Iraq War

Republican Rep. Thomas Massie Signs On to House Bill Ending War in Iraq

“Let’s vote on this and see who is serious about ending forever wars.”

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Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.) announced today that he is officially crossing the aisle and co-sponsoring a bill in the House to end military engagements in Iraq.

Massie tweeted that he is signing onto a bill by Rep. Barbara Lee (D–Calif.) repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in 2002. The AUMF allowed the military to invade and occupy Iraq and has been used to justify continued involvement there:

Lee's resolution had 43 listed co-sponsors, all Democrats. Massie appears to be the first Republican to sign on. The resolution, H.R. 2456, simply says, "The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107–24350 U.S.C. 1541 note) is hereby repealed."

America's continued involvement in Iraq has not made that country safer for the people who live there, and it hasn't made America safer for the people who live here. Our continued occupation of Iraq risks the welfare of American troops in service of goals that do not remotely resemble the reason Congress initially authorized the war.

Seriously, read this chunk of text on why we're in Iraq and try to determine anything in this AUMF that actually matches what we're doing today:

There is no item there permitting the president to use Iraq as a staging area to attack Iran.

To the extent the 2002 AUMF allows military actions against other countries, it is limited to those that "planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." That clause is why Vice President Mike Pence attempted to exaggerate ties between Iran and the 9/11 terrorists as some roundabout way of retroactively justifying the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. While several of the 9/11 terrorists did pass through Iran on their way to the United States, the commission that examined the attack found no evidence that the country's leaders were aware of their plans.

Massie has supported Trump's anti-interventionist foreign policy rhetoric, even though Trump's actions have not aligned with what he says. (We are, for example, sending more troops to the Middle East.)

Massie has been very consistent, along with the likes of Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah), and Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.) that it's time to repeal these old AUMFs. Let's see if some other House Republicans follow suit.

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  1. A Trumpista Traitor! Oh are Trumpistas gonna hitch a pissy fit to this post!

    1. Hi SQRLSY.

  2. But.. but… but…. it’s only been … like… seventeen years….. they need more time to defeat Iraq….!

    1. The walls are closing in!

  3. Why does Thomas Massie hate Big Man?

    1. IKR someone should censor him already.

  4. Good for Massie. GTFO. STFO.

  5. [blinks] Congress, do its job?

    What madness is this?

  6. I’m all for leaving Iraq which this doesn’t do that said from the article.

    “America’s continued involvement in Iraq has not made that country safer for the people who live there, and it hasn’t made America safer for the people who live here. ”

    Can’t wait to see what they say when the shooting between all the tribes start after we leave. Iraqies may not be safe now but wait till a million are killed after we leave. BTW the million has historical precedent in my lifetime

    1. Whether US forces pull out now or in another 17 years there is no path that ends with a pro-US puppet gov remaining in control more than a few weeks or months after are troops are pulled out.

      The only thing staying does is create another generation that knows the US as invaders, inciting continued attacks.

    2. Who do you think is going to kill the Million?

      1. “Who do you think is going to kill the Million?”

        Each other, is my guess. Sounds a bit high, considering the population of Iraq, but I could buy 50-100 thousand dying in civil disorder relating to a post-US settling of scores, migration of people, etc…

        Still not the US’s problem.

  7. Good for Massie.
    Let’s hope this actually becomes a reality.

    1. “chemjeff radical individualist
      January.7.2020 at 6:07 pm
      When your response consists of an insult, I know I’ve hit the mark”

      So you’re saying I’m the most correct person on this board for over a decade?

      You’ve spent three days running from the question

      1. Why won’t you just answer the question Little Jeffy?

  8. also this isn’t about the AUMF as John has pointed out. As long as we are there we are allowed to defend ourselves. what you want is us out of there and so do I. Move and act, write, in that matter to sway peoples minds to leave instead of making it difficult for our people to defend themselves while they are there.

    1. “As long as we are there we are allowed to defend ourselves.”

      Then what is to stop us from using this logic to be EVERYWHERE, and then take over the entire galaxy in the name of self defense? WHY are we there in the first place? Because there is some injustice there? There is injustice across the entire galaxy! Let’s get going then! PS, how much will it COST us to give stop-fucking-goats therapy to all goat-fuckers everywhere?

      1. Hi Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf

      2. “what is to stop us from using this logic to be EVERYWHERE, and then take over the entire galaxy in the name of self defense?”

        The lack of people shooting at us.

        Nice try though Old Mex.

        1. Maybe we should just try to take over the whole galaxy. Fuck it. If we’re going to spend this much on a military, let’s see what it can do.

          1. “”Maybe we should just try to take over the whole galaxy.””

            Space Force. Fuck yeah!!!!

            1. M-A-R-S
              Mars, bitches

  9. Good for Massie. It’s time for Republicans to put up or shut up on this issue. I’m glad to see 43 Democrats sign on, but this is the GOPs chance to do the right thing WHILE their guy is in the white house.

    1. Well, they had a chance to repeal Obamacare as they’d been campaigning on doing for 6 damn years and somehow managed to escape the responsibility of committing an actual action so I’m not holding my breath. If they had any intent of upholding those “principles” they keep talking about, they’d have long ago done what Boris Johnson did when some party members declined to toe the party line on a make-or-break vote – kick ’em out of the party.

      What good does it do to have RINOs like Mitt Romney, John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snow, or Arlen Spector in your party just to maintain your majority when keeping the RINOs within the party requires you to behave just like the Democrats? It’s like a bully going around forcing people to punch themselves in the face and when he approaches you, you think “I know, I’ll punch myself in the face and then the bully will feel sorry for me and won’t demand that I punch myself in the face.” What the hell kind of plan is that, to pre-emptively surrender just so you can claim you’ve never lost a fight?

  10. Cool.
    Would’ve been a lot better to do this at a time when it doesn’t make it appear that the US is too scared to dare fight back if anyone takes a shot at Americans though

    1. Actually, this is the perfect time precisely because the US has demonstrated that they aren’t going to put up with the proxy bullshit. They will kill terrorist leaders, and THEN take their money and go home.

      1. No, it looks like Trump will kill terrorist leaders and not tolerate proxy bullshit, but as soon as he acts the US congress will tuck tail and run.
        I’m sure that won’t have any unintended consequences…

        1. We don’t need boots on the ground to let them know the proxy shit doesn’t work. Murderdroning Iranian military leaders does not require boots on the ground in Iraq.

          1. I’ve thought about this and I think the best thing trump could do is say we’re pulling our forces out except what’s necessary to man the airfields. But we’re shipping in more missile defense systems to iraq and we’re sending some ridiculous number, like 15k, new drones to our bases in uae, iraq, and turkey. That would achieve all our goals of removing troops and make Iran shit it’s pants

            1. Not a bad approach.
              I’m still uncomfortable with the timing.
              It’d be nice if our elected representatives were capable legislators, and our advocates (like Reason) were capable advocates, so we could do this when half the country isn’t in the middle of a “ASSASSIN PREZ!!!! OMG WORLD WAR III!!!! SCARY IRAN!!!!” freakout, so it doesn’t give the impression that we’re scared, spineless, and lack the unified will to be assertive in the face of conflict.
              Then again, I don’t know that the world where that is possible exists.

              1. And there is going to be a big problem for the Iraqi Sunnis when we leave.
                Might not lead to the rise of another IS, but it very well may lead to an ethnic cleansing

                1. The future ceased to look good for Iraqi Sunnis when the Arab Sunni minority was put 100% in charge of a majority Persian-Shi’ite country with no Persian-Shi’ite representation whatsoever.

                  1. One might say a similar thing about the Tutsi in Rwanda. Not that what happened to them wasn’t an atrocity, but the role they played during Belgian rule pretty much guaranteed that there would be built-up resentments once they weren’t in power anymore.

