Kucinich: End Illegal Libya War Now: Vote on Funding Bill Expected Today

July 8th, 2011 - by admin

Hon. Dennis J. Kucinich / US Congress & The Guardian – 2011-07-08 01:04:40


Amash-Kucinich Gaining Momentum,
15 Cosponsors for Bipartisan Amendment
To End Libyan War — Vote Expected Today

Office of Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich

WASHINGTON (July 7, 2011) — A bipartisan agreement to support an amendment with the broadest coalition of support has been reached by 15 Members of Congress. The bipartisan amendment is cosponsored by Justin Amash (R-MI), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Ron Paul (R-TX), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI), Dan Burton (R-IN), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Pete Stark (D-CA), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Richard Nugent (R-FL).

The language of the new bipartisan agreement is as follows: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for the use of military force against Libya.”

Congressman Kucinich, an early critic of the war in Libya, first forced the House to consider the war for an hour on March 31, 2011. Since that time, he has filed a bipartisan lawsuit against the Administration with 9 other Members of Congress challenging the President’s authority to unilaterally bring our nation to war. He has led coalitions to offer his own bills and support those of others that would limit the war, including bills passed to prohibit the use of ground forces in Libya and expressing the House’s disapproval of the war.

In order to advance this important issue, Congressman Kucinich supported resolutions by Speaker Boehner and Representative Rooney. In the past 24 hours, he has been in constant contact with dozens of Members on both sides of the aisle in order to build the broadest coalition of support.

“I believe that the bipartisan effort which as produced this new agreement will demonstrate that opposition to the illegal, unconstitutional war is not a partisan issue, but an American issue,” said Kucinich.

Congressman Kucinich Describes the Amendment on the House Floor

Full text of Congressman’s remarks follow:

“In a short time, the House will have an opportunity to reclaim our Constitutional authority on matters of war and peace by voting to stop the use of funds for the war in Libya.

“An agreement has been reached through work that Mr. Amash and I have done to create a bipartisan amendment which states ‘none of the funds made available by this act may be used for the use of military force against Libya.’

“The Amash-Kucinich amendment is co-sponsored by a growing group of bipartisan activists, including representatives Ron Paul, Lynn Woolsey, Walter Jones, John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Ted Poe and Pete Stark.

“This could well be an historic moment where a bipartisan coalition rally this is Congress to defend the Constitution and to reset the balance that has been upset by the Administration’s claiming the war power.

“Vote to end the war in Libya, support the bipartisan Amash-Kucinich amendment.”

The US Must End Its Illegal War in Libya Now
President Obama has ripped up the US constitution for NATO’s ill-considered Libyan adventure. Congress must restore sense

Dennis Kucinich / The Guardian

WASHINGTON (July 6, 2011) — This week, I am sponsoring legislation in the United States Congress that will end US military involvement in Libya for the following reasons:

First, the war is illegal under the United States Constitution and our War Powers Act, because only the US Congress has the authority to declare war and the president has been unable to show that the US faced an imminent threat from Libya. The president even ignored his top legal advisers at the Pentagon and the department of justice who insisted he needed congressional approval before bombing Libya.

Second, the war has reached a stalemate and is unwinnable without the deployment of NATO ground troops, effectively an invasion of Libya. The whole operation was terribly ill-considered from the beginning. While NATO supports the Benghazi-based opposition (situated in the oil-rich north-east), there is little evidence that the opposition has support of the majority of Libyans.

The leading opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (which had reportedly been backed by the CIA in the 1980s), should never have launched an armed civil war against the government if they had no chance absent a massive NATO air campaign and the introduction of NATO troops. Their reckless actions, encouraged by western political, military and intelligence interests, created the humanitarian crisis that was then used to justify the NATO war campaign.

Third, the United States cannot afford it. The US cost of the mission is projected to soon reach more than $1bn, and we are already engaged in massive cutbacks of civil services for our own people.

It is not surprising that a majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents alike think the US should not be involved in Libya.

This war is misguided. An invasion would be a disaster. NATO already is out of control, using a UN mandate allowing for protection of civilians as the flimsy pretext for an unauthorized mission of regime change through massive violence. In a just world, the NATO commander would be held responsible for any violations of international law. As a means of continuing the civil war, NATO member France and coalition ally Qatar have both admitted shipping weapons to Libya, in open violation of the United Nations arms embargo.

In the end, the biggest casualty of this game of nations will be the legitimacy of the UN, its resolutions and mandates, and international rule of law. This condition must be reversed. The ban on arms supplies to Libya must be enforced, not subverted by NATO countries. The US must cease its illegal and counterproductive support for a military resolution now.

The US Congress must act to cut off funds for the war because there is no military solution in Libya. Serious negotiations for a political solution must begin to end the violence and create an environment for peace negotiations to fulfill the legitimate, democratic aspirations of the people. A political solution will become viable when the opposition understands that regime change is the privilege of the Libyan people, not of NATO.

The War in Libya ‘Is Not a War.’ Really?
Dennis Kucinich / The Guardian

(June 2, 2011) — The following is the text of a letter Representative Dennis J Kucinich has sent to members of Congress ahead of their consideration of his bill to end US involvement in the military action against Libya.

Yesterday [Wednesday], the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced it would continue combat operations in Libya for at least another 90 days. NATO. The president went to NATO on Libya, not the US Congress, as the constitution requires.

The US has thus far provided 93% of the cruise missiles, 66% of the personnel, 50% of the ships and 50% of the planes at an estimated cost of up to $700m, and now NATO says the war will go another 90 days. Since when does NATO trump the constitution of the United States?

It is time, in the name of the people of the United States, that Congress insist that the president obey the constitution and the statutes concerning war powers.

Last week, I introduced H Con Res 51, a bipartisan resolution that disapproves of US military operations in Libya and requires the president to withdraw US armed forces from participation in the NATO mission in the country within 15 days after passage.

I support my colleague Representative Turner’s resolution, which disapproves of US military operations in Libya because I believe that it is the minimum that Congress must do to challenge the unconstitutional war in Libya. Yet, as the war in Libya surpasses the 60-day mark with no end in sight, it is clear that Congress must do more than just express its disapproval.

Article 1, section 8 [of the US constitution] provides only Congress with the ability to declare war or authorise the use of military force. The War Powers Act allows a narrow exemption from the constitutional requirement by allowing the president to take the US to war without congressional approval in the face of an “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces”. We have now been involved in a war on Libya for over 72 days with no constitutionally required authorization for the use of military force or declaration of war.

The president recently submitted a letter to Congress about the war in Libya arguing that he was not required to come to Congress for authorization because the war is not really a war. Really.

While we may not all agree on the merits of military intervention in Libya, we can all agree that Congress must have the opportunity to have a full and ample debate on the commitment of US armed forces to a war abroad. This institution cannot stand by idly as a war of choice with significant ramifications for our national and economic security is waged without Congress fulfilling its responsibilities under the constitution. We must defend the constitution of the United States.

(c) Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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