The Libyan War of 2011 started as the Benghazi rebellion, a series of protests in eastern Libya following uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The scale of the violence contrasts markedly with North Africa's largely peaceful uprisings. Eastern Libya has fallen to the uprising, which began on February 16, 2011 in the wake of revolutions which toppled the long-serving leaders of neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. The Islamist terror group Al-Qaeda in North Africa has vowed to do everything in its power to help the uprising against the Libyan secular strongman leader Muammar Gaddafi. Journalist David Wood has reported,
|“||Eastern Libya has been described by U.S. diplomats as a breeding ground for Islamist extremism. In diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, the region’s young men were said to have "nothing to lose" by resorting to violence. Sermons in the local mosques are "laced with phraseology urging worshippers to support jihad," one diplomat reported.||”|
|“||extremist elements make up only a portion of the resistance to Gaddafi and have been present in every popular uprising in the region stretching from the Iranian revolution to the Egyptian people’s overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.||”|
An international coalition has intervened in what many describe as an "illegal war" led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), whose own leaders have publicly questioned what the value, purpose, and reason for existence of the NATO organization is. 
- 1 Libya before the 2011 uprising
- 2 Libya under Gaddafi
- 3 National Transitional Council
- 4 French intervention
- 5 Security Council Res. 1973 and NATO
- 6 United States intervention
- 7 Role of China
- 8 Mission creep
- 9 External links
- 10 Notes
It was reported on February 24, 2011, an emergency meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Libya would take no action or make no recommendation to the UN General Assembly to remove Libya from holding its seat on the UN Human Rights Council for alleged human rights abuses. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted on March 17, 2011, to pass Security Council resolution 1973 proposed by France, along with its British and Lebanese partners, initiating a use of force doctrine in Libya. China, Russia, India and Brazil (the so-called BRIC nations) all abstained from the vote. The Obama administration called for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to step aside and has given assistance to the insurgent anti-Gaddafi forces. However, US Congressional leaders were not consulted prior to the commitment of U.S. forces, nor did the Congress authorize the use of force in Libya.
Military and intelligence experts in France, Britain, and the United States warned about uncertainties but were overruled by political leaders. The end result was a set of decisions that focused on short term considerations and gambled on the outcome. French, British, and US leaders did not fully coordinate but, according to Anthony Cordesman, it became clear,
|“||they sought and got international cover from the UN by claiming a no fly zone could protect civilians when their real objective was to use force as a catalyst to drive Qaddafi out of power.||”|
Sarkozy, Cameron, and Obama seem to have assumed that a largely unknown, divided, and fractured group of insurgents could win through sheer political momentum and could then be turned into a successful government. One month later it was obvious a "weak, divided, poorly led, and badly equipped and supplied set of rebel forces can only hang on with the present level of air support" provided by the United Nations.
The assault on Libya has set off a frenzy of speculations about the real motive behind the war in the oil-rich country, with many analysts saying that under the guise of protecting civilians, as enshrined in the UNSC Resolution 1973, which permitted the use of force against the Libyan regime, Washington and its Western allies are basically after the North African country’s vast oil reserves. 
Libya before the 2011 uprising
In 1951 Libya was officially the poorest country in the world.  Before the 2011 uprising Libyans living standards were considered the highest in Africa. The GDP per Capita was more than the double of that in Egypt, and above that in Russia. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of all charges; but more than the advances in housing, agricultural, industry, health care, education, is the advance in direct popular democracy.  Condoleezza Rice praised Libya for its "excellent co-operation" in the US-led war on terror.  (BBC News).
The living standards of Libyans have improved significantly since the 1970s, ranking the country among the highest in Africa. Urbanization, developmental projects, and high oil revenues have enabled the Libyan government to elevate its people's living standards. The social and economic status of women and children has particularly improved. Various subsidized or free services (health, education, housing, and basic foodstuffs) have ensured basic necessities. The low percentage of people without access to safe water (3 percent), health services (0 percent) and sanitation (2 percent), and a relatively high life expectancy (70.2 years) in 1998 indicate the improved living standards. Adequate health care and subsidized foodstuffs have sharply reduced infant mortality, from 105 per 1,000 live births in 1970 to 20 per 1,000 live births in 1998. The government also subsidizes education, which is compulsory and free between the ages of 6 and 15. The expansion of educational facilities has elevated the literacy rate (78.1 in 1998). There are universities in Tripoli, Benghazi, Marsa el-Brega, Misurata, Sebha, and Tobruk.  (SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations; CIA World Factbook.)
|“||In a world where the strong may seek to impose upon the more vulnerable; and where particular nations or groups of nations may still seek to decide the fate of the planet - in such a world respect for multilateralism, moderation of public discourse and a patient search for compromise become even more imperative to save the world from debilitating conflict and enduring inequality. When we dismissed criticism of our friendship with yourself, My Brother Leader, and of the relationship between South Africa and Libya, it was precisely in defence of those values.||”|
At present Gaddafi is not well seen in the EU and USA but the Libyan people seem to be thriving with him as leader. A delegation of medical professionals from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus wrote in an appeal to "Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin that after becoming acquainted with Libyan life, it was their view that in few nations did people live in such comfort". Libya today is not a highly polarized society divided between extremes of wealth and poverty.
On February 24, 2011, no threat was seen to Libya’s Seat on top U.N. Human Rights Body. A European Union-proposed draft resolution for a subsequent session “strongly condemns” human rights violations committed in Libya amid turmoil sparked by protesters, rather than condemning Gaddafi or the regime for committing them. 
The "United Nations Development Program (UNDP) confirms that the country had excellent prospects for achieving United Nations development goals by 2015. NATO's war will have already dashed those hopes. A collapse like the one in Iraq now threatens the country. 
Libya under Gaddafi
Petrodollars and oil
According to a Russian article titled Bombing of Lybia - Punishment for Qaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar, Gaddafi initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro as payment for crude oil shipments, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi proposed establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency. The initiative was viewed negatively by the United States and the European Union, with French president Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Gaddafi continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.
In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008, which forced the US economy into recession, both China and Russia have called for the dollar’s role in the financial system to be diluted. In September 2010 Bloomberg News reported China and Russia plan to start trading in each other’s currencies as the world’s second-biggest energy consumer and the largest energy supplier seek to diminish the dollar’s role in global trade. Bhanu Baweja commented,
|“||Given the risk to the dollar and U.S. assets from their fiscal position they want to reduce their dependence on the dollar as an invoicing currency....It makes sense for two large economies to exclude a third, overly dominant economy from their trading equation.||”|
African Satellite Control Center
An observer spelled out one of Gaddafi’s motivations for proposing an African Union:
|“|| It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.
An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of US$400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a US$500 million annual lease. Which banker wouldn't finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves, seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA, Europe only made vague promises for 14 years. Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put US$300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added US$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further US$27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.
Libyan Central Bank
In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:
|“||One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned.... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.||”|
Ellen Brown adds,
|“||Libya not only has oil. According to the IMF, its central bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS (Bank of International Settlements), the IMF and their rules.||”|
Gaddafi’s proposal to introduce a gold dinar for Africa contravenes IMF rules and is designed to bypass them.
Italian Friendship treaty
"We signed a friendship treaty with Libya, that includes a nonaggression clause, but when the counterpart no longer exists — in this case the Libyan state — the treaty cannot be applied”. Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini on February 26, 2011 (the uprising began on February 16, 2011).
|“||Italy’s treaty with Libya, signed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in August 2008, calls on Italy to pay Libya $5 billion over 20 years in reparations for its colonial past there. In return, Libya pledged to help block the flow of illegal immigrants to Italy and grant favorable treatment for Italian companies seeking to do business in Libya. ||”|
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of the Libyan Republic announced its official establishment in early March 2011 in the city of Benghazi. The stated goal was to liberate Libya from Mu’ammar Gaddafi. It has been recognized by France, Qatar, Italy, Kuwait, Maldives and Gambia. They have proceeded to form a transitional government for the post-Gaddafi era. Before forming a goverment they robbed about $505 million from the Central Bank of Libya in Benghazi.
