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Hanabusa seeks to deny funding for combat operations in Iraq

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:40 p.m. HST, Jun 18, 2014

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act aimed at keeping U.S. troops out of combat operations in Iraq.

"Given that the President has invoked the War Powers Resolution, and has broad authorities granted to him under this law, our priority must be ensuring that he complies with it and does not involve U.S. troops in combat operations," Hanabusa said in a written statement. "I have opposed U.S. involvement in Iraq since 2002, and believe that further military involvement lacks an effective objective or a solid endgame.  My amendment is simple; it would ensure that the president does not circumvent his granted authorities to unilaterally commit U.S. forces to operations in Iraq."

The amendment would prevent the administration from using funds from the Defense Appropriations Act for the "introduction of United States forces into hostilities in Iraq" that would circumvent the War Powers Resolution.

Earlier this week, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a two-combat tour Iraqi veteran, said she opposes U.S. airstrikes on militants in Iraq.

Gabbard, a captain in Hawaii Army National Guard, told CNN: "The Iraqi people have to own their future, form a unity government, and stop the violence."

President Barack Obama has shifted his focus away from airstrikes in Iraq as an imminent option for slowing the Islamist insurgency, in part because there are few clear targets the U.S. could hit, officials said Monday.

The president summoned top congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday afternoon to discuss the collapsing security situation. The relentless violence marks the greatest threat to Iraq's stability since the U.S. military withdrew at the end of 2011 after more than eight years of war.

Ahead of his meeting at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the U.S. had no business sending troops into the midst of what he called Iraq's civil war.

"It's time for the Iraqis to resolve it themselves," said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Taking on Republicans who have blamed the current violence on the withdrawal of U.S. forces, Reid said, "Those who attack President Obama for bringing our troops home from Iraq are wrong and out of step with the American people. After a decade of war, the American people have had enough."

Obama has ruled out returning combat troops to Iraq in order to quell the insurgency. However, he has notified Congress that up to 275 armed U.S. forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. interests.

