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Kucinich's Lonely Fight Against Obama's Libya War

by Robert Dreyfuss

Sometimes it seems like Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is carrying the ball all by himself in criticizing President Obama’s misguided war in Libya.

Earlier this week, Kucinich warned that Obama was “prolonging a civil war” in Libya by aiding “mysterious ‘rebels’” who rejected an African Union plan for a ceasefire and negotiations. Here’s an excerpt from the congressman’s statement:

"It’s easy for the rebels to reject a peace proposal: The US is spending more money on this war than any other nation. The cost of the war has reportedly passed $600 million and there is no end in sight. The mysterious ‘rebels,’ who by themselves have been unable to force Gaddafi to terms, want the US/NATO to hand over control of Libya to them—this even though they have not been able to demonstrate broad-based public support throughout the country. It is understandable the rebels would demand regime change. That’s the Obama Administration position.

“In the past week the Administration has rejected a communication from Gaddafi which sought to end the war and to bring about a peaceful agreement. The Administration today asserts that it has not read the African Union’s plan to bring about a peaceful agreement; nevertheless, Secretary Clinton continues to call for regime change. If regime change is the price of peace there will be no peace in Libya, and consequently, millions of innocent civilians will be caught up in the middle of an intensifying civil war.

“Humanitarian intervention has quickly given way to covert operations, regime change, and unending civil war. The US/NATO have taken sides in a manner that puts politics ahead of protecting civilians and undermines the argument that the United States and NATO attacked Libya to avert a humanitarian disaster. It is beginning to appear that the potential of a massacre was not a justification for action, it was pretext.

“We’re now prolonging a civil war. We are putting civilians at risk: Regime change, providing extraordinary air combat assistance, rejecting peace plans, assisting in rebels gaining control over oil resources, continuing covert operations, consideration of arming the rebels, all adds up to more innocent people getting killed.”

And Kucinich sent a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations warning that the UK and France, in particularly, were trying to expand then UN mandate to include forcible regime change:

“It is imperative the UN remind France and Britain that regime change is not part of the UN mandate. An attempt at regime change would likely expand a civil war creating a large number of civilian casualties on both sides. NATO is not authorized to go beyond the UN mandate and France and Great Britain should not demand they do so. The UN Secretary General must intervene to stop an expansion of the war even though two member states, for whatever reason, appear intent on pursuing that expansion.”

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