Letter to the editor: Military strikes
To the editor:
Have we forgotten our own sense of helpless rage when those planes hit the World Trade Center buildings in 2001? For no apparent reason, an outside invader came crashing into those tall buildings, causing over 3,000 deaths. We were left to speculate on why, and our grief and indignation persist to this day.
Just for a moment, imagine that you live in one of the war zones where such events are almost a daily occurrence. Imagine also that you are left to speculate on the reason for this aggression.
What were we thinking when we bombed a suspected Iranian-backed militia group in Syria? President Joe Biden, when asked, said, “We are sending a message; Iran cannot act with impunity.” This bombing was ordered without consulting Congress, catching our legislators off-guard.
In response, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations to Use Military Force (AUMF), meaning that any military action taken by the president must first be discussed, debated and authorized by Congress. This reinforces Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, which states that only Congress has the authority to declare war. Nevertheless, in the last two decades, all four presidents have ordered military strikes, exceeding their authority, while Congress has abdicated its constitutional responsibility. The repeal of the 1991 and 2002 AUMF would greatly inhibit hasty military actions and their long-term consequences.
Let us remember our own experience of terror under attack on 9/11 and demand that any airstrike be fully debated and powerfully justified.