Obama is also considering sending a small contingent of special operations forces to help train the Iraqi military, officials have said. Other options under consideration include boosting Iraq's intelligence about the militants and, more broadly, encouraging the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad to become more inclusive.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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rayhawaii wrote:
Well said. Why do we always have to be the savior of the world.
on June 18,2014 | 10:30AM
So.....you're basically saying you dont care about our collegues stationed at our embassy. From your stance, you ok with the embassy being overun and possible loss of US lives at that location?
on June 18,2014 | 11:10AM
KailuaKowboy wrote:
Read the article....it says that circumvents the War Powers Act. President Obama already sent in troops for embassy security under the Act. She simply doesn't want us in another war and I say good on her!
on June 18,2014 | 11:33AM
Ronin006 wrote:
KailuaKnowboy, whether you know it or not, we are still at war with Islamic terrorists. The fact that Obama had the US military retreat from Iraq in 2011 did not end the war. It may have ended US military operations on that particular field of battle, but the war will continue with the Islamic terrorists hitting us on other battle fields including some in the USA. Anyone who things otherwise needs a reality check.
on June 18,2014 | 01:01PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Ronin. I agree. Harry Reid calls the current crisis in Iraq a "civil war." He and Hanabusa are wrong. The Islamists (al Qaida) attacking Iraqi cities are from outside Iraq. Once they have a permanent foothold in the Middle East without American interference, they will plan and execute future attacks on America, American interests and Americans who live, work, travel, study, trade and provide aid and defense throughout the world. Simple as that. Under this president, we have already given up much of our superpower leadership, political influence and economic interests in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia and South America. Next, what? We have given inches and terrorists and adversaries have taken feet. When will we stand our ground? Oh yeah, can't say that. It upsets the libs.
on June 18,2014 | 04:47PM
Jerry_D wrote:
Your stance is what's known as"red herring" rhetoric. You're trying to detract from the real issue by bringing up something totally unrelated. The issue isn't about the U.S. embassy. The issue is deploying billions of dollars of financial and human resources into a situation that has already proven itself to be something that we cannot control. There comes a time when even we "mighty Americans" must concede and do the appropriate thing -- abide by the democratic process and let the people's will be followed (majority of Americans want OUT of the Middle East).
on June 18,2014 | 11:40AM
sayer wrote:
Plus we need to abide by what the leaders of Iraq chose - they chose to put a sectarian, fanatical government in power that oppressed the "other" religion - and now they are reaping the bitter fruit of war and chaos. We can't stop people all over the world from killing each other. We need to protect U.S. interests and stop trying to turn the Middle East into little western democracies. We already spent almost $2 trillion and the lives of 5,000 U.S. soldiers (which is about the size of the entire ISIS army.) Enough is enough. We can try to broker a diplomatic solution but that's about it.
on June 19,2014 | 07:11AM
false wrote:
Another armchair quarterback with illusions of grandeur. Better you went golfin.
on June 18,2014 | 12:42PM
localguy wrote:
Part of the responsibilities of being the free worlds only super power.
on June 18,2014 | 01:06PM
rayhawaii wrote:
England is actually the most powerful country in the world. They owned America till we kicked their okoles out of the country and made it our own. They conquered most of the planet and I wish they would conquer Iraq.
on June 18,2014 | 01:27PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Greetings rayhawaii. Here is a history lesson for you. Following the end of World War I in the early 1920s, Great Britain (England) gained control of the area. I suppose you could say they conquered it. The Brits set up a government in what was then known as Mesopotamia and renamed the mess Iraq. Had they divided it along ethnic/sectarian lines, it might have avoided the mess in which we found ourselves for the past 12 years..
on June 18,2014 | 06:08PM
sayer wrote:
True - the borders are all completely artificial and the different sects there have been fighting for centuries - they need their own governments.
on June 19,2014 | 07:12AM
niimi wrote:
10 years of progress was lost in a year because we pre-announced a pullout. So President Obama screamed, "Hey, Terrorists! Yoohoo! hey! We're l-e-a-v-i-n-g the area, pulling out all of our troops by this date! Yes sir! We are hinting strongly that you can have the run of the place by, 'this date!'". Meanwhile, a staunch bi-partisan majority voted in favor of invading Iraq in 2002. 69% of the House and 77% of the Senate. We wanted a free Iraq so that we could have an ally in the region. Now we let that completely unravel in a year? So dumb. Talk about squandering progress.
on June 18,2014 | 04:33PM
sayer wrote:
10 years of progress? What's the progress? We tried to build up Iraq into a western style democracy and it failed because we can't force our style of government and our beliefs onto other cultures. There clearly wasn't any real progress made because it's just disintegrated back into what's it's been for centuries - chaos and religious, sectarian fighting.
on June 19,2014 | 07:13AM
entrkn wrote:
Senator Schatz is getting this right and Hanabusa is getting it wrong. Hanabusa's naiveté is showing that she is not qualified to be a US Senator.
on June 18,2014 | 11:33AM
KailuaKowboy wrote:
Senator Schatz is advocating for going into Iraq?
on June 18,2014 | 12:19PM
false wrote:
Schatz is just another chickenhawk. Of course, he'd be the last one to actually join the military. Shalom!
on June 18,2014 | 12:45PM
South76 wrote:
These libs want more military spending in the islands as long as the $$$$ go to government unionized personnel. These libs don't give a $#!T about the men and women in uniform, they want the money to be distributed to those who can get them elected in office. Let's get real.
