Lynch: US attacks in Libya are "reckless"

Congressman Stephen F. Lynch: On a trip to Afghanistan in FebruaryCongressman Stephen F. Lynch: On a trip to Afghanistan in FebruaryCongressman Stephen Lynch is speaking out forcefully against the US intervention in Libya this week. Lynch, who represents parts of Dorchester as the Ninth district US representative, was the featured guest on Greater Boston with Emily Rooney on Monday night.

Lynch criticized President Obama's decision to commit US troops and resources to the coalition that is now bombing targets on the ground in the North African country.

"This was an operation of choice. We chose to do this. We don't have a keen national security priority in Libya. They weren't even on the map until we had this rebellion," Lynch told Rooney. "I just think we are being reckless in a way and cavalier with a volunteer military."

Lynch has been to Afghanistan and Iraq more than a dozen times since taking office in 2001 and voted to support the use of force in both countries.

Lynch told Rooney that a briefing he received from US military officials on Sunday contradicted the Obama administration's initial claim that the US would take only a supportive role in the Libya strikes.

"We were told that the US would not be in the preeminent position here, that we would merely be in a supportive role," Lynch said. "Our military acknowledged that we are running this operation...That wasn't what they said they were going to do."

In an e-mail sent out to constituents on Monday, Congressman Michael Capuano was also critical of the Libya action.

"I am troubled by the lack of information that has been shared with Congress and I believe that the President has an obligation to engage with the House and the Senate on this matter," Capuano wrote. "This operation, "Odyssey Dawn" may well prevent a despot from slaughtering civilians who have rebelled against him. I certainly do not question this goal, but how is it different from Darfur? Why do we support dissidents in Egypt and not in Iran? Why do we protect rebels in Libya and permit our allies, the Saudis, to reinforce a monarchy in Bahrain? The post-Cold War, post-9/11 world raises new issues and presents new problems. It has never been simple and it will never be simple to protect our interests and uphold our principles. The President must engage with Congress to strike the right balance in Libya and for future situations."