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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/21/11

10 Reasons to Oppose the War in Libya

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Washington D.C. (June 21, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led House opposition to the illegal, unconstitutional and unwarranted war in Libya, today distributed the following leaflet to his colleagues ahead of the consideration of the Fiscal Year 2012 Department of Defense Appropriations bill:

1.              It is unconstitutional .    Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives Congress the war power.    The President has made it clear he believes he does not need Congressional consent to conduct this war.    If Congress does not challenge this war, there will be more wars to follow.

2.              It is illegal .    The War Powers Resolution was passed over a presidential veto to allow the President latitude to respond when there is an imminent threat to the U.S. while retaining the constitutional duty of Congress.    Even the President's own top legal advisers at the Pentagon and Department of Justice determined the War Powers Resolution applies to the war in Libya.
3.              Americans don't want it .    A CBS News poll dated June 8, 2011 found that "six in 10 Americans do not think that the United States should be involved in the conflict within that country.    Just 30% of Americans think the United States is doing the right thing by taking part in the current military conflict in Libya now.    A majority of Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike think the U.S. should not be involved in Libya."
4.              Distraction .    The flailing economy demands the full attention of Congress and the President.    The American people have little patience for less, especially for a war of choice.
5.               Cost .    The U.S. has spent $750 million so far for a war locked in stalemate.   It was supposed to be a quick -- and therefore relatively inexpensive -- job.    Iraq was too.

6.              We are paying for NATO's war .    According to the most recent data available, until May 5, the U.S. provided 93% of the cruise missiles, 66% of the personnel, 50% of the ships and 50% of the planes in the war.    The administration has claimed the U.S. share of the burden has decreased and the U.S. role is ostensibly "non-kinetic" with little risk to Americans since the U.S. passed off the war to NATO in early April.    However, since then, according to the New York Times, "American warplanes have struck at Libyan air defenses about 60 times, and remotely operated drones have fired missiles at Libyan forces about 30 times, according to military officials." 
7.              War to protect civilians is killing civilians .    According to The Washington Post, a NATO "blast flattened a two-story house, killing two children and seven adults" on Sunday.    This war was sold to Congress and the American people as a "humanitarian war" meant to protect Libyan civilians.    U.S. participation is fueling a civil war.    Civilians die in wars.     
8.              The U.N. Resolution that authorized limited military action did not allow for regime change .    U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 allows for a no-fly zone but does not allow for regime change, which has nevertheless become the stated goal of NATO member nations.
9.              Allies weakening .    Some governments are showing reticence to continue participation in the wake of the civilian deaths.    Other participating governments are facing waning support at home.

10 .      Stalemate .    We are fueling a civil war and stalemate.    Both sides claim to be winning.    Both are losing.    We ought to be promoting a political solution, because there is no military solution.
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Dennis Kucinich is former US Congressman and two-time presidential candidate from Ohio who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Visit his website at  KucinichAction

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