Thursday, May 16, 2019

How Soon Before Bolton Gets His Unconstitutional War Against Iran? Will Pelosi Put Impeachment On The Table?

Coup d'├ętat by Nancy Ohanian

Republican senators are demanding to know what's going on... before they uniformly rubber-stamp Trump or Bolton ginning up an unconstitutional war against Iran. To be fair, Rand Paul might vote against it, while a fake Democrat or two-- Sinema and/or Manchin-- votes for it. If McTurtle even allows a vote.

This morning, Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY) seemed to be putting into words what all members of Congress-- or at least all Democratic members-- are thinking: "America and the world can ill afford another military conflict. The President and his team are rightly concerned about Iran’s malign intentions, but their saber rattling, cavalier talk, and shrouded strategy are ill conceived (if there is a strategy). The last thing we need is for America or Iran to make a misstep that will escalate into an unauthorized armed conflict. The administration must consult with Congress and seek its approval before pursuing any further action."

Jamie Raskin (D-MD), emphasized that members "should make clear that Congress possesses the sole power to declare war and this is an absolute bar to unilateral presidential intervention and war." Every member of Congress I spoke with this morning said the same thing. No one was willing to threaten impeachment though.

Kara Eastman, the progressive Democrat running for the Omaha seat occupied by Trump rubber-stamp Don Bacon-- who hasn't uttered a syllable about Iran this week-- told me that "Under the War Powers Act of 1973, Congress must debate and vote on any hostilities with foreign powers. This reckless President is once again playing with fire and Congress must act to ensure we don’t all end up in flames."

Today, Hill reporter Alexander Bolton wrote that what GOP lawmakers already know, however, has them on edge. And basically, most of them know what we know and not anything more: "Trump has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group, a Patriot missile defense battery and an Air Force bomber task force to the Middle East, while the State Department has ordered a partial evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad." Trump has been getting nervous as the day ticked by and has said this is all Bolton, not him. The Times even reported he told the Pentagon brass that he's not looking for a war. Does anyone believe him? Can anyone believe anything he says?

Utah's other senator, Mike Lee, told Bolton that he's "always leery to get us more heavily involved anywhere. If we’re going to go to war somewhere, Congress ought to approve it." Yeah, says so right in the Constitution-- which the Senate has never let stand in the way of being bulldozed by the White House before. The only Republican who might oppose Trump on this is Rand Paul, who was grousing. "I think it’s important that the administration know that they do not have the permission of Congress to go with Iran. The Constitution is very clear. Congress must declare war. I told the administration that today in our hearing. We had the undersecretary for policy from State. We want to be very clear to them they don’t have the prerogative to go to war without our authority."

We've learned to expect nothing but whimpering and hot air from Senate Intelligence Committee member Marco Rubio (R-FL), who told Bolton that "My understanding is there will be [a briefing] by early next week, but I don’t know where we’re going to be by early next week. I hope I’m wrong, we could be full blown into this thing. It’s a much more urgent situation than I think is being reflected. I’m surprised there isn’t more talk about it... I’ve been here eight years, this is by far the single most imminent potential conflict of this significance. I pray that it changes. I don’t want us to have a war in that region. I hope it doesn’t happen that way, but we have to respond if attacked." Translation: "I'm ready to send your sons and daughters to die in Iran if Trump and the other Bolton successfully provoke a war there."

Miss Lindsey pulled his head out of Trump's ass long enough to mutter some bullshit about the Senate's prerogatives. "I don’t think it’s fair for us to walk around wondering. We’re clearly moving people. This is a big deal... I was there a bunch of times getting rocketed." Graham (R-SC), who writes one liners for SNL is also the toothless chair of the toothless Senate's toothless Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.

