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Kucinich Demands Immediate End to U.S.Role in the War in Libya


WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 24, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today wrote to President Obama that it was improper to commit the United States to a military  intervention in Libya without prior Congressional approval, clear objectives and questioned the criteria used for intervention. Kucinich also informed President Obama of his intent to introduce a bipartisan amendment that would cut off all funds for the U.S.’s role in Libyato the next funding measure to be considered.

 

The letter was sent immediately upon the President’s return to the United States from a trip to South America that began after the President announced U.S. participation in military intervention in Libya without seeking prior Congressional approval for the use of military force as required by the Constitution.

 

Kucinich’s amendment to defund U.S. military intervention in Libya is cosponsored by Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC), Pete Stark (D-CA) and Ron Paul (R-TX).   

 

See a signed copy of the letter here.  The full text of the letter follows.

March 24, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write in response to your letter of March 21, 2011 to the House of Representatives, regarding the commitment of U.S. Armed Forces to Libya. As the United States and its allies continue military intervention in Libya, I am deeply concerned about the White House’s neglect of its responsibility to seek Congress’ authorization to use military force prior to the commitment of U.S. armed forces.  I am equally concerned about the potential for further instability in the region as a result of U.S-led international intervention in Libya. 

You stated in your letter that U.S. military forces have been committed “to assist an international effort authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council and undertaken with the support of European allies and Arab partners” at your direction. While testifying before the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that imposing a no-fly zone over Libya was an act of war, stating that “A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses.”[1] The authority you claim in your letter to commit an act of war in the form of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya is inconsistent with the Constitution, which, as you know, is defined in Article 1, Section 8 to give Congress the sole power to declare war.  It is also in sharp variance to your own statement in a December 2007 interview in which you affirmed that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”[2] 

Not only were those preconditions not present, but Congress was available to consider a presidential request for authorization to use military force, had you chosen to submit one.  It is deeply troubling that in the weeks leading up to the passage of the U.N. resolution, you neglected to come to Congress for authorization to use military force. Your efforts to gather support from the U.N., The Arab League, and other international allies prior to launching the strikes is well-known. Your neglect of seeking support from the U.S. Congress was not proper and contrary to your own publically stated understanding of the Constitution.    

My concerns about a war in Libya are not limited to questions of constitutionality, but extend to your criteria for intervention.  If your criteria for military intervention in another country is instability and government sponsored-violence, as you suggest in your letter, we will stretch far too thin our already overcommitted military.  We will also dramatically increase our military presence in the Middle East. Anti-Americanism will rise, accompanied by popular resentment toward a foreign occupier.  If the criteria are more localized, and you will commit our Armed Forces to military intervention only in certain cases of government-sponsored violence against a popular uprising, then we will have an inconsistent foreign policy that will also elicit anti-American sentiment. 

During a press conference at the Pentagon earlier this month, Secretary Gates warned of the negative implications of U.S. military involvement in Libya: “All of the options beyond humanitarian assistance and evacuations are complex. ... If we move additional assets, what are the consequences of that for Afghanistan? For the Persian Gulf?...We also have to think about, frankly, the use of the U.S. military in another country in the Middle East.”[3]  The implications for our own national security should not have been ignored and cannot continue to be ignored.

I am also gravely concerned about the objectives of the intervention.  You stated in your letter that the goal of intervention is “to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat posed to international peace and security by the crisis in Libya.” I wholeheartedly support the Libyan people’s desire for democratic reform and representation and agree that the United States has a role in providing humanitarian assistance to Libyan civilians. However, the idea that military intervention for humanitarian purposes in Libya would lead to greater stability in the region runs counter to the track record of recent U.S. - led military interventions in the Middle East and threatens to commit the U.S. to another quagmire in the region.  American military efforts to depose despotic and inhumane leaders of Middle Eastern countries have turned out to be much larger undertakings than Congress was led to expect.  President Muammar Gaddafi can reasonably be expected to hang on until the bitter end in a protracted battle. 

