**Updated with more audio (all bolding is mine)
An important 2008 campaign coalition for the president is not happy with his actions in Libya and it could very well cost him politically in 2012.
Former Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney blasted President Barack Obama on Saturday at an ANSWER coalition meeting in Washington, D.C. for engaging the United States in a war against Libya. After returning from Libya with a group of U.S. journalists, Ms. McKinney launched a U.S. speaking tour to talk about her trip.
“I took a rash step because I was so outraged that our president would launch yet another illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, war and so I also knew that my government was lying,” she said to a group of 60 -70 anti-war Left attendees sitting in a Columbia Heights meeting room.
Ms. Mckinney told the gathering:
“Black America has been extremely supportive of our president, but not in this case. A line has been drawn in the sand with respect to our president bombing Africa and Libya in particular because of the history of support when the United States was supporting apartheid in the African continent, it was the people of Libya and the people of Muammar Qaddafi who were fighting to eradicate apartheid. And for those blacks and people of color inside this country who were fighting to eradicate American style apartheid, the people of libya and Muammar Qaddafi were supportive as well.”
“Now I don’t know that history, but brother Akbar knows that history very well and that is part of the reason why black America has drawn this line in the sand because this is something that is a historical relationship that has context that brother Obama …that President Obama…stepped across. He has crossed over the threshold.”
The war in Libya continues to lose support and despite liberals on a site like The Dally Kos who tout reasons to support the war, leftists in the anti-war ANSWER coalition are dead set against it. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, was part of a bi-partisan group of members on Capitol Hill who filed a lawsuit against the president two weeks ago for executing an illegal war.
Before the House voted to deny authorization to the Libyan war but fund the operation, Rep.Kucinich told reporters last week, “It’s a tradition that the president’s party on the congressional level tries to offer him support, but I think that we need to give better advice to the president that this mission is not possible. That it’s misguided. That he had advice from the Pentagon and from his Attorney General that would suggest.”
Mr. Kucinich added, “He should not pursue this without going to Congress and that we serve the president best when we tell him what we really think not just to endorse the policies that he has indicated that he wants.”
Rep. Kucinich later told me that we was asked to participate in an anti-war event in October, when I asked him why the anti-war groups like ANSWER have not been as visible on the streets now as they were during the Bush administration.
Ms. McKinney further attacked President Obama:
“I have been blessed to be able to travel all over the world. And as I have traveled, at one point I was extremely proud of the fact that black people in the United States and all over the world have a moral authority because everyone all over the world understands the plight that we have struggled against that we continue to have to struggle against, but unfortunately now, the policies of the Bush administration have been enunciated and implemented by black faces from Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice and now we have a continuation of those polices through the office of President Obama.”
“So I’m directly impacted negatively by the actions of these black people who have decided that they would cast their lot with warmongers, war criminals, and people who peddle in death and destruction. So I decided as a responsible and conscious black person that I wanted my voice heard against what these other people were enunciating and at the same time I also am just sick and tired of war. I want better for my country.”
Randy Short of Black Agenda Report was also on Saturday’s ANSWER speakers’ panel and went after President Obama for “funding” what Mr. Short called “n****r hunting” in Africa.
“There was the other thing I was to look at and that was how these terrorist people who are killing, support the troops over in Iraq from Derna, from Benghazi…these same al Qaeda people that we’re being taxed to fight are the ones we’re funding who are raping with Viagara black and brown women—cutting their breasts off and letting them bleed to death—taking their body parts and spelling the word ‘whore.’ That’s a humanitarian intervention people? They are going on African hunts or we would say, ‘n****r hunting.’ Our president is funding this. I have friends who are Somali who fled Libya and are now in Italy give me stories about how they have been robbed, how the have been beaten, and how people are being killed.”
It is unlikely ANSWER will get the huge numbers of anti-war participants it saw during the Bush years. Without a Republican in office, the left has little in common to unite and hate over. However, an anti-war march is planned in Washington on July 9, nonetheless.
It seems that the left-wing is currently divided among three factions. One side is protecting the president from negative fallout during a campaign year from his own foreign policy actions. Another more pure pacifist crowd wants to retreat immediately from all foreign intervention regardless of consequences.
The third albeit smaller camp senses impending election doom and is looking for a face-saving way out of the intra-party dispute in the hopes of salvaging some endangered seats in Congress. Is it no wonder President Obama called to draw down troops from Afghanistan so he could focus on domestic policy?