Re: Nothing to report from Iraq's front, America

OK folks, here's your references... (glad to see your back "mb")

Reference ...

- Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq

- Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.

The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice."

- The resolution requires Bush to declare to Congress either before or within 48 hours after beginning military action that diplomatic efforts to enforce the U.N. resolutions have failed.

- Bush also must certify that action against Iraq would not hinder efforts to pursue the al Qaeda terrorist network that attacked New York and Washington last year. And it requires the administration to report to Congress on the progress of any war with Iraq every 60 days.

- The measure passed the Senate and House by wider margins than the 1991 resolution that empowered the current president's father to go to war to expel Iraq from Kuwait. That measure passed 250-183 in the House and 52-47 in the Senate.

- Resolution sharply divides Democrats
The Senate vote sharply divided Democrats, with 29 voting for the measure and 21 against. All Republicans except Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island voted for passage.

- Ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle announced Thursday morning he would support Bush on Iraq, saying it is important for the country "to speak with one voice at this critical moment." Daschle, D-South Dakota, said the threat of Iraq's weapons programs "may not be imminent. But it is real. It is growing. And it cannot be ignored." However, he urged Bush to move "in a way that avoids making a dangerous situation even worse."

- Sen. Bob Graham of Florida was one of 21 Senate Democrats voting against the resolution. "This is the Tonkin Gulf resolution all over again," Byrd said. "Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution."

- But Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said the United States needs to move before Saddam can develop a more advanced arsenal. "Giving peace a chance only gives Saddam Hussein more time to prepare for war on his terms, at a time of his choosing, in pursuit of ambitions that will only grow as his power to achieve them grows," McCain said.

- In the House, six Republicans -- Ron Paul of Texas; Connie Morella of Maryland; Jim Leach of Iowa; Amo Houghton of New York; John Hostettler of Indiana; and John Duncan of Tennessee -- joined 126 Democrats in voting against the resolution.

- Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, said giving Bush the authority to attack Iraq could avert war by demonstrating the United States is willing to confront Saddam over his obligations to the United Nations. "I believe we have an obligation to protect the United States by preventing him from getting these weapons and either using them himself or passing them or their components on to terrorists who share his destructive intent," said Gephardt, who helped draft the measure.

- But Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said the 133 votes against the measure were "a very strong message" to the administration."All across this land Americans are insisting on a peaceful resolution of matters in Iraq," he said. "All across this land, Americans are looking towards the United States to be a nation among nations, working through the United Nations to help resolve this crisis."

Reference ....

Q108. "Who has the power to declare war?"

A. The Constitution clearly grants the Congress the power to declare war, in Article 1, Section 8. The President, however, is just as clearly made the Commander in Chief of all of the armed forces, in Article 2, Section 2. That having been said, the ability to defend the nation or to take military action has often not involved the Congress directly, and the President's role as "C-in-C" is often part of the reason for that.

What this has resulted in is the essential ability of the President to order forces into hostilities to repel invasion or counter an attack, without a formal declaration of war. The conduct of war is the domain of the President.

The question of the need for a declaration of war dates all the way back to the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson sent a squadron of warships to the Mediterranean to protect U.S. shipping against the forces of the Bey of Tripoli. Jefferson's instructions to the squadron were that they act in a defensive manner only, with a strictly defined order of battle. When a Tripolitan cruiser shot at a U.S. ship, the U.S. forces seized the ship, disarmed it, and released it. Jefferson's message to Congress on the incident indicated that he felt the acts to be within constitutional bounds. Alexander Hamilton wrote to Congress and espoused his belief that since the United States did not start the conflict, the United States was in a state of war, and no formal declaration was needed to conduct war actions. Congress authorized Jefferson's acts without declaring war on the Bey.

Not all acts of war, however, need place the United States into a state of war. It is without doubt an act of war to fire upon a warship of another nation. In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel([search]) attacked the USS Liberty, an intelligence ship operating off the Sinai coast. But the United States did not react as though it were at war, even though many considered the attack deliberate (both Israel and the U.S. later determined the attack to have been a mistake caused by the cloud of war).

It may be correct to say, then, that an act or war committed against the United States can place the United States into a state of war, if the United States wishes to see the act in that light. A declaration of war by the Congress places the Unites States at war without any doubt. Absent a declaration of war, the President can react to acts of war in an expedient fashion as he sees fit.

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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