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Congress' role in ending the war

September 09, 2007

Re "War and the Constitution," Opinion, Sept. 3

Mario M. Cuomo asks, "How did we get to this point and what, if anything, can we do now?" but completely ignores the origins of our involvement in Iraq. He rants about President Bush's disregard of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and that this war is completely created and controlled solely by him. Cuomo forgets that Congress authorized the president to go to war with the Iraq war resolution. Rather than blast Bush for abusing his powers, remember that Congress did authorize the president to take action against Iraq.

Cuomo says there is practically nothing that Congress can do to end this conflict. If the Iraq war is that bad, Congress can use the same power it used to involve us to get us out.

Richard Shephard

Berkeley

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I couldn't agree more with Cuomo concerning the Bush administration's disregard of the Constitution and the mess in Iraq. I also agree with his direction to Democrats on how to remove American troops from this disastrous civil war. I would add this bit of advice for the benefit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: If you do not possess the courage to enforce Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, or the will to impeach this president, please step aside and allow someone who does to take over your position.

Roger A. Haren

San Dimas

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Cuomo has it exactly right: The presidential candidates of both parties should state precisely what they would do on Jan. 20 (or 21), 2009, to end our nightmare in Iraq. Meanwhile, I can't quite understand how so many currently seated senators and representatives can't be more unequivocal about our withdrawal. Americans and the Iraqis are maimed and dying; I thought we cared.

Bill Pryor

Anaheim

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Cuomo expressed what I've been thinking for a long time: We must always insist on a declaration of war when one is to be fought; and if we enter a situation on an emergency basis, it must end totally or be declared by Congress to be an approved war within a few months. It would have to be budgeted annually, reviewed and justified to elected representatives. An actual enemy would have to be named -- no more vague descriptions of a "war on terror."

Of course, an administration that lies to begin a preemptive war is difficult to detect, but it could be more easily stopped if it were being handled according to the Constitution. In fact, the commander in chief should not even be allowed to call it a war if it isn't one.

Carol Palladini

Santa Barbara

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