It was Dennis Kucinich who offered the resolution this week to end the war in Afghanistan. Almost as soon as the vote on that resolution was over, Congressman Kucinich took the lead on the next antiwar issue: The looming war with Libya.
Here we are, with Republicans cutting funding to Head Start and to nutritional programs for babies and pregnant women, but the federal government is on the verge of spending billions of dollars more on a new war, this time in North Africa. How many more spending cuts for domestic programs will have to be made because of spending on the Libya war?
The goal of replacing Moammar Qaddafi sounds noble at first, but the strategy isn’t well thought through. Who has any idea, for instance, of the leader who would replace Qaddafi? What if America fights yet another war, and finds itself in the end with a new Libyan regime that’s just as hostile, unfriendly and abusive to the Libyan people? What makes us think that a no fly zone will work in Libya when it didn’t work in Iraq? Who has calculated the number of civilian deaths that would be caused by a bombing campaign and eventual ground fight in Libya, compared to the number of civilians killed by Qaddafi’s government?
Questions like this need to be thoroughly discussed and debated before any war in Libya begins. Barack Obama can’t just meet with his Cabinet, discuss the idea of war, and then declare, “Yes We Can”.
Dennis Kucinich has written a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, requesting that Congress be called back into session as soon as possible so that there can be a debate on Capitol Hill, and a vote on whether to authorize war or to deny authorization. The Constitution requires the President to receive such authorization before beginning a war.
Explaining his letter in a separate statement, Kucinich remarked, “While the action is billed as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize U.S. action, but U.S. planes may drop U.S. bombs and U.S. missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. War from the air is still war.”
Kucinich stated that, when Congress does meet to vote on whether to start up yet another new war, he is inclined to vote no. “It is hard to imagine that Congress, during the current contentious debate over deficits and budget cutting, would agree to plunge America into still another war, especially since America will spend trillions in total for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and incursions into Pakistan,” he wrote.
Within the last month, Dennis Kucinich has stepped forward to speak for an antiwar movement that has been abandoned by Barack Obama and many other Democrats. Would Kucinich reconsider a presidential campaign against Barack Obama in 2012?