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Speaker Knox speaks on AUMF

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John Knox

 

 

Speaker James Knox spoke at the University of Arkansas to students and members of the public

 

 

”I want to thank you all for coming out this morning. It is a joy and privilege to be on the Hill, and to be in a place that I love so deeply. University is a time of growth and change. It should be a time where new ideas are formed and new ways of doing things are tested. Yes we must keep our moral fiber, we cannot throw everything to the wind. But college is a time of freedom and undoing things “because they’ve always been done that way”

Today, we find ourselves as a country, more divided than we ought to be. Our government is led by two parties, where the voices of separation are shouting down the far more rational voices of brotherhood. Everyone is out to score political points and accusing everyone of trying to our maneuver the other. I have been in Congress only a short time and have been accused of all sorts of seedy political tricks, even though my actions are that of the contrary. It is a sad state of affairs when a memeber of one party lies about another for spin, then doesn’t have the manhood or backbone to apologize. It’s shameful. But the heart of the issue is that we don’t trust one another; and so we do foolish things when we’re scared. 

A generation ago, our Congress gave the Executive a blank check to use military force to go after those who attacked us on September 11th. Republicans and Democrats fought for this bill, and Republican and Democrat Presidents have shamefully used this bill to enthrall this nation into a season of perpetual war. We have used it to fight in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Kenya, Ethiopia, and many other nations for almost twenty years. I cannot believe that this is the idea the Founders had in mind. In fact we know it isn’t. 

James Madison said, “No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

He writes elsewhere, “The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature . . . the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

By continuing down this road, Congress is continuing to shirk our responsibilities and to provide the check on the executive branch. But do not hear this as petty politics, as if it is because one man or a Party control the executive. No, both parties have used this Authorization wrongly, including my own. My party had the ability to overrule on this surrender of power to the executive, and they failed.

We cannot change what was done in the past. But now Providence has brought many of us here, to fix the wrongs and restore order. Providence has landed the President in his role, not to be attacked, but to fix the problems that have been caused by the generation before us. That is our role- when our forerunners fail, we come in to fix it.  

Senator Paul of Kentucky has said, “The question is, should Congress have to act again in order to continue the war, and my point of view is yes, absolutely. I don't think we can keep fighting forever without Congress — the people’s representatives — voting." While there may be little Sen. Paul and I agree on; he ought to be commended here. He stood up to fight for the Constitutional role of the peoples representatives. 

Doubtless some will say that this is about leaving, and that’s an important debate. We ought to have it. But right now, today, we need to decide if one generation can beholden all those who follow into perpetual war. There are some who will fight this year who were not born when this authorization was signed. That is a shame. Congress holds the power to continue war, and it should have never been placed on the Executive alone. 

Some will say that this would eventually cause destabilization. But after almost twenty years we have to ask, “what have we been doing? How long does it take to train an army? We have spent over a trillion dollars fighting in Afghanistan alone. We have no clear purpose and no exit strategy. Where has the money gone? Imagine what we could have spent a trillion dollars on. Better water for the citizens of Flint Michigan? Better schools? We could’ve provided a college education for over 26 million students (1). Where has the money gone? Why don’t we have better results? Because we don’t have an exit strategy. We are in a system of maintain. 

So then, it becomes more than apparent that we must seek to end this cycle of perpetual war. It will not be easy, it will not be enjoyable. But we must reign in and take back the powers Constitutionally given to Congress. We must seek peace. We must lead, not because we have the bigger guns; but rather because we have to ability to say “enough”

(1) 1 trillion divided by $37,640 (or average public instate x 4) is roughly 26 million

 

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Edited by Jsawrie

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On 9/15/2018 at 11:35 AM, Jsawrie said:

John Knox

 

 

Speaker James Knox spoke at the University of Arkansas to students and members of the public

 

 

”I want to thank you all for coming out this morning. It is a joy and privilege to be on the Hill, and to be in a place that I love so deeply. University is a time of growth and change. It should be a time where new ideas are formed and new ways of doing things are tested. Yes we must keep our moral fiber, we cannot throw everything to the wind. But college is a time of freedom and undoing things “because they’ve always been done that way”

Today, we find ourselves as a country, more divided than we ought to be. Our government is led by two parties, where the voices of separation are shouting down the far more rational voices of brotherhood. Everyone is out to score political points and accusing everyone of trying to our maneuver the other. I have been in Congress only a short time and have been accused of all sorts of seedy political tricks, even though my actions are that of the contrary. It is a sad state of affairs when a memeber of one party lies about another for spin, then doesn’t have the manhood or backbone to apologize. It’s shameful. But the heart of the issue is that we don’t trust one another; and so we do foolish things when we’re scared. 

A generation ago, our Congress gave the Executive a blank check to use military force to go after those who attacked us on September 11th. Republicans and Democrats fought for this bill, and Republican and Democrat Presidents have shamefully used this bill to enthrall this nation into a season of perpetual war. We have used it to fight in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Kenya, Ethiopia, and many other nations for almost twenty years. I cannot believe that this is the idea the Founders had in mind. In fact we know it isn’t. 

James Madison said, “No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

He writes elsewhere, “The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature . . . the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

By continuing down this road, Congress is continuing to shirk our responsibilities and to provide the check on the executive branch. But do not hear this as petty politics, as if it is because one man or a Party control the executive. No, both parties have used this Authorization wrongly, including my own. My party had the ability to overrule on this surrender of power to the executive, and they failed.

We cannot change what was done in the past. But now Providence has brought many of us here, to fix the wrongs and restore order. Providence has landed the President in his role, not to be attacked, but to fix the problems that have been caused by the generation before us. That is our role- when our forerunners fail, we come in to fix it.  

Senator Paul of Kentucky has said, “The question is, should Congress have to act again in order to continue the war, and my point of view is yes, absolutely. I don't think we can keep fighting forever without Congress — the people’s representatives — voting." While there may be little Sen. Paul and I agree on; he ought to be commended here. He stood up to fight for the Constitutional role of the peoples representatives. 

Doubtless some will say that this is about leaving, and that’s an important debate. We ought to have it. But right now, today, we need to decide if one generation can beholden all those who follow into perpetual war. There are some who will fight this year who were not born when this authorization was signed. That is a shame. Congress holds the power to continue war, and it should have never been placed on the Executive alone. 

Some will say that this would eventually cause destabilization. But after almost twenty years we have to ask, “what have we been doing? How long does it take to train an army? We have spent over a trillion dollars fighting in Afghanistan alone. We have no clear purpose and no exit strategy. Where has the money gone? Imagine what we could have spent a trillion dollars on. Better water for the citizens of Flint Michigan? Better schools? We could’ve provided a college education for over 26 million students (1). Where has the money gone? Why don’t we have better results? Because we don’t have an exit strategy. We are in a system of maintain. 

So then, it becomes more than apparent that we must seek to end this cycle of perpetual war. It will not be easy, it will not be enjoyable. But we must reign in and take back the powers Constitutionally given to Congress. We must seek peace. We must lead, not because we have the bigger guns; but rather because we have to ability to say “enough”

(1) 1 trillion divided by $37,640 (or average public instate x 4) is roughly 26 million

 

View full PR

 

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