|“||The top leaders of the “revolutionary” masses in Benghazi are two recent defectors of what the Left dubs Gaddafi’s “murderous regime”, Mustafa Abdul Jalil a former Justice minister (who prosecuted dissenters up to the day before the armed uprising), Mahmoud Jebril a top Gaddafite neo-liberal prominent in inviting multi-nationals to take over the oil fields (FT, March 23, 2011, p. 7) and Ali Aziz al-Eisawa, Gaddafi’s former ambassador to India who jumped ship when it looked like the uprising would succeed. These self-appointed leaders of the “rebels” are staunch backers of Euro-US military intervention just as they previously were long-term backers of Gaddafi’s dictatorship and promoters of MNC takeovers of oil and gas fields. The heads of the “rebels” military council is Omar Hariri and General Abdul Fattah Younis former head of the Ministry of Interior, both with long histories (since 1969) of repressing any democratic movements.||”|
The root base of the armed uprising is Benghazi, a hotbed of tribal backers and clients of the deposed King Idris who ruled with an iron fist over a semi-feudal backward state.
In May, 2011, NATO and Arab countries agreed in Rome to set up a fund to manage donations to help areas controlled by the rebels; they announced a financial mechanism to assist the opposition in Libya. This would include a partial unfreezing of the Gaddafi regime assets in banks that would go into a temporary fund to be managed by the U.N. Sanctions Committee. And it would help the rebels with their immediate needs to cover food, medicine and hospital costs; They could have access to a special $3 billion (£1.8 billion) trust fund established by its Western backers to finance the breakaway regions fighting Col Muammar Gaddafi; the Transitional National Council is planing to use money pledged for humanitarian and reconstruction needs to buy weapons.
Rebel commanders have created a wanted list and placed suspects under round-the-clock surveillance. Secret militia units raid houses without court warrants and often interrogate suspects for hours. Those released have to sign a document stating their loyalty to the revolution. As many as 30 civilians are being held at various rebel military bases around Benghazi without due process of law, said human rights activists, judges and prosecutors. In recent weeks, at least seven former members of the internal security police have turned up dead, their bodies riddled with bullets. Although it is not known who killed them, many suspect that they died at the hands of rebel-affiliated death squads. 
On May, 26, the deputy leader of Libya's rebel administration said it could take up to two years to organize elections, backtracking on promises of a six-month transition to democracy. 
A report from Congressman Dennis Kucinich corroborated the claim of Franco Bechis in Italy that "plans to spark the Benghazi rebellion were initiated by French intelligence services in November 2010." On March 10, 2011, France became the first and only country to recognize the Libyan Transitional National Council “as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.” "France recognises states, not parties", said a senior official on March 9th. After a meeting arranged by Bernard-Henri Lévy the next morning, on March 10th, two representatives of the Libyan opposition emerged from President Sarkozys office at the Elysée Palace to announce that "France recognizes the Libyan Transitional National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people". 
On March 19, two days after passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, French President Nicolas Sarkozy convened an emergency meeting of allied and Arab leaders in Paris which endorsed the immediate deployment of military aircraft to stop an assault by Gaddafi forces on Benghazi and the establishment of a no-fly zone in the country. Before the end of the meeting, French fighter planes had attacked armored vehicles and tanks outside Benghazi. Some participants at the Paris meeting were critical of the French government both for insisting on convening the meeting before agreeing to endorse air strikes, and then for launching air strikes before the meeting was over. French officials claim that meeting participants were informed of the operation beforehand. The strikes had clearly been planned and coordinated with the knowledge of key allied militaries, including the United States.
National Public Radio (NPR) reports Sarkozy has enjoyed a "burst of public support" while the London Guardian writes Sarkozy's actions may save him from "electoral humiliation." Several analysts speculate Sarkozy has used the crisis to propel France into a Superpower role, usurping the global leadership of the United States abrogated by President Obama. Columnist Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post observes,
|“||France is a country that has a past being involved in world affairs, wanting to count in world affairs, and being willing to pay its way for defense forces and to use those forces abroad. So, France plays a natural role in that. At a time when governments are slashing defense spending and reducing troops, France still wants to occupy an important role in world affairs....the reason you're seeing France taking on such a much larger role is that other countries, including the United States, are not willing to do it anymore. And Sarkozy is trying to fill that vacuum.||”|
Sarkozy's approval rating stood at 30% prior to the intervention.
