Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
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:
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
Lawrence Davidson
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail