OBAMA’S LIBYA WAR IS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL
By Cliff Kincaid
March 22, 2011
On CNN’s “Reliable Sources” show on Sunday, host Howard Kurtz asked, “One major question about the assault on Libya, what happened to the media’s skepticism?” He’s right, but his comparison to the war in Iraq was wrong. The correct parallel is President Bill Clinton’s illegal and unconstitutional military intervention in the civil war in Kosovo, then a province of Serbia. Serbia, like Libya today, did not present a threat to the U.S., but in both cases Democratic presidents went to war with those nations anyway, in order to strengthen international organizations.
What the media are missing is the fact that Obama’s war on Libya has no basis in law or the U.S. Constitution. He has decided to wage this war on his own with the authorization of the United Nations, not the U.S. Congress.
The conservative Washington Times has it right. In an editorial headlined, “Obama’s illegal war. Congress, not the U.N., should authorize force against Libya,” the paper said, “Removing Moammar Gadhafi from power would probably advance the cause of freedom, but the United Nations has no legal authority to take a step of this magnitude. By bowing to the will of the U.N. Security Council, President Obama is diluting the sovereign power of the United States.”
It’s true that President Reagan attacked Libya in 1986. But that was retaliation in self-defense, which is always reserved for the Commander-in-Chief, after evidence showed that the Gaddafi regime had attacked and killed Americans in Germany through a terrorist bombing.
“Today,” Obama said on March 19, “I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun. In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people.”