by Jim Emerson
When asked about his personal war against Libya and criticism about ignoring congress in a blatant disregard of the War Powers Act the President brushed both aside as just “noise”. Obama has no intention to seek congressional approval as required by law. The President wants Americans to ignore the fact that the incursion into Libya was supposed to be a US Lead effort to establish a UN mandated “No Fly Zone” and no more.
He wants us to overlook the fact that this “kinetic military exercise” which started as a NATO air operations is now an overt effort to assassinate Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi.
Congress Strikes Back
In an effort to justify the president’s contempt for the law, legal adviser to the State Department Harold Koh stated “From the outset, we noted that the situation in Libya does not constitute a war”. Outraged, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) shot back, “When you have an operation that goes on for months, costs billions of dollars, where the United States is providing two-thirds of the troops, even under the NATO fig leaf, where they’re dropping bombs that are killing people, where you’re paying your troops offshore combat pay and there are areas of prospective escalation — something I’ve been trying to get a clear answer from with this administration for several weeks now, and that is the possibility of a ground presence in some form or another, once the Qaddafi regime expires — I would say that’s hostilities.”
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) accused the White House of “sticking a stick in the eye of Congress,” saying it had done “a great disservice to our country.”
On the other hand, Senators John Kerry ( D. Mass.) and John McCain (R. Az.) have passed a resolution supporting the president’s action while asking the House and fellow senators to forget how president Obama didn’t obey the War Powers Act by not seeking congressional approval. The House of Representatives rejected a similar bill by a vote of 295-123.
Mr. President, that isn’t “noise”; it’s called rejection.
Neither Side in Libya is our Friend
This war does not endanger any American vital interest, nor does it present a security risk to the United States. Col Qaddafi has a history of state supported terrorism, and the rebels are led by Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi who fought against Americans in Afghanistan and has al-Qaeda members in his ranks. No need to worry, he insisted, they are “good Muslims”. With the State Department’s blessings, post-Qaddafi Libya may very well become the new home of al-Qaeda and this time they will have oil money to fund their Jihad. These are the people Obama insists we’re saving from being massacred.
I have heard the debate regarding the constitutionality of the War Powers Act. Both sides present valid points. Nevertheless, until this Act is declared unconstitutional it is still the law of the land, and even the president must obey it. Congressional Democrats that relentlessly attacked President Bush’s actions in Iraq are now suddenly silent on Obama’s war on Libya. We must remind our Liberal friends; President Bush asked for and received congressional approval and Obama has yet to do likewise.