I was taken back when over 90% of our citizens cheered when we invaded Afghanistan and over 70% supported the war in Iraq. I remember being on the Morrison Bridge in Portland, Oregon and being yelled at by car after car; I was alone but knew I was right about the war s for oil. My sign said " Enough, Lower flags, troops home."
I went to all the demonstrations, wrote letters to my congressmen, signed all the petitions and would be on the bridge each Thursday and sometimes on Fridays. Little by little the cars stopped yelling at me that I was a traitor, after a few months there was an eerie silence and then there was encouragement. Soon others would join me and a woman who was walking across the bridge gave me my nickname, The Lone Vet. It was a scary time from 2001-2005 but exhilarating. I present this narrative because once again I feel many progressives have taken the Kool-Aid and believe we are bombing Libya because we want to defend civilians who have rebelled against Qaddafi. As our President said, "I will not stand by and watch innocent civilians be slaughtered"."
One of my favorite congressman, the ranking member for the dems on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Conyers has come out against President Obama's actions in Libya because he shares my concern that Congress did not hold hearings and exercise their power to declare war . The Constitution is very clear when it comes to granting war powers: Article 1, Section 8
" To declare War , grant Letter of Marque and make Rules concerning, Captures on Land and Water"" These powers are given to Congress and not the President. Our Congress are co war ds and will always defer to the President when it comes to military action against another country. The last Declaration of War was after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and that was over 69 years ago. Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan and Iraq to name but a few, were all fought without a Declaration of War . We have fought in over 100 big and small war s without congress getting their hands dirty, the way it usually works is that the President will request support from the leadership of Congress and the full Congress will supply the money to conduct the war s. Once congress supplies the money to fight the war s, the President can claim that he now has the power to conduct the war or occupation as he sees fit. If things go well Congress will take the credit and if things go badly the President will take the hit. It is Congress who are the co war ds here, they can stop the money anytime they want, they can impeach a president who acts on his own, they can call for hearings to have the administration explain what and why we are at war ; but they refuse to act.
So, on March 19 President Obama ordered the firing of over 110 missiles at targets throughout Libya and our new war began. We were told this was to secure a no fly zone; taking out the air defenses. Somehow tanks and heavy military equipment got in the way and were also destroyed. The war was in full swing and very few in our congress raised a voice against this action. The cost in lives and treasure will not be known for a time, but we do know this war is illegal, as illegal as the very war candidate Obama said was wrong-Iraq.
Many of the people whom I look to for validation on a position have come out and supported this new war , once again I may be on my bridge alone, with cars yelling at me that I am a traitor, until the truth starts to leak out of what is really happening in Libya. This time, thank the gods, it is not 90% of our citizens who support this action, it is only 47%. I am way ahead of the game already. Soon you will see me on the Hawthorne Bridge with my signs. " War is Failure" "Obama should be impeached" "Where are the protesters" "Senators are co war ds" are just some of the things you will see. There are times that many of us should have stood and said more about these war s and occupations, you can spend your time pointing the finger or just join me when I return to our bridges. I will be on the Hawthorne starting each Friday at 4:00 PM until about 5-5:30 (starting this Friday on April fools day) I want you to know that the occupations, torture, and war s continue under our new president who speaks well but acts just like cheney or bush. It will be strange to represent the majority this time around.
There was a resolution passed by unanimous consent in the US Senate, SR 85 on or about March 1, 2011. The normal Hawks led the push, McCain and Little Joe lieberman.
So much for impeachment!
PS The first lie is uncovered, we do have boots on the ground in Libya.