In support of Ld 1054, Defend the Guard legislation:
Thank you all so much for the opportunity to testify before your committee today.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Iraq War II.
The consensus now is that we should not have done it. Iraq was not manufacturing unconventional weapons and was not in league with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.
Many representatives and senators from that time have excused themselves for voting for this disastrous war by claiming that they did not vote for war at all, but for authorization to let President Bush decide whether to launch one.
This war would not have happened if Congress had insisted on their Constitutional obligation to declare war.
Rep Ron Paul introduced a declaration of war in the foreign affairs committee. He of course voted against it and urged his colleagues too as well. But he was challenging them to take responsibility for their decision instead of delegating it to the president. Chairman Dennis Hastert told him “We don’t go by that part of the Constitution anymore. It’s an anachronism.”
Hastert might have cited the UN Charter there, but it does not supersede the US Constitution and Bush did not get a resolution authorizing the war from the UN Security Council either.
The simple fact is that if Congress had been forced by the people and the states to declare war if they wanted one, Iraq War II would never have happened. That means there would have been no war in Libya, Syria or Yemen either, as they were all consequences of the war in Iraq.
More than two million people have been killed. Ten trillion dollars have been wasted. The conservatives now agree with the progressives: None of it should ever have happened.
If only a few states had had Defend the Guard legislation at the time, it would not have.
By passing this measure now, you can help to stop the next unnecessary war.
This is the patriotic thing to do. That is why, as you heard, the American Legion supports it. Frankly this should not even be controversial at all. The US Constitution is the law. Congress is in defiance of it. They must be made to obey the charter which delegates authority to them in the first place.
The men who have testified before you today have given everything they have, including their best friends, in service to their oath to that Constitution. I know it means everything to them.