The United States has spent trillions of dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan thus far, with both wars having served to undermine our national and economic security.  The war in Libya has reportedly cost well over $100 million to date, at a time when Congress is forced to decide between cutting funds for keeping our seniors warm in the winters, helping low-income pregnant and nursing women access basic nutrition, and helping struggling middle class workers stay in their homes.  The costs are likely to mount, with the costs to operate F-15s and F-16s used by the U.S. to conduct this operation at approximately $100,000 per hour, including maintenance and fuel costs. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments states that the U.S. costs could “easily pass the $1 billion mark…regardless of how well things go,” and put the costs of the operation in Libya anywhere from $30 million to $100 million per week.[4] 

I believe these missteps so far seriously compromise the course of military intervention you have initiated.  The only way I can see to correct them is to stop U.S. participation in the war entirely. As such, I intend to offer an amendment to the next general funding measure to be considered by Congress to defund U.S. military intervention in Libya. Congress must have the latitude to make an informed decision under circumstances in which Congress’s predictable desire to support the troops does not skew the debate on the war’s legitimacy.

Sincerely,

Dennis J. Kucinich

Member of Congress




[1]  Sanger, David E. and Shanker, Tom.  (2011, March 2).  “Gates Warns of Risks of No-Fly Zone.”  The New York Times, online.  Accessible: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/world/africa/03military.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

[2] Savage, Charlie.  (2007, December 20).  “Barack Obama’s Q&A.” The Boston Globe, online.  Accessible: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/CandidateQA/ObamaQA/

[3] (2011, March 2).  “Gates: Libyan no-fly zone would require attack.”  CBS news.com.  Accessible:  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/02/501364/main20038352.shtml. 

[4] Scully, Megan. (2011, March 23).  “Costs of Libya Operation Already Piling Up.” The National Journal, online.  Accessible:  http://nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/costs-of-libya-operation-already-piling-up-20110321.    

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Our government can't afford health care for our citizens. It can't afford heat in winter for low income citizens. It can't afford to pay teachers and police and firefighters and all kinds of pubic service workers. But it can afford to spend $150 million on cruse missiles to shoot at Libya.

Oh yea, I know that will help the people of Libya -- unless it kills them. President Obomber has his priorities all mixed up and it is up to us as American citizen to tell him that.

All this foolishness out of the Democrats about how the Republicans are screwing us is ridiculous. They are both wings of the same bird and they aren't flying straight. Where's the change?

What a total outrage that Obomber would start another war on the same day that the chimp started his attack on Iraq! It just really takes the cake.

"They are both wings of the same bird and they aren't flying straight."

I like that analogy! Odd wings make you fly in a circle. That's exactly what's going on!

Al K.

Although I return to this site frequently for current events, I have not logged on for the purpose of commenting for many months now. Today is an exception as I give my voice in support of Congressman Dennis Kucinich and his reprimand to Obama. I mean WTF is that guy thinking?

I also like the analogy to bird and wings and flying in circles -- that's a good one; wish Congressman Kucinich had thought of it and stated same to Obama.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/22/kucinich-talks-impeachme...
"It is very clear that what President Obama did is beyond what the Constitution permits a president to do. That really isn't disputable," Kucinich argued.
In a series of interviews on Monday, Kucinich suggested the President could be impeached for his actions. For now, the anti-war Democrat tells CNN he has no plans to initiate any impeachment proceedings.
"Now, impeachment is a process. I haven't gotten into that. I raised the question as to whether or not (President Obama) exceeded his authority and raising the question as to whether or not it is an impeachable offense," Kucinich said.
.
Kucinich is nothing but a democrat shill whose purpose is to con morons into believing that the democrat party harbors some reclaimable vestiges of liberalism. They do not. The leadership of both parties, and probably the most of the rest, are bought and paid for tools of our dear plutocracy. This whole impeachment thing is going nowhere. Not to mention, is anyone really fool enough to think a president Biden would do any differently?
If the Democrats or any other members of Congress were serious about ending these wars they would resign in protest en masse and collapse the government.

