are Bad Ideas spawned by my country's weird and ugly combination of geopolitical hubris and laziness, the sort of mindless aggressive response to any sort of provocation that makes every problem a nail to be militarily hammered.

It's unfortunate that the mindset that produced them cannot also be repealed. But at the very least - given the lessons that the mindless ruin and merciless hatred that the two have spawned should have taught us - these two loaded guns need to be unloaded.

We'll see if there's enough political sanity left in the U.S. capitol to do that.


  1. Glad to see you are alive and well. I've been hunkering down. Not for myself but have become caregiver for my not-well bride. And finding I can't keep up with that plus housework and yardwork. So have given up blogging except for an occasional snipe at trumpurmudgeons.

    You are right that both AUMFs are bad ideas. I think the House tried to deep six the 2001 authorization. At least it passed thru the Appropriations Committee, but Paul Ryan stripped it out at midnight before the full house vote. The sucker was intended for use against the 9/11 attackers. But it metastasized to include the Taliban, ISIS, and various jihadi groups all over the globe even if they had nothing to do with OBL or the World Trade Center. If Congress can't shoot it down, then some young turk should at least introduce a bill to limit its scope.

  2. Unfortunately, the MAGAts seem to be willing to actively quash this, and all the rest of the legislators outside the genuine Left aren't willing to go to the mat to make it happen, so it looks like a dead letter.

    More and more my country reminds me of the dysfunctional government of late Republican Rome, where the factions were too busy fighting each other to mind the nation's business. And we're not as militarily or politically resilient as the Romans; while they came through the transition from Republic to Empire we're not handling it well.

    Sorry to hear your struggling. That sucks. I'm making a concerted effort to keep going here and at GFT because I'm a hopeless romantic for long-form blogging. But I understand - it's a lot of work for very little return...

  3. Why not keep up the blog, but start a twitter account of the same name? Let the tweets pitch the longer blogfests and they both could refer to and cross-fertilize each other.

    Heard anything from Al, Seydlitz, Ranger Jim, JD, Sheera, or other oldtimers.

    1. Sound bites are the new journalism.

    2. I'll take that under advisement...

      Al's been gone a while now; I don't remember when I heard he'd passed away, but several years ago, at least. There's a guy I truly miss; to the Immortal Memory!

      Sheerakhan turns up now and again, tho not much lately. JD left a comment over on my other blog about maybe a year back, nothing since then.

      Jim and Lisa...that's a sad thing. Lisa has gone totally Trumpkin, and the last time anything appeared at their site was back in the autumn of '20 when a post appeared flogging the idea that Trump was going to win:

      "This is why Mr. Trump will win re-election: Because the sky did not fall post election 2016. Because he has opened dialog with North Korea; because a peace accord with Israel and UAE has been signed, and a slight domino effect is following on; because the economy was very well until the Pandemic affected the world. Because Americans don't like changing horses midstream, and primarily because he is sui generis among presidential candidates and he doesn't self-flagellate for being pro-USA."

      Pretty much just more of the sort of thing that Lisa was posting here back in 2016; Democrats are bad, Trump's just a big ol' fluffy populist, don't listen to the lugenpresse telling you that he wants to be the Fuhrer...

      It just made me heartsick, and when I commented there it just got into a nasty bickering exchange.

      But what was even sadder was when jim came in. All he said was:

      My position is opposite of Lisa's,but every body has the right to be wrong.
      As you probably can guess i have not written one word about the leadership of the country.
      And we used to rag on W who now seems like a genuine statesman by comparison.
      I cannot take fire from inside the perimeter.
      If Lisa wants to write about Trump then i'd respectfully request that she start a new blog and not use up the RAW that we built so artfully. This includes you as a key player.
      I salute you.
      jim hruska"

      I've never read a sadder thing. I have no idea what the hell is going on down in Florida with jim and Lisa, but just from that...nothing good.

  4. Sadly, the talk about legislation to keep POTUS from flinging nukes and other bombs at will stopped once the lying moron left the White House.
    The AUMF was but part of a problem.

    1. But that's my point, Sven; the AUMF is the EASY part!

      If the idiot US government can't do something as simple and easy as tear up a piece of paper about something that no longer exists (Saddam's Iraq) and was based on a mountain of lies...what sort of intelligent action CAN they take.

      So, no; I didn't expect the Congress to rein in the ludicrous war powers of the Chief Executive. But...forchrissakes, at least 86 the goddamn Iraq War AUMF! The war is over, Saddam is gone, done, finito! It's like keeping the 1941 declaration of war open until 1958!

      The problem is big and difficult. But the AUMF? Easy-peasy! And, yet, these gomers STILL can't do it.