Congress Affirms Iraq Withdrawal Date of December 31, 2011

By David Swanson

Here’s an important release from AFSC:

“With final action in the Senate today, Congress has approved legislation that formally recognizes the U.S. obligation to withdraw from Iraq and requires the Pentagon to provide quarterly reports on the progress of that withdrawal. This is the first time since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that Congress has passed legislation that affirms that the United States is committed to leaving Iraq by a specific date, two national Quaker organizations, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) said today. . . . “

Of course, this is not perfect. First, it “affirms” a treaty the Senate never ratified. Second, it can be signing-statemented, and the Senate has never objected to such alteration of laws. Third, if it is simply not complied with, the only penalty from a Congress that refuses to subpoena or impeach anyone will be some moderately annoyed words from some weak old men in a dying institution. Nonetheless, this is an excellent development in this initial moment in which we can almost imagine the reporting requirements and the actual withdrawal being complied with.