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Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

Earlier today, I read Jamie Radtke’s response to the Libyan situation on her website.  About an hour ago, I received an email from George Allen’s campaign regarding his thoughts.  That information is also now found on his campaign site.  Unfortunately, David McCormick’s website is currently unavailable, so I don’t know if he has a stated position on this issue.  I figure you might find this information helpful as you get to know more about the Republican candidates running for United States Senate.  I have listed them in chronological order.

From Jamie Radtke:

A U.N. vote does not supersede a Congressional vote

President Obama’s decision to commit America to a third concurrent war has two serious flaws. First, the president has committed American troops to battle without the authorization of Congress. And second, Libya does not present a security threat to the United States, and we have no business being a part of this military intervention.

It is the United States Congress, not the United Nations Security Council, which should determine if we commit the American military to war. A United Nations vote does not supersede a Congressional vote.

I am disturbed that the President seemed more concerned about a U.N. vote than Congressional authorization. The United States Congress must hold an immediate vote on a declaration of war on Libya.

I support the war in Afghanistan, which was in response to the terrorist attack on U.S. soil that killed thousands of Americans, and the war in Iraq, which was intended to stop a WMD program that we and nearly all other nations believed that Saddam Hussein was undertaking. While I would have preferred declarations of war, Congress did at least pass war resolutions for the use of military force in both wars.

In Libya, however, the United States is facing no imminent national security threat, yet we are doing most of the heavy lifting, and we have no Congressional authorization for the use of military force.

What’s even worse, this military intervention does not have clear goals or objectives. Are we intending to drive Qaddafi from power? If so, air power alone will not suffice. Do we intend simply to level the playing field? What if Qaddafi still gains the upper-hand? Do we escalate? Will American forces be subordinated to the Europeans or the UN? Who will be in charge of allied forces, and thus take ultimate responsibility for victory or for defeat? How will victory even be defined? Will a two-state Libya be an acceptable outcome?

And if humanitarian reasons are our chief reason for intervention, as Obama has stated it is, what of the many other civil wars and slaughter of civilians that are occurring around the world every day? Why Libya and not the Ivory Coast or Sudan or Congo?

None of these questions have been answered by President Obama, or even raised by him. One wonders if he has even thought of them, in spite of the fact that these were the very questions that Obama himself raised in opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By his own criterion, Obama is setting up America for failure.

The Arab League, Europe and Africa are in the best position to provide accountability to their Libyan neighbor. President Obama’s decision is reckless and ill-advised. Congress must find the courage to reassert its Constitutional prerogative for any use of force involving the American military.

From George Allen:

With the courageous men and women of our armed forces serving in harm’s way in North Africa, Americans should support them and their families as they perform their duty. However, we should not be outsourcing our sovereign foreign policy decisions to the United Nations. The elected representatives of the people in U.S. House and Senate, not the UN Security Council, should be the governing body authorizing U.S. military action. With our current commitments in Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq, the President must present to the American people and Congress the goals and the extent of our military action in Libya.

This action once again brings to the forefront the need to develop an American energy policy that reduces our dependence on oil from a volatile region – a dangerous vulnerability that demands an ever-higher cost from America.  All while we have very accessible American coal, gas and oil resources.

The President has much more to explain to the American people.

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Is anyone else troubled by the recent developments regarding Libya?  Now I’m not talking about the clashes between pro-Gaddafi forces and the rebels who seek to overthrow him.  I assume we can agree that Gaddafi is an unjust despot, as are many of the leaders of non-democratic countries around the world.  We can freely disagree concerning whether or not the U.S. should intervene in this conflict.

Instead, the most disturbing element of current events was President Obama’s unilateral decision to launch a military strike against the nation.  Be they no-fly zones, missile attacks, or a ground force invasion, any violation of Libyan sovereign territory puts us at war with the nation.  However, according our Constitution, if you read Article One, Section Eight, only Congress has the power to declare war.  Did Obama seek and was he granted such authorization? No.

On this topic, I present to you today’s (March 21, 2011) thoughts of Democrat Dennis Kucinich (OH-10).

Isn’t President Obama’s actions a clear violation of the Constitution?  Now some people erroneously believe that the War Powers Resolution supercedes the Constitution and transfers this authority to declare war away from the Congress and to the President.   Although I don’t believe the War Powers Resolution is constitutional, that issue is a matter for another day.  To be clear, assuming the War Powers Resolution is valid, it reads:

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
So was there a declaration of war?  No.  Was there a specific statutory authorization?  Not that I can find.  How about a national emergency?  With Gaddafi desperately struggling to control his own nation, I sincerely doubt anyone can make the claim that he currently possesses either the will or the military forces necessary to pose any sort of threat to our country.

Now I want you to compare Kucinich’s words to Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (VA-7) from Hardball on February 8, 2007.

Scary isn’t it?  I certainly hope that Representative Cantor has changed his opinion in the four years since this recording.  Unfortunately his website and blog are silent on these recent developments.  Granting one man the ability to declare war without any real oversight or approval marches the nation toward the spectre of endless conflict and a totalitarian state.

At the end of the day, whichever party happens to be in power, they all must obey the Constitution.  Clearly with this action in Libya, Obama has grossly overstepped his authority.  I would not support an executively created war whether it happens under a Republican or a Democrat.  You know what is destroying this country?  This event serves as a prime example. Outside the rule of law we have given one man far too much power.  And what we do not give him willingly, he takes in the name of our own best interest, in our supposed national security, or for international peacekeeping efforts.

We must not look at this matter through the lens of whether you support or oppose the use of military force in Libya.  After all, history may judge this intervention to be a great idea or a horrid mistake.  Nevertheless, it is clear that our President has blatantly disregarded our Constitution.

You may already realize that this matter is not a partisan issue but one where pitting those who defend our laws against those who ignore them.  As Republican Representative Justin Amash (MI-3) wrote on Sunday:

It’s not enough for the President simply to explain military actions in Libya to the American people, after the fact, as though we are serfs. When there is no imminent threat to our country, he cannot launch strikes without authorization from the American people, through our elected Representatives in Congress. No United Nations resolution or congressional act permits the President to circumvent the Constitution.

Perhaps you remember the words of Democrat Rep. Steve Israel (NY-2) in which he stated in the second video, “Congress has a constitutional responsibility to decide whether we are going to war or not.”

So what will be the end result of this affair?  Looking back, will this moment be the defining time in which Congress stands up for the Constitution and rule of law or will it surrender to the executive branch?  Do you want to know why our country is heading toward oblivion?  You need look no further than Obama’s response in Libya.

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