Back to Vietnam: Congress’s Challenge of Presidential Power and Senator Clinton, Democrat of New York

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed today a non-binding resolution opposing Mr Bush’s escalation of the imperial war in Iraq. Non-binding means it is not legally incumbent on the Chief Executive to comply. Of course no resolution could be binding unless it passed both chambers of Congress and then it would be contingent on law and nature of the document.

The resolution will go to the full Senate next week. Not since Vietnam with the Cooper-Church amendment of 1970 that proposed cutting off funds for the Nixon Cambodia “incursion” and the McGovern-Hatfield amendment proposal that would have mandated troop withdrawal from the genocide by the end of 1971, have we seen such Congressional assertiveness. The attempt is to delimit the president’s warmaking power. Neither of the above resolutions passed the Congress–although Cooper-Church did pass the Senate– but their greatness was manifest in an effort to restrict the genocide in Vietnam with greater Congressional utilisation of its funding power.

While it is distressing that the morally bankrupt Democratic Party ignored the war and its horrific crimes until the midterm congressional elections of November 2006, it would be indecent for those of us on the progressive left, to be utterly dismissive of a more assertive antiwar component within the party. The party opposes escalation and sending 21,500 additional troops into Baghdad and Anbar. This is to be commended.

Yet I ask this of the Demorcatic Congressional majority:
Why increase the size of the military when it will simply afford more options for deployment in unjust wars?
Why continue to fund obscene Pentagon spending on the war which is about 8,000,000,000 a month? The time has come to terminate Treasury funding for this crime and force the termination of the conflict through the power of the purse.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s opposition to the escalation should be noted but she is not qualified to be president. Any woman who voted for the war has exercised such a lack of critical judgment and morality, they should not be elected president. This senator has an utter lack of moral and ethical principles but is consumed only with power and ambition. She is a disgrace to the country and a vile example of Machiavellian scruples, untempered with a sense of compassion for babies, and other peoples who are slaughtered by our military. I fervently hope this unprincipled person with her arrogant and contrived demeanor will be defeated for the Democratic Party nomination for president. Those who voted for this war supported the most tragic and violent strategic failure since Vietnam. They do not deserve to occupy the Oval Office and should be condemned for their immorality and reckless disregard for international peace and security.

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