                    1. And I’m not saying the US has responsibility for their well being (though… I can see the argument for it).
                      What I am saying is that everyone needs to acknowledge what’s going to happen, and stop pretending there is no moral dilemma

                    2. What I am saying is that everyone needs to acknowledge what’s going to happen, and stop pretending there is no moral dilemma

                      Agreed, since many of the Forever-War crowd will pretend that those arguing for disengagement don’t understand the consequences, when in fact we recognize that it’s more of a matter of timing than anything.

                    3. And I’m not saying the US has responsibility for their well being (though… I can see the argument for it).

                      Although, really it was the UK who put the Sunni Arabs in charge of Iraq in the first place . . .

                    4. The UK has done, and does, a lot of shitty things.
                      Somehow, they always step out of the way and get the blame to fall on us.
                      Of course, we were definitely the ones who took out Saddam

                  2. Iraqi Shiites are (overwhelmingly) Arabs, not Persians. The split between them and Iraqi Sunnis is more or less purely religious, not ethnic.

        2. “but as soon as he acts the US congress will tuck tail and run.
          I’m sure that won’t have any unintended consequences…”

          Fair enough- I get you.

          But realize that the only logical outcome of this is that we remain in Iraq forever. There is always a suicide bomber or tinpot dictator pushing our buttons. Whenever we TALK about drawing back forces, there will always be a bunch of murderers stirring up shit in order to position themselves as the strongmen when the US is gone.

          There is never going to be a good time to leave, which is why we still have not left yet. The day when Iraq is a stable democracy that can stand on its own will never come so long as the US is there to feed them our money and give them a reason to not figure out their own shit.

          Does it suck that certain people feel like we are getting chased out of the country? Sure. But it is absolutely clear to most that Iran got pantsed in front of the world community, and the US is now ready to do its Mic Drop. Leftists notwithstanding.

          1. But realize that the only logical outcome of this is that we remain in Iraq forever.

            ^ This.

            The day when Iraq is a stable democracy that can stand on its own will never come so long as the US is there to feed them our money and give them a reason to not figure out their own shit.

            ^ And this.

          2. Good points.
            I’m not gonna cry if we evacuate Iraq.
            It’s a bit more complicated than the level of analysis I usually see put into it

        3. Well there is the small fact that Iraq, a nominally sovereign country, wants us to leave now.

  11. Stupid Massie is a progressive troll! True libertarians support their leader in all things! Do not question El Jefe! If he wants troops in Iraq well then that’s the libertarian thing to do! MAGA! Trump 2020! All true libertarians support this message! Aaaauuugghhh!

    1. Oh you’re doing your teenage girl thing again.

      1. Like gag me with a rubber spoon and stuff, you know?

  12. On the one hand, FUCK YEAH. First we kill the AUMF and then maybe we can take on the Patriot ACT.

    On the other hand, it is not clear to me that repealing the AUMF would necessarily translate to vacating Iraq. We are at peace with Iraq, and until they kick us out, we are there at their invitation. There is no authorization to use military force that keeps our troops in Japan or Germany either, for example.

    On the mutant, third hand, wouldn’t it be DELICIOUS if this does lead to the US withdrawing from Iraq? As recently as this morning, Reason was reciting “What has the assassination of Solemain gotten us”. It would be fantastic if in addition to getting us a dead terrorist, it got the US out of Iraq. And mind you, NOTHING else would have done it. Years and years of posturing among the dems has not gotten this act passed. It took Trump kacking an Iranian to finally get congress to grow a spine.

    1. Excepting Massie, and maybe Lee, and the five or six others like them who are consistent opponents of forever war, they haven’t grown a spine.

      The object of this game for most of them is “how do we smack trump, but still allow presidents to engage in wars we quietly approve of without having to actually stick our necks out and show our approval publicly”

      1. Correct.
        And what the fuck do they care that it looks to the outside world like American government will freak out and kneecap a president if he responds to aggression decisively?
        Great timing

        1. You want something from the US?
          Just kill an American or two, brace for the single counter punch, then wait for the hysteric American politicos to freak out and get you the result you wanted!
          (Hansel whisper) it’s so simple!

          1. “You want something from the US?
            Just kill an American or two, brace for the single counter punch, then wait for the hysteric American politicos to freak out and get you the result you wanted!”

            It’s worked lots of places already. Somalia, Lebanon. I’m surprised it didn’t work in Iraq, TBH. I thought the US would leave long before 1k KIA. Wrong.

            For what it’s worth, if Massie and the others can get this to Trump’s desk, my guess is he’ll sign it. He’s been consistent long before he got elected that he thought the Iraq War was an idiotic idea.

            1. It has worked, and I’m not sure it’s avoidable.
              Mostly an argument for being more discerning about where we send people and what they’re there to accomplish.
              Still, those times you mention directly inspired a road that lead to 9/11

        2. I mean, some people have been trying to end this war for a long time. The fault rests with the neocons for not letting it be ended earlier when that wouldn’t have happened.

          I get that they are using that as an excuse–no, you can’t end it now!!!! We’ll look bad!!!

          Well, sorry–you should have thought of that before. Excuses will only lead to more excuses, as we have seen throughout the entire history of this sorry war.

          1. What’s Massie’s excuse for not proposing this bill once a week since he’s been in office?
            What’s Reason’s excuse for not pushing activism to leave, when things are quieter?
            Everybody has excuse.
            Everybody has desires.
            Few have strategy and foresight.

            1. There hasn’t been a serious push to leave Iraq since Trump’s campaign.
              And where the fuck were the libertarians who’ve wanted to leave for years? Were they taking advantage to cozy up to Trump, advocating his foreign policy ideas, and working toward such ends?
              Nope.
              They were screeching “Orange Man Bad” like the idiots in corporate media, the Ds, and the never-trumpers.
              Now, it just looks like panic and retreat – because no foundation has been laid. There’s no clear-thought ready, no plans.
              They’ve made leaving Iraq into a purely reactionary position

              1. I think you may not understand here.

                The US needs to get the fuck out of Iraq. That is my priority. Indeed, I will be very happy when we get the fuck out of all of the middle east. That region means dick all to our interests now that fracking has made us energy independent.

                I hear- er read- what you are writing. Yes, we will likely lose some face in leaving. Yes, it may even be humiliating. And indeed, some dictators will think that this is american weakness. I don’t care. 15 years is long enough, for fucks sake. If we couldn’t, in over a decade, create the conditions for us to leave, it is time to accept that we likely never will. I would love it if we could BOTH leave and save face, but since I can’t have both, I want out.

                That said, if there was ANY time that we get some plausible deniability in leaving the region, this is it. You and many other Trump supporters out there are pretty consistent in insisting that the left and many republicans have lost their shit and succumbed to TDS. Ok. So as a foreign belligerent, do I take the revocation of the AUMF as an example of perpetual American weakness, or do I take it as an example of that one time when the US hired someone so outside the Club that he couldn’t even keep his party in line?

                1. Again, good points.
                  Maybe we can covertly bribe the Iraqi parliament into voting us out.
                  Or, propose they pay us massive amounts to stay (yes, literally protection money).
                  Some way to get them to vote us out.
                  Wed even look magnanimous leaving when asked

        3. And what the fuck do they care that it looks to the outside world like American government will freak out and kneecap a president if he responds to aggression decisively?

          This is starting to get into “dissent is unpatriotic” territory.

          1. Dissent can be unpatriotic.
            Not what I’m saying here though.
            In this case, dissent and the form it’s taken isn’t strategic – it’s reactionary and panicked

            1. I get the impression that you view foreign policy through the lens of “maintaining America’s honor”. Would that be a fair statement?

    2. On the ‘gripping hand.’

      1. If only we could have Mediators to do our negotiating…

        Crazy Eddie’s already here.

    3. There is no authorization to use military force that keeps our troops in Japan or Germany either, for example.

      But then, we’re not shooting or bombing anyone in Germany or Japan. And furthermore, “Impossible Germany Unlikely Japan” is an awesome record.

