ByÂ Jeffrey T. Kuhner-The Washington Times
PresidentÂ Obama has lost his legitimacy to remain in office. The Libyan war has exposed the administrationâ€™s lawlessness and rampant criminality. If Republicans and conservatives are serious about restoring constitutional government, they will demand thatÂ Mr. Obama be impeached.
The war is going badly. The coalition is cracking; the strategic aims of the military intervention are not clear;Â Russia,Â China,Â India andÂ Braziloppose it; theÂ Arab League is condemning the deaths of innocent Libyans caused by Operation Odyssey Dawn; and it appears thatMoammar Gadhafi will succeed in clinging to power – defying the international community and humiliating the United States.Â Mr. Obamahas called forÂ Col. Gadhafi to step down. He has staked American prestige and power on helping bring about that end. The failure to achieve this will render America a paper tiger on the world stage. We will no longer be feared or respected.
NATO forces launched air strikes in order to enforce a no-fly zone overLibya. The goal: to preventÂ Col. Gadhafiâ€™s forces from slaughtering civilians. AsÂ Gadhafi loyalists marched toward the rebelÂ stronghold of Benghazi,Â Mr. Obama decided to implement an American rescue mission. This mission, however, differs from previous ones inÂ Kuwait,Bosnia and Kosovo. The United States is not taking the lead; rather, it is following the French and British. America is no longer acting like a superpower but a poodle of Paris and London.
Mr. Obama has engaged U.S. forces – risking precious blood and treasure – without a clear strategy for victory. He recklessly has allowed his country to be sucked into a conflict without a real national debate or consensus. His policy is shoddy, half-baked and irresponsible. It is amateur hour at theÂ White House.
The most disturbing aspect, however, is the interventionâ€™s lack of constitutional and legal authority. It is an illegal war. The Constitution clearly stipulates that onlyÂ Congress can authorize the use of military force. Unless American territory has been invaded or U.S. citizens have been directly attacked, the president must first ask for congressional approval before ordering any kind of military action. To do otherwise is to behave like a despot.
That is why the Founding Fathers insisted that going to war could be sanctioned only by the peopleâ€™s representatives. The most serious act of any state is to use military force – to demand that countrymen risk their lives on behalf of their nation. Hence, congressional input and approval is necessary as a fundamental check and balance against an imperial president.
Mr. Obama claims he does not need congressional authority. His behavior reflects contempt for the rule of law and American democracy. His arbitrary will trumps legal restraints. Unless he is stopped and removed from office, we are a constitutional republic in name only.
His blatant abuse of power is illegal, immoral and hypocritical. During the war in Iraq, then-Sen.Â Barack Obama criticized PresidentÂ George W. Bush for not askingÂ Congress for a formal declaration of war. On Dec. 20, 2007,Â Mr. Obama said in a speech that the â€œpresident 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.â€
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