When President Obama authorized US assets to attack Libya, he stepped around the US Congress. After doing a certain amount of damage in Libya and killing some civilians, he pulled back and handed the unspecified mission over to NATO.
This action came from a president selected for a Nobel Peace Prize before he had even taken office. He accepted the Peace Prize after less than a year in office, before having done much about peace, other than make speeches, some of them considered anti-american.
Since that time, over two years, he has authorized attacks against more countries, and caused and encouraged more unrest, than George Bush did in eight years.
As president, George W. Bush faced a constant barrage from democrats and progressives. Now a supposedly peaceful democrat is in the White House, all of those democrats and progressives are strangely silent, not just on the existing wars that Obama said he would stop, but also on the new wars and unrest he started.
The only anti-war noise seems to be coming from Code Pink and a few US veterans.
Sudan in still in strife, civilians are still dying there, and the US has done nothing about it, but there is no oil there. Perhaps the anti-war demonstrators were right when they said the wars were all about oil. Why aren’t those same people screaming about blood for oil now?
President Obama now wants unfettered war powers and some in congress thought he should have them; after all, he is one of “their guys.” Strangely, little consideration of the president bypassing Congress or what happens when a Republican takes control of the top job.
Congressman Tom McClintock, a California Republican rose to oppose HR 2278 this week. That bill was crafted to block funding for further US action in Libya, but McClintock says it also gave unfettered powers to the president so he could legally bypass congress.
McClintock said the bill purports to cut funding for combat in Libya, but the Constitution already forbids the waging of war without explicit congressional authorization. The bill seeks to specifically grant to the President powers that until now he has completely lacked.
According to McClintock, the bill gives the president congressional authority to engage in every conceivable belligerent act short of actually pulling the trigger.
“These are all acts of war in direct support of belligerents at war – and this bill authorizes them.
The House has just considered whether to authorize war with Libya. It has specifically, categorically and decisively rejected it. The President is now on notice that he is in direct defiance of Congress.
That is the message we need to send today. Let’s not enter a war through the back door when we’ve already decided not to enter it through the front.”
President Obama may need to take a time-out and reflect on things said by himself and others, in calmer times.
This is what the Nobel Committee said, when they decided to award the 2009 peace prize to President Obama:
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”
Some of these words may be ringing in the ears of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. Two main items stand out:
“Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.”
Tell that to the people in Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan.
“Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”
This may be code for “Do as I say or suffer the consequences.”