February 15, 2020

The US Senate, long the lap dog of the man who would be king, President Donald Trump, appears to have finally remembered its proper constitutional role.

Last week, the Senate voted 55/45 for a new bipartisan War Powers Act to constrain military action against Iran. The Congress voted a similar act. Both are designed to start returning the right to make war to Congress, as the Constitution clearly intended. The president is not the Warlord-in-chief in spite of what he thinks.

The Senate has been supine until now, intimidated by an unholy alliance of pro-war Christian evangelists and the Israel lobby, and over $100 million given to the Republican Party by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Senators who dare oppose this powerful special interest risk their political futures. The lifting of limits on political contributions has given Adelson enormous power over Trump and his friend, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump has been very successful in intimidating and punishing those who deviate from his party line. All he lacks so far is a KGB-style secret police to enforce his demands. The current fracas over Trump’s efforts to undermine the prosecution of his ally, political low-life Roger Stone, is yet the latest example of the steady erosion of our democratic system.

Yet even Trump went too far with the murder of senior Iranian officer, Maj. Gen Qasem Soleimani, who had been invited to visit Iraq for peace talks by its US-installed regime. Americans, besotted by too many violent TV programs, saw this as a plus, but the rest of the world was horrified by the gangster act. It appears Trump & Co. were convinced to commit this murder by Israel, which had been stalking Soleimani for years.

Ironically, the US killed the most moderate senior Iranian leader who was in line to become the Islamic Republic’s leader. Israel has long had the policy of assassinating Palestinian moderates, leaving only the radicals alive. This allowed Israel to assert ‘we have no one to negotiate with.’

Soleimani’s murder was too much for eight Republican senators. This act of war was never approved by Congress, as the Constitution mandates. Better educated senators realized that Trump was pushing the US into a bloody war with Iran which, like the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, would have only one real winner, Israel.

These senators did the right thing. They arrested, at least temporarily, the decades-long shift to growing presidential dictatorship under the guise of war powers.

Think back to the 2003 Iraq War which was concocted by the Bush administration to justify a massive military intervention when, in fact, no real threat to the US existed. I know this because I was there and immune to all the official lies from Washington and London. A pack of lies, but the US still occupies Iraq.

The ‘imminent threat’ scenario used by Republicans to promote warlike acts, such as the murder of Maj. Gen. Soleimani, is bogus. Anyone can justify war by claiming ‘intelligence sources’ and internet chatter. Much of the intelligence the US gets from the Mideast is fake or twisted to promote other nation’s benefit. Washington was fed a farrago of intelligence lies and half-truths by its allies Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel to help promote the 2003 war against Iraq. Trump has used similar phony ‘intelligence’ to justify his Mideast militarism.

The founders of our United States intended Congress to be the premier arm of government. But our once powerful Congress has been bleeding power and authority – not to mention respect – since the Vietnam era. Serving in Congress was supposed to be a part-time job for educated landowners, not small-town lawyers from the rural Bible Belt.

But will this attempt by the Senate to restore some of its power and prestige work? Trump will almost certainly veto this war powers act and further intimidate Congress. Yet unless Congress makes a stand, our balanced system of government is truly at risk. Americans should at minimum draw the lesson never to vote power to a president and Congress of the same party.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2020

This post is in: Iran, Iraq, Military and Security Affairs, USA

4 Responses to “WAKE UP SENATORS!”

  1. Raj Sathya says:

    Looking at the scenario the Democrats are merely barking at trees that is not to their favor. One PLO refugee used vulgar words against the President while one Somalian pirate supports Al-Qaeda, an Islamic terror group.Needless to say about the House speaker, ripping up the Union speech. Bernie Sanders who received political donation of 75 million dollars is no where to match Trump’s huge campaign war. The US economy shown very positive throughout his 3 years in office. Keeping unemployment levels low and stock market high.In the coming election Trump and the Republicans will retain the office while the Democrats will find ways to impeach Mr. Trump.

  2. I think the Americans are totally ‘pooched’… I’ve come to realise that the problem is not Donald Trump. He is simply a symptom of a much greater problem.
    I’m just sitting back waiting for the Americans to destroy the earth and to start World War III.

  3. I’m still not convinced that Trump will order a military strike on Iran, even assuming that he vetoes the War Powers Act passed by Congress. Vladimir Putin has enough clout with Trump to restrain him and there is good reason to believe that he already has with regards to the first planned US air attack last year against that country. As for the senators (who were chosen by the individual state legislatures and governors until 1912) and the members of the House of Reps. years ago being landowners who served on a part-time basis in the 18th and 19th centuries, that was certainly a much simpler time that could not be duplicated in the 21st century. There is absolutely no way that the men and women who serve in Congress could function on a part-time basis now. The demands upon the said politicians, be they from the general public, the lobbyists, and others, plus the preparation for committee meetings and the time the committees are actually in session, and the full sessions of the House and Senate themselves, are such that those are now full-time plus occupations that few Americans would have the stamina or knowledge to fulfill.

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