Legality of French actions
On May 29, two French lawyers said they planned to initiate legal proceedings against French President Nicolas Sarkozy for crimes against humanity over the NATO-led military campaign in Libya... Dumas, a former French minister, said the NATO mission, which was meant to protect civilians, was in fact killing them."
Security Council Res. 1973 and NATO
UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973 of March 17, 2011 followed on the heels of Gaddafi’s public threat on March 2 to throw western oil companies out of Libya, and his invitation on March 14 to Chinese, Russian, and Indian firms to produce Libyan oil in their place. China, Russia, India and Brazil all abstained on UNSC Resolution 1973.
Despite France taking the lead role in the intervention, the Congressional Research Service reports, "Only the United States and NATO possess the command and control capabilities necessary for coalition operations enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya." France only recently rejoined the NATO alliance, in 2008, after a 40 year absence. The Congressional Research Service, which analyzes information and prepares reports for members of Congress, also states,
|“||In spite of statements underscoring NATO unity on steps announced to date, the initial planning and operational phases were also marked by significant levels of discord within Europe and NATO on the aims and future direction of the mission. A key point of contention was reportedly the amount of flexibility that NATO forces would be granted to protect civilians and civilian areas, as called for in paragraph 4 of UNSCR 1973. Reports indicate that French officials insisted on maintaining the ability to strike ground forces that threatened civilian areas, while their Turkish counterparts vocally opposed any targeting of ground forces. Adding to the strain within NATO, NATO ally Germany abstained from UNSCR 1973 and, opposed to any potential combat operation, on March 23, withdrew its naval assets in the Mediterranean from NATO command. Throughout the first week of operations, other European allies contributing to the mission, including Italy and Norway, expressed increasing frustration with the lack of agreement within NATO, with Norway refusing to deploy its fighter jets unless under they were under NATO command and control.||”|
Of NATO's 28 members, 14 are said to be "actively participating," but only 6 provided military support. By June Norway announced its intention to quit the coalition and French and British leaders expressed concerns over being able to meet the costs of a war they dragged the United States into. Of the 22-country Arab League, whose appeal prompted the United Nations to vote on intervention, only Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are involved. Of the 192 members of the UN General Assembly, who all have a legal "responsibility to protect" civilians attacked by their own governments, only Sweden has responded. After the authorization and commitment of NATO and U.S. forces, Secretary Gates announced,
|“||The mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country, yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference.||”|
|“||The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress—and in the American body politic writ large—to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.||”|
Exceeding UN mandate
Resolution 1973 authorized strict limitations, according to international law, on NATO as the organization with responsibility for the implementation of the resolution. Particularly, it provides only for a naval blockade enforcing the arms embargo, and enforcement of a no-fly zone. On March 29, 2011, Russian envoy Dmitry Rogozin commented after a meeting with NATO officials in Brussels, Belgium, that Russia expressed deep concern over the interpretation of the Security Council’s resolution, as some countries have effectively turned it into an approval for ground operations.
|“||Moscow has many questions about how the UN Security Council’s resolution is being carried out...First of all, there are reports that civilians have been killed in the air strikes. This is odd if you consider the message of the resolution, which says that the foreign forces’ actions should protect civilians. So it’s hard to comprehend how you can protect civilians by killing them....we demanded that the UN Security Council be fully informed about the actions of the alliance in Libya at all times... We have reports of air strikes against convoys far from the front line. This is a far cry from the UN Security Council resolution.||”|
NATO planes and ships have been striking cities and military installations in Libya since mid-March, 2011. Allied military officials have spoken in recent weeks of the need for escalation to help protect Libyan civilians and have called for Gaddafi to step down. Libyan officials have said that NATO is picking sides in a civil war and complained that strikes on Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound are attempts to assassinate the leader of a sovereign country. NATO launched its largest airstrike against Moammar Gaddafi’s regime on May, 24, 2011, with at least 15 massive explosions rocking the Libyan capital. 
On May 15, two months into the NATO bombing campaign against loyal Gaddafi’s forces, Britain’s top military commander has said that the Libyan leader could remain “clinging to power” unless NATO broadened its bombing targets to include the country’s infrastructure. 
