No, the Iraq War Is NOT Over
Posted on December 15, 2011 by emptywheel
The NYT, which played a key propaganda role in getting us into the Iraq war, has a 1000-word article telling us the Iraq war has officially been declared over.
And while it is true that the Administration had a campaign event dog and pony show yesterday declaring the war over, it is not.
After all, Rand Paul tried to formally, legally end the Iraq war last month. And 67 Senators refused to do so.
The fact that the Iraq AUMF remains on the books matters. It matters because no matter how many times we wax eloquent about Iraqis controlling their own destiny, Nuri al-Maliki knows that little prevents Obama from bringing in troops again-or dropping drones in his country. Maybe that's why Maliki is doing unfathomable things like laying a wreath at the military cemetery of the country that has occupied and ravaged his country for 8 years.
And, as I keep noting, the Iraq AUMF serves another purpose. That AUMF's general language on "terrorism" has been used to authorize the use of "war powers" against people the Executive Branch claims are terrorists who have nothing to do with al Qaeda. The Iraq AUMF has been interpreted by the Executive Branch to authorize a war against all so-called terrorists, not just the terrorists who hit us on 9/11. And based on that argument, it was used to authorize the wiretapping of American citizens in the US.
Credulous journalists may want to accept the Administration's propaganda about the Iraq war ending. But until we take the expanded powers given to the President pursuant to a vile propaganda campaign away from him, the Iraq war is not over. And Obama should not be able to use it as a campaign line until he actually gives up those powers.