Common Dreams - January 3, 2020

"Trump's petty motives and incoherent policy have been enabled by a Congress that has long been derelict in its duty to provide oversight over foreign policy," said Heer. "This abdication of responsibility is all too typical of American politics since the 9/11 terrorist attacks—under both Democratic and Republican presidents."

Progressives on Friday, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called for Congressional action to rein in the administration after a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, a move seen by observers as an act of war that is nearly certain to exacerbate a historically tense moment in the Persian Gulf region.

"Right now is the moment to decide if you are pro-peace or not," tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat.

"Congress now has a moral and legal obligation to reassert its power to stop this war and protect innocent people from horrific consequences," the congresswoman added.

Ocasio-Cortez joined a growing chorus from the left urging restraint and diplomacy from the U.S. and Iran.

"There is no military solution to this crisis," Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement. "Instead, we must pursue meaningful diplomacy to achieve peace and stability in the region."

Jayapal added in a tweet that Soleimani's killing "dangerously doubles down on reckless military brinkmanship."

The attack on Soleimani, one of the leaders of Iran's Quds Force and a major figure in the Iranian government, and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis came on Friday morning near the Baghdad airport.

By striking the Iranian leader, Ploughshares Fund director of programs Michelle Dover told Common Dreams in an email, the U.S. "has imperiled any near term chances for diplomacy."

"The primary question now is whether the U.S. government is prepared for the Iranian response," said Dover. "The U.S. public should be calling on Congress to assert its authorities and oversight roles to prevent an unintentional slide into war."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) in a statement called for peace and noted that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), first passed by Congress in 2001 days after the 9/11 attacks with Lee as the sole dissenting vote, was used by the White House as the justification for the strike. ...
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