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‘The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria’

June 21, 2014 (EIRNS)—The above headline on a article late June 20 accurately reflects the import of a number of stunning defeats suffered by the President’s policies at the hands of large numbers of members of the House of Representatives, who aren’t willing to give him the authority to bomb Iraq or Syria into oblivion.

On June 19, an amendment by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) prohibiting the transfer of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs) to Syrian rebels passed by a voice vote. In his arguments, Conyers pointed to media reports that MANPADs could end up in the hands of terrorists who would use them against Western targets, especially against airliners.

An amendment introduced by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), which would have blocked all U.S. weaponry for Syrian rebels, failed to pass by a vote of 167 to 244, although an earlier amendment with much the same content, lost by a much smaller margin.

Also passing by voice vote June 19 was the amendment by Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. It states that none of the funds made available in the Defense Appropriations bill

"may be used with respect to Iraq in contravention of the War Powers Resolution ... including for the introduction of United States forces into hostilities in Iraq, into situations in Iraq where imminent where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, or into Iraqi territory, airspace, or waters while equipped for combat, in contravention of the congressional consultation and reporting requirements of sections 3 and 4 of such Resolution."

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