The French and the British described plans for a wargames exercise for an attack on Libya last November, in the end they used those military assets that had been mobilized for the real thing 3 months ago. We know that NATO doesn’t just go and bomb a country over night, these things are planned far in advance, and in this case there is conclusive evidence that there have been plans for this for many many years. 
On Jun 18, Prime minister of Libya Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi accused NATO of a "new level of aggression" over the past 72 hours in which he said the military alliance intentionally targeted civilian buildings, including a hotel and a university. "It has become clear to us that NATO has moved on to deliberately hitting civilian buildings. ... This is a crime against humanity," he told reporters in the capital. Libya's Health Ministry released new casualty figures that put the number of civilians killed in NATO air strikes through to June 7 at 856. 
Italy - Berlusconi
African response to UN & NATO intervention
NATO's Libyan intervention has proven fractious in black Africa; in March Nigeria's Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia commented, "The contradictions between principle and national interest ... have enabled the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya ostensibly to protect innocent civilians from slaughter, but to watch seemingly helplessly (in Ivory Coast) as ...men, women and children are slaughtered in equally, even if less egregious, violence."
Amr Moussa, the outgoing head of the Arab League and a front runner to become president of a democratic Egypt, has voiced reservations about NATO's bombing campaign in Libya, calling for a ceasefire and talks on a political settlement while Muammar Gaddafi remains in power. 
The Arab League, which in March asked the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians, condemned the loss of life in bombing incidents.
"When the Arab League agreed on the idea of having a no-fly zone over Libya it was to protect civilians but when civilians get killed this has to be condemned with the harshest of statements," said Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Helli.
The Libyan leader says the Western-led military campaign is an act of colonial aggression designed to steal Libya's oil. 
United States intervention
President Obama moved swiftly to support French plans to frustrate Gaddafi’s proposal for an African Union with his unilateral declaration of a national emergency in order to freeze all of the Bank of Libya’s $30 billion of funds to which America had access. This was reported in the U.S. press as a freeze of the funds of "Colonel Qaddafi, his children and family, and senior members of the Libyan government. The second section of Obama’s decree explicitly targeted "All property and interests… of the Government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities, and the Central Bank of Libya. The consequences of the $30-billion freeze for Africa, as well as for Libya, have been spelled out by an African observer:
|“||The US$30 billion frozen by Mr Obama belong to the Libyan Central Bank and had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.||”|
War Powers Act
Under the War Powers Act of 1973 the U.S President has limited authority to use military force without Congressional authorization when there is an imminent national security threat, however President Obama made clear that he ordered the use of force for other reasons. Members of Congress of both parties have expressed concern the President may have violated the law in doing so. The War Powers Act specifically states that the President’s power to introduce forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities can only be exercised pursuant to (1) a declaration of war; (2) specific statutory authorization; or (3) a national emergency created by an attack on the United States or its forces. The War Powers Act requires the President in every possible instance to consult with Congress before introducing American Armed Forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities unless there has been a declaration of war or other specific Congressional authorization. None of these prerequisites have been met.
On March 21, 2011, President Obama publicly announced U.S. military forces commenced no fly-zone operations in Libya two days earlier, on March 19, "to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe" and cited UN Resolutions as giving him the authority to do so. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned establishment of a no-fly zone meant attacking Libaya. Officials as National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough also opposed to attacking Libya; but "Hillary Clinton won the bureaucratic battle to use DOD resources to achieve what's essentially the State Department's objective... and Obama let it happen".  The Charter of the United Nations, in Article 2(4), prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence” of a member state, and many observers have wondered whether the establishment of a no-fly zone would constitute a violation of this prohibition. The Congressional Research Services advised that a no-fly zone imposed against a state that has not carried out an attack on its neighbors may consider the imposition of a no-fly zone an “armed attack.” CRS warned that even if no-fly zone operations in a given state do not constitute an “armed attack",
|“||that state, and other members of the international community, might consider them a violation of the prohibition of the “threat or use of force,” as well as of the customary duty of non-intervention in the affairs of other sovereign states.||”|
NATO's Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee days before President Obama publicly admitted to intervention that U.S. intelligence knew of al Qaeda and Hezbollah elements among the Libyan insurgents. A document published by the U.S. West Point Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center reveals that Libya sent more fighters to the Islamic insurgency than any other Muslim country (from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah.). This set off a fierce debate in the Obama administration over the wisdom of arming terrorists. It is now known however, that sometime prior to March 31, 2011, President Obama signed a secret Presidential Finding authorizing support for the insurgents. Direct arms support would violate the arms embargo imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 1970 on February 26, 2011.
