This afternoon, after ten members of Congress filed suit to force Barack Obama to end American military involvement in the Libyan civil war, President Obama came out with his defence. Obama said that he didn’t need the approval of Congress to enter the United States military into the war in Libya, and doesn’t need congressional approval now because American operations because current military operations there don’t count as “hostilities”.
Barack Obama’s claim that the American participation in a foreign country’s civil war does not constitute hostilities doesn’t match the facts at all. American robotic planes are shooting explosive missiles into Libyan cities. The American military is training and otherwise assisting Libyan rebels who are using violence to attempt to overthrow the Libyan government. The United States is materially aiding a European military alliance that is bombing Libya.
Consider what we would think, as Americans, if the government of China sent robotic planes over our country to shoot missiles into our cities. What would we think if the government of China assisted rebels who were fighting across America against our nation’s police and armies? What would we think if China were funding, arming, collaborating with, and giving intelligence to a military alliance bombing our cities, blockading our ports, and contemplating a ground invasion of the United States? Would we say that China was not at war with the United States? Would we say that China was not engaged in hostilities against us? Of course not. The thought is ludicrous, and President Obama’s defense of his illegal actions is absurd.
Most Democratic members of Congress have been attempting, for the sake of party unity, to keep their anger with the Obama Administration over the illegal American war in Libya out of the public eye. After President Obama made his statement today, however, the silence of Democrats in Congress ended. They began to express their outrage at Obama openly, with a vigor akin to that of their opposition to Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.
Congressman Barney Frank was among those speaking out, loudly, in protest of Barack Obama’s shameless disregard for the law and his reckless and expensive entry into yet more war. Speaking on television, Representative Frank said:
“I’m very disappointed. I’m disappointed that the President has been evading it. There’s this thing where you become President and they tell you that you’re the Commander In Chief of the free world, and your judgment erodes.
They ought to understand: Committing American military forces is enormously expensive. It has all kinds of implications. I do not understand why presidents continue to think that they should do this without bringing in the broader sector of the electorate through the Congress…
… They’re saying that these aren’t hostilities because we’re only shooting people and they’re not shooting back. That’s just an embarrassing degree of evasion.
We are in there, engaging in warlike activities, and yes, there’s a chance of people getting hurt. What I don’t understand is why they’ve bought this, except for a few, that a President ought to be able to do whatever he wants with the military, without any regard for what the rest of the government wants. That’s a terrible doctrine…
…Quaddafi is a thug, and I hope that he thrown out, but you cannot have the American taxpayers be the ones that do everything, everywhere. We are bearing the brunt in many parts of the world, and I am for America taking that leadership role, but the notion that, and Secretary Gates got it right last week in the sense of NATO being, in my words, almost a sham, the notion that if there is any evil anywhere, it’s the American military and the American taxpayer’s job to deal with it, is terribly mistaken.
We spend more than twice as much, as a percentage of our gross domestic product, on the military as any of our NATO allies, three times as much than most of them, and there is a time when it’s there turn. So, the question is twofold. Should someone go after Quaddafi? Yes. Should it always be America? Should we be doing Iran and Afghanistan, and should we be the ones protecting Western Europe from the no longer existing Communist threat?
The single biggest thing driving our budget deficit is not Medicare. We spend about 568 billion a year on Medicare, which, we’re spending 700 billion a year on the Pentagon, much of which of it on things that are not directly related to our security, and our being done to let our wealthy allies off the hook, from doing their own responsibility.”