We asked three local leaders to comment on the ongoing miltary action in Libya:
Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton
“Moammar Gadhafi is committing terrible atrocities against his own people, and the international community should be concerned about his actions. We cannot, however, be indefinitely involved in a third major overseas military commitment. We need concrete goals and an exit strategy from Libya that ends American involvement as soon as possible.”
Kim Parigoris, president of Lodi Citizens in Action, affiliated with Tea Party Patriots
“Constitutionally, this is a very gray area ... both sides of the issue could quote the Constitution.
“The Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, explicitly states, ‘The Congress shall have power to ... declare war.’ But in Article II, Section 2, the Constitution says, ‘The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.’
“However, I feel that there was no immediate, imminent threat to this country and would think that Article II, Section 2, would be interpreted to give that power to the president only in an extreme threat of imminent and immediate danger, i.e., Iran bombing Los Angeles with a nuclear weapon.
“Should (Obama) have gone to Congress first? Yes, he should have. I never thought I would agree with Dennis Kucinich, but as he stated, ‘President Obama is a president, not a king.’ Personally, I do not like the feeling that the United Nations is pulling the strings of our president.”
Taj Khan, Lodi Muslim
“With the help of other nations and support from the United Arab League, we tried to stop the massacre. It was definitely the right thing to do. Where we go from there is a question. Maybe (Obama) should have gone to Congress. It may have massaged some of the egos that have been bruised.”
Cindy Harris, president of Greater Lodi Area Democrats
“I don’t want to see Gadhafi killing his own people, but I don’t think the U.S. can continue to police the world. I’m not an isolationist, but I believe we should concentrate on our problems at home. I don’t want to see our blood shed on any other soil.
“(Obama) should have gone to Congress. It would have taken the heat off him. Now he’s going to be the fall guy for whatever happens.”