The Prez has asked Congress for a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The good news is that he concedes that it might exceed his powers to go on shooting people up around the world based on the panicked resolution that Congress passed in 2001. The bad news is that he wants to go on shooting people up around the world. (And he is not ready to repeal the old AUMF, just in case it might come in handy.)
If we have learned anything since that old AUMF, it would be that if we decide to go shooting people up, we ought to know what we are trying to accomplish by doing so. Also whether shooting people up is a plausible route to whatever that goal is -- but that's an advanced question. A couple of days ago, my friend Sarah Lazare asked some of right questions at Foreign Policy in Focus.
Go read the whole article -- it is to the point.
So what to do? I've just learned about a new book that might have some promising suggestions: Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq. If Iraqis can keep trying to make peace and justice amidst the carnage we've left them with, we can at least try.
And at this moment, sign those petitions to Congress. It would be healthy to demand debate on whether we want to be tromping around in other peoples' countries for once. Here at two:
Win Without War
Yes, they'll probably send you email for the rest of your life (or your email's life) but that's a small price to pay. You might not even mind if they pass you on to more activist groups ... This isn't going to stop until we stop it.