Once Graham buried his head firmly back up Trump's ass, Alexander Bolton-- no relation to Satin Bolton-- wrote that "Republican senators say they don’t know whether Trump is really contemplating the deployment of 120,000 troops to the Middle East to deter attacks by Iranian-backed militants, which the New York Times first reported on Tuesday." He also noted that one of the 2 or 3 most vulnerable senators up for reelection next year, Cory Gardner (R-CO), a backbencher and junior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, was whining that "There should be more briefings. I think we should have that sooner rather later. I’ve talked to the administration about that." As expected, the feckless Gardner is already prepared to give Trump 100% carte blanche anyway: "Anytime you’re dealing with a regime like Iran that has painted 'death to America' on missiles that have killed American soldiers throughout the Middle East, it’s a grave concern."
Republicans said they asked last week for an all-senators briefing, but it wasn’t possible because of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Brussels and Sochi, Russia. Meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sochi Wednesday, Pompeo said the United States wants Iran to behave like a “normal country” but warned that U.S. forces will respond if American interests come under attack.

Lawmakers have questions about the intelligence the Trump administration is using to justify the military deployment, which Britain, a close military ally, has called into doubt.

A senior British military official told reporters Tuesday that he did not see an increased risk of attack from Iran or connected militant groups. Major Gen. Chris Ghika, the deputy commander of a U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS, told the New York Times that “there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria.”

GOP lawmakers say they are more inclined to trust American intelligence sources but feel frustrated that the administration hasn’t shared their information with the vast majority of them.

“We know that we need to have the most accurate intelligence available, that we can determine, that we can arrive at, before we make any decisions about the use of military force. We know that from history. We know that just as a practical matter,” said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS).
Was he drunk when he told Bolton that? As presidential candidate Marianne Williamson said in a statement yesterday, "If you have a feeling you’ve heard this before, it’s because yeah, you have. We remember Iraq and WMD’s and the 'terrible threat' used as justification for invasion of a country that had done nothing to do with 9/11. Uh, that went well… Make no mistake about it. We’re witnessing in real time the same crowd doing the same thing all over again. We were told that Iraq was very different than Vietnam, and now we’re being told that Iran is different than Iraq. But I am telling you. No, it is not-- any more than a philandering husband might say, 'This has nothing to do with what happened before! The other one’s name was Susan and this is Barbara!' America’s penchant for military adventurism has become a national character defect over the last forty years, and will not stop unless we the people stop it. Right now, the saber-rattling towards Iran is extremely dangerous. We are in grave risk of instigating a war with Iran that would be a tragic disaster for the United States and for the world. This mounting crisis, precipitated by President Trump’s orchestration of the American withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known as the Iran Deal), was an error of epic proportion... Our Secretary of State has said that the president may or may not consult Congress before taking military action. Congress must now act to prevent Trump from taking the country into an unnecessary war. Congress must prohibit the use of funds for combat operations against Iran unless specifically authorized by the Congress."

Valerie Plame is running for the open north New Mexico congressional seat being abandoned by Ben Ray Lujan. She told me a few minutes ago that her "feeling is that impeachment is a distraction from all the other pressing issues and there will be a much faster process to rid us of Trump via the 2020 elections. According to the Washington Post story this morning, Trump is pissed that his advisors (John Bolton!) are pushing for war and he is not there yet."

Also this morning, Alan Grayson was pretty clear on this question of starting illegal wars and impeachment: "If Trump violates the War Powers Act, then that’s an impeachable offense-- actually, pretty close to what got President Andrew Johnson impeached-- and Trump should be impeached for it. As AOC has said, 'You can reach in a bag and pull so many things out that are impeachable of this President.' Add one more item in the bag."

One of the progressive candidates in Arizona this cycle, Eva Putzova, who is primarying a Republican-turned-Blue-Dog, Tom O'Halleran, was on the same page as Grayson. "A U.S attack on Iran without congressional approval would be unconstitutional and an impeachable offense. Only Congress has the authority to declare war. I support the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act introduced in the Senate by Senators, Durbin, Udall and Paul which would prevent any funds being used for any military action against Iran without the express approval of Congress. If the Trump administration orchestrates an attack on Iran we can be sure it will be based on lies and fabrications. In such a case, the Congress should cease all business as usual and move to impeach the President. Such an attack would be immoral and even apocalyptic in its effect in the Middle East at large and here at home. Wasn’t the Iraq War enough?" Putzova has also started a petition drive to impeach Trump.

