On Saturday Kucinich in conference call with other liberal lawmakers asked” why the U.S. missile strikes were not impeachable offenses” according to two Democratic lawmakers who spoke to Politico.
On Friday (March 18, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement on his website and letter to Congressional leaders after the President announced that the United States will support a United Nations-approved attack on Libya:
“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.
“It is also worth noting that the President did not comment upon nor recognize that the Libyan government had declared a ceasefire in response to UNSC Resolution 1973. It was appropriate for the UN to speak about the situation. It was appropriate to establish an arms embargo and freeze Qaddafi’s considerable financial assets. But whether the U.S. takes military action is not for the UN alone to decide. There is a constitutional imperative in the United States with respect to deciding to commit our U.S. armed forces to war.
“Congress should be called back into session immediately to decide whether or not to authorize the United States’ participation in a military strike. If it does not, the action of the President is contrary to U.S. Constitution. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly states that the United States Congress has the power to declare war. The President does not. That was the Founders’ intent.
“I have sent a letter to Congressional leadership indicating that the national interest requires that Congress be called back quickly to Washington to exercise its Constitutional authority to determine whether our armed forces should participate in the UN mission. Both houses of Congress must weigh in. This is not for the President alone, or for a few high ranking Members of Congress to decide.
“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.
“The last thing we need is to be embroiled in yet another intervention in another Muslim country. The American people have had enough. First it was Afghanistan, then Iraq. Then bombs began to fall in Pakistan, then Yemen, and soon it seems bombs could be falling in Libya. Our nation simply cannot afford another war, economically, diplomatically or spiritually,” said Kucinich
Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during the conference call, a source told Politico.
Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader also said the president was committing “war crimes” in the attack against Libya.
“Why don’t we say what’s on the minds of many legal experts; that the Obama administration is committing war crimes and if Bush should have been impeached, Obama should be impeached,” Nader told Democracy Now! Thursday.
On Wednesday, giving a keynote speech in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, the US president Barack Obama has said that a lot more requires to be done to restore frayed US relations with the Muslim world. He was addressing a 6,000-strong audience, mainly students, at the national university in the capital, Jakarta.
US president said, “Just as individuals are not defined solely by their faith, Indonesia is defined by more than its Muslim population,”
“But we also know that relations between the United States and Muslim communities have frayed over many years. As president, I have made it a priority to begin to repair these relations.” he said
Obama, who spent 4 years in Indonesia as a young boy, praised Indonesia as an good example of successful religious co-existence.
He said, “Even as this land of my youth has changed in so many ways, those things that I learned to love about Indonesia – that spirit of tolerance that is written into your constitution, symbolised in your mosques and churches and temples, and embodied in your people – still lives on”.
His speech was an updated version of a most importent address he gave seventeen months ago in Cairo, where he announced a “new beginning” in US-Muslim relations after the tensions over the 9/11 attacks on the US & the former US administration’s response to them.
Obama said, “In the 17 months that have passed we have made some progress, but much more work remains to be done”.
“I said then, and I will repeat now, that no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust. But I believed then, and I believe today, that we have a choice. We can choose to be defined by our differences, and give into a future of suspicion and mistrust. Or we can choose to do the hard work of forging common ground, and commit ourselves to the steady pursuit of progress” he said.
On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama said that latest Israeli settlement action doesn’t help peace negotiations with the Palestinians and that neither side is making the special effort required for a breakthrough.
On Monday Israel said it would push forward with plans for 1,300 new apartments for Jewish families in Arab East Jerusalem, regardless of furious opposition from Palestinians.
On Wednesday, Obama told a news conference in Jakarta, “This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations”.
When asked about reports of the renewed settlement plans he said, “And I’m concerned that we’re not seeing each side make the extra effort involved to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living side by side in peace with a sovereign Palestine.”
The timing of the annunciation could be an embarrassment for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in the US searching for ways to revive Middle East peace talks that have been postponed over the Jewish settlement-building.
Benjamin Netanyahu speak in response of criticism on the latest Israeli project by mentioning that Jewish homes had gone up in Arab East Jerusalem during previous rounds of peace talks, without blocking them.
Netanyahu’s office said in a statement issued shortly after Obama’s criticism was reported, “Jerusalem is not a settlement. Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel”.
“Israel sees no connection between the peace process and planning and building policy in Jerusalem … The disputes with the United States on the matter of Jerusalem are known … We hope to overcome them and keep diplomatic talks moving ahead”.
On Saturday Sudan’s vice president Ali Osman Taha criticised US President for warning of possible bloodshed if a referendum on independence for south Sudan does not take place as planned in January.
Doha: In a news conference Ali Osman Taha said, “Obama receives reports from entities who do not know what is happening in Sudan”.
“This is not the first time he speaks as such of Sudan, and it will not be the last. He makes those remarks based on what he hears from pressure groups.” said
Obama and UN chief Ban Ki-moon led international warnings on September 24, that the planned January nine referendum must be held on time and peacefully.
Obama told a special UN meeting,”At this moment, the fate of millions of people hangs in the balance,”
“What happens in Sudan in the days ahead may decide whether people who have endured too much war, move towards peace or slip backwards to bloodshed.”
Ali Osman Taha also criticized US stance on Sudanese unity.
He said.”The United States was initially saying it wants Sudan to remain united, then it moved a little to say that what it wants whatever the southerners accept, and today it raises its voice saying that separation will be inevitable,”
“This shows that there are US pressure lobbies linked to Israel talking and pushing things in this direction.”
Taha ruled out using force to defend Sudanese unity.
“The Sudanese army has been withdrawn completely from the south. We do not allow any thought implying that we intend to use military force,” he said.
“This matter is dangerous because it is based on a dialogue between two major tribes and societies — Misseriya and Ngok Dinka — and any agreement or concession without the consent of both sides will lead to a war,” he said.
On Monday, Barack Obama, the US President, told lawmakers that no current changes were needed to his Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, as US forces intensify operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Obama wrote: “We are continuing to implement the policy as described in December and do not believe further adjustments are required at this time”.
“As the Congress continues its deliberations on the way ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I want to continue to underscore our nation’s interests in the successful implementation of this policy.”
Obama is expected to launch a fresh review of strategy on Afghanistan by the end of the year, but again, no major adjustments are expected.
Obama released his report amidst fresh evidence of an increase of US activity in the region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.