US to consider repealing laws that authorized war on Iraq: Senator
The nightmare of the war on Iraq still haunts US officials.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider proposals to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq next week.
Addressing the Senate, Schumer said, "I want to offer a brief but heartfelt thanks to Chairman [Bob] Menendez and Ranking Member [Jim] Risch … for reaching an agreement to mark up next week a long-awaited measure that many of us have waited for: a repeal of the Iraq AUMF."
Schumer applauded the proposal's bicameral bipartisan backing. Both parties believe that the US should put the Iraq War "squarely behind us" by removing the legal authority that began it.
"We need to put the Iraq war squarely behind us once and for all, and doing that means we should extinguish the legal authority that initiated the war to begin with," Schumer said.
The Senate committee will examine repealing the two AUMFs authorizing US hostilities in Iraq.
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.
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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.
‘Bush lied. People died’
US President Joe Biden was one of the 77 senators who gave President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq back in October 2002.
US military officials admitted that some troops committed abuses, claiming always independently of senior commanders, and claimed that more than 300 criminal investigations were opened in response to accusations of prisoner mistreatment and that 100 soldiers were subjected to court-martial proceedings and administrative punishments.
Washington, along with coalition forces, invaded Iraq in March 2003, after toppling Saddam Hussein, under the pretext of disarming Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, plunging Iraq into bloodshed and chaos.
The US invasion of Iraq left at least five million Iraqi orphans, murdered over 100,000 Iraqis, forced four to five million Iraqis to flee their homes, displaced ancient Iraqi minority groups, and destroyed much of Iraq's infrastructure and economy.