Constitutional protocol: what is it good for?

Image Credit: John Gosslee

Egypt captured the globe’s attention with its civil unrest. Almost immediately after the resignation of Egypt’s President, Hosni Mubarak, the world’s attention was diverted to Tunisia and Libya. Pro democracy demonstrations broke out in Tunisia, which inspired Libyan citizens to rebel against Muammar Gaddafi, their leader for over four decades.

Pro-democracy supporters have been called, “rebels.” Essentially, they are fighting the same fight the Egyptian protestors fought…for the end of their leaders’ reign.

Gaddafi has vowed publicly to “die a martyr” if necessary in his battle against the rebels and nation’s supporting them (France, the United Kingdom and the United States).

It seems as though the United States is doing a good deed by supporting the oppressed Libyans against a tireless dictator, however proper procedure was not followed.

Under the United States Constitution, the Congress has the power to declare war. The issue of U.S. involvement in Libya was not even set before Congress for a vote.

The power to declare war was one that was explicitly given to Congress. Once again, President Obama completely bypassed the Constitution in efforts to follow his own agenda.

“The absolute truth is that the United States, for many decades, has no consistent policy for militarily intervening in foreign affairs. Not since World War II has such a policy existed, and Obama has not produced one any more than his predecessors.”

Liberty University associate professor of geography, Robert Ritchie IV agreed with Green.

“This war I would argue represents the epitome of technology and the streamlined empire (emperor) with no debates, ergo no planning,” Professor Robert Ritchie IV said.
America is not in a position to police Libya, nor should that be in our realm of responsibility.

“Obama utterly failed to make a compelling case, framed in consistent U.S. policy, for his hesitant participation in the international intervention in Libya,” syndicated columnistStephen Green said in regards to President Obama’s address to the nation on Libya.

A war with an unclear objective and a blank check from the federal government is a recipe for disaster. Libya has the potential to be another Vietnam, more debt will be amassed and more American lives will be lost.

“Finally, there has been no debate nor planning, the Secretary of Defense himself said we are developing as we go. We are an empire, and one tha
t has outgrown its constitution. Paradoxically, can we contain our spending now, Ritchie said.

Journalists berated George W. Bush for wars fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has decided to follow the general’s time lines for troop withdrawal. Obama is also adding the Libya conflict.Rather than criticize President Obama for going to war with Libya, they are criticizing Republican leaders who are speaking out against Obama’s decision.

The issue of Obama’s “No fly zone” as well as the CIA’s involvement in Libya has produced heated debates.

“In this broad context, if the Obama administration decides to impose a no-fly zone or take other significant military action in Libya, I believe it should first seek a Congressional debate on a declaration of war under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution,” Senator Lugar (R-Indiana) said in an article featured on

Green and Senator Lugar are also on the same accord.

“After denying that the U.S. was leading the charge in Libya, he said in his speech that “Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and no-fly zone …” Well, if we weren’t at the point of the sword in the initial military assault, how could we possibly have turned over control to others?” Green said.

The United States’ involvement in Libya has many Liberty students talking.

“America should straighten its own problems out before straightening out the problems of other nations,” Kaleb Ramey said. Ramey is a student at Liberty’s Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters of Divinity.
Many Liberty students have echoed Ramey’s words.

The oppression of others is abhorrent. Horrific things happen when a nation’s leaders are in place for decades. While this is awful, America should not bite off more than it can chew (or in this case, afford) and our leaders should not bypass the United States’ Constitution under the banner of helping the oppressed.

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