Public opinion initially was divided on support for President Obama's actions, within 30 days however, opposition rose 15% as the reality of the intervention set in.
Legality of U.S. military actions
The Washington Post reported on May 20, 2011 President Obama missed the legal deadline set in the 1973 law that required him to obtain Congressional approval for U.S. military operations in Libya. Under the Nixon-era War Powers Resolution, the president must obtain Congressional authorization of military action within 60 days, or else begin withdrawing forces. Sen. Richard Lugar of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations warned President Obama,
|“||U.S. military operations in Libya have assumed a different character than you suggested when you announced the decision to initiate them. In your March 21 letter to the Congress, you indicated that these operations would be limited in their nature, duration, and scope, and focused on protecting civilians and civilian populated areas from attack. Two months into these operations, your Administration is unable to specify what limits will apply to the duration of the operations, and the coalition in which we are participating appears to have expanded its objectives to weakening the Gaddafi regime’s hold on power through strikes on leadership targets and, potentially, infrastructure targets.||”|
The evidence is President Obama’s war in Libya is illegal and unconstitutional. Columnist George Will laid out the case in, “Is Obama Above the Law?” The war is a violation of the War Powers Act, which says the president can go to war without Congressional approval only if there is an imminent threat to the U.S. and there is a 60-day deadline for the withdrawal of forces. 
The law states that “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States , its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”
Since there was no declaration of war or statutory authorization for the Libya action, there has to be a national emergency created by an attack on the U.S. There was none in the Libya case. A bipartisan group of legislators have begun action against what they percieve to be President Obama's unconstitutional misuse of power.
10 Reasons to Oppose the War in Libya
According to Rep. Dennis Kucinich:
- It is unconstitutional, violating Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution which gives the power of declaring war to the Congress.
- It is illegal, as the War Powers Resolution was exploited out of context in order to declare war.
- American public opinion is against it, as 6 Americans out of 10 oppose the war.
- It distracts the President from more immediate concerns, such as the dire state of the economy.
- It costs funds that should be used for other purposes.
- Although the war was declared by Britain and France, America is paying more than other NATO allies.
- Civilians are being killed by the same powers that are supposed to protect them.
- The U.N. Resolution that authorized limited military action did not allow for regime change
- Public support of the war is eroding even in other allied countries.
- The situation is a stalemate that ought to be solved by political, not military means.
See more at: 10 Reasons to Oppose the War in Libya.
Opposition of Ron Paul
Why did the US intervene in a civil war in a country that has neither attacked us nor poses a threat? We are told this was another humanitarian intervention, like Clinton’s 1999 war against Serbia. But as civilian victims of the US-led coalition bombing continue to add up, it is getting difficult to determine whether the problem we are creating on the ground is worse than the one we were trying to solve. 
Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, explained in a recent article that there is plausible reason to believe the rebels are current or former Islamist mujahedin, eager to engage in jihad. Indeed, Gaddafi has fought against Libyan Islamists for years and is seen by them as a bitter enemy. Astoundingly, it may well be that we are assisting al Qaeda in this new war! Ibidem
Role of China
In the first decade of the Twenty-first century China quietly has overtaken the United States to become Africa's largest trading partner, particularly in oil, which accounts for 73 percent of all African exports. According to the Chinese government's first white paper on its economic and trade cooperation with Africa, China's trade with Africa has soared to $114.81 billion in the first 11 months of 2010. China uses about 8 million barrels per day (bpd), a demand that is projected to rise to 11.3 million bpd by 2015 and now receives 28 percent of its oil imports from Africa. China's top oil suppliers are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Angola, Russia, Oman and Sudan. Saudi Arabia is China's top oil supplier (1.1 million bpd.) China is also buying oil from Chad, Gabon and Nigeria as well. China's top African oil suppliers are Angola, Sudan and Nigeria. The International Monetary Fund reports, oil now accounts for 99 percent of Sudanese exports, with China absorbing for 65 percent of them. Energy is Angola's sole export hard currency earner, with China now accounting for 35 percent of Angolan exports.