  13. But we aren’t using force “against” Iraq.

    See how easy that is to sidestep?

  14. Call me when they do this when they know it’ll pass.

  15. SPB is Mary. Where’s Warty when you need him?

  16. the “continuing threat posed by Iraq” part is hilarious.

  17. We actually left once, if you’ll remember, but had to go back because ISIS was committing genocide against the Yezidis…

    But hey, genocide is not our problem, right?

    1. But hey, genocide is not our problem, right?

      Rwanda, line 1 . . .

      1. In fairness, the US didn’t invade Rwanda and depose its Tutsi ruler

        1. Fair enough. Arguably, the analogy would be if we deposed a Tutsi leader, installed a government dominated by Hutu, and then left. I don’t think you could solidly argue that we would have caused the genocide, but we would certainly have been enablers.

          Unfortunately, we’ve already thrown the balance off in Iraq. Unless we can find another brutal Arab dictator to repress the Shi’ites before we leave, so that at least we leave it like we found it, we’ve already pretty much spilt that milk.

          1. The US should try what Sparta used to do (most notably when Athens invaded Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War):
            Send over a governor.
            Not someone under our orders, but a CEO, (former) official, etc – high executive – to go over and run these countries. Offer a billion dollar contract to rule Iraq, Rwanda, El Salvador, wherever for a few years.
            Get someone in charge who knows what they’re doing and has no prior attachments.
            It won’t work out every time, but I’m willing to bet it would be better for more than things are now

            1. Let’s look at Iraq: the Sunnis won’t feel safe with a Shiite gov, the Shiite won’t feel safe with a Sunni gov, and the Kurds are kinda into doing their own thing.
              How do you work that out?
              Put an American in charge. Let him pick a team and they go run the place. Have Iraqi parliament sign a treaty guaranteeing his safety and agreeing to be governed.
              It’s progressive colonialism.

              1. What could possibly go wrong?

                1. I mean… I can think of a lot of things.
                  Still worth a shot

              2. Or, bug out and call it even, and fuck them all. Total cost: $0

              3. then throw the three cats into the same gunny sack and let THEN work it out. Since when is it OUR job/responsiblity to make others play nice?
                Fact is, the way all those sand lot nations, not to mention the Balkans and other places, were laid out by the conquering powers many years ago was wrong from the git go. Nearly every one of those “nations” was a false construct…. three or more people group to live inside one arbitrarily laid out set of lines, and each of these people groups further divided amongst at least two and sometimes four other “nations”… guaranteed infighting, chaos, disagreement, unresolvable differenes..

                a NATIION is not an imaginarly line drawn in some closed form out somewhere in the dirt. A NATION is a people group occupying the same territorry. Their common culture unites them, so they naturally work to mutual peace and prosperity. In Iraq there are sinnu, shiite, kurd, each in their own areas, and each also divided into at least two other natioins… kurds in Turkey and Syria

                This was deliberately done to make certain NONE of the new “nations” oculd ever come together and agree on enough to become any sort of force to reckon with. The disagreement and infigting and suspicion WILL keep them from uniting into a common people with common goals.And any other nation, such as ours, that think they can FORCE peace upon such a disparate mess are delusioinal;.

    2. Would have been cheaper to give the Yezidis refugee status.

      1. No joke.

    3. genocide is not our problem, right?

      No, it isn’t, as long as we’re not participating.

      We actually left once

      Not really. After we “left”, we still had about 20,000 employees, about 4500 mercenaries, and Marine “embassy” guards there, and continued to conduct combat aircraft activities. We dialed back significantly, but didn’t “leave”.

  18. It is unclear to me that President Trump would veto this legislation if it came to his desk. It would take a lot of pressure off of Trump in an election year to maintain troops in Iraq if he could throw his hands up and say maintaining them there is against the law. When I look at Trump’s choices in withdrawing our troops out of Harm’s way in Syria, Trump’s decision not to respond to Iran’s provocations for so long, and Trump’s decision not to escalate despite Iran’s latest attack, I see the same calculations that Trump might make in deciding to withdraw from Iraq: That maintaining our troops in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States.

