The Bush administration lay down the gauntlet of power to Congress by informing its members there is no further need to check with Congress on any future decisions regarding Iraq because the 2002 authorization to go to war in Iraq gave the president power to conduct military operations and negotiate far-reaching diplomatic agreements. This assertion to Congress on Tuesday by US Ambassador David Satterfield and Assistant Secetary of Defense Mary Beth Long, drew an incredulous reaction from Democratic Congressmen. Satterfield bluntly stated: “We have authorization to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq. the situation in Iraq continues to present a threat to the United States.” He insisted there is no need to come back to Congress for any further authorization regarding any agreements between the United States and Iraq.
The Bush government did indicate a desire to “coordinate” with Congress regarding military and diplomatic decisions in Iraq. Congressman Bill Delahunt asked Satterfield: “Is it the position of this administration that they do not need to come before Congress to receive authorization?” The response from Satterfield and Beth Long was: “That’s correct.”
Congressman Gary Ackerman pointed out that if the language of the November, 2007, US-Iraq Declaration of principles is adopted, it would give US troops in Iraq the authority to defend Iraq against an attack– which he said accounts to a license to wage war. Satterfield insisted the Bush administration would “in consultation with the Congress” decide on any future course of action in Iraq. Of course, “to consult” is vague and it could mean let the other party know what one intends to pursue.
Of course, it is rather strange for Bush to insist Iraq poses a threat to the security of the United States. Iraq does not pose any threat since it lacks military power to harm the security of this nation. There are groups within Iraq which pose a threat to the government of Iraq, not the United States.
The imperial presidency of George Bush makes even more important the necessity of the Democratic party to unite behind a candidate who would deny the office of president to John McCain. Senator McCain is committed to continue Bush policies and this includes pursuing its own agenda regardless of what Congress desires.