Competition for resources
After hostilities began China evacuated over 36,000 of its energy and construction workers and shut down operations of Chinese companies with over $18.8 billion of Chinese investments in Libya. China alone is expected to invest on a scale of $50 billion a year in Libaya and Africa by 2015, a figure - funded by America’s trade deficit with China - which the Western powers and NATO cannot match. China, Libya's largest Asian oil customer, called for an immediate ceasefire.
|“||to eliminate China from the Mediterranean. China has extensive energy investments and construction investments in Libya. They are looking to Africa as a future energy source. The US is countering this by organizing the United States African Command (USAC), which Qaddafi refused to join. So that's the second reason for the Americans to want Qaddafi out.||”|
|“||the protests in Libya are different from the ones in Egypt or Yemen or Bahrain or Tunisia and the difference is that this is an armed rebellion...these protests originated in the eastern part of Libya where the oil is - they did not originate in the capital city. And we have heard from the beginning credible reports that the CIA is involved in the protests, and there have been a large number of press reports that the CIA has sent back to Libya its Libyan asset to head up the Libyan rebellion... China has 50 major investment projects in eastern Libya.||”|
Whatever Washington’s ulterior motives, there is no doubt that NATO’s military operations in Libya are harming China’s fiscal interests. According to information from China’s Ministry of Trade, by March, when the military operation began, there were 75 major Chinese companies operating in Libya, and they had concluded $18 billion in contracts. Because of the NATO operations in Libya, the Chinese companies are expecting gigantic losses. 
UN Security Council Resolution 1973, passed in March 2011, does not authorise participating members to support the anti-Gaddafi forces, to defend armed groups, or to oust Gaddafi. Nor does it authorise a ground invasion or military occupation. Strategic analyst Anthony Cordesman notes the similarities between Libya and Iraq and the loose uncoordinated coalitions "failure to plan for the decisive and lasting use of force, failure to plan for the civil side of military operations and to support stability operations, and focus on short term goals without a realistic plan for a successful strategic and post-conflict outcome." Cordesman notes,
|“||the lives and futures of some 6.6 million Libyans are at stake. The Franco-Anglo-American gamble now seems far too likely to fail at their expense. Moreover, it seems likely to drag the other nations that support the operation into their failure -- along with part of the reputation of NATO and credibility of the UN.... gambling on Qaddafi caving in has created a far more serious humanitarian crisis for the Libyan people than would ever have occurred if the Coalition had acted decisively from the start ...The humanitarian cost of humanitarian restraint is all too clear: Hundreds of Libyan and foreign workers have been killed...hundreds of thousands lack jobs, security, and safe conditions of life....an enduring war of attrition will turn a minor humanitarian crisis into a major one ...This kind of operation cannot be “surgical’ – if “surgical” now means minimizing bloodshed regardless of whether the patient dies. Hard, and sometimes brutal, choices need to be made between limited civilian casualties and collateral damage during the decisive use of force and an open-ended war of attrition that will produce far higher cumulative civilian casualties and collateral damage.||”|
Cordesman notes mission creep and boots on the ground ultimately lead to nation building:
|“||France, Britain, and the US now have a special obligation to both finish what they started in military terms, and deal with the aftermath. A post-conflict Libya will need extensive help in building a workable political system, in rebuilding the capability to govern, in both rebuilding the existing economy and correcting for decades of Qaddafi’s reckless and constantly shifting eccentricities.||”|
On April 19, 2011, one month after Sarkozy, Cameron, and Obama asked the UN Security Council for authorization for a limited use of force, the UK Guardian reported,
|“||Britain is now publicly doing what it expressly said it would not do when the no-fly intervention began: putting boots on the ground in Libya. France is taking similar action. Given that the rebel forces have convincingly demonstrated their inability to win on their own, given the sizable negatives for David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy of an open-ended, inconclusive conflict, and given Barack Obama's flat refusal to do any more, the question now is: how many more British and French boots will follow, sooner or later, in the advisers' fateful footsteps?....By encouraging and assisting rebel resistance, as George Bush Snr did with the Shias of southern Iraq in 1991, Britain and France risk worsening the plight of the Libyan civilians they are primarily pledged to defend. The UN and concerned aid agencies all agree the humanitarian situation is growing steadily worse, the longer the conflict continues. ..||”|
Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, in particular, has been scathing about Western intervention in Libya, comparing the Resolution 1973 to “a medieval call to the crusades” and saying “the so-called civilized community, with all its might, pounces on a small country, and ruins infrastructure that has been built over generations.” Mr. Putin returned to the subject of Libya repeatedly, despite acknowledging that foreign policy decisions were not within his portfolio as prime minister. 
"On how the western media makes the case for war. Our consent has been manufactured by the criminalization of Gaddafi and his government, and the Libyan people cannot believe it when I tell them what is said about him in the west. And if only you could see how they live, they are far more free than us in England in many ways, this does not fit in with the oppressive image of Gaddafi portrayed in the west.
So for example, I have had Libyans coming up to me asking me about a report in the popular French newspaper Le Figaro that came out about 3 days ago saying 10,000 people have been killed in Tripoli over the past 3 months by government forces. They are astonished, because this is complete and utter lies. " Letter from Libya to a close friend.
- America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels. The Independent, UK.
- Why Libya's Uprising Is Bad for the World Economy.
- False pretense for war in Libya?
- These humanitarians come to Libya with missiles, and an agenda. by Simon Jenkins.
- The West's War Against Gaddafi. Yet another long-lasting, tragic crime against humanity.
- Obama’s War in Libya is Illegal and Unconstitutional. by Cliff Kincaid.
- Libya disabled children school hit in NATO strike. Reuters.
- NATO's "Alternate Universe" in Libya.
- Are The Lessons of Kosovo Spreading to Libya?
- The head of the Arab League expressed "qualms" about Libya. In French.
- Al Qaeda in N. Africa backs Libya uprising: SITE
- Libya uprising.
- Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links.
- Libyan, Once a Detainee, Is Now a U.S. Ally of Sorts.
- Germany slams NATO mission in Libya.
- Eric Encina,Globalists Target 100% State Owned Central Bank of Libya, Market Oracle.
- Ellen Brown, Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking, Reader Supported News, April 15, 2011.
- French plans to topple Gaddafi on track since last November, by Franco Bechis, VoltaireNet, March 26, 2011.
- “Sarkozy’s Libyan Surprise,” The Economist, March 14, 2011.
- Allies Open Air Assault on Qaddafi’s Forces in Libya, New York Times, March 19, 2011.
- Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, March 30, 2011, p. 19 pd.
- Gaddafi offers Libyan oil production to India, Russia, China, Agence France-Presse, March 14, 2011.
- Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, March 30, 2011, p. 20 pdf.
- Letter from Libya to a close friend June 4, 2011.
- Gaddafi rages at NATO after bombing.
- New York Times, February 27, 2011.
- Executive Order of February 25, 2011, citing International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, seizes all Libyan Govt assets, February 25, 2011, link. The authority granted to the President by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act "may only be exercised to deal with an unusual and extraordinary threat with respect to which a national emergency has been declared for purposes of this chapter and may not be exercised for any other purpose" (50 U.S.C. 1701).
- How Obama turned on a dime toward war.
- The Sinjar documents, a collection of al Qaeda computer data captured by Americans in 2007 in a predawn raid near Sinjar, Iraq, six miles from the Syrian border. The documents included background information on around 750 foreign fighters, who migrated to Iraq to kill American soldiers, many of those fighters coming from among the very people we are now pledging to protect. David Wood wrote: "Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah. On a per capita basis, that’s more than twice as many than came from any other Arabic-speaking country, amounting to what the counter terrorism center called a Libyan “surge” of young men eager to kill Americans."
- http://www.conservativetruth.org/article.php?id=2458 Conservative Truth.
- Leslie Hook, China’s future in Africa, after Libya, March 4, 2011. The U.S trade deficit with China in 2010 was $273 billion.
- Washington Using NATO For Proxy Conflict With China In Libya.