Sunday, March 27, 2011

President hit left and right on Libyan air strikes

War Powers Act of 1973 likely headed to U.S. Supreme Court

Washington – Crude prices are up 16% over the past month; gasoline prices are 15% higher, and costs for the goods needed to produce consumer items such as cotton, copper, plastic, fertilizer and diesel are surging in price. Analysts are looking for the bubble in stocks to burst as a result.

Predictably, the Libyan dictator Colonel Moammar Qadaffi picked just such a time to apply pressure to western states in the resulting fiscal crises all this has caused in such nations as Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

Just as predictably, rebels in the radical Muslim state arose against Qadaffi's regime. He responded in brutal fashion, bombing, strafing and otherwise mowing down the pitifully organized and equipped resistance.

The UN and President Obama elected to open a third war front in Libya by directing air strikes of cruise missiles and fighter-bomber attacks from war ships cruising offshore.

After all, what's another few billion in fiat currency when you've got a chance to complicate matters in such dramatic ways?

Authority for U.S. participation comes from the War Powers Act of 1973, a measure rejected by no less conservative a pragmatist than President Richard M. Nixon, whose veto Congress slapped down by a huge margin over and above the 2/3 needed to override.

The only surprising factor is the vehement resistance from both sides of the Congressional aisles by both extremely liberal lawmakers, as well as staunch conservatives.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said the President's commission of ships and planes, missiles and bombs without seeking Congressional approval “would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense.” He followed the remark by telling an interviewer with “The Raw Story” weblog that he doubted Congressmen and Senators have the nerve to follow through.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) supported the no-fly zone, but added “Before any further military commitments are made, the administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission,” according to remarks reported in “The Huffington Post.”

Mr. Obama's justification, aside from the UN resolution calling on members to take “all necessary measures to protect civilians,” goes this way. “Left unaddressed, the growing instability in Libya could ignite wider instability in the Middle East, with dangerous consequences to the national security interests of the United States.”

What kind of instability is Mr. Obama talking about?

The collapse of Euro currencies in oil-thirsty and unstable economies such as the southern tier states of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal comes to mind immediately.

After all, it was Saddam Hussein's reckless talk about demanding payment of Iraqi oil in Euros rather than the world's reserve currency, U.S. Dollars, that led to American invasion of that nation.

“The United States has not deployed ground forces into Libya,” Mr. Obama said. “United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”

That came from Mr. Obama's congressional report, issued just late last week.

Once such a report is issued, Congress must approve use of war materiel and personnel within 60 days. A president may ask for one 30-day extension on his time, but federal courts have the power to intervene if necessary.

It doesn't look good.

When President Bill Clinton exceeded the 60-day period back in 1999 during the “ethnic cleansing” emergency in the former Soviet Republic of Yugoslavia, he encountered a court challenge led by 18 Congressmen led by Tom Campbell of Texas by saying that the War Powers resolution is constitutionally defective. The matter ended in somewhat of a stalemate.

Matters might not fizzle out that way this time. Money, marbles and chalk are on the line. Congressional leadership in the House and Senate are both thumping on the tables, saying the nation is broke, and they're right.

It's agreed. We're broke.

Said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (R-UT), “I think (Obama) has a duty and an obligation to come to Congress. I see no clear and present danger to the United states of Amerca. I just don't We're in a bit of the fog at the mooment as to what the president is trying to ultimately do.”

Wiser heads are predicting the matter might wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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