on June 18,2014 | 01:29PM
rayhawaii wrote:
Well Hanabusa is getting my vote on Election Day.
on June 18,2014 | 01:18PM
KailuaKowboy wrote:
Thanks Rep. Hanabusa!
on June 18,2014 | 11:34AM
DanLBoom wrote:
The president was Warned. Even by his generals."We(US) leave Iraq...Iraq Falls". This is a slap in the face to all the Military men & women who served there,and especially to the ones that lost their lives there... Barry is just trying to Save Face,and coverup his own incompetence because, Now he too knows it was too soon and it was a Big mistake...Hanabusa & Reid are merely helping him.. Endless ..Mistakes. Looking at all the Killings Can we at least send in some Air strikes???No boots on the ground of course...IMUA
on June 18,2014 | 11:36AM
bsdetection wrote:
The Status of Forces Agreement, under which US forces would withdraw from Iraq, was negotiated by Bush. Obama continued the Bush policy. The Bush invasion of Iraq was based on lies and false assumptions. There was no plan in place for what would happen when Baghdad fell. Many foreign policy experts predicted that the Iraq invasion would result in destabilization of the entire region, but Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, Wolfowitz, Condoleeza, and the other neo-con chicken hawks all said that the war might last 3 weeks, that it would pay for itself, and we would be welcomed as heroes. Who was right? Now, after wasting $2 trillion and 4,500 American lives, the Bush team that created the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history have the nerve to go on television and complain about the outcome of their disastrous policies.
on June 18,2014 | 11:55AM
DanLBoom wrote:
BS.Fact: The worst Foreign policy we have today,is under this admin. Wasted 2 trillion?? vs almost 6 trillion? There was a lot more to Iraq invasion,you failed to mention.The Restricted No fly Zone ,how many times did Saddam break that ?? WMDsThe weappons inspectors.How many Times And How long did it take for Saddam to agree??He had plenty of time to even hide the Eiffel tower.. LOL One minute we can go in to inspect ,the next minute Saddam cancels or starts kicking them out.Saddam could have avoided the invasion had he complied And Congress: Only Congress,Not BUSH can declare War....Congress could have voted..... No IMUA
on June 18,2014 | 01:12PM
Johnmakiki wrote:
The Bush administration did agree to the pullout from Iraq in 2008. Neither Bush nor Obama was able to get the Iraqi government to agree to not prosecute our troops, so the agreement collapsed and we pulled out except for the Embassy and troops to protect it. BS was right.
on June 18,2014 | 03:37PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
We all know where Saddam hid those WMDs right? He put them in those mobile bioligical weapons labs and drones that Colin Powell claimed he had but also have yet to find, or perhaps he hid them under the pile of yellowcake uranium that Bush claimed that he was trying to purchase from Niger but we found out that was a lie too, or perhaps he was stuffing them into those alumimnum tubes that Chaney said could only be use for nuclear centriguges, we we later found our were unsuitable for those purposes. Come on man the Bush and co. lied us into a war.
on June 18,2014 | 04:45PM
WestSideTory wrote:
bsdetection can't even detect his own bs.... There was no status of forces agreement that is why we had to pull all our troops out. Now I recommend you go over to VA and tell all those soldiers that are struggling through physical therepy with missing limbs, and tell them everything they went through was for nothing. Go to a National Cemetary and tell everyone there placing flowers at the graves of loved ones killed in action, that their son, daughter, father or mother died for nothing. Its sickening that our sacrifices, our tears, our sweat and our dollars over the last 13 years will be wasted; because we elected a feckless President who is more worried about his legacy than this country. Years from now they're going to ask us: where were you when they took over Iraq? We're gonna say: we stood by and watched.
on June 18,2014 | 01:59PM
bsdetection wrote:
The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (official name: Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq) was a status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011
on June 18,2014 | 03:31PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yep that sounds about right. Bush signed the agreement that withdrew American forces which for many must mean that Bush "lost" Iraq.
on June 18,2014 | 04:49PM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
It is amazing how Mr. Pat Robertson, of the 700 Club, could easily ask our president why he has not dispatched our troops to Iraq. It is so easy to request such when your own children and grandchildren are not in immediate danger of being sent to Iraq. We have sacrificed many of our troops for many years. How many more lives must we sacrifice before we learn that the people of Iraq are from a different culture that is deeply ingrained with warring factions? It is deeply ingrained in their ways. Mr. Robertson, why don't you volunteer to go to Iraq and fight for your beliefs? Why don't you send your own children to the war? It's admirable that you want to help your brethrens in Iraq. But before you volunteer other people's children, volunteer yours. It is easy to put on a show of care regarding the people of Iraq. But it is a totally different thing when the troops are those who you know and care about. And it is easier to make such demands from a comfortable lifestyle where your children are not in immediate threat of being sent to a country where we really have no business. Or do you have stock in the businesses there and are just protecting your interests? And they mean more to you than our troops' lives?
on June 18,2014 | 11:41AM
salsacoquibx wrote:
its just politics as usual..election time
on June 18,2014 | 12:15PM
fiveo wrote:
Hanabusa is wrong on this issue. Sounds like the fall of South Vietnam all over again. We left then refused to provide military aid to the government, which then fell apart after the North Vietnamese invaded. The South Vietnamese army folded exactly like the Iraq army did after being attacked by ISIS forces who by the way the US special forces trained in Jordon. ISIS was supposed to attack and bring down Syria's Assad. Surprise, surprise, they are now using their training, and US supplied arms against Iraq and us. Where do you think they got the Stinger missiles.
on June 18,2014 | 12:51PM
localguy wrote:
Colleen, upset how Tulsi did her "Me To" with the VA, had to come up with something to get her name in the news, trying to save her failing political career. She is playing with the big people, clearly out of her league. Sorry Colleen, twice nothing is still nothing.
on June 18,2014 | 12:55PM
Kanewai wrote:
Begin cleaning them out at the top, Obama and all the rest of his people including Harry the arrogant. Get back to the essentials of our Constitution. Defend our nation in what ever method is required and stop the southern invasion. Declare war on Washington DC and restore our rights. All of the rest is planned to bring us down including our so called Senate. They were supposed to be wise not fools. No one in Congress should be paid. let's get to the root causes of our national dilemma.
on June 18,2014 | 01:57PM
50skane wrote:
So after all these years in Iraq, would it have been better to have left Saddam Hussein in power since he had complete control over the Shiites and Sunnis. Couldn't tactical air strikes have taken out any weapons of mass destruction if they were there. Was it really necessary to have 4500 American soldiers die and thousands more crippled and maimed for life? Sounds like Vietnam all over again.
on June 18,2014 | 01:57PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Don't like Hanabusa. She's dishonest. But compounding our mistake is not the answer. Our troops will share the legacy that many of us who were in Vietnam have, fighting in war without any chance of victory. This struggle has continued from the Crusades, and will not be ended by man. Focus on repairing and rebuilding our own youth, and let the Iraqis decide their own fate.
on June 18,2014 | 02:44PM
sayer wrote:
Yes it would have been better to leave Saddam in power - he ran a secular government - not it's full on religious warfare and Iran has essentially spread it's power by turning Iraq's Shiite extremist government into their puppet. Iran is on the verge of having nuclear weapons and hates the U.S. The fact that U.S. admin is even considering siding with Iran shows the insanity of all this.
on June 19,2014 | 07:16AM
wahine wrote:
You go Girl!
on June 18,2014 | 02:08PM
kuewa wrote:
Tulsi Gabbard's comment is just about as lolo as can be. Which Iraqi people is she thinking will "own their future?" The few bedraggled defenseless innocent civilians who happen to have survived all the attacks by the US and terrorist groups? The terroristic militia groups? The reality is that as bad as Saddam might have been, he did what was needed to keep the country unified and non-theocratic. After he was overthrown by us under false pretenses presented by our President, the entire system collapsed leaving nothing in its place. In the eyes of much of the world, that unwarranted action has now left us with an obligation to fix the situation in some way.
on June 18,2014 | 03:17PM
Skyler wrote:
So who are you going to target & how? We've spent BILLIONS in Iraq, only to have the leader of their government squander all the gain - and yes, there was gain and an opportunity for democracy. Sorry, but you're the lolo one if you think going back into Iraq will somehow 'fix it.'
on June 18,2014 | 07:15PM
sayer wrote:
You're wrong about Tulsi - she's been the most clear-headed of anyone I've heard about the issue. You're right about Saddam - so why would we make the same mistake and keep screwing things up worse than we already have. That's what's lolo. The people of Iraq were given the opportunity - by trillions of U.S. money and U.S. soldiers' lives - to have a democracy but instead they continued the sectarian oppression and fighting. Trying to continue to same failed policy of using our money and our soldiers' lives to run other people's countries is insanity.
on June 19,2014 | 08:42AM
sayer wrote:
It's not being widely reported in the media but the groups that are fighting are a coalition, not just ISIS. Moderate Sunnis are temporarily allying themselves with ISIS to get free of the Shiite radicals that have been oppressing them. The two warring factions have to figure it out. We spent almost $2 trillion and thousands of soldiers lives giving them the opportunity for a democracy and they didn't want that - they wanted to keep killing each other and oppressing each other. We can't solve their problems for them.
on June 19,2014 | 07:19AM
nonpolitic wrote:
I guess Senator Schatz is between a rock and a hard place on this one, which explains his notable silence on the issue. If he supports the president, then his senate benefactor (Mr. Reid) would get upset. If he supports the senate majority leader, then his fellow Punahou alumnus wouldn't appear on his behalf in any more campaign commercials. What to do, what to do. It will be interesting if Mr. Schatz says anything . . . or his continued silence would be even more telling of his true character.
on June 18,2014 | 04:30PM
scooters wrote:
As much as I dislike Hanabusa, I totally agree with her on this issue. We must not send any troops back into the God forsaken garbage pit with the exception of protecting or evacuating our Embassy.
on June 18,2014 | 04:33PM
MakaniKai wrote:
She actually looks human and pleasant in the photo! Go figgah.
on June 18,2014 | 05:36PM
Nevadan wrote:
Looks like Obama was caught off-guard and is now scrambling with what to do in Iraq. He had been behind the scene overthrowing two democratically elected government (Morsi of Egypt and Yanukovych of Ukraine) resulting in severe unrest in those areas. He didn't like these two guys. military drills in China South Sea intimidating China, almost got into a fight with Bashar Assad .....
on June 18,2014 | 05:41PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Obama picked a fight with the wrong person.
on June 18,2014 | 05:43PM
Thegame wrote:
I think that if you have never served a day in any branch of the military you don't get to be on the House Armed Services Committee.
on June 18,2014 | 07:15PM
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