Last week I joined six Republican and three Democrat colleagues to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its illegal war against Libya. Now that more than 90 days have passed since the president began bombing Libya, no one can seriously claim that the administration has complied with the clear requirements of the 1973 War Powers Resolution.
In a remarkable act of chutzpah, the administration sent to Congress its response to the growing concern over its abuse of war powers. Its argument, in a nutshell, is that the War Powers Resolution is not relevant because US armed forces are not actually engaged in hostilities because Libya is so militarily weak it cannot fight back! This explanation would be laughable if not so horrific. The administration wants us to believe that there is no real violence because the victim cannot fight back? Imagine if this standard was applied to criminal law in the United States! I am sure Libyans on the receiving end of US and NATO bombs feel hostilities are quite definitely taking place.
We must recall the origins of these attacks on Libya. The Obama administration made no claim that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killing his civilian population. Rather, the claim was that Libya might begin killing its civilians in the future. One need not defend Gaddafi’s regime — and I most certainly do not — to object to this flimsy and dangerous rationale for violating the sovereignty of another country. Imagine a scenario where the UN approves military action against the United States as a preventative humanitarian measure over US enforcement of its immigration laws, for example!
Now in Libya we see the possible use of depleted uranium shells, we see infrastructure destroyed, we see universities bombed, we see all the “collateral damage.” Yet, this is a “humanitarian intervention”?