On July 1, the Win Without War coalition joined with 32 other organizations to urge Congress to demand a vote before any bombs fall on Iraq.
July 1, 2014
Dear Member of Congress,
The undersigned groups urge you to support the bipartisan Rigell-Lee letter to President Obama urging “respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad.”
As the letter notes:
“The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad. The use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize. Members of Congress must consider all the facts and alternatives before we can determine whether military action would contribute to ending this most recent violence, create a climate for political stability, and protect civilians from greater harm.”
There are few decisions our elected officials make that carry more weight than the decision to use military force. The consequences and the costs of even limited military interventions may be felt for years to come. It is precisely for these reasons that the Constitution’s framers firmly entrusted this authority to the people’s representatives in Congress.
The current situation in Iraq has grabbed the nation’s attention, and the President has already deployed US military personnel and assets in response to the crisis. Yet the President and Administration officials have also suggested that the US military may take further action, including potentially airstrikes and other uses of military force. Some news reports have also suggested that, unlike in the case of Syria, the President may not seek authorization from Congress.
While our organizations may not agree on the specific steps the United States should take in Iraq, we all agree on one thing, the use of military force would require new Congressional authorization.
In announcing his decision to request the authorization to use military force in Syria last year, President Obama said, “our power is rooted not in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The President was right. As the world’s oldest constitutional democracy, we should once again demonstrate our commitment to the framers’ wisdom and demand that any use of military force in Iraq first be authorized by Congress.
We strongly urge you to press the President to seek Congressional authorization before using military force in Iraq by signing the Rigell-Lee letter.
Campaign for Liberty
Center for Foreign and Defense Policy
Center for International Policy
Civilian Soldier Alliance
Come Home America
Council for a Livable World
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Just Foreign Policy
National Council of Churches
Peace Action West
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Progressive Democrats of America
Republican Liberty Caucus
United for Peace and Justice
United Methoidst Church, General Board of Church and Society
U.S. Labor Against the War
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Veterans For Peace
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions