Showdown Over Libya

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In a toughly worded resolution which the House will vote on Friday, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is demanding that President Obama either seek congressional authorization to continue US involvement in the NATO-led Libyan operation or determine the best way to withdraw from the conflict. The resolution states that Obama failed to give Congress a “compelling rationale” for going to war and demanded he do so in writing in 14 days. The measure also calls for a ban on US ground forces in Libya except in cases where an American service member was in “imminent danger.”

The speaker is challenging Obama to comply with the War Powers Act, which requires the president to get congressional authorization 60 days following the commitment of troops to a military action. The authorization deadline passed last month. In addition to demanding a rationale for going to war, Boehner’s resolution supplies a list of 21 questions on Libya where the House is seeking clarification on the war, “including its goals and objectives, costs and justification for not seeking congressional authorization.”

Boehner’s measure was one of three resolutions introduced in the House — all expressing various degrees of opposition to the president’s actions in taking the US to war without consulting congress. Representative Michael Turner introduced a non-binding resolution that garnered considerable support, expressing disapproval of the Libyan adventure. And far-left Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of US forces was pulled from the floor at the last moment on Wednesday night because, according to Kucinich, there was a chance it might have passed. In fact, Boehner admitted as much when he told reporters, “I think we decided that the House wasn’t ready to decide the question.”

Passage of the resolution would have hugely embarrassed the president internationally, and may have had untoward consequences with our NATO allies. That’s the opinion of Defense Secretary Robert Gates who said through a spokesman that he “believes that for the United States, once committed to a NATO operation, to unilaterally abandon that mission would have enormous and dangerous long-term consequences.”

Boehner echoed those concerns in the Thursday meeting with GOP members, saying, according to ABC News, “The Kucinich measure will express our constituents’ angst, but it will also have long-term consequences I believe are unacceptable.” The speaker explained that NATO nations had stood fast with us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to abandon them in Libya would mean that the US would have “turned our backs against our NATO partners who have stuck by us for the last 10 years.”

Several members expressed the view that Boehner’s presentation on why voting for the Kucinich resolution would have harmed American interests convinced most of the caucus to vote for the speaker’s alternative. Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) said after the meeting that “He (Boehner) believes we shouldn’t try to make political points on foreign policy.”

Boehner felt it necessary to give his caucus an alternative to the resolution being offered by Kucinich which “directs the president to remove the United States armed forces from Libya by not later than the date that is 15 days after the date of the adoption” of the measure. Kucinich’s resolution would have eventually been voted on anyway because of its privileged status, so Boehner will bring it to the floor on Friday along with the GOP alternative.

Before all this legislative maneuvering on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to put the best face on a very touchy situation for the administration. He told reporters, “We believe that the policy is working,” Carney said. “We believe the goal the president has is shared by the majority of the members of Congress.” He added that the administration has “consulted Congress every step of the way.”

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  • StephenD

    We go into Libya but not Syria. We tell Mubarak to leave but not Imadinnerjacket in Iran. We call it an "Arab Spring" when in fact we are clearing the way for the Muslim Brotherhood. We are bleeding money and borrowing from China while we give billions in aid to the likes of Egypt where the people we're told seek freedom actually have made clear their desire for an Islamic state.Enough with all the B.S. from Congress and the W.H. We have no dog in this fight, in any area but to support Israel ~ the only Western Style Democracy there. Other than that, we should get the hell out.

    • Wesley69

      Agreed, Stephen D. These policies of undercutting our allies and appeasing our enemies has to be exposed from now until election time. Obama needs to answer for his actions to diminish US power and prestige in the world.

      HE IS THE ONE who claims the US is responsible for most of the evil in the world.

      HE IS THE ONE who is trying to cozy up to the Radical Islamic forces in the Mideast.

      HE IS THE ONE who is putting the survival of Israel at risk. His statement of support telling Israel it must return to the 1948 Armistice Lines is proof of this
      HE IS THE ONE who is responsible for the coming destruction of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace treaty and for supporting the overthrow of a 30 year old ally.

      HE IS THE ONE who is reponsible for allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

      HE IS THE ONE who is responsible for the coming alliance of Sunni Egypt and Shiite Iran, an alliance aimed at the destruction of Israel.

      HE IS THE ONE who will be responsible for encouraging indirectly the Islamists to start a new and bloody war in the Mideast, much as Neville Chamberlain did when he gave in to Hitler's demands for Czechoslovakian territory.


  • Wesley69

    If the President had informed Congress of his attention to intervene to save the lives of the rebels, he would not be in the situation he is in now. His objectives with regard to the intervention have also grown to the overthrow of Gaddafi in combination with NATO forces.

    This is no longer a military mercy mission that lasts one or two weeks. It is now an undeclared war regardless of what the President calls it. In the end, the President will present to Congress a bill for his actions in Libya.

    Congress is right in demanding that the President explain the mission in Libya. It is the Congress that declares war or authorizes use of force resolutions. Senator Obama complained about Bush's actions in Iraq and his so-called abuse of power. Now, as President, Obama is going further than Bush did in the prosecution of a war. Both Iraq and Afghanistan missions were authorized by Congress.

    Congress needs to prevent a presidential grab for power. Either he complies with Congress's demands or they shut this war down and too hell with embarassing the President. After all, he brought it on himself.

    • StephenD

      "Congress needs to prevent a presidential grab for power."
      My point exactly. Congress is as much to blame because of their failure to take corrective action with this miscreant we call the President. Enough talk. I say to Congress: Do something, damn it, or we'll vote you out too!

      • Wesley69

        To do something, the House must have the approval of the Senate as well. The Senate is under Democrat control. They will not vote to make Obama look bad particularly with an election around the corner. The House can shut off funding. If no funding is passed by the House, this is the quickest way to stop the war effort in Libya.

  • Steve Chavez

    SYRIA is slaughtering its people and mutilated a little boy's body as a warning to others and yet a slap on the hand by Obama! All I can remind myself of is Pelosi, with head scarf, visiting with Assad!

    IMAGINE WORLD PEACE? Imagine a world without Iran and it number one proxy, Syria!

    But Obama's mission is different! He gives State dinners for Communist dictators! Bows to Arabs! Throws our dictators under the bus!

    All these actions are leading to Obama's number one goal: The destruction of Israel! He spit on Netanyahu for lecturing him and disrespectfully left Nethanyahu in a meeting during their previous visit! The lack of U.S., UN, and IAEA action on Iran is painting Israel into a corner and now Israel is planning to go it alone to insure their survival! When, not if, they attack Iran, our already high gas prices, will go higher and Obama and the Democrats, will use this to blame Israel and a majority of the world will agree! As a result of Israel's attack, the U.S., under Obama, will send troops to save the Palestinians from the evil war-mongering Israelis! And yet, he'll still get a standing ovation at the annual AIPAC convention!

  • tanstaafl

    Despite the "War Powers Act", Congress has the sole ability and responsibility to declare war. Congress needs to use it…………or lose it. This administration is noted for ignoring the Constitution, Congress should not encourage that tendency.

  • Montana_Libertarian

    The Kucinich proposal shows even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    Congress ought to sharply rein in this arrogant president. To do less is to abrogate the oaths they took to defend the Constitution. If they don't push the issue hard, then we must conclude they, and in particular Boehner, have no stones whatsoever.

    • coyote3

      You can say that again. When I find myself on the same side of a major issue as Dennis Kucinich, something is really wrong.

      • Montana_Libertarian

        Yeah. . .when I heard about Kucinich's proposal in the mix, and found I agreed with it, I thought possibly I had gotten some very bad Scotch, or maybe suffered a brain aneurysm, or had LSD sprinkled on my morning eggs..

        I've settled down since I recalled the old stopped clock analogy.

  • mlcblog

    I think this Libya thing is an intricate part of the administration's plan….toward what end? Only those old hippie lefties know. Destruction is all I can see.

    I believe these wars, undeclared….and police actions, whatever they are called, under the auspices of NATO and otherwise, are simply just one part of the disruptive front that is being waged against our way of life.

    I think this is tied, not so loosely, with the Gaza flotilla and the continual fomenting of trouble in or on the behalf of "Palestine." It's an effort on all fronts. Send in the "students" to foment an uprising, buddy up with heads of state or influential persons in each government, bring in military forces to boot — now that they have this ability.

    This is why they just keep "soldiering on," disregarding all requests to stop. They have allegiance to their agenda and to their agenda alone, which is the destruction of the American way of life.

  • QSuzy

    It's about time congress did something to get US out of Libya but playing politics by Boehner/Kucinich is just silly and dilutes the issue.

    • Montana_Libertarian

      With respect, I'll disagree.

      The limits of presidential power have to be starkly illuminated and slapping him down, hard, over the illegal, unconstitutional and senseless Libyan action.

  • aprilnovember

    I pulled this quote from a blog. Has anyone heard of this? I'm going to send it to a couple of Congressmen.

    "Regarding Libya – yesterday i read on an economic blog, that Goldman Sachs ‘lost’ 98% of Gaddafi’s money. It was about to be exposed – and voila – here we are trying to kill Gaddafi and keeping him silent about a crime committed, stealing Libys money! Goldman Sachs was summoned, to explain what happened to Libyas money, and they panicked)."

  • Supreme_Galooty

    Don't forget this Musselman in Chief is the guy who visited "57 States with only one more to go," and who bowed and scraped to every puff-headed Panjandrum in the Arab world, who knocked fists with our chubby buddy – el diablo fosforo – Hugo Chavez. Coming to a choice between this muscle-head and Dennis Kucinich it is hands down Kucinich every single time. (Even if he is wrong, Kucinich is going to be far to the right of our pretentious vacationer in chief.)

    The scary thing is not so much the sub-human poseuer in the White House, but rather the multitudes who will vote for him – AGAIN. Sharing this country with their like is downright frightening.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The speaker explained that NATO nations had stood fast with us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to abandon them in Libya would mean that the US would have “turned our backs against our NATO partners who have stuck by us for the last 10 years.”

    BS…someone needs to explain to Speaker Boehner, who apparently besides a crying problem also has a severe memory problem, that France, Germany, and Belgium stuck the knife in our backs every chance they got the chance during the lead up to the Iraq war. One of the reasons the Republicans have been getting their asses handed to them by the Dhimmicrats is because their leaders are so damn feckless and incompetent. Boehner and McConnell need to go!

  • Texasron

    Boehner, start impeachment proceedings. Only then will I be satisfied that you are doing your job.

  • Fred Dawes

    this thing is going to get evil real soon.