Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lee Criticizes Obama's Decision To Bomb Libya

President Obama should have allowed Congress to debate and vote on military intervention in Libya, Rep. Barbara Lee in a statement Tuesday and on MSNBC.

“We can’t afford to be in another costly war with no exit strategy,” Lee told Tamron Hall of MSNBC. The Oakland congresswoman said U.S. intervention in the burgeoning Libyan Civil War could “exacerbate” tensions in the region. Although, the president clearly stated ground troops would not be introduced into Libya, Lee worries it could ultimately occur without formulation of a specific exit strategy.

U.S. warplanes bombed numerous Libyan targets this past weekend in effort to give cover from rebels trying to end the 42-year-reign of Col. Moammar Khadafy.

"Entering into a significant military engagement with Libya has the potential to become a quagmire that will cost lives, money and America’s standing around the world,” Lee said in a statement. “The United States must immediately shift to end the bombing in Libya, and I am committed to ensuring that the United States does not become embroiled in another war."


  1. The 2011 Federal budget plans to appropriate $170.7 billion to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Center for Defense Information, the estimated cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will reach $1.29 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2011.


    "...Some of the (Libya) operation's costs thus far can be easily estimated. In December, the Navy announced a $209 million contract to Raytheon for 196 Tomahawk missiles, putting the cost of each at roughly $1.1 million. This means that the 159 missiles that the United States and United Kingdom have launched at Libyan targets thus far cost around $170 million. In addition, an F-15E Strike Eagle crashed in Libya on Monday night due to an equipment malfunction. According to the U.S. Air Force, the Strike Eagle costs $31.1 million per unit, in 1998 dollars, which equals roughly $42.1 million in 2011 dollars.

    But much of the operation's total cost is a function of how long the international coalition enforces the no-fly zone. Todd Harrison and Zack Cooper, the report's authors, estimate that the initial cost of establishing a limited no-fly zone, like that currently in force over the northern portion of Libya, is $400 to $800 million dollars. They furthermore estimate that maintaining such a no-fly zone would cost $30 to $100 million per week. According to Cooper, a senior analyst at CSBA, these figures include total costs, including fuel and munitions...."


    President Obama is proposing to cut $2.5 billion in heating assistance for low-income people (LIHEAP).

    President Obama is proposing to cut $300 million from Community Development Block Grants.

    President Obama is proposing to cut $100 billion cut in Pell Grants over 10 years.

    The House GOP budget includes a $758 million cut in a program for the poor known as WIC. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children and provides food assistance to low-income women and their infants.

    The House GOP budget includes $1.125 billion cut in state and local law enforcement and COPS hiring.

    The House GOP budget includes a cut of $1.6 billion from job training and employment grants.

    The House GOP budget cuts $1.3 billion in community health centers.

    The House GOP budget cuts $210 million from Maternal and Child Health Block Grants. This would chop the program by 30%. Like the WIC program, the grants assist low-income pregnant women and their children in accessing health care.

    Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) said Congress should have weighed in beforehand, on “a very expensive operation, even in a limited way....It’s a strange time in which almost all of our congressional days are spent talking about budget, deficits, outrageous problems and yet [at the] same time, all of this passes.”

  2. She says that now, but she wont verbally insult and attack him like she did the last time a President went to war without their permission! It's all a show...and no one is taking to the streets.

  3. Proud San LeandranMarch 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Nick, what is your view of this military action? Do you view it as in our national security interest? Is it justifiable to pour hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps billions, of tax dollars into this action at a time when people representing your side of the political spectrum claim "we're broke"?

  4. Thanks for question and not just doing what most do on here...

    I wrote a nice response and the server had an error...what do you want for free.

    That said...I am not a Republican...if that's what you meant by side.

    This was an act of war, an illegal act that Joe Biden once said he'd impeach Bush on.

    President Obama has illegally seceded U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations.
    The United States cannot afford the financial burden of more military action in the Middle East.

    Liberals are quiet on the issue, many, including former SL Mayor Tony Santos, say we need to take Col. Gaddafi out because he tortures his people. President Hussein did the same and taking him out was BAD BAD BAD. This isnt about national security and its not about oil.

    We are nudging towards a one world government. I am not a conspiracy guy...however, I feel that its more apparent then ever and I think our President, who went to the United Nations and not Congress to fight this war, philosophically believes in one world government.

    That's not to say Republicans aren't guilty of this belief. Bypass the Congress, go to the UN and further believe what you're doing is right.

    Dropping bombs on Libya was unnecessary, it was wrong, and has nothing to do with national security, it has nothing to do with the defence of this country.

    We shouldn't be proud of what the President allowed this past weekend. He had Hillary do the work along with the UN while he praised Brazil's next step in drilling for oil in the Gulf. The left is quiet...and the President did what the evil Bush did.

  5. By the way, don't count Hillary out of the race in 2012...I know she said she's done, but it ain't over till it's over...there's a reason she raised her hand so quickly...

  6. Proud San LeandranMarch 23, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    "Liberals are quiet on the issue...".

    Written on the comments to a story showing liberal Rep. Lee not being quiet on the issue.

    "The Left is quiet...".

    Written after a representative of the left wing of the President's own party, Dennis Kucinich, has said Obama should be impeached over this action.

    Like Nick, I oppose the Libya action; it's not justifiable from a nationa defense perspective, and highly inconsistent from a humanitarian perspective. That said, false claims get us nowhere. I differ from his argument on other particulars.

    For now, this action is significantly different from invading a Middle Eastern country with ground troops to oust its government. It's not "the same" as our misguided war in Iraq.

    It is overstating to say that a multinational coalition action automatically defines the action as "one world government", a paranoiac Bircher argument if I ever saw one. Wouldn't Khadafy be a leader of that "one world government"?

    It is about oil, IMHO. Why isn't there a push by the levers of governments to intervene in the Ivory Coast slaughter right now, or any number of other homicidal sweeps over the years? These countries didn't have moneterally valuable resources to exploit, that's why.

  7. Again, the reason Nick is not a Republican is because he's to the right of the Republican Party. The right is definitely his side.

  8. Proud San LeandranMarch 23, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    By the way, Nick, what about the expense to our nation? What about our budget?

  9. John Evans...wake up. The Republican party is to the left of conservatism.

    PSL...I said, "The United States cannot afford the financial burden of more military action in the Middle East." I guess that makes me to the right of the Republican party.

    The President said this wouldn't take weeks or months...it will...there is no plan, no end date...

    People like Mayor Santos are typical Democrat hypocritical blow hards. They say this is to take out of a brutal dictator...yet they forget what part of the Iraq war was about. They say this is about helping those in trouble...yet we don't do it in places like the Ivory Coast, etc.

    This is war. No way around it.

    (sorry for the delay in responding, I was out of town.)

  10. Just read the Presidents speech from last night...was this written by George W. Bush?

    It was yet another well-delivered, split-the-difference, mellifluous Obama speech that said essentially nothing of substance.

  11. The Tea Party is the voice of Nick's POV, that the Republican Party is not conservative enough. What, exactly, is conservative about the way the Tea Party is expressing itself?

    For example, there has been no unified response from the Tea Party movement about this Libya misadventure. This war action is likely to cost the U.S. government over $1 billion once all is said and done. If we truly had a debt crisis, the supposed animator of the Tea Party, then they would have a unified response to $1 billion in unfunded expenditures.

    Why is the Tea Party not calling for offsetting reductions in Defense Department spending to make up the costs? Because the Tea Party's deep xenophobia, selfishness, and extreme ideology is real. Their sincere interest in a balanced budget is not.

    Proof? They natter on about defunding NPR, Planned Parenthood, and nutrition and health care programs for poor children. The Government's combined expendititures on these programs is a tiny fraction of the Defense Department's budget.

    Extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich, an absolute Tea Party demand, now contributes to the debt literaly hundreds times more than funding for these programs that the Tea Party-controlled House wants to terminate.

    The Tea Party is firmly in the pocket of corporations, the wealthy, and the far extreme of the religious right. Nothing conservative about that.

  12. Someone likes tea!

    Find something useful to attack, the tea party has no influence...you libs said so yourself.

  13. These are not attacks- they are facts.

    Liberals are well aware that Republican candidates in California and throughout the nation must now run through a gauntlet of Tea Partiers in their Party primaries. Anything other than votes that the East Bay Citizen's right-wing radical commenters would also demand are strictly punished by this rabid base.

    Tea Party- the John Birch Society retitled.

  14. Useless facts, then.

  15. Ray J, they can't refute your facts because their arguments are based on nothing but opinion.