Rep. Johnson: US Can't Police the World

Thursday, 16 Jun 2011 04:54 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Rep. Tim Johnson, one of the 10 House members who filed a complaint in federal court against President Barack Obama Wednesday for taking military action in Libya without seeking congressional approval, says America should not try to be the “world’s policeman.” The United States has no vital interest in Libya, the Illinois Republican also said on MSNBC.
“I simply believed and believe now that we can’t continue to act on a variety of premises as a basis for American intervention around the world,” Johnson said. “There are over 200 countries in the world and most don’t share our principles, and it’s simply not possible — manpower-wise or financially — to act as the world’s policeman.
Johnson said the non-interventionist stance he and others took in filing the lawsuit is appropriate, especially with the nation in financial doldrums.
“I have a long history . . . of having opposed our intervention in the Middle East,” he said. “I, for example, during the Bush administration, opposed the surge, and quite frankly still think the surge was a mistake. I have a long history . . . of having been more than skeptical about a war that we can’t win, that costs us lives, and that costs us trillions of dollars.

“To my Republican colleagues, I made this point: I challenged them to understand that if they’re serious about debt reduction, that you can’t take things off the table, including defense, when we’ve had in excess of trillions of dollars expended in the Middle East, and you have to balance the budget — those are counterintuitive,” he said.

“And I made a challenge to my Democratic friends that if they are opposed to war and the loss of innocent lives, and American men and women, that’s just as applicable to an Obama administration” initiative," Johnson said.

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