Letter: Congress must act to prevent war

Editor,

The United States and Iran are poised at the edge of war. President Trump, acting impulsively, ordered the assassination of an Iranian official considered to be the second most powerful person in Iran.

If this act had been carried out against an American official of comparative stature we would consider it an act of war.

Congress is also complicit. Congress has, through the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, ceded its war powers to the president. This act allows the president to order military action without approval of Congress or knowledge of the American public.

It is the basis for 18 years of “endless war.”

Congress has repeatedly failed to repeal the AUMF.

Most recently, a bipartisan bill calling for the repeal of the AUMF was placed in the 2019 Defense Appropriation Act omnibus spending bill.

Unfortunately, the leadership of both political parties interceded to remove AUMF repeal from the final spending bill.

Thus, Congress continues to essentially cede its war powers to the president.

However, it is not wise to remove war power checks on any president, but especially dangerous with the current White House occupant ill-equipped for the duties of the presidency.

An untethered president who is by all accounts unwilling to read daily briefings.

A president who believes he knows more than the military and intelligence experts.

Congress has failed to act as a co-equal branch of government and consequently the world is at the edge of a major war.

Given the horrors of war and its unforeseen consequences, it is essential that the American public demand that Congress act to prevent further escalation of military aggression in the Middle East.

Dick Hall

Coupeville

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