Peripheral Revision

Unfiltering history as we live it

Kucinich on Libya: Defund the intervention, “Humanitarian war is an oxymoron”

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“The cost of this war for one week will be half a billion dollars. The money is coming…we’re either borrowing it or cutting domestic priorities. We’re telling people they can’t have jobs programs but they get war, you can’t have health care for everyone in America but we get war, you can’t have education for all but you get war, you can’t save people’s home but you can have war.”

Amid the ongoing coalitional bombardment of Libya it turns out President Obama may have had no constitutional authority for ordering US military involvement. US Rep. from Ohio Dennis Kucinixh says the use of US armed forces is unconstitutional, explaining Obama had no authority to commit US resources without congressional approval. The US now finds itself involved into another war in addition to Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. ‘Bombing villages in order to save villages’ — that didn’t work in Vietnam, Kucinich explained. In fact, he argued this time around the Libyan intervention could end up strengthening US enemies.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Defund Libya attack

JAKE SHERMAN, Politico, March 21, 2011

Liberal Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich plans to offer up a measure that would defund U.S. efforts in Libya.

According to a letter blasted to his email list, Kucinich plans to offer an amendment to the next spending bill to ensure no federal funds go to the bombing campaign in Libya.

The amendment would give Congress a more concrete opportunity than they’ve had to challenge President Barack Obama on Libya, a subject that has riled both sides of the aisle.

In the letter Kucinich addressed to his fellow lawmakers, the Ohio Democrat said Obama scooted around the Constitution, “which gives only Congress the power to declare war.” He also says the no-fly zone will cost between $400 and 800 million.

“We have already spent trillions of dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which descended into unwinnable quagmires,” Kucinich wrote in his letter. “Now, the president is plunging the United States into yet another war we cannot afford. While the administration assures us that that the U.S. will hand-off its lead role to coalition partners within days, we have not been notified of long-term plans or goals following initial air strikes in the country. The timeline the president gave to Congress was summarized with one word: ‘limited.’”

The amendment, if Republicans allow it to be offered, would be a political football, at least in the House. Lawmakers on the right and left have questioned the bombing campaign, including its cost.

If it is included on a spending measure, it could throw the underlying legislation into jeopardy. The president and Senate have said they do not want riders attached to funding bills.

Kucinich’s next chance to offer his amendment will come soon. Congress needs to pass a bill to fund the government from April 8 through the end of September.


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