Blogs » Politcs Plus » House Defunds Libya War



This past Monday, the House of Representatives passed an amendment attached to the military appropriations' bill, which will defund the war in Libya by a vote of the 248-163. The bipartisan amendment was submitted by Rep. Sherman (D-CA).

In hindsight, president Obama should have gone through Congress, even though he had the War Powers Act on his side, before joining NATO in attacking Libya. The president should have put those against the attack on the record, because it's pretty easy to oppose a war in the abstract. Now the time has long passed since the president's 60 day grace period, for asking for congressional approval. He has until Sunday to explain to Congress the legal basis for participating in NATO’s air campaign against Libya or the commander- in- chief, or he will be in violation of the United States Constitution. The administration is under the assumption that they met the requirements by sending people to hearings, submitting letters to the speaker and using other means, but now they must ask Congress to extend past the 90 days. Obviously, the president knows that he must meet with Congress but only he and his staff knows when, and why.

I don't know how much politics are involved, but Senator John McCain said " I would say to my republican friends: if this was a republican president would you still be trying to impose these conditions."

The appetite for war in the Middle East and in North Africa is beginning to dwindle because votes to start withdrawing from Afghanistan show a trend of republicans moving in that direction. This is happening even though we are escalating the war against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The situation is perilous in Pakistan because instead of taking corrective action for the Bin Laden fiasco, they have arrested several CIA informants who took part in the Bin Laden killing. On the other side, CIA’s operations in Pakistan, have killed 1,400 suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban's militants, but, unless we get more corporation from Pakistan, it will be a hopeless mission. As congressman Rogers said today" most countries have an army but in Pakistan the army has a country." We got a lead on a factory that was making improvised explosive devices (IED) and took the satellite images to the Pakistani government. The government approved of a raid but when they got there, someone inside the government tipped them off. This is the factory that was supplying IEDS to Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq to kill or injure our troops.

Next month the president will make a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan but will it is a paltry sum of 5000 or below or will it be substantial? That question was presented to the GOP presidential hopefuls. Most of the candidates gave the obvious answer, of “I will listen to my generals" but the fiery Ron Paul was more direct by saying “the president must tell generals what to do. He said he would begin withdrawing troops almost immediately because the United States has no purpose fighting a war in Afghanistan.

*Note:After I wrote the blog I read the White House explanation "“We are not saying the president can take the country into war on his own,” Mr. Koh said. “We are not saying the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional or should be scrapped, or that we can refuse to consult Congress. We are saying the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.”

I would like to see this debated by both sides because this has to be settled once and for all.