Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul Force Debate Over Af-Pak War

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In a rare
show of bipartisan co-operation the liberal Democrat Kucinich together
with the libertarian oriented Ron Paul (R) forced a rare debate
on the Afghan war and presence of U.S. military advisors and special
forces in Pakistan.

The two congressmen
offered a resolution ordering President Barack Obama to withdraw
U.S. military personnel from Pakistan, saying their presence violates
the War Powers Act since it was not approved by Congress. The resolution
failed by a very large margin 38-372. The antiwar Democrats are
obviously a feeble few. Only 32 Democrats voted for the measure
and 6 Republicans as well.

Many opposed
used the argument that the War Powers Act only covers troops engaged
in hostilities. It seems that in the case of special forces they
would be engaged in hostilities. Of course their presence will never
be admitted in any event.

The debate
gave an opportunity for lawmakers to express their views on the
Afghan war as well with divisions within the Democratic party made
obvious. However, there are also a few courageous Republicans who
are willing to speak out against the war as well. Ron Paul being
the best known.

Some likened
the secret operations in Pakistan to those during the Vietnam war
era. The operations grew into a very unpopular and bloody war. However
the situation is hardly comparable since the U.S. is already heavily
involved next door in Afghanistan. But the war could easily spread
with greater intervention in Pakistan. Already the drone war has
expanded greatly under Obama. Others claimed that U.S. military
operations were much more transparent now. I do not know what evidence
shows that to be the case. Perhaps the Pentagon is considering financing
Wikileaks.

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July
29, 2010

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