The strongest push-back I heard from a member came from Ro Khanna (D-CA): "Congress has a few tools in the tool box. First of all, we must remind this Administration that Congress is the only branch that can declare war. The President must come to Congress first to seek authorization before going to war with Iran. The outdated 2001 AUMF does not give this administration authorization for war with Iran. Second, we should make it clear that if this Administration does go to war without seeking authorization from Congress, we will invoke the War Powers Resolution to remove troops as we did with Yemen. Another option that my colleagues and I are pursuing is making it clear that funds in the Defense Authorization and Appropriations bills  cannot be used for a war with Iran. In addition to war powers, we have the power of the purse and should use it."

Goal ThermometerAnd the strongest from a challenger came from Pelosi's San Francisco progressive opponent, Shahid Buttar: "The President’s self-serving use of his office to fill his pockets with taxpayer money, and his repeated lies to the public and policymakers, offer plenty of reasons to pursue impeachment. Impeachment is also a constitutional imperative, regardless of any party’s confused electoral calculations.  But dragging our country into yet another baseless war of aggression is beyond the pale: it would place countless lives at risk, and  ignore every lesson our the beltway establishment was  supposed to learn from our failed military invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, not to mention dozens of Latin American states. Democratic leaders who have been unwilling to seek impeachment based on Trump’s lies and corruption need to discover the independence to do their jobs. Every member of Congress swears an oath to defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And there is no greater enemy to our Constitution then our Kleptocrat-in-Chief. Democrats need to either pursue impeachment or get out-of-the-way, and make a space for bolder voices willing to do our jobs."

Like what Buttar is saying-- while Pelosi, basically says nothing that will prevent Trump from any of the scheme's Bolton gets him into? The DownWithTyranny ActBlue thermometer above is where you can contribute to Buttar-- and other candidates firmly opposed to war. The DCCC Blue Dog running in the North Carolina special election, Dan McCready, isn't going to be pushing to impeach Trump. Buttar sure is. Don't waste contributions on another Republican-lite Blue Dog, not on someone who let's the GOP leadership think for them or someone who let's the Democratic leadership think for them. San Francisco is lucky to have a candidate like Buttar running.


  1. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Bolton gets his war no matter who won in 2016. Israel and the murderer Saudi prince want war and they own both parties.

    also, trump is just daring Pelosi and the democraps to pull their thumbs out of their asses. He just spiked a billion for the CA bullet train. Now lemme see... Pelosi is supposedly rep'ing CA...

    and, no, Pelosi is just gambling here that the sum total of trump and the wars (which she supports, btw) will piss off enough lefties that never turn out making them stupidly give her more seats and maybe biden the white house in 2020. so... no impeachment. if she caved and did it now, it would doubly magnify what a total waste of O2 she's always been. Once a cowardly corrupt piece of shit, always a cowardly corrupt piece of shit.

    biden loves him some war against iran too, btw. And if it were scummer instead of mcturtle wrt the iran war, there would be no difference except MORE democrap pieces of shit would vote for it.

    And the constitution is just a 'goddamn piece of paper' and congress has been wiping its ass with it for 4 decades. Nixon was wiping his ass with it 12 years before that. nobody did shit about any of it.

    fuck we're stupid!

  2. Anonymous7:47 PM

    I can't argue against a word of that previous comment!

  3. Anonymous6:30 AM

    Pelosi? she won't even allow a contempt vote. worst single congresswhore in the history of the usa. her corruption and cowardice do more damage than newt gingrich, paul ryan and tom delay put together.

    thank gawd we spent all that treasure and energy electing all those warm butts so that she could be the worst single congresswhore in history for at least 2 more years... eh??

  4. Anonymous8:14 AM

    That Black Clown suit that Nancy Ohanian came up with is a stroke of brilliance. It defines Trump and his vile behavior perfectly.