FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Strange Definitions of War and Peace

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 Resolution.

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 place.

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.

Remember, we 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?

Although it 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.

Polls show 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.

Ron Paul is a congressman from Texas.

 

More articles by:

January 23, 2019
Paul Street
Time for the U.S. Yellow Vests
Charles McKelvey
Popular Democracy in Cuba
Kenn Orphan
The Smile of Class Privilege
Leonard Peltier
The History Behind Nate Phillips’ Song
Kenneth Surin
Stalled Brexit Goings On
Jeff Cohen
The System’s Falling Apart: Were the Dogmatic Marxists Right After All?
Cira Pascual Marquina
Chavez and the Continent of Politics: a Conversation with Chris Gilbert
George Ochenski
Turning Federal Lands Over to the States and Other Rightwing Fantasies
George Wuerthner
Forest Service Ignores Science to Justify Logging
Raouf Halaby
In the Fray: Responses to Covington Catholic High
Kim C. Domenico
No Saviors But Ourselves; No Disobedience Without Deeper Loyalty
Ted Rall
Jury Trial? You Have No Right!
Michael Doliner
The Pros and Cons of Near Term Human Extinction
Lee Ballinger
Musical Unity
Elliot Sperber
The Ark Builders
January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail