Strange Definitions of War and Peace
by Ron Paul: Holding
the President Accountable on Libya
to Ron Paul.
Last week I
joined six Republican and three Democrat colleagues to file a lawsuit
against the Obama administration over its illegal war against Libya.
Now that more than 90 days have passed since the president began
bombing Libya, no one can seriously claim that the administration
has complied with the clear requirements of the 1973 War Powers
In a remarkable
act of chutzpah, the administration sent to Congress its response
to the growing concern over its abuse of war powers. Its argument,
in a nutshell, is that the War Powers Resolution is not relevant
because US armed forces are not actually engaged in hostilities
because Libya is so militarily weak it cannot fight back! This explanation
would be laughable if not so horrific. The administration wants
us to believe that there is no real violence because the victim
cannot fight back? Imagine if this standard was applied to criminal
law in the United States! I am sure Libyans on the receiving end
of US and NATO bombs feel hostilities are quite definitely taking
We must recall
the origins of these attacks on Libya. The Obama administration
made no claim that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killing his civilian
population. Rather, the claim was that Libya might begin killing
its civilians in the future. One need not defend Gaddafi's regime
and I most certainly do not to object to this flimsy
and dangerous rationale for violating the sovereignty of another
country. Imagine a scenario where the UN approves military action
against the United States as a preventative humanitarian measure
over US enforcement of its immigration laws, for example!
Now in Libya
we see the possible use of depleted uranium shells, we see infrastructure
destroyed, we see universities bombed, we see all the "collateral
damage." Yet, this is a "humanitarian intervention?
In our lawsuit
against the administration, among other critical issues we are demanding
that the courts provide relief and protection to the country from
the administration's policy that a president may commit the United
States to a war under the authority of the United Nations and NATO
without authorization from Congress, and that previously appropriated
funds by Congress may be used for an unconstitutional and unauthorized
war in Libya or other countries. These are fundamental Constitutional
issues and I expect the judicial branch to treat our challenge with
the same level of gravity as we do in the legislative branch.
were told that this attack would last "days, not weeks"
and we are already three months and likely nearly a billion dollars
into it. As the bombings obviously target Gaddafi's houses, even
killing some of his family members, we can see that the real goal
is regime change rather than protection of civilians. Do we know
much about the rebels whose side we have taken in what is, in fact,
a civil war?
is a bit late, I am pleased to see that congressional leadership
has started to listen to our constituents, who are solidly against
this war on Libya. I commend Speaker Boehner's expressions of dissatisfaction
with the administration over this war and I sincerely hope he will
use the full constitutional authority granted to the legislative
branch to bring into check an administration clearly out of control.
that the American people increasingly favor a truly conservative
foreign policy: one that rejects the leftist, utopian doctrines
of nation building and preemptive war, and one that is NOT funded
by debt. Forcing the Obama administration to obey the clear letter
of the law is one step towards restoring a traditional, patriotic
foreign policy that serves American interests.
the Ron Paul File
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
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