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OBOMBA'S "NON-HOSTILE" WAR
By Mike Ferner, Interim Director, Veterans for Peace
Begging your forbearance, I just had to take a break from ongoing administrative duties here at the VFP office to respond to the most recent in a long string of grotesque outrages.
I'm referring to the Obama administration's response to a federal lawsuit filed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich and 9 other Members of Congress contending the Libyan adventure is unconstitutional, as well as a letter from House Speaker Boehner warning the President to observe a deadline in the War Powers Act and get Congressional approval for invading Libya.
The administration's response to Congress -- and I am not joking or borrowing a line from the Daily Show -- is that Mr. Obama can spend a billion dollars bombing the daylights out of Libya based on nothing more than his own authority because:
· it falls short of a “war” in the constitutional sense.
· “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.”
· the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.
· U.S. forces are at little risk because there are no troops on the ground and Libyan forces are unable to exchange fire with them meaningfully
The last two “reasons” came from White House Counsel Robert Bauer and State Department legal adviser, Harold Koh, both of whom apparently graduated magnum cum laude from the John “Torture R Us” Yoo School of Law.
Koh, a Yale Law School dean who, before getting corrupted by power in the Obama administration, used to condemn the Bush administration for exactly this kind of criminality, responded to a NY Times reporter with a pitch-perfect echo of those he once criticized, “We are acting lawfully.”
Are these people insane? Have they lost touch with reality so completely that they actually believe themselves or think that we do? Have they so little imagination they can't, even for a moment, equate exploding cruise missiles, the red-hot shrapnel of 500-lb. bombs and the terrified screams of children with war? Have they no children of their own nor ever cradled a niece or nephew? Are there no limits to their corrupt delusions?
But more importantly, what does it say about us? We have already seen how one president’s ceiling for illegal acts becomes the next president’s floor. Congress is complicit with the metastasizing, imperial Obama presidency. If a humane response does not come from us, from where will it come? Where will we draw the line?
A good place to draw that line will be in Washington, D.C. beginning October 6, to protest not only 10 years since the invasion of Afghanistan but to fight back against the corporate rule destroying our planet. Come to stay and help create our own American Autumn, our own Tahrir Square where it is needed more than anywhere in the world.
The Times story concluded its coverage of the Obama administration’s duplicity with these words, "It was not clear whether the Justice Department had endorsed the White House’s interpretation of hostilities." I ask you: Do we care how Obomba defines hostilities or shall we define for ourselves what war is, what peace is, what security and sustainability are?
The crime against democracy has been committed. It is plainly before us, waiting, for our response.