Stop experimenting with American lives

from "President Bush has had four years to bring peace to Iraq. Every experiment he's tried to achieve that goal has failed. Now he wants to expend more American lives and money on yet another experiment.

The Democrats, by contrast, seem to have adopted a “stay the course” strategy. They oppose the President's new experiment, but seem in no hurry to leave the laboratory.

U.S. policy is adrift, at the cost of innocent American lives and hundreds of billions of your tax money. It is time to stop the experiments.

We think the verdict from the laboratory is already clear. Too many Iraqi's prefer war to peace. This is their decision, and their responsibility.

If the Iraqi factions want peace, they can negotiate a settlement. American diplomats may have a role to play in this, if the factions desire it, but o ur troops are not needed for this purpose. Their presence in Iraq merely clouds the issue.

Are we supposed to choose sides? Which side are we supposed to favor, the Sunni or the Shia? The Sunni are the minority, but the Shia are tied to Iran. Do we really have a horse in this race? Are we supposed to attack both at once, and assume that this will lead to a peace settlement?

There are no American answers to these questions. There is no place for U.S. soldiers in this equation. It is an Iraqi question, that only the Iraqi's can answer.

That is, after all, what self-determination is all about.

It's time to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. We believe HR 413 provides the correct means to achieve that goal. HR 413 would de-authorize the occupation.

We got into this mess because Congress authorized it. We must get out of it by having Congress de-authorize it.

De-authorizing is a superior first step to de-funding . If Congress starts by de-funding the occupation the President will claim that Congress is really de-funding the troops. Congress can sidestep this rhetorical game-playing by first removing the President's authority to continue the occupation.

Once that is done, if the President tries to continue the occupation on his own, Congress can begin the de-funding process from a position of moral and legal strength.

Congress must reassert its Constitutional control over the war-making power.  The President has no Constitutional authority to make war or occupy foreign countries on his own. Only Congress has the Constitutional power to authorize war, and what Congress has authorized, it can de-authorize.

HR 413 is simple and direct. It reads as follows . . .

SECTION 1. REPEAL OF PUBLIC LAW 107-243. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) is hereby repealed. SEC. 2. WITHDRAWAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM IRAQ. The President of the United States shall provide for the withdrawal of units and members of the United States Armed Forces deployed in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in a safe and orderly manner.

HR 413 was introduced by Representative Sam Farr of California, and currently has the following co-sponsors:

Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3], Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8], Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7], Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10], Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9], Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6].

If your representative is on this list, please use the personal comments portion of your message to say thank you, and to ask your Senators to become co-sponsors. If your Representative is not on the list, please ask him or her, and both of your Senators, to sponsor HR 413. Our Congressional Contact System enables you to send instructions to all of your elected representatives with just one message. "