Senate votes down repeal of AUMF law authorizing US wars
Since the 11 September 2001 attacks, the US has waged wars in a dozen or more countries, relying merely on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Twenty years ago, former US President George Bush fabricated a lie claiming that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, and launched a UK-backed “shock and awe” bombing campaign on Iraq on March 20, 2003.
Many Americans have forgotten about the atrocities committed by US-led occupation forces in Iraq since the invasion of 2003. However, the repercussions of the US war crimes and other serious violations of international law in Iraq continue to be an unavoidable part of Iraqis' daily life.
Trauma persists for most Iraqis, as 20% of people had had at least one murdered individual in their household as a result of the US occupation of their country, as per a survey conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB).
On this day, 20 years ago, #US forces started to bomb #Iraq signaling the launch of their invasion of the country. Millions of Iraqis suffered from the ruthless violence of US forces, notably in the infamous #AbuGhreib prison. pic.twitter.com/UA4MWduXpp— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) March 19, 2023
"War everywhere, all the time"
The US Senate overwhelmingly voted down a repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), 86–9. The repeal of the amendment was first proposed by Sen. Rand Paul to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the war on Iraq.
"Today, I offered the US Senate a chance to repeal the 9/11 2001 authorization for war to reclaim our constitutional power and send a message to the world that we are a nation of peace. We should have risen above symbolism and … shown our respect for the Constitution, our fealty to the rule of law, and our sincere desire that peace, not perpetual war, be our legacy, ” Paul said in a statement after the vote on March 22.
Paul further warned that by maintaining the 2001 AUMF, Congress is holding on to a declaration that "war everywhere, all the time" is acceptable.
The GOP senator promised to continue his efforts to get the authorization overturned, contending that Congress, not the president, should wield war-making powers under the Constitution.
Read more: Job of US Marine corps was killing people: Iraq War veterans speak up
Congress passed an AUMF pertaining to the United States' participation in the Gulf War in 1991. In October 2002, Congress also authorized an AUMF authorizing military war on Iraq.
The House voted to repeal both AUMFs in June 2021, deferring the matter to the Senate.
Members of Congress have long argued that by passing and then failing to repeal broad, open-ended war authorizations that US presidents have then used for years to justify military action around the world, legislators have ceded too much authority to the president over whether troops should be sent into combat.
Since the 11 September 2001 attacks, the US has waged wars in a dozen or more countries, relying merely on fabricated interpretations of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
This recalls the historic incident when a US veteran who served during the invasion of Iraq, Mike Prysner, publicly confronted former US President George W. Bush for lying about weapons of mass destruction and causing the deaths of a million Iraqis.
“Mr. Bush, when are you going to apologize for the million Iraqis that are dead because you lied?” he asked.