Senegal's Mendy almost quit football during year with no club    EgyptAir, Ghana sign MoU to establish national Ghanaian airline    UAE gets Israeli visa exemptions, a first for Arab world    BREAKING: Egypt's central bank dismisses CIB head Hisham Ezz El-Arab over 'serious violations'    Heavy rain, lightning and thunder hit parts of Egypt Thursday    BREAKING: CAF postpone Zamalek-Raja semi-final return leg, keep date for final unchanged    Egypt call up five foreign-based players, including Arsenal's Eneny, for Togo games    Egyptian authorities foil attempt to smuggle three artefacts from Alexandria port    Egypt's health minister calls for adherence to Covid-19 measures in anticipation of rise in infections    New fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh dims hopes before Washington talks    Egypt reports 178 new coronavirus cases, 13 fatalities on Wednesday    In Photos: Visitors observe biannual sun alignment at Ramses II Temple in Abu Simbel    Lebanon begins consultations to pick new prime minister    'EU wants successful outcomes' of GERD negotiations: European ambassador to Egypt    Release of trailer for film Mafkoud: On the fate of those who went missing during the Lebanese civil war    Candidates poised for election marathon    Surviving the economic damage    Egypt's Sisi attends graduation ceremony of armed forces cadets at the Military Academy    Egyptian insurance companies' premiums 9.6% up in five months    Egypt's President Sisi names new head of anti-corruption watchdog    Egypt's c.bank offers 18 bln pounds T-bills on Sunday    EgyptAir offering discounts for some international flights    Egypt records 212 new coronavirus cases, 14 deaths on Saturday    Egypt to require PCR coronavirus tests for airport travelers    Egypt sends 125 tonnes of glass by sea to Beirut    Legend Messi officially wants to leave Barcelona, hands transfer request    Global smartphone sales drop 20% in Q2, yet Apple's iPhone sales steady    Sisi: Egypt keen on establishing development projects with Iraq, Jordan    Egyptian megastar Amr Diab releases new hit music video    Making of Harry Potter will be available for fans at new park in Tokyo    Egypt's Senate elections official results to be announced Wednesday    Netflix Egypt is bringing megastar Amr Diab back with a new original    Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing for first time since April    Egypt's senate elections 2020 trending on social media in few days    African Champions League final will be played on Oct. 16-17, CAF says    No room to delay Egyptian Premier League games – EFA's board member    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





The Iraq Debate We Should Have Had 15 Years Ago
Published in Ahram Online on 01 - 03 - 2018

Fifteen years ago this week, while the Bush Administration was busy beating the drums for an invasion of Iraq, I submitted a resolution calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to oppose this rush to war. The resolution, which was also endorsed by then Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, who served with me on the DNC, warned that there were still too many unanswered questions that required examination before we should endorse sending troops to invade and occupy Iraq. I felt it was of critical importance that we have a full debate before, and not after, the war had started.
My DNC resolution warned: That it would be a mistake to drain resources and attention away from the still unfinished effort in Afghanistan; that by violating international law and invading Iraq without the support of a UN Security Council resolution, we would be setting a dangerous precedent for other nations; that the Bush administration had not defined the strategic objectives of this war, nor had they been honest with the American people about the cost and consequences; and that a destabilised Iraq would create regional tension.
In formulating the resolution, I had in mind what had been called “The Powell Doctrine” – principles that had been formulated a decade earlier by then General Colin Powell, based on his experiences in Vietnam and several other disastrous US military engagements that had followed that tragic war. Powell argued that the US should not consider committing troops in any conflict unless all possible peaceful means of resolving this conflict had been exhausted.
Since the Bush Administration had met none of these conditions, I believed that it was reckless for the US to send our young men and women into harm's way. I was deeply concerned that we were about to engage in a conflict in a country whose history and culture we did not know and, therefore had no idea what might be the consequences of our invasion and occupation. For all these reasons, I believed that it was important for my party to be on record opposing what I felt “in my bones” was a disaster in the making.
The problem I was to discover was that we were at the very start of the 2004 presidential contest and the Democratic Party's candidates were not of one mind on the merits of the war. Because some were for it, while others were opposed, the party's leaders didn't want to have the DNC take a position. I was urged not to introduce the resolution.
I insisted that the war needed to be debated. In the end, I was allowed to introduce the measure and speak on its merits, but that neither a debate nor a vote would be permitted. That was a mistake!
It was similar to the mistake Democrats had made in September of 2002 before that year's mid-term elections. Back then, the Bush Administration was pushing hard to get some sort of war-making authorisation from Congress. In the face of the Republican's bullying tactics, the Senate Democrats folded. At a DNC meeting a few weeks before the Senate debate, I had warned that this strategy was wrong.
With the war-making resolution in his hand, an emboldened Bush assumed the mantle of a “president at war” and the Republican's focus on fear and insecurity paved the way to their taking control of the Senate in November, 2002.
In February 2003, I was concerned that if Democrats did not stand against this war we would risk losing in the future.
By then, the “writing was on the wall” – the war was going to happen. In 2003, Democrats were in a minority in Congress and couldn't block Bush's war. But the principle of having been opposed to a war we should have known wasn't going to turn out well would have put us in a stronger position in future elections.
I knew that this debate over the war would only continue as time wore on. And it did. It played out among the Democratic candidates in the 2004 contest.
It was a factor again in the 2008 contest and again in the 2016 Democratic primary race. And the decision to go to war and the consequences of that fateful decision continue to be debated today.
*This article was first published on the Arab American Institute website


Clic here to read the story from its source.