Kucinich doesn't do everything right, but give him credit where credit is due. He has stuck his neck out on a very sensitive issue. Voting for Kucinich is a far cry from voting for Obama. And don't get me started on Nancy Pelosi.

Hey kidz!!! Meanwhile, Senior Israeli Senator, Joe "Mr. Homeland Security" LIEberman wants even MORE War . . . now in SYRIA . . .

. . . with Goyim troops, blood, and treasure, of course . . . ;-)

(clipped headline and article from Fox News)
"Lieberman Suggests No-Fly Zone an Option in Syria if Violence Escalates - Sen. Joe Lieberman suggested Sunday he would support military intervention in Syria if its president resorts to the kind of violent tactics used by Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi."

(full story)
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/27/lieberman-suggests-fly-zone-o...

Yes, after watching this video below, I can certainly see why an "Israel First" Zionist like Senator Joe "Mr. Homeland Security" LIEberman would want to neutralize any nation that resorted to the type of "tactics used by Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi" . . .

(link to 11 June 2008 video - approx. 8 minutes)
"Gadaffi Speech: The Truth about the Kennedy Assassination & Obama"
http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=14404&title...

Hmmm, remember this March 2007 "Democracy Now" interview with retired General Wesley Clark?

(link to video - approx. 2 minutes)
"Wesley Clark: Decision made to invade 7 countries after 911"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNOWeUH1PDk

Now, what was it Dr. Alan Zabrosky said?

"The Zionists are playing this as an all-or-nothing exercise."
- Dr. Alan Zabrosky, ex-Director of Studies US Army War College

Corrupt media, corrupt banking, and corrupt politics . .. all hell bent for more WAR . . . connect the dotz and see the pattern . . . ;-)

Cui bono? Who benefits?

(clipped headline and article by Gilad Atzmon)
"Gilad Atzmon: Inside What Job? A film review - 'Inside Job', The Academy Award documentary film about the current financial crisis is a worthy documentary, and it certainly delivers on many fronts. . . While America was implementing ‘the Wolfowitz doctrine’ and fighting a Zionist war, a cabal of corrupted bankers pocketed billions, creating an economy bubble that diverted the public attention from the war in Iraq. The film fails to address these aspects."

(full story)
http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-inside-what-job-a-film-revi...

Meanwhile, brother Dennis Kucinich is not the only voice crying out in the wilderness . . . ;-)

(link to video - approx. 5 minutes)
"Congressman Ron Paul: Libya Reaction"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R325K6alVlA&feature=player_embedded

. . . and it appears to this ol' fool that more and more people around the world are waking up to these voices of REASON and TRUTH . . .

. . . even if they do call us "names" . . . ;-)

(link to video - approx. 2 minutes)
"IT'S A TRICK, WE ALWAYS USE IT says former ISRAEL MINISTER"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oqJH1KXlPs

Hmmm, do you think Congressman Ron Paul or Congressman Dennis Kucinich will be invited to speak at this year's AIPAC conference, kidz???? . . . ;-)

I wonder if the AIPAC theme this year will be, "Keep On Pushing On For Zion, You Schmucks!!!"??? . . . ;-)

"It was back in nineteen forty-two,
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,
One night by the light of the moon.
The captain told us to ford a river,
That's how it all begun.
We were -- waist deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on."
- "Waist Deep In The Big Muddy" by Pete Seeger

peace.

This is also known as "Protest the War" "Sign the Petition or ask Congress critters not to fund" or reduce funding or any other crap you can petition the creeps in Washington about. It keeps the protestors busy at their keyboards, prevents any nasty protests on the streets and afford numerous hour of enjoyment for the fat cats as they laugh themselves stupid over citizens who actually think they have any thing to say about what the MIC does. Go back to "Dancing with the Stars" or "American Idol" or your drug of choice and allow your masters to continue raping the world for personal gain. Realize there is no one in government that gives a damn what you, me or any other less than billionaire thinks. or does. You will re-elect the same ass-hats next election.

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