Twenty years ago after U.S. forces had driven the Iraqi military out of Kuwait and back into Iraq, President George H.W. Bush as Commander in Chief ordered the U.S. military to cease-fire on February 28, 1991. Years later in his 1998 memoir A World Transformed, Bush admitted that the reason he chose to order the cease-fire was because he understood that advancing further into Iraq, a country that had not attacked the U.S., and overthrowing its government could easily be seen as an illegal war of aggression and thus warrant a call from the American people for his removal from office by the constitutional remedy of impeachment. It was the fear of a call for impeachment by the American people that in effect stopped the President from continuing the war.
Since the Presidency of the Democrat Bill Clinton during the 1990's, which immediately followed the Presidency of the Republican George H.W. Bush, the American people have allowed a practice of the President acting as "unitary executive" unaccountable to the rule of law in ordering the U.S. military into unprovoked, illegal wars of aggression and occupations. During the Presidency of the Republican George W. Bush, attempts were made to even redefine the office of the Presidency as a "unitary executive" with literally dictatorial powers beyond the rule of law. Now, because the American people have still not spoken up, the current Presidency of the Democrat Barack Obama has allowed the President of the United States to order young Americans to war without even consulting the American people's representatives in Congress or having to concoct a lie about the US facing a "justifiable" threat to its national security.
President Obama's ordering of the March 19th, 2011 attack on Libya, without even consulting Congress, let alone getting a Declaration of War or other type of Congressional approval for the attack, has led to a good amount of discussion as to how the President could very well be impeached for having unilaterally ordered such an attack. People from both ends of the political spectrum, to include members of Congress, have been quite clear in publicly stating that the President's attack on Libya is not only an impeachable offense, as per Democrat Representative and 2008 Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, but it also makes him accountable for war crimes, as per Republican Representative and 2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul from Texas. Notable legal experts and scholars from both the left and the right, to include former Democrat US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former Republican Deputy US Attorney General Bruce Fein, and Professor of Law Francis Boyle, have publicly offered their services to assist in carrying out impeachment proceedings against President Obama over his unconstitutional and otherwise illegal war on Libya to any member of Congress willing to step forward and introduce Articles of Impeachment.
Let us not forget that it was the former Constitutional Law Professor and US Senator Barack H. Obama who said himself during a December 20, 2007 interview with the Boston Globe 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."
The sovereign nation of Libya posed no such threat whatsoever to the United States, and Obama's ordering of more than 120 Cruise Missiles fired into Libya in just the first day of his own March 19th "Shock and Awe" is nothing less than another outright illegal US war of aggression similar to the illegal US war of aggression on Iraq launched 8 years to the day prior, minus the land invasion which is the next step in the process if the American people don't draw the line and call for a stop to it now.
With such a clear cut case ready to make for impeaching President Obama over his war on Libya, along with the legal experts and the political figures ready to proceed with a call for impeachment, then why has there not been a call from the leaders of the national antiwar organizations for impeaching Obama when making such a call now could actually prevent him from going ahead with a land invasion into Libya and even be enough of a threat of impeachment to force him to finally end the 10-year US wars and occupations by using his unique ability as Commander in Chief to order a cease-fire?
People involved in the national antiwar organizations have told me that the issue of racism is a major factor in their failure to call for impeachment of President Obama for what amounts to the same crimes cited in their former calls for impeachment and present calls for prosecution of President George W. Bush over his war on Iraq. If calling for the impeachment of the first Black American US President for prosecuting illegal wars of aggression is racist, then that first needs to be squared with all the brown-skinned people being killed under his command. Even more so, if calling for the impeachment of the first African-American US President for prosecuting an illegal war of aggression on Libya is racist, then that first needs to be squared with all the brown-skinned Africans being killed under his command before such a claim be taken seriously. A friend put it to me this way, if racism is applying different standards based on race, then not calling for impeachment because of race is in fact racism as well.
I spoke recently with the president of a major national antiwar organization about the silence from his organization regarding a call for impeachment of President Obama and he told me that the reason he and his organization are against applying the same standard of impeachment in their public call for accountability to President Obama, even after his recent attack on Libya, as they had so strongly applied to President George W. Bush in regards to his war on Iraq was the possibility of groups that were "racist" joining their call for the impeachment of Obama not because they agreed with his prosecuting the US war on Libya being impeachable but instead because they were racists and just wanted to remove Obama from office because he was a person of color. If that's really the thinking of the leaders of the national antiwar organizations in America, then I say who needs "controlled opposition"?
When asked, most Americans want the wars to end and our representatives in government, to include the President of the United States, to once again not be able to act outside the rule of law. Now the American people have a very clear and present opportunity to achieve just that with President Obama's unilaterally ordering the March 19th US military attack on Libya. There comes a point in time when we either "use it or lose it", and we are at that point in time now with the constitutional remedy of impeachment. Impeach now or forever hold up peace.
To access on line, and for download and printing and distribution, our current resolution and petition to Impeach President Obama for the illegal, unilateral invasion of Libya along with other war crimes please go here.
To access the 5-minute audio file of Phil Restino's on-air discussion with the weekly morning radio program The Power Hour with Joyce Riley concerning President Obama’s ordering of a U.S. “Shock and Awe” type military attack Libya on Saturday, March 19, 2011 go here.
Philip Restino [send him mail] is co-chair and a founding member of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace and a member of Military Families Speak Out – Florida. He lives in Port Orange, FL. Veterans For Peace is made up of military veterans working together for peace and justice through non-violence since 1985. For more information about Veterans For Peace, please visit the chapter website or the national VFP website.