    I favor doing what is in the best interests of the United States–even if the Democrats are also in favor of it for all the wrong reasons.

    1. The problem is the Democrats think they have the political upper hand with the whole Soleimani assassination, WW3 narrative they had going. Things have changed significantly in the last 24 hours and if their polling shows a political advantage for Trump in unilateral withdrawal they’ll back out in a heartbeat.

      1. But they’ll pay a price for that at the polls.

        1. which would be a feature and not a bug

  19. I’m not sure simply repealing the AUMF would force an immediate withdrawal, might take another act of congress since the current action was “legal” when initiated. In any case I hope it passes both houses and Trump gets it done ASAP.

    1. At the very least it would require a pullback and transition to a defensive posture. The AUMF is what authorizes them to go out and find things to blow up.

  20. Trump was elected, in part, to do this- exactly. Lets end this military engagement and make good on one of his campaign promises. Good for T. Massie.

  21. Kudos to the sponsors and supporters of this bill. Our involvement in the Middle East has been like that movie “The Butterfly Effect.” We need to just GET OUT before we waste another gazillion dollars and countless lives.

  22. “Let’s vote on this and see who is serious about ending forever wars.”

    Massey is remaining consistent – let’s see if he can gain any traction now that a President massively unpopular with the career politicians and the deep staters is in office. Its now or never in regards to clawing back the warmaking power.

  23. Huh. Interesting. Looks like there was some legal jiggery-pokery with the resolution.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/09/politics/war-powers-resolution-republicans-yes-vote/index.html

    The structure of the House resolution is unique, however, calling into question whether it is actually legally binding. It was introduced as a concurrent resolution, a type of resolution often used for “sense of Congress” bills. They don’t go to the President for a signature, and they aren’t legally binding.

    But House Democrats are arguing that concurrent resolutions under the War Powers Act are a special case, and they are legally binding. Republicans, however, say the resolution is not binding.

    1. If it’s a resolution with no teeth, it’s basically pointless. It’s the House hedging their bets that a Democrat will be in office in 2021, and for all their bluster, the last thing Dem reps want is to bind their leader’s hands when we’re still in the Middle East.

      If they meant what they said, they would have done this for the entire region, not just Iraq.

  24. After we end the war in Iraq, how’s about jumping back to the beginning of the alphabet and ending the nonsense in Afghanistan?

  25. Nancyfaym
    January.9.2020 at 8:11 pm
    “Kudos to the sponsors and supporters of this bill. Our involvement in the Middle East has been like that movie “The Butterfly Effect.” We need to just GET OUT before we waste another gazillion dollars and countless lives.”

    Do not recognize the movie reference, but I cannot agree more. Those in the Near- and Mid-east countries can do their best to convince women that they have to wear that rag on their head without my tax money helping them.
    And if the Shiites want to kill the Sunnis, I’m more that willing to sell guns and ammo to both sides.
    I’m more than willing to profit from both feudal societies who wish to kill the other feudal society; they both deserve to be both dead and poor.
    Please let us know how we can profit by your stupidity; we’ll take the money.

  26. It’s The System

    The fault lies not in the men but in the system. In 1787, the U.S. Constitution, magnificent as it was, contained flaws that one day were to prove fatal. Today, the Constitution screams for modification.

    “Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched.”-President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

    Excerpt from the novel, Retribution Fever:

    No military action against a foreign power shall be undertaken without a formal Declaration of War except in an emergency declared in writing by the President; in which case, the Congress shall approve by a more than two-thirds majority of each Chamber said military action within thirty days by issuing a formal Declaration of War, or said action shall cease immediately. Neither any sort of Congressional Resolution nor Executive Order shall constitute a Declaration of War or fulfill this provision.

    Disagree? Alternative, please.

    1. If we had a Constitutional Convention today, the entire Bill of Rights would be repealed.

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