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This Day in History - 10.10.2011

On the Road to Two Wars

By Ben Swales

On this day in history, October 10, 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 114 by a vote of 296-133. Formally known as the “Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002,” the Resolution called for Saddam Hussein to give up any weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in his possession, as per United Nations law. The Resolution declared that if Iraqi President Hussein refused to surrender his WMD, then the United States would declare war on Iraq. The Resolution also required President Bush to not stop in his pursuit of al Qaeda, hence committing the United States to two separate wars.

I tread lightly as I speak about President Bush’s actions, for I believe the Office of the President of the United States deserves great respect.  I also believe, however, that Resolution 114 was the beginning of the end for President Bush—this dual war calling put the final nail in his presidential coffin. The double dipping of wars, against terrorism and Iraq, has caused great financial strain. During this same time, the housing market was beginning to fail and it would not be long before banks were beginning to flip, bellies up. If this bill had not been passed, George Bush’s presidency would have been dramatically different

While House Resolution 114 is a recent event, I am concerned that we Americans have already forgotten about it and the wars it helped to launch. We need to celebrate instances of effective communication between the people and their government, but we also need to remain vigilant for instances of the government launching unnecessary wars in our name. We cannot forget that this country was founded on a revolution and that the Declaration of Independence enshrined our right “to alter or to abolish” corrupt government.