Libyan rebels are now advancing on the capital city of Tripoli with the aid of Nato strikes; this is sure to result in a real bloodbath, as opposed to the one that was conjured in Benghazi this past winter. Nato is assisting rebels who are blocking food, water and medical supplies from coming into the capital city, and is stopping those who need advanced medical care from traveling to Tunisia to access it. Nato is bombing power stations, creating blackouts, and using Apache helicopters to attack Libyan police checkpoints to clear roads for rebels to advance.
Regardless of whether Muammar Gaddafi is ousted in coming days, the war against Libya has seen countless violations of United Nations security council resolutions (UNSCRs) by Nato and UN member states. The funnelling of weapons (now being air-dropped) to Libyan rebels was, from the beginning of the conflict, in clear violation of UNSCR 1970. The use of military force on behalf of the rebels, in an attempt to impose regime change, has undermined international law and damaged the credibility of the United Nations. Countless innocent civilians have been killed, and Nato air strikes continue to place many at great risk.
So much for the humanitarian-inspired UNSCR 1973 as a means to protect civilians. The people of Libya cannot take another month of such humanitarian intervention.
In the speech, delivered by telephone to thousands of people marching in Green Square in Tripoli, Colonel Qaddafi warned that Libyans would be able to take the battle “to Europe, to target your homes, offices, families, which have become legitimate military targets, like you have targeted our homes,” The Associated Press reported.
Keith Olbermann and DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas, who talk further about President Obama’s misguided approach to Libya. “Obama’s not listening to anyone’s advice on the issue,” Moulitsas tells Keith.
The New York Times recently broke the story that President Obama rejected the views of top administration lawyers when he decided he had the legal authority to continue U.S. military participation in the war in Libya without congressional authorization. Obama continues to face congressional opposition to the ongoing Libya attack.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner has called on the White House to further clarify the legal basis for the war in Libya or face a cutoff of war funds. Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a lawsuit accusing President Obama of violating the War Powers Act of 1973.
To examine the legal dimensions of U.S. military intervention, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com. “The idea that presidents can start wars on their own, without any congressional authorization, violates not just the law but the Constitution,” Greenwald said. “In theory, when the president violates the law and the Constitution, that’s an impeachable offense. At the same time, we’ve set a very low standard for our tolerance of rampant presidential law breaking.”
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of 10 members of Congress sued President Obama for violating the War Powers Act of 1973 by failing to obtain congressional approval for military operations in Libya longer than 60 days. We host a debate between Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, one of the Congress members suing President Obama, and Robert Turner, who worked as an attorney in the Reagan White House and is a longtime critic of the War Powers Act.
President Obama’s position is absolutely clear: we are not engaged in war in Libya, and thus, if the War Powers Resolution were constitutional, it still would not apply,” Turner says.
“I ask you, if another country sent 2,000 planes over the United States, and some of those missions dropped bombs on us, would that be an act of war against the United States?” says Kucinich. “That’s exactly what we’ve done in Libya.”