April 13th, 2011 | News | Posted In: Activism, Politics

Two Oregon Political Parties, Two Views on Bombing Libya

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With U.S. military action in Libya quickly approaching the four-week mark, indications are that progressive Oregonians' attitudes on the conflict remain, well, conflicted.

Both the Oregon Progressive Party and the Pacific Green Party of Oregon this month issued statements on America's support for the rebel movement in Libya. Both parties came out against the conflict, but it's clear they had to wrestle with the notion of dropping bombs (bad) in order to prevent more killing (good).

As previously reported by WW, a schism over Libya among the Pacific Greens has already caused one member to resign from the party leadership. Here's the statement the party released April 4, after Michael Meo quit the party's state coordinating committee:


PACIFIC GREEN PARTY DEMANDS END TO UNDECLARED WAR IN LIBYA

Calls for Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to Assume Constitutional Responsibilities

The Pacific Green Party of Oregon today demanded an end to the illegal and undeclared war in Libya.

“The United States Constitution clearly identifies Congress -- and only Congress -- as the branch of government responsible for a declaration of war.  Congress, for far too long, has abdicated this sacred constitutional responsibility.  Oregon’s U.S. Senators and our congressional delegation must demand an immediate end to U.S. participation in this undeclared war,” said Blair Bobier, a Pacific Green Party spokesperson and attorney.

Party secretary Seth Woolley noted that the Pacific Green Party has enjoyed a healthy internal debate over the situation in Libya.  “While the Pacific Green Party is clearly in support of the pro-democracy revolutions in the Arab world, we have had differing opinions about how to best help the Libyan opposition.  The Green Party’s national platform specifically supports U.N. intervention to prevent human rights abuses and genocide.  Limited military intervention to prevent the massacre of civilians who exercise their right to peaceful protest is one thing, but U.S. involvement in Libya is anything but.  Both sides in the conflict are now armed and Libya is embroiled in civil war.  U.S. military involvement must end immediately."

“Ending U.S. military involvement does not mean that we have to abandon Libyans who are seeking democracy and peace.  We could find any number of ways to support the Libyan revolution by re-directing the hundreds of millions of dollars we’re spending on bombs towards creative, non-violent solutions,” said Bobier.
(On a side note, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has offered up an amendment to the War Powers Resolution aimed at restricting the president's ability to unilaterally command military action.

And by contrast, here's Oregon Progressive Party's April 5 statement on Libya:

Progressive Party Condemns U.S. Military Intervention in Libya

The Oregon Progressive Party condemns U.S. intervention in Libya.  President Obama and his administration have acted in violation of the Constitution and democratic principles, as U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich stated on Thursday, March 31, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Launching wars without congressional approval, when there is no threat to the U.S., is unconstitutional.

The U.S. government has a long history of supporting cruel and violent dictators and engaging in interventionalist military policies when it best suits our geopolitical needs at the expense of humanitarian needs at home and abroad.  The wars and occupations supposedly to secure U.S. economic and political interests in Iraq and Afghanistan are perfect examples of this policy continued under the Bush administration and now by Obama.

American tax dollars should not go to supporting the military industrial complex and foreign military adventurism but rather to build up our crumbling infrastructure, improve schools, restore social services, and ensure the gainful employment that Oregonians and Americans sorely require.
 
The Oregon Progressive Party was founded on the principle the United States shall seek the peaceful, non-military resolution of disputes, reduce spending on war planning, equipment, and personnel, and respect the sovereignty of other nations and peoples.

 
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