Libyan action draws mixed reviews from Obama’s friends, foes

President Barack Obama’s decision to loose cruise missiles aimed at Moammar Gadhafi’s headquarters in Libya won support — and a demand for a quick explanation — from Colorado lawmakers on Monday.

The attacks, which were coordinated with French and British forces, came themselves under fire at the same time from congressional Democrats who denounced them as violations of the Constitution’s separation of powers and the responsibility of Congress to declare war.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., called Obama’s actions “morally necessary to protect the innocent people of Libya from this vicious dictator.”

Now, however, the nation is involved in a third war and “it is the president’s duty to clearly define the objectives and goals of this operation to Congress and to the American people,” Tipton said in a statement.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said it was important that the United States was acting in concert with European nations that have joined in enforcing a no-fly zone aimed at preventing Gadhafi from launching aerial attacks against his own people.

“The international community has given Gadhafi a clear choice, and made it clear that there are serious consequences to ignoring the will of his people,” Udall said in a statement.

A spokesman for Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said the senator believes it necessary the international community, including the Arab League, is united against atrocities in Libya.

Bennet also remains concerned about any action “that would involve our military in a new conflict,” spokesman Michael Amodeo said. “While he supports a coordinated response from the international community, our goal must be clear: to prevent the killing of innocent civilians.”

Obama’s decision, however, was denounced by members of his own party as well as Republicans in Congress.

One prominent war critic, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said on MSNBC, “Well, we’re in Libya because of oil.”

Another Democrat, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, said the attacks had no congressional authorization.

Obama “has gone against the Constitution, and that’s got to be said,” Kucinich said. “It’s not even disputable, this isn’t even a close question.”

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, also questioned American involvement, and Sen. John Cornyn, also a Texas Republican, said in a tweet Sunday that Obama was treating Congress as a “potted plant.”


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