In the ongoing crisis, Congress must rein in Trump’s war powers

 In diplomacy, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Trump Administration, War

As we feared, President Trump’s reckless assassination of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani resulted in escalation — direct Iranian missile attacks on two military bases in Iraq. It’s painful to watch more violence in a country that has already suffered far too much from endless war. All parties in the US/Iran conflict must cease military action and engage in diplomacy to address the conflict.

The window for de-escalation is still — barely — open. But it is closing. Peace-loving people cannot count on Donald Trump and his reckless war cabinet to de-escalate. Even if there is a pause in hostilities, this is a chronic problem and Trump’s war powers need to be reined in. We cannot allow a president that this week threatened to engage in war crimes by attacking civilian targets in Iran to usurp Congressional war powers. This will take bold and persistent action by Congress to wrest the war authority that is rightfully theirs from this irresponsible administration. Congress must act immediately to pass a War Powers resolution to block further unauthorized military action. But they must also repeal the 2002 law that authorized use of force in Iraq. Finally, Congress must use the power of the purse to prevent funding from being used for war on Iran.

But Congressional action is not enough. Congressional war powers are ultimately a reflection of the power of the people in a democracy when it comes to waging war. Polling shows that the overwhelming majority of the public does not want a war with Iran. This situation is too dangerous for the people of this country not to take action themselves. At this dangerous time, with lives hanging in the balance, we need peace loving people taking to the streets in peaceful, nonviolent vigils and demonstrations to make sure our elected officials hear our voices. We need waves of meetings with members of Congress to make sure they are doing everything in their power to block this war.

At a moment like this, our democratic institutions and shared values must prevail to prevent another dangerous cycle of senseless war.

Take action to block the path to war! Call your Senators and Representatives and tell them to speak out against war with Iran and in favor of diplomacy. The Capitol switchboard is 1-202-224-3121. The switchboard operator will connect you with the office you request. You can also join nationwide protests here.

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