An effort in the House of Representatives to prevent combat operations in Iraq, championed by war critic Rep. Barbara Lee (D–CA), was defeated Thursday night, in what critics warn further clears the path for a new war.
Lee on Thursday introduced amendments to the 2015 Department of Defense appropriations bill to cut off federal funding for a potential renewed war in Iraq and the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq.
“We must not let history repeat itself in Iraq," Lee declared in a press statement about the amendments. "Because the reality is there is no military solution in Iraq."
Lee, who issued the only congressional vote against the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force and has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq War since before it started, was defeated on both measures Thursday night, with her bid to cut off funding for combat operations in Iraq rejected 165 to 250, the Hill reports.
Stephen Miles of Win Without War told Common Dreams, "Americans, by wide margins, want to see our troops home from Afghanistan and do not support restarting the Iraq War. Unfortunately, some in Congress seem all too willing to put Americans back into the middle of a civil war in Iraq."
Lee also introduced an amendment to end the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force—which has been interpreted expansively to justify war in Afghanistan, secret renditions, drone strikes and more—at the end of this year. That measure was defeated 157 to 260.
The defeats came the same day that President Obama announced he is deploying 300 special operations "military advisers" to Iraq, preparing for potential strikes, and increasing intelligence cooperation with the Iraqi government, in what critics warn constitute serious steps towards military attacks, including drone strikes.
"The biggest disappointment is seeing Obama sitting there saying there is no military solution in Iraq while making moves for military intervention," said Maggie Martin of Iraq Veterans Against the War in an interview with Common Dreams. "It is upsetting that even though the public doesn't want this and it's not the will of the people, it feels like we're powerless to stop it."