It’s disconcerting. Hallucinogenic, even. If I didn’t know better, I might suspect that some aging refugee hipster from the Haight had slipped into my cupboard and dropped a tab of vintage acid in my jar of chicory coffee. You see, for once I find myself agreeing with left-wing moonbats like Dennis Kucinich and Michael Moore. But before you suggest that I make an emergency visit to the Bad Trips Tent, listen up: Both Dennis the Menace and the Fatso Film Maker accurately point out that neither our Boy Blunder ‘president’ nor the damnable United Nations have any statutory authority to commit the military forces of the United States to combat without the consent of the American citizen, as expressed through his/her duly elected representatives in Congress. As Free Republic put it:
[…] Kucinich and other progressives are correct in that the Constitution doesn’t allow for Presidents to initiate military action without the involvement of Congress unless an immediate threat to American national security arises, the “clear and present danger” exception. One Constitutional scholar put it best in 2007:
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” [Ed Note: Quote from presidential candidate Barack H. Obama]
We’d get a clarification from this source to determine whether this applies to the current situation, but he’s traveling through South America at the moment and isn’t terribly engaged on this issue.
Ed Brayton, in a Dispatch From The Culture Wars, also reminds us that Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was once:
[…] on board with this too:
“The President has the solemn duty to defend our Nation. If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action — including any kind of strategic bombing — against Iran without congressional authorization. That is why I have supported legislation [GG: also supported by Obama] to bar President Bush from doing so and that is also why I think it is irresponsible to suggest, as some have recently, that anything Congress already has enacted provides that authority.”
Isn’t that convenient? When Bush was in office, both Obama and Clinton were totally opposed to the president initiating military actions without the authorization of Congress except in self-defense. Now that they are in power, that no longer applies. Greenwald points out how both parties play this dishonest game:
Leading Democrats constantly argued the same thing during the Bush years: that Presidents lack the power to order military actions in non-emergency, non-self-defense situations without Congressional approval; indeed, they insisted that even the attack on Iraq, which (unlike Libya) was justified as necessary for self-defense, required Congressional approval [and, needless to say, the always-principled Republicans routinely argue that Presidents do possess unilateral war-making power whenever there is a GOP President, but argue the exact opposite when there is a Democratic President].
As the song goes: My country tis of thee, sweet land of irony.
But since President Blunder’s enthusiasm for Middle Eastern popular revolt seems ever limited to those budding ‘democracies’ in which Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood predominate, it may be germane to ask, just Who Are Libya’s Rebels?:
This is no Solidarnosc movement. The revolt was started in Benghazi on February 15-17th by the group called the National Conference of the Libyan Opposition. The protests had a clear fundamentalist religious motivation, and were convened to commemorate the 2006 Danish cartoons protests, which had been particularly violent in Benghazi.
None of this is surprising. The leaked State Department memos describe Eastern Libya (2008) as an area of fervent Islamic sentiment, where “a number of Libyans who had fought and in some cases undergone ‘religious and ideological training’ in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the West Bank in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s had returned […] in the mid to late 1980’s”. There they engaged into “a deliberate, coordinated campaign to propagate more conservative iterations of Islam, in part to prepare the ground for the eventual overthrow by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of Muammar Qadhafi’s regime, which is ‘hated’ by conservative Islamists”. While Qaddafi’s position was perceived to be strong, the East Libyans sent jihadis to Iraq, where “fighting against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq represented a way for frustrated young radicals to strike a blow against both Qadhafi and against his perceived American backers”.
It is these same religiously and ideologically trained East Libyans who are now armed and arrayed against Qaddafi. Qaddafi’s claim that all his opponents are members of Al Qaeda is overblown, but also not very far off, in regards to their sympathies. Anyone claiming that the Eastern Libyans are standing for secular, liberal values needs to overcome a huge burden of proof.
[…] the Western leaders seem to be rushing to replace an already bad regime with one that is likely to be even worse.
[…] on a per capita basis, no country sent more young fighters into Iraq to kill Americans than Libya — and almost all of them came from eastern Libya, the center of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion that the United States and others now have vowed to protect, according to internal al Qaeda documents uncovered by U.S. intelligence.
Wherever birds of an anti-American feather flock, there you will generally find hovering Barack Obama or someone from his wretched mis-Administration. Just coincidence, I’m sure.