by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich
Washington, Jun 9, 2011
Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who has led Congressional efforts questioning the Constitutionality and the wisdom of the war against Libya, today appealed directly to President Obama to safeguard Libyan assets during this time of conflict. Kucinich also transmitted to the President a draft of a plan to bring the Libyan conflict to an end. The plan was modeled after the African Union’s earlier efforts and crafted by Kucinich with help from members of the diplomatic community.
June 9, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We share a desire to end the war in Libya as soon as possible and to give the people of Libya a chance to work toward self-determination. However I continue to be concerned that this administration is taking actions contrary to these objectives.
The Libyan people have a right to economic self-determination. A significant portion of the country’s income is generated by oil production. If U.S. military intervention in Libya continues to facilitate the direction of revenues from oil production to any entity, it is denying the right of the Libyan people to determine the recipient of the proceeds of the oil production. The Libyan people could very well exercise their right to direct the revenue toward rebuilding the country after the end of the civil war the U.S. is helping to prolong. The administration must not decide the end recipient and use of the oil proceeds; the Libyan people should.
The same is true of the frozen Libyan assets. The members of the Libyan contact group, which includes the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC), are meeting today in Abu Dhabi to discuss how to legally release assets frozen belonging to the existing Libyan government to the TNC. Attempting to redistribute frozen assets for the purpose of funding the TNC will only serve to prolong the civil war the U.S. has now inserted itself in.
By continuing to choose sides in the war rather than working as a fair broker trying to end it, the administration is perpetuating the war, thereby failing the stated mission to protect Libyan civilians. This approach also undermines the prospects for a peaceful negotiated settlement. As the goal of removing Gaddafi becomes more important than purported goal of protecting civilians in Libya, an immediate ceasefire that facilitates a negotiated settlement is now more critical than ever.
In order to be of assistance to you and the Administration in helping to bring about a peaceful settlement in Libya, I am enclosing a plan which I developed through conversations in the diplomatic community. I hope that you will find it of use.
Finally, I ask that you order the safe keeping and protection of all Libyan assets, including those frozen by the U.S., until such time that the conflict in Libya is over and the country is once again reunited.
Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress