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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/14/19

Will the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live?

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And:

"Nothing in this joint resolution may be construed to influence or disrupt any military operations and cooperation with Israel."

The bill lists current participants in the war, with no mention of Al Qaeda or Israel. These two loopholes are ridiculous or dangerous depending on what's done with them, and what Congress can reasonably be expected to do if they are abused. People who will claim that Venezuela harbors cells of Hezbollah intent on destroying your freedom, that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and that a wall is needed to save you from Mexican rapists might certainly be imagined claiming that the war on Yemen is against Al-Qaeda and/or that Israel has joined the war. Israel, for that matter, might actually join the war. And a Congress that won't impeach Donald Trump after a long list of impeachable offenses, and with half the Congress claiming Trump was installed by a foreign government, is unlikely to impeach him for violating this new law.

If the point of the loopholes is not to undo the law, what is the point of them? Are fighting Al-Qaeda and fighting for Israel such sacred ideals that they have to be meaninglessly added into random legislation?

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Then there's the problem that Trump has threatened to veto.

Then there's the problem that weapons sales to Saudi Arabia could roll on, no more illegal than before, following passage of this bill.

Of course, either house of Congress alone could refuse to allow a dime to be spent on U.S. war-making in Yemen. But there isn't any mechanism, as far as I know, for a member of Congress to force either chamber, despite its "leadership," to hold a vote on doing that. This is why making the War Powers Resolution real by finally using it is so valuable. Despite all the caveats, and despite all the steps that will remain to be taken, for Congress after 46 years and more wars than anyone can count to finally legislate the end of a particular war is ground breaking.

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If Congress can end one war, why not eight more? Why not the ones that are threatened and not yet begun?

If the U.S. Congress can end a war, why not the legislatures of every junior partner in U.S.-led coalition wars?

If the U.S. Congress can end a war, why not also close a base?

If the Congress can end war after war, one by one, why not move some of the money, billion by billion, out of the war machine and put it to good use?

If people can persuade one or more members of Congress to force a vote and persuade a majority of Congress to pass that vote, perhaps people, even in the greatest purveyor of violence on earth, can begin to create the understanding needed to begin dismantling the institution of war altogether.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
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