Johnson opposes military action in Libya

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, who already opposes U.S. involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, today said he would introduce legislation to de-fund military action in Libya.

The six-term Republican said he would work with Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., a freshman congressman, to draft legislation declaring the action unconstitutional.

“Constitutionally, it is indisputable that Congress must be consulted prior to an act of war unless there is an imminent threat against this country. The president has not done so,” Johnson said. “In fact, this is the same man who questioned President Bush’s constitutional authority to commit troops to war.

“Our country has no business enmeshing itself in another country’s civil unrest. We were not attacked. Our national security interests are not at stake. It is the American people, through their elected representatives, who are constitutionally empowered to take this kind of action. Not the president.

“We have spent $443.5 billion in the war in Afghanistan since 2001. We have spent $805.6 billion in Iraq in that time. We are already beyond broke for largely unacceptable reasons, and the president has just added to that dubious legacy, committing American lives and dollars without our consent and no end game in sight.

“The first night of this attack, we fired 112 Tomahawk missiles. Each of these missiles can cost up to $1.5 million. That’s $168 million for one night’s assault. Estimates to maintain the no-fly zone, depending on how much of the country we want to dominate, can cost $30 million to $100 million per week. Our commitment to that goal is to date open-ended.”

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tigersy2k3 wrote on March 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

We can always print more money... right?? The USA is becoming worse then a group of teenage girls, always sticking our nose into other peoples business, before worrying or taking care of our own problems

yates wrote on March 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Democrats don't seem to have any way to explain this one. Obama getting us involved in our third war. Anyway this must be Bush's fault. That always works.

julianhooligan wrote on March 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Johnson is a 6 termer. This means that he was there when little Georgie invaded Iraq and Afganistan with ground troops. Did Johnson protest then? No! Johnson is a hypocrit and is doing nothing more than playing politics. Don't take him seriously...better yet, let's recall him.

mendys wrote on March 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Johnson had the chance to protest then because Congress passed a resolution authorizing the President to commence military activity. 296 House members voted yea, while over 130 voted nay. He is stating he thinks the same thing should happen this time, even though Obama disagreed with the procedures then that consulted Congress and required a joint resolution.

As far as recall goes, good luck. Every two years he is up for recall. All the members of the House of Representative are. Lastly, Kacich is just reporting the news. He is not editorializing it, which sometimes happens.

julianhooligan wrote on March 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Hey Kacich! Is this a press release from Johnson? It sure sounds like it...what, do you work for him. This article sure shows the ole NG is his mouthpiece. Why don't you add that Johnson didn't complain when his parties president sent ground troops into Iraq and Afganistan. They are still there! How much does Johnson pay you?

Tom Kacich wrote on March 23, 2011 at 11:03 am
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See the full report in today's paper. On page A-1.

jthartke wrote on March 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Again, Mr. Johnson's much hyped opposition to war would have been far more useful when we were considering invasion (with ground troops) of two other nations. Of course, that was a Republican idea, and deserving of his original support. Convenient, eh?

Aerial action like what we currently are doing in Libya has a history of success for the United States (see Bill Clinton's foreign policy). At the very least it is far less expensive in blood and treasure.

And one more difference, this time the rest of the world is with us, including most of the Arab world. Britain and France are shouldering some of the burden -- rather than just the USA doing it all -- again.

ConeyPayton wrote on March 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

The article puts it nicely. We're broke as a joke from our most recent war and Libya's civil war does not threaten the US in any militaristic way. Why should we get involved in yet another foreign civil war?

WiltonDiary wrote on March 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Obviously you aren't old enough to know or you don't want to remember that Qaddafi of Libya was responsible for Pan Am flight 103 and it was Bush that removed Qaddafi from the terrorists list.

This is a humanitarian mission and if the President had done nothing you would be on the other side of this issue. YOU hate the President and that is the only obvious explanation for your objections. NOW Republicans are against the war on Terror!

ConeyPayton wrote on March 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I never mentioned the president.

I don't think the 1988 bombing of one commercial airliner wholly justifies intervening in a foreign civil war.

If our intervention is solely for humanitarian purposes, than why not assist in protecting the citizens by offering them refuge from their country? Surely there are more humanitarian methods of intervening rather than first resorting to missiles and violent conflict.

bluegrass wrote on March 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm

This is not a humanitarian mission. We didn't get involved in Ivory Coast or the Congo or Rwanda when millions were being slaughtered.

WiltonDiary, are you saying you support this war in Libya? Or, are you saying you're just upset because Tim Johnson is against it, and he shouldn't be able to be against it since you're also against it?

thelowedown wrote on March 23, 2011 at 12:03 am

Mr. Johnson might want to look up the "War Powers Resolution of 1973."

sahuoy wrote on March 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Johnson to be thrown out next election. He